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Drunk Driving Accidents

“¡Es cierto lo que dice su cartelera que definitivamente es El Abogado que Trabaja!”

- Eduardo G.

Austin Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

Fighting for Drunk Driving Victims 24/7

In the bustling city of Austin, Texas, a sinister problem plagues the streets. The issue at hand, drunk driving, results in devastating accidents with consequences that ripple through the community. In the aftermath of a drunk driving accident in Austin, Texas, a lawyer can be your advocate and support system. 

At Chris Morrow Law, our expertise not only streamlines the legal process but also empowers you to focus on recovery and healing. By seeking legal representation from one of our Austin drunk driving accident lawyers, you ensure that justice is pursued, responsible parties are held accountable, and you receive the compensation you deserve. In the face of such a traumatic experience, a skilled drunk driving accident attorney becomes an essential ally, guiding you towards a path of resolution and closure.

Call Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, today at 512-729-1972 to speak with an experienced Austin drunk driving attorney. We can also be by your side if you’re filing a wrongful death claim following the death of a loved one.

On This Page:
Understanding the Severity of Drunk Driving Accidents

It’s essential to comprehend the gravity of drunk driving and the dire consequences it can impose. Behind the crime’s simplicity lies a profound effect – endangering countless lives and wreaking havoc on families and communities.

When a person decides to drive under alcohol’s influence of alcohol, they aren’t just putting their life at risk but also jeopardizing the safety of every other road user. This threat extends to pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists.

The Consequences of Drunk Driving

Drunk driving carries severe penalties not only legally, but also psychologically and socially. The driver, upon conviction, may face significant fines, imprisonment, and the stigma of having a criminal record.

Consider the psychological impact on the drunk driver themselves. Once the haze of alcohol wears off and reality sets in for alcohol impaired drivers, they may experience overwhelming guilt and remorse for their actions. The knowledge that their choices led to harm and suffering can haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Furthermore, the social consequences of drunk driving cannot be overlooked. Friends, family, and colleagues may distance themselves from the individual, feeling a sense of betrayal and distrust. The driver’s reputation may be forever tarnished, making it difficult to find employment or build meaningful relationships.

The Impact on Victims and Their Families

The victims and families affected by drunk driving accidents endure tremendous suffering. Often, survivors are left with severe physical injuries that demand long-term medical care and rehabilitation.

The families of these victims are thrust into a new, heartbreaking reality. They must confront the loss or severe injury of a loved one, while enduring financial strains from medical bills and lost income. The emotional burden is overwhelming, as they navigate through the grief and try to rebuild their lives.

It’s important to remember that behind every statistic and news headline, there are real people whose lives have been forever altered by the choices of a drunk driver. By understanding the severity of drunk driving, we can work towards creating a society that prioritizes responsible behavior and values the safety and well-being of all.

Drunk Driving Laws in Texas

As is the case with most states, in Texas you’re legally intoxicated when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08% or higher, but you’re really breaking drunk driving laws the instant that the alcohol or drugs in your system interfere with your ability to drive. Driving with an open container of alcohol in your vehicle is also illegal, even if you’re not drunk, and driving drunk with children under the age of 15 in your car will result in you being charged with child endangerment.

The penalties for drunk driving in Texas are categorized based on the number of offenses and include:

  • First offense: Up to $2,000 in fines, 180 days in jail, and loss of driver license up to a year
  • Second offense: Up to $4,000 in fines, one month to a year in jail, and loss of driver license up to two years
  • Third offense: $10,000 fine, two to 10 years in prison, and loss of driver license up to two years

Texas also honors a “zero tolerance” law that makes it illegal for underage drivers to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system. Our lawyer is a Texas local who is knowledgeable about our state’s various laws and can use them to your case’s advantage.

Drunk Driving Statistics in Austin, Texas

Drunk driving remains a significant public safety concern in Austin, Texas. According to recent statistics, the city has witnessed a concerning number of alcohol-related accidents. In 2021, there were over 1,300 alcohol-related crashes reported, resulting in approximately 60 fatal crashes and numerous injuries. The prevalence of drunk driving continues to strain emergency services, medical facilities, and law enforcement resources.

Efforts to combat this issue include increased law enforcement patrols, sobriety checkpoints, public awareness campaigns, and educational programs. Despite these measures, the numbers reflect the persistent danger of drunk driving on Austin’s roads.

These statistics highlight the urgent need for continued awareness, education, and enforcement to prevent accidents and alcohol impaired driving fatalities. Both local authorities and community organizations are working tirelessly to reduce the prevalence of impaired driving, promote responsible alcohol consumption, and ultimately create safer roadways for all residents and visitors of Austin.

Legal Implications of Drunk Driving in Texas

Texas, like all other states, has stringent drunk driving laws. Indeed, the implications of breaking these laws are severe and can alter an individual’s life course.

