Most Houston residents think that the biggest risk of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is being stopped by the police and being ticketed for DWI. A recent accident in Houston demonstrates the grave risks that are associated with driving while intoxicated: the possibility of a murder charge if anyone dies from injuries received in an accident that is caused by drunken driving.
At about 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 13, a Houston mother and her two children were traveling in a Toyota minivan on US-290 when she was crossing Bingle Road on a green light. A pickup truck failed to stop for the red light, and the truck struck the van on its passenger side. One of the officers at the scene described the truck’s action as an “egregious red light run.” The youngest person in the van, a two-year-old girl, was thrown from the van and suffered serious injuries. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
The investigation to date
Police investigators have focused on three issues:
- Was the truck traveling fasted than permitted by local speed limits?
- What color was the stop light in each direction?
- Was the driver intoxicated?
If any of these facts are confirmed by the post-accident investigation, the driver of the pickup truck could face serious criminal charges, including manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide. The charges could even be upgraded to intoxicated manslaughter if blood tests show that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
The driver in this case is facing very serious criminal charges that could, upon conviction, result in lengthy incarceration, a fine and a loss of driving privileges. Anyone in a similar situation may find a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be very helpful. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can evaluate the evidence, suggest potential defense strategies and, if appropriate, assist in the negotiation of an acceptable plea bargain.