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A driver can be affected by a BAC below .08

Most Houston residents probably know that they can face criminal charges if they are caught driving while they have a blood alcohol content of over .08. Not surprisingly, if motorists who are over the legal limit cause an accident, they can also be held financially accountable to pay compensation to those whom they injured.

However, not all drunk driving accidents involve a motorist who was over the limit, and in many cases, a driver may not wind up getting charged with a crime following an accident, even if there was no question they had been drinking. The evidence the police and Texas prosecutors need to obtain a criminal conviction may well be weak or non-existence.

However, this not mean an injured victim of a crash should not seek to hold the other motorist accountable if it turns out he or she had been drinking prior to a serious accident, even if the motorist managed to blow under a .08.

After all, even a BAC of .02, the equivalent of about one drink, can leave a motorist unable to follow a moving object, like a car, and may limit the driver's ability to do more than one thing at a time. Even if this isn't a criminal offense, this small amount of alcohol can contribute to a serious car accident. Should this happen, the driver who was drinking should still pay compensation to his or her victims.

Even if there are no drunk driving charges filed against a driver involved in an accident, our office may still be able to help hold such drivers responsible for their negligence, as the burden of proof for civil cases, like a personal injury suit, is much lower than it is for a criminal case.

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Willie D. Powells III

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Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC
7322 Southwest Freeway, Suite 2010
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Houston, TX 77074

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