Drunk driving is a dangerous and irresponsible act that puts not only the driver’s life at risk but also the lives of innocent people on the road. The state of Texas recognizes the gravity of this offense and has implemented strict laws to deter individuals from driving under the influence.

Texas Drunk Driving Laws

In Texas, the penalties for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) can vary based on factors such as the offender’s age, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and any prior DUI/DWI convictions. Below are the potential penalties for a first-time DWI offense for individuals who are 21 years of age or older:

  • First Offense DWI (BAC < 0.15%):
    • Fine: Up to $2,000
    • Jail Time: 3 days to 180 days
    • Driver’s License Suspension: 90 days to 1 year
    • Mandatory Alcohol Education Program
    • Potential Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement
    • Annual Surcharge: $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license
  • First Offense DWI (BAC ≥ 0.15%):
    • Fine: Up to $4,000
    • Jail Time: 72 hours to 1 year
    • Driver’s License Suspension: 90 days to 1 year
    • Mandatory Alcohol Education Program
    • Potential Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement
    • Annual Surcharge: $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license
  • DWI with Child Passenger (Under 15 years old):
    • State Jail Felony
    • Fine: Up to $10,000
    • Jail Time: 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility
    • Driver’s License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years
    • Mandatory Alcohol Education Program
    • Potential Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement
    • Annual Surcharge: $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license
What are Dram Shop Laws & How Do They Affect My Claim?

Dram shop laws are legal statutes that hold establishments, such as bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, liable for the actions of their patrons who become intoxicated and cause harm to themselves or others. These laws allow individuals who have been injured or otherwise harmed by an intoxicated person to hold the establishment partially responsible for the damages.

The term “dram shop” historically referred to establishments that sold alcoholic beverages by the dram, a small unit of measurement. Today, the term is used more broadly to encompass any business that serves or sells alcohol.

Dram shop laws vary significantly from state to state, including the specific circumstances under which a business may be held liable for impaired driving. Here’s how they can affect your drunk driving claim:

  • Liability of Establishments: If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may explore the possibility of holding the establishment that served or sold alcohol to the driver responsible for your injuries. If it can be proven that the establishment continued to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or to a minor who later caused the accident, you may have grounds to file a claim against the establishment.
  • Evidence and Proof: To succeed in a dram shop claim, you will generally need to establish a clear link between the establishment’s actions and the intoxicated driver’s impairment. This can involve providing evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, receipts, and expert testimony.
  • Shared Liability: Dram shop laws can impact the allocation of liability in your case. Even if the primary responsibility lies with the intoxicated driver, a successful dram shop claim could potentially result in the establishment sharing a portion of the liability for the accident and your injuries.
  • Compensation: If your dram shop claim is successful, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.

If you believe that dram shop liability may apply to your drunk driving claim, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced Austin drunk driving accident attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state. They can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of pursuing a claim against the establishment.

Role of an Austin Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

An Austin drunk driving accident lawyer can provide valuable assistance and advocacy for your case in several ways. The role of an Austin drunk driving accident lawyer is to provide legal representation, guidance, and advocacy to individuals who have been injured or otherwise affected by a drunk driving accident in Austin, Texas. These lawyers specialize in handling cases specifically related to accidents caused by drivers who were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Here are some key aspects of their role:

  • Legal Knowledge: A lawyer with experience in drunk driving accidents understands the complex legal aspects of such cases, including relevant state laws, regulations, and precedents. They can provide you with accurate and up-to-date legal advice.
  • Investigation: Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, obtaining police reports, and analyzing accident scene details to build a strong case for liability.
  • Establishing Negligence: Your lawyer will work to establish that the drunk driver’s intoxication directly contributed to the accident and your injuries. This often involves proving the driver’s impairment through breathalyzer or blood test results, field sobriety tests, witness testimony, and other evidence.
  • Determining Liability: In some cases, liability may extend beyond the drunk driver. Your lawyer will investigate whether other parties, such as bars or restaurants, could be held accountable for overserving the driver before the accident.
  • Calculating Damages: An experienced lawyer will assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and future costs related to your injuries.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Your lawyer will handle interactions with insurance companies, ensuring your rights are protected and preventing you from accepting a low settlement offer that does not adequately compensate you for your injuries.
  • Building a Strong Case: Your lawyer will build a compelling case by compiling evidence, consulting with experts (e.g., accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals), and presenting a clear narrative of the accident’s impact on your life.
  • Trial Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your lawyer will be prepared to represent you in court. They will present your case persuasively to a judge and jury, advocating for your right to compensation.
  • Managing Legal Process: Navigating the legal process can be complex and overwhelming. Your lawyer will handle all legal paperwork, deadlines, and requirements, ensuring that your case proceeds smoothly.
  • Providing Support: Dealing with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident can be emotionally taxing. Your lawyer will provide guidance, support, and reassurance throughout the process, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Ultimately, a skilled lawyer’s goal is to help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses, holding the responsible parties accountable.

