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Articles Tagged with driving while intoxicated

drunk-driving

“Joe” was driving home from work last July when an SUV rear-ended his pickup truck at a high rate of speed. That driver was intoxicated. Joe was taken to a hospital, x-rayed, and diagnosed with a strain/sprain. Joe was angry and wanted to explore his legal options. He hired us and we went to work.

We learned that the driver’s blood alcohol content was shockingly high .28%. That is three and one-half times the legal limit for driving while intoxicated.

Joe’s left shoulder had been causing him a lot of pain. But he had no health insurance or way to pay for a doctor. Joe’s problem was a common one for people who have been in a car accident. Many people don’t have health insurance or if they do, their plan refuses to pay their bills by claiming that:

  • the health insurance plan is secondary to the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company or other entity,
  • the ambulance, hospital, or doctor was out of network, the service was not necessary, or it was too expensive, or
  • vehicle crashes are somehow exempt from reimbursement.

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Here’s the latest elected official or celebrity to be arrested for driving while intoxicated

Drinking and Driving

Why do we have so many “car accidents” on our roads — especially the huge number caused by drunken and drugged drivers? The chance of being injured in a DWI wreck in North Texas is a lot higher than you may realize. In Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton Counties last year, drunk drivers caused over 5,000 crashes which tragically took the lives of 90 people and injured thousands of people.

We hear about the Covid-19 pandemic constantly but rarely about the DWI epidemic. But these collisions are so common that it takes someone dying in one – or a famous celebrity arrested – for the news media to mention it.

Recently we blogged about how two prominent officials — a Dallas criminal judge and a high-ranking Fort Worth police officer — were arrested for driving while intoxicated in the same weekend.

In the latest report about a public servant breaking the law, the Mayor of Granbury was arrested for DWI early Sunday morning. Worse, this was his second arrest. Ninnian Hulett, age 68, was pulled over in his highly visible red Corvette. The mayor was reportedly found guilty about seven years ago of evading arrest and later that year, was arrested for causing a DWI wreck in Fort Worth – and one more.

EDITED: The mayor resigned on May 6, 2021.

That’s outrageous. We elect people not just to make laws but obey them, just like the rest of us have to do. We expect our officials, judges, and law enforcement personnel to lead us by exhibiting the highest conduct and setting a good example, especially when innocent drivers can be injured.

We can’t sit back and allow a DWI to be normal behavior when people naturally ask, “if he can do that, why can’t I?”

Our office handles many driving while intoxicated collision cases and sees how destructive these usually high-speed crashes can be.

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DWIs-in-DFW-injured-persons-vehicle--scaledThree fatal crashes in one day is insane

Texas may be fully open for business but there are less vehicles on the roads thanks to remote working, shopping, and schooling. So you would hope that at least the number of car accidents would have decreased. But looking at how many fatal crashes happened in the Fort Worth area just on Friday, it is apparent that our local highways are as dangerous as ever.

This is what happened in those eight hours:

1.  In Far North Fort Worth

A tractor-trailer, flatbed truck and pickup were involved in a crash about 10:00 a.m. on Highway 114 at an intersection near the Texas Motor Speedway in Justin. Apparently a woman driving the flatbed truck died. Other people were injured, two of them seriously.

2. In Arlington

A man who was driving while intoxicated took the life of a 21-year-old woman around 2:30 a.m on Interstate 20. Her car collided into an 18-wheeler that had jack-knifed and blocked all lanes of traffic after it was crashed into by the drunk man. The young woman was a college student, worked, and was loved by many. And shockingly, this was the third child that her parents had lost in a DWI collision, adding to the heart break.

3. Near Decatur

Also about 2:30 a.m., the 47-year-old assistant basketball coach at the University of North Texas died after his car hit a culvert in on U.S. 380. His vehicle flipped over and traveled through a fence. Other details were not reported. His team had finished its first NCAA tournament in the history of the school just several weeks before.

These stories are devastating. Any one wrongful death from a car crash or due to any other reason is heart-breaking. There are so many ways someone can get hurt out on the roads.

We send our condolences and prayers to their families and everyone impacted by these tragedies.

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Guest blog written for MADD by Bill Berenson, personal injury lawyer and member of MADD’s North Texas Advisory Board of Directors

We have an alarming crisis on our Texas roads you need to know about:

  • Texas has been #1 in the nation for the most commercial truck crashes for the last five years.
  • These wrecks took the lives of 685 Texans and injured 6,204 others – many severely – in 2019.
  • By comparison, California which has over 10 million more people, only suffered 463 deaths that year.
  • The number of fatalities caused by 18-wheeler crashes rose by almost 30% here since 2016.

