While one family is mourning the loss of a loved one to a sudden, unexpected fatal accident, Jose Ramirez is facing intoxication manslaughter charges for causing the crash. According to reports, Ramirez was travelling in the wrong direction on Tidwell when he slammed into another vehicle, fatally injuring his own passenger.
The other driver was not hurt in the head-on collision.
No information has yet been released as to Ramirez’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Texas, with the exception of minors and commercial drivers, is .08.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of drunk drivers who cause fatal crashes are found to have at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their blood stream. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 7,000 people could be saved from fatal drunk driving crashes if people were not allowed to drive with a BAC higher than .08.
The NHTSA proposed requiring all drivers who have one drunk driving conviction to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. The interlock devices are the “best overall policy,” according to the NHTSA to stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and hurting or killing others.
As of last October, states who implement the ignition interlock requirement for all first-time DWI offenders are eligible for additional federal money for highway safety programs.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Suspected drunk driver accused in fatal wrong-way crash,” January 14, 2012