Car accidents can happen suddenly and with little to no warning. Sometimes these accidents are terrible, but people do survive. On the other hand, sometimes what occurs after a wreck has taken place can lead to worse consequences than the initial impact. This is what happened in Garland, Texas recently.
A Median, a Light Pole, and a Drunk Driver
A car accident that occurred in eastern Dallas resulted in one person dead and another injured. Authorities say the wreck happened after a man in his early 20s travelling southbound Ferguson Road lost control of his SUV, impacted a median, and ended onto oncoming traffic. In the midst of the accident, the driver impacted a light pole which fell on the SUV.
Moments after, another driver was travelling northbound Ferguson Road (the same place where the first driver resulted in), and impacted both the SUV and the light pole. Because the speed at which the second driver was going on was high, the light pole was smashed into the windshield of the SUV. Police say that a passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, although it is not clear whether the passenger was in the SUV or in the second vehicle.
The driver of the second vehicle was transported to the hospital without serious injuries. Upon examinations, the driver of the second vehicle was found to be under the influence of alcohol, was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter.
What Does Intoxication Manslaughter Mean?
“Intoxication manslaughter” is a term that many people have heard of, but some may not know what it actually means. Let’s break down both words in the term. First, let’s look at “intoxication”. Someone who is intoxicated is someone who is over their 0.08% blood alcohol level (BAC). In the State of Texas, this is defined as being over the legal limit that an individual can drive. Second, let’s look at “manslaughter”. Manslaughter is similar to homicide, but an important and key difference is that a person’s death was caused by criminal negligence. In other words, the death was not intentionally caused.
Putting these two words together, and the result is an unintentional death caused by someone who was driving over the legal limit of alcohol consumption. In other words, drunk driving.
Why Do People Still Drive Under the Influence?
In the state of Texas, intoxication manslaughter is considered a second degree felony, punishable up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, those convicted of intoxication manslaughter must serve a minimum of 240 hours of community service. So this begs the question: if people’s lives are at risk, and your future is at risk, why make the irresponsible and negligent decision of driving under the influence?
Under no conditions should someone drive under the influence, and now with advances in technology there is no reason that a driver should not be able to get home without their vehicle. What tips would you do if you see someone trying to driver while they are under the influence of alcohol? Let us know in the comments below, and remember: drive safely.