Further, some of the drivers of these gigantic vehicles were driving while intoxicated or drugged.

Reckless and drunk driving have to stop or, at the very least, be curtailed.

We should not think that violent crashes like this one caused by a speeding trucker who crashed into vehicles on the opposite side of LBJ Freeway in North Dallas are acceptable.

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1. Stay home! New Year’s Eve is just an excuse for the overconsumption of alcoholic beverages. And with 2020 being such a terrible year, this might make even more people go out and drink even more tonight. They will be celebrating at nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, then drive home and cause a possible fatal DWI accident in Fort Worth.

Not to be a party-pooper, but please stay home tonight due to Covid-19 precautions, bad weather, and just plain common sense.

Our main goal at Berenson Injury Law is to use the civil justice system to get our clients the best possible compensation for their damages. We also try to change the behavior of negligent drivers so that our highways will be less dangerous.

We just filed a lawsuit against a man whose blood alcohol content was an unbelievable 3.5 times the legal limit — at only about 7:00 p.m.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram wrote an excellent article about this tragic case that claimed the life of a man. Publicizing the inevitability of severe criminal punishments and substantial civil judgments can warn others and hold down the chance of another Fort Worth DWI accident like this one.

We often write about what people should do after they are involved in a driving while intoxicated collision since they are so common and hurt so many people.

Shockingly, 30 Americans lose their lives each day, in a DWI crash. That is one every 50 minutes, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

We must stop the madness. Every driving while intoxicated collision is preventable. Tonight is the perfect time to start.

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Ticket for Texting and Driving

The epidemic of DWIs in DFW is officially out of control

When a judge and police officer were disgracefully jailed last week for driving while intoxicated, you know that we have a crisis. How can people paid to enforce the law break it? Committing DWIs in DFW is outrageous for drivers plus being hypocritical when committed by those supposed to protect us from drunk drivers in the first place.

So what happened and why do we bring this to your attention?

Texas-car-accident-deaths-statistic-20-years

Here’s another thing out of control: Texas car accident deaths

We reached a sad new milestone yesterday: one or more Texas car accident deaths have happened every day for the past 20 years. During that time, over 70,000 innocent lives have been taken due to fatal collisions. That would almost fill up the AT&T Stadium for a Cowboys game last year. We are #1 in the country in this dismal statistic, even though California has 10 million more people.

The head of the Texas Transportation Commission said that 90% of Texas car accident deaths were preventable. But she noted that we were “numb” to the carnage and took it for granted. That should not be happening.

“No Refusal weekends” will now be all year longDrinking and Driving

Here’s a fact you rarely hear: Texas is #1 in the U.S. for deaths caused by intoxicated drivers. Any one loss of life is tragic. Our figure of 886 is abysmal. So yesterday’s announcement by the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office that every weekend will now become a “No Refusal” weekend is certainly good news. Hopefully, the chances of being the victim of a Tarrant County DWI accident will be curtailed starting this Friday night.

In the past, only a few weekends each year were designated as No Refusal Weekends, including New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl, Labor Day, and several others when it was known there would be more DWIs than usual. But Dallas, San Antonio, and other cities and counties have cracked down on DWIs on every weekend for years.

Another Saturday night, another Fort Worth DWI wreck

Three people tragically died in a Fort Worth DWI wreck when a drunk driver of a pickup truck speeding the wrong way crashed into their car on NE Loop 820. A father, mother and their 9-year-old daughter from Dallas died at the scene. The pickup truck driver was helicoptered to a hospital in Fort Worth with life-threatening injuries. He has been charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter with bond set at $100,000 per death. A lot of good that will do now. When will the next Fort Worth DWI wreck happen and how can we stop it?

Every Fort Worth DWI wreck is 100% preventable

Berenson-Injury-Law-client-scaled
This afternoon we enjoyed meeting with three women for our favorite part of our jobs: handing our clients large settlement checks!

This horrible pandemic is made worse by all the reckless drivers in Dallas-Fort Worth who keep crashing into innocent victims and injuring them. You might assume that with fewer people on the roads, your chances of safely getting from Point A to Point B are excellent.

But there are still thousands of crashes each month in North Texas. Statistics for this year are not yet available, but last year there were close to 90,000 reported collisions in Tarrant and Dallas Counties.  That is a frightening number. And now, some drivers are speeding faster and driving even more dangerously than ever with less vehicles to slow them down.

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