Is Drunk Driving Making Texas Roads Unsafe For Other Drivers?


During holidays like New Year’s Eve and even the 4th of July, you almost expect to hear news reports about drunk driving accidents.

An unfortunate reality is drunk driving occurs throughout the year, meaning that this dangerous behavior isn’t limited to the holidays. The increasing frequency of drunk driving car accidents can almost be enough to convince you to stay home and look for a remote job.

Never leaving the house isn’t a reality for most people, and it’s usually not a preferred lifestyle that anyone would want to have. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to stay a little safer on Texas roads even if there’s a drunk driver somewhere nearby.

Do You Know How to Spot a Drunk Driver?

Chances are you’re going to answer yes if someone asks if you know how to spot a drunk driver. This is the driver swerving in and out of lanes and hugging the lines on the road. If this is your answer, you’re probably right, since this is common behavior of someone who’s intoxicated behind the wheel. Some other signs to watch out for also include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving slowly (well below the speed limit) and constantly braking
  • Running through red lights and stop signs
  • Driving without headlights and/or forgetting to use or turn off turn signals
  • Tailgating

While these signs often indicate the driver may have had too much to drink, they can also be an indication of distracted driving. Instead of being drunk, the driver may just be distracted by their phones. Even though you may not be able to tell if the driver is distracted or intoxicated, it’s still best to keep a safe distance and contact the local authorities.

The day of the week can also help you spot a drunk driver. You’ve probably already guessed which days of the week see the highest number of drunk driving accidents. If you guessed Friday and Saturday nights, you’re correct. Drunk driving accident frequency typically increases on the weekend.

Tips For Staying Safe on Texas Roads

Whether it’s the holidays or a weekend night, you should probably expect at least one drunk driver to be in the area. You may not be aware of the driver’s high level of intoxication, but this doesn’t mean you’re completely safe.

While keeping a safe distance from another driver is the best course of action, along with notifying law enforcement, you also want to take some steps to avoid getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. The last thing you want is to become a news story as a drunk driver.

So, if you plan on heading out for a few drinks, have fun, blow off some steam, and don’t get behind the wheel. Before heading out, have a plan to ensure you make it safely back home, which can include:

  • Bring along a designated driver. This is usually a friend or family member who doesn’t mind hanging out while you enjoy a few drinks. Since your designated driver isn’t drinking, they’re responsible for ensuring you get home safely.
  • Call a rideshare platform like Uber or Lyft. Did you know these platforms occasionally offer discounted rates to riders who choose not to drive after drinking? Some bars will also take care of scheduling your ride if you’ve overindulged.
  • Have a trusted friend on speed dial who doesn’t mind picking you up.
  • Spend the night at a hotel within walking distance of where you’re drinking. If you’re going to drink at a friend or relative’s house, ask if they mind if you stay overnight.

If you’re the one throwing the party, consider allowing guests to crash at your house. Did you know that their drunk driving charge can also affect you? Known as social liability laws, you may also be facing criminal charges if you allow someone to leave your property after they’ve been drinking. Your potential penalties can include steep fines and possible jail time.

Is Driving Drunk a Civil or Criminal Charge?

If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be wondering about potential charges. Is the drunk driver facing criminal charges, or is it a civil matter? The answer is usually both. Drunk driving is a crime, regardless of the state. If you get behind the wheel intoxicated, you can face anything from having your driver’s license suspended to hefty fines and possible prison time.

The severity of the accident and your prior driving/criminal record can also affect the severity of the criminal charges.

Driving drunk can also be a civil matter, but this is typically your decision. If the drunk driver causes an accident resulting in injuries and/or property damages, you can file a personal injury claim. Personal injury cases are civil matters not criminal, which means you can only recoup financial damages.

Even if you win your personal injury lawsuit, the defendant isn’t facing any jail time. Only their criminal drunk driving charge can result in them spending some time in jail.

How to Obtain Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident

Texas law is pretty clear when it comes to who’s responsible for damages in a drunk driving accident. The intoxicated party is the at-fault driver and is responsible for covering all damages. There really aren’t any exceptions to this law. This means the drunk driver’s insurance covers your economic and non-economic damages.

So, what happens if the intoxicated driver isn’t carrying insurance? This is when you turn to your underinsured/uninsured coverage. This is an add-on you can include in your auto insurance policy.


Since not all Texas drivers carry underinsured/uninsured coverage, you may believe you’re out of luck. You have another option: you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The goal of your lawsuit is to seize the drunk driver’s assets to cover your damages.

Depending on where the drunk driver consumed the alcohol, social liability laws may also apply. This means you may be able to sue the bar, restaurant, or individual supplying the alcohol.

Talk to an Attorney If You’re Involved in a Drunk Driving Accident

Drunk driving accidents are on the rise, and this increases your chances of being involved in one. If you’re injured in a drunk driving accident, don’t try to resolve your case on your own. Talk to an experienced attorney to help ensure you receive compensation for your damages.