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Recent Bryan, TX Accident Highlights the Danger of Drinking and Driving

Every year, about 10,000 Americans die in alcohol-related traffic accidents.  Unfortunately, Texas is one of the states where drunk driving deaths are most prevalent.

A tragic drunk driving accident recently occurred in Bryan, Texas, when a man named Drake Washington was walking along a public roadway during the early morning hours. Jesus Morin was driving along that same road at the time. Morin struck Washington with his vehicle, and Washington was later pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

At the time of the accident, Morin was driving while intoxicated. Morin was also a repeat offender for drunk driving.

Some people drive drunk despite the potential catastrophic consequences and severe legal punishments. Anyone who has been injured as a result of a drunk driver should seek the advice and counsel of an experienced  DUI crash victim attorney to best protect their rights.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs all of the senses and makes operating a vehicle extremely difficult. Not only is an intoxicated driver’s judgment impaired, but their coordination becomes poor and their vision affected. Unsuspecting pedestrians are particularly at risk, as they have no protection against a speeding, out of control vehicle.

To reduce your risk of being hit by a drunk driver, it is advisable to take precautions such as:

  • Stay home at odd hours — A large percentage of alcohol-related road accidents happen between midnight and five in the morning. If at all possible, it is wise to stay off the roadways during that period, especially during holidays and major regional events.
  • Maintain situational awareness — Whether driving, walking or just standing around, it is prudent to maintain situational awareness when out in public. This means being cognizant of your surroundings, and the people in your immediate vicinity. Awareness gives a person more time to react in case of trouble or impending danger, such as a speeding car.
  • Drive defensively — Avoid accidents by driving at moderate speeds and leaving plenty of room between yourself and other vehicles. Plan ahead and communicate your intentions to other drivers by using turn signals and slowing down gradually. Don’t assume another driver’s intentions, especially if they exhibit poor driving skills.

In Texas, causing serious bodily while driving impaired is a felony called “Intoxication Assault “ or “Intoxication Manslaughter." A driver convicted of either of these crimes can be given penitentiary time. 

The law also provides that a person guilty of either crime can have punitive or exemplary damages assessed against them. These are damages a jury can award in excess of out of pocket damages to punish the drunk driver and send a message to the community that this type of conduct will not be tolerated in Texas any longer. 

 I have tried a number of these cases to a jury verdict. In each instance the jury’s award for punitive damages exceeded the entire amount of actual damages assessed. The jury on behalf of my client sent a clear message to the particular defendant and any one else who might be tempted to get behind the wheel of a deadly weapon while drunk. Not in Texas! No more! We have had enough.

I am a board-certified personal injury trial lawyer with more than 40 years of experience, and Leland Reinhard Law Firm has helped thousands of clients collect compensation. If you or a family member has been involved in a road accident, feel free to contact me or call 817-645-5400 for an initial consultation.