Drunk driving is a big problem in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2020, a quarter of all traffic-related deaths were connected to drunk driving. That resulted in 963 fatalities.
Drunk Driving Jumps by 20%
During Fiesta, San Antonio’s annual citywide party, drunk driving becomes a local problem. According to a 2019 study, drunk driving crashes increase by 20% during Fiesta, which runs from April 20 through April 30 this year, 2023.
According to Dr. Mark Muir, trauma director at University Hospital, University Hospital has treated an average of 250 injured patients a year injured in drunk driving incidents. This comes out to about 20 patients per month.
The Cost of Drunk Driving
If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher, you are legally intoxicated. If you’re under 21, it is illegal to have any amount of alcohol in your system while driving.
Getting behind the wheel after you’ve had too much to drink can result in tragedy and loss of human life. Beyond that, it can cost you money and put you behind bars for at least six months.
TxDOT calculated the monetary cost of driving while intoxicated so you don’t have to. According to TxDOT, a DWI can cost up to $17,000. This includes the cost of:
- Court costs
- Attorney fees
- Probation fees
- Car impound and towing fees
You may also lose your driver’s license for two years or longer. If you are convicted, the DWI will show up on all future background checks. This could impact your ability to find employment and housing.
Drunk Driving Injuries
Depending on the severity of the car crash, those involved can sustain a range of injuries. Some of the most common injuries treated after crashes are:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
"Many of these patients require a significant amount of time and rehabilitation for recovery, and some never make a full recovery," Muir said.
Find a Sober Ride
Injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers are entirely preventable. "Nearly all of these injuries are avoidable by using a designated driver, taking an Uber or otherwise avoiding these situations," Muir said.
If you’ve been drinking at a Fiesta event, hand your keys to someone sober or call a ride to get home safely.
Trauma and Emergency Care at University Hospital
University Hospital is a Level I trauma center, meaning we have the medical professionals and technology to care for the worst injuries, 24/7. When someone gets into a car crash, they can count on University Health to provide the best trauma and emergency care in South Texas.