Texas was the scene of thousands of drunk driving accidents in 2016 according to data from the state's Department of Transportation, which is a concern for lawmakers, police departments, and road safety advocates. Researchers from the auto insurance company ValuePenguin decided to take a closer look at these statistics, and they found that some Texas cities and counties were far safer than others. They came to this conclusion after comparing the number of drunk driving fatalities in each county with overall population figures.
The difference was most noticeable in large cities with populations of more than 50,000. Midland emerged as the deadliest part of Texas for drunk driving accidents with 5.7 DUI deaths for every 100,000 residents. This figure was 41 percent higher than the death toll in either Houston or San Antonio. Odessa had the second highest DUI death toll with 5.34 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 residents.
Baytown was singled out by the researchers for two reasons. It had the highest DUI fatality rate in the greater Houston area and is bordered by Interstate 10. According to ValuePenguin, Interstate 10 is one of the five deadliest roads in the United States. Baytown also had the highest increase in drunk driving crashes of all Texas cities between 2011 and 2016 according to the study.
Motorists accused of causing fatal accidents while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Texas can be charged with intoxication manslaughter and sent to prison for lengthy periods, but proving impairment is not always straightforward for prosecutors. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may challenge the results of breath, urine or blood tests when the equipment used has not been properly maintained or strict testing protocols were ignored.