An SUV driver charged with driving under the influence of alcohol crashed into an 18-wheeler on Texas Highway 225 and flew off a 20-foot-high highway overpass, illustrating how dangerous drunk driving accidents can be in Texas, where drunk driving accidents remain a serious problem, according to attorney Gene S. Hagood, founder of the Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood in Houston.
"The fact that no one was killed in this horrible accident is nothing short of a miracle," Hagood said. "Accidents involving tractor-trailers often result in fatalities. That's why the driver of the SUV should be grateful he's alive, especially since he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. There's no excuse for drinking and driving. The dangers of drunk driving have been well documented for decades. Hopefully, the driver of the SUV learned his lesson and others drivers in Texas will get the same message - don't drink and drive."
The accident occurred on Texas Highway 225 East at Highway 146 in Houston just before 2 p.m. on Sept. 16, according to several news stories about the accident, including The Houston Chronicle.
The driver of the SUV was in the far left lane on Highway 225 when police said the driver reportedly tried to exit the highway suddenly on the right-hand side, according to The Houston Chronicle. The driver then lost control of the vehicle, hit a barrier alongside the road, then struck the driver's side of an 18-wheeler and flew over the guardrail on the highway overpass 20 feet in the air and crashed onto the road below, according to The Houston Chronicle.
Soon after the accident, the driver of the SUV was charged with intoxication assault in relation to the accident due to the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which was 0.343, according to KPRC News. The legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol in Texas is 0.08 BAC. As a result, the SUV driver was more than four times above the BAC legal limit to drive in Texas.
Drunk driving accidents remain a serious problem in Texas. The number of people who die in drunk driving accidents in Texas remains the highest in the country, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In 2013, a total of 1,337 people died in motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers with a 0.08 BAC or higher. That figure represents 39.5 percent of all traffic fatalities in Texas.
Houston drunk driving accident attorney Gene S. Hagood said more needs to be done to prevent drunk driving accidents in Texas. "Whether it's providing educational programs or enforcement efforts designed to crack down on drunk drivers in Texas, drivers need to know that it is not OK to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking too much," Hagood said. "Drunk drivers aren't just putting their own lives at risk. They're endangering every driver on the road from Northwest Houston to Sunnyside and every neighborhood in between in on I-10 , I-45 and every road and highway in Houston as well as throughout the state of Texas."
"Statistics only begin to tell the true story of what's happening in Texas," Hagood added. "Behind every number, there's a family dealing with a serious injury or loss of a loved one. We know because we work with victims of drunk driving accidents every single day."