Austin DWI Driver Had Prior DUI, Long Criminal History

Z.jpgThere is more troubling information about Rashad Owens, who mowed down a crowd of music festival goers at the SXSW Festival Wednesday morning.

According to publicdata.com Owens was arrested in 2011 at the age of 18 in Fairbanks, Alaska for driving under the influence of marijuana.

Owens had also been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, consuming alcohol as a minor, and criminal trespass. He also plead guilty to criminal trespassing in 2010 and again in 2012 in Killeen and was sentenced to 60 days in jail for each offense.

There was a warrant out for his arrest for his failure to attend a hearing in Alaska.

This “gangsta” was in a rap group that was scheduled to perform a few hours later at the festival.

Owens grew up in Killeen with his mother, who was stationed at Fort Hood. He has apparently fathered six children.

For a 21 year old, Owens has already gotten into a lot of trouble. I hope he gets the justice he deserves.

As a personal injury attorney I represent far too many people who are injured by intoxicated drivers — often young ones.

And drivers younger than 26, like Owens, cause the most auto fatalities in the United States. A shocking 21% of young drivers involved in a fatal accident have some alcohol in their system — much higher than in other age groups.
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Worse, more than 6,600 impaired drivers are involved in fatal collisions each year. Over 10,000 people are killed by drunk drivers. About half of those are caused by drivers whose BACs are as high as .16% — two times the legal limit in Texas.

Studies have shown that even a small amount of alcohol interferes with a person’s ability to concentrate. And for younger, less experienced drivers, even one drink can cause the loss of reaction time that might prove fatal.

I have blogged about this tragic topic many times. We have to get the message out that drinking/using drugs and driving is illegal, stupid, and possibly deadly behavior before the next drunk wipes out another group of innocent people.

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