Driving While Intoxicated Can Be Life Changing

The consequences of driving while intoxicated can be life changing - and not only for the driver involved.

Take the story of a Texas man, who spoke about how his life changed forever on a night almost 15 years ago. He was hit head-on by a drunk driver in Washington State. Both the driver and passenger died in that accident and the Texas man ended up losing his right leg.

While he is fortunate that he did not die in the accident, he has seen his life - and the life of his family - turned upside down as a result. He has a prosthetic leg and is considered disabled. He is unable to work, so has to rely on his federal disability checks to support his family.

But not all people involved in a car accident with a drunk driver are as fortunate.

In August 2010, another Texas resident lost his wife, two daughters and a grandson after a drunk driver collided with the family's minivan. The impact of the crash caused the van to hit a utility pole, killing all four occupants.

The drunk driver, a 40-year-old woman, was fleeing from police when she ran a stop sign and hit the van. She had a blood alcohol level of .11, which is over the legal limit of 0.08 in Texas.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on person every 50 minutes dies in a drunk driving crash, and one in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at least once in their life.

One Texas family will forever have to live without a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister. Another Texas man will forever have to live without a limb. And the Texas woman who was convicted of intoxicated manslaughter and evading arrest, will spend the next 55 years in prison, forever knowing that she took the lives of four innocent people.

Related resource: Houston Chronicle, "Drunken driver gets 55 years for quadruple murder," 1/24/12.

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