By enlisting the services of an experienced Austin drunk driving accident lawyer, you can have a knowledgeable advocate on your side who will protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and work diligently to help you achieve a favorable outcome for your case.


Seek medical attention for injuries, call law enforcement, gather evidence (photos, witness information), and avoid making statements to the at-fault driver’s insurance company without legal advice.

Yes, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against drunk drivers for damages resulting from the accident.

Yes, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against drunk drivers for damages resulting from the accident.

Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, emotional distress, and punitive damages.

Yes, a civil lawsuit can proceed independently of criminal charges and may provide compensation for your injuries.

Police reports, witness statements, field sobriety test results, breathalyzer or blood test results, and surveillance footage can help establish intoxication.

Your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may help compensate you for damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

It’s advisable to consult with an attorney before speaking to any insurance company to protect your rights and avoid potential pitfalls.

The statute of limitations varies by state. Consulting an attorney promptly ensures you meet the deadlines for filing a claim.

As a passenger, you generally have the right to seek compensation for your injuries in car crashes, even if the driver was drunk.

What If You're Hit By a Drunk Driver With No Insurance?

In Texas if the drunk driver did not have insurance you have several options for pursuing compensation for your damages:

  • Sue the driver directly – This course of action isn’t recommended oftentimes because if the other driver did not have insurance to begin with, it’s unlikely that they will have the money to provide fair compensation for your injuries.
  • Pursue compensation through your uninsured motorist coverage – Most auto policies include uninsured driver coverage which covers you in the event you are hit by an uninsured driver.

Even if the drunk driver who hit you didn’t have insurance, we can still help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Call today for help!

Can I Get Punitive Damages for a Drunk Driving Accident?
Punitive damages (also known as “exemplary damages”) are intended to further punish the wrongdoer for their actions that led to your accident. Drunk driving is one of the common causes of car accidents that can often lead to punitive damages being awarded to the victim. This is because the decision to drive drunk is considered a form of “gross negligence” or malice. In Texas, punitive damages are capped at $200,000 or twice the amount of economic damages plus non-economic damages up to $750,000, whichever is greater.
Can You File an Injury Claim If You Were a Passenger in the Drunk Driver's Car?

The short answer is “yes.” If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, even if you were a passenger of the drunk driver, you may still file a personal injury lawsuit against them. Some people may be hesitant to do this even if they were injured because they are likely friends or family members of the drunk driver. However, one thing to keep in mind is that you will technically be suing the drunk driver’s insurance company, not the driver themselves.

Speak with an Austin Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Drunk driving crashes in Austin, Texas, can have devastating implications for victims. These include severe injuries, emotional trauma, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and long-term disabilities. Victims may face physical pain, emotional distress, and financial burdens while navigating legal and insurance complexities. Seeking legal help from an Austin drunk driving attorney is vital to pursue fair compensation, hold the drunk driver accountable, and alleviate the challenges of recovery and rebuilding their lives.

If you have a drunk driving accident claim in Austin, contact Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, as soon as possible. Our Austin skilled personal injury lawyers can significantly increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation and justice after a drunk driving accident. Our legal team will guide you through the complex legal process, protect your rights, and work diligently to achieve a positive outcome for your claim.

Call Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, today at 512-729-1972 to schedule a free consultation with an Austin drunk driving accident attorney today.

Dangers of Drunk Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that alcohol-impaired crashes comprised nearly 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2012. The reason why drunk driving is a major cause of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities is because alcohol impairs a person’s decision-making skills and coordination – two things that every driver needs to operate a vehicle safely.

Some specific examples of drunk driving that are dangerous and can lead to car accidents include:

  • Slowed reaction times: Because alcohol slows the brain and body, it may take a driver extra time to notice and respond to an emergency or something they see on the road, from slowed traffic to a fallen branch. As a result, the driver might not be able to brake or swerve in time before getting into an accident.
  • Blurred vision: Alcohol can also make a person’s vision blurry, and many people report seeing double. For obvious reasons, this is dangerous if a person is behind the wheel and navigating the road. Alcohol can also impair a person’s depth perception, and a car that appears far away may actually be much closer than they’d think.
  • Fatigue: Drunk drivers are also known to get tired and doze off at the wheel, which can lead to reckless behaviors like running red lights, drifting over lanes, and colliding with other vehicles.
  • Impaired judgment: It’s known that drunk individuals are more likely to indulge in risky behaviors or make foolish decisions while under the influence, and the same goes for drunk drivers. These people are more likely to speed, change lanes without signaling, and run stop signs, all of which are dangerous and can lead to accidents.
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