The Texas DWI rate in Texas is out of control. Consider these four episodes reported in the media over the past two weeks if you don’t think we have a problem with driving while intoxicated here.
1. Drunk former NFL quarterback busted for DWI — again
Former University of Texas legend Vince Young was arrested for the third time in two years for driving while intoxicated outside of Houston. His black Cadillac was at a stop in the middle of an intersection with its hazard lights flashing very early in the morning. The arresting officer said that Young had slurred speech, smelled of alcohol, and failed field sobriety tests.
Young, who led my alma mater University of Texas team to a national championship in 2006 and played for several pro teams, is an embarrassment. He most recently plead no contest to a DWI charge in 2016 in Travis County and was given 18 months probation.
He joins a number of other intoxicated athletes in the news including two former Dallas Cowboys. One caused his team mate and best friend to die and another was found asleep at the wheel after the Super Bowl last week.
It’s sad when high profile celebrities spiral downward and send out the message that it is OK to be DWI.
2. Drunk Denton driver bites off ear of police officer
Friday night this man was pulled over for DWI on Interstate 35 but refused to leave his vehicle.
He got into a fight with arresting officers.
As if this weren’t bad enough, he bit off off the ear of a policeman.
3. Drunk Dallas driver’s excuse: it was the chalupas, not the cervezas
A man who caused a fatal three car crash blamed the Mexican food — not the three beers he admitted to drinking.
Julio Guerrero, 24, was charged with intoxication manslaughter last week after he ran a red light in south Dallas and t-boned a car which pushed it into a third vehicle. Tragically, the young driver of the car he hit died. Guerrero then fled the scene.
Police found him in his home where he first claimed that his brakes had failed.
Then he had the nerve to claim he had eaten too much Mexican food which set off dizziness because it had too much cholesterol. As a comedian used to say, I am not making this up.
4. Another drunk Dallas driver kills man in wheelchair, injures three others
A man hit a handicapped man crashed into a parked SUV on the access road to South Central Expressway at 2:00 in the afternoon several weeks ago.
He then hit a man riding his wheelchair on the side of the road, killing the 70-year-old, and breaking the leg of another man in a wheelchair next to him.
Michael Brown, age 38, kept driving and hit another car, injuring a husband and wife who were rushed to a hospital with serious injuries.
Brown kept mumbling and falling asleep when police interviewed him.
DWI collisions are far too common in Texas
These tragedies follow the wave upon wave of prior driving while intoxicated crashes. According to 2017 statistics provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 1,024 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Texas where a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This represented a huge number (28%) of the total number of people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
I’ve blogged about them hoping to bring badly needed attention to this important public safety issue. The last post about outrageous DWIs is here.