Earlier this year, Texas legislators introduced a bill to amend the current laws regarding installation of ignition interlock devices following certain convictions for drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 10,000 deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers in 2012, and just over 9,800 in 2011. The majority of the DWI accidents nationwide in 2013 involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher – nearly double the legal limit of .08 in Texas.
Research revealed by NHTSA indicates that convicted drunk drivers with interlocks installed are 75% less likely to repeat driving while intoxicated compared to those without the devices. Texas already has legislation calling for the use of the interlock devices following convictions of drunk driving offenses. The proposed bill would amend the laws to require use of the devices after the first such offense for all convictions.
DWI car accidents and the injuries they case are a serious problem every day in Texas. Texas reported 1,337 deaths in crashes involving alcohol, and 194 deaths in crashes involving drugs in 2013.
Cases following such accidents can be complex and often involve claims against parties other than the offending driver, including dram shop claims against the owner/operator of the establishment that served the intoxicating beverages, or negligent entrustment claims against the owner of the vehicle who entrusted the drunk driver with his or her car. DWI accidents can and should be fully investigated by skilled attorneys who go beyond the accident itself to see where, when, and to what extent the offending driver partook of the substances – alcohol or drugs – that impaired the ability to drive and caused the accident.