Officials Charged with Impaired Driving

Though we aren't far into July, two local officials have already been charged with impaired driving this month in separate incidents.

At about 11:00 p.m. on the Fourth of July, Blake Stevens, a La Porte volunteer fire fighter, crashed into a house when responding in uniform to a general alarm for a structure fire. While en route, he smashed his pickup through a fence and into the bedroom of a house on North Shady Lane. Police investigating the incident reportedly found that he smelled of an alcoholic beverage at the scene, and also that he had possession of a firearm. He was charged with two misdemeanors, including driving while intoxicated. His wreck left a hole in the side of the brick house, but fortunately no one was in the child's bedroom that he hit when the crash occurred. Mr. Stevens was immediately suspended from the department and announced that he intended to resign.

The earlier incident was far more serious. Dee Ann Haney, a Texas City Commissioner, was involved in a deadly crash on July 3, 2017. Ms. Haney was allegedly driving her pickup truck in the 8000 block of Avenue J in Galveston when she hit and killed two men who were on the shoulder of the road trying to secure their load. Ms. Haney reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana before the collision and being under its influence. She is a safety engineer with 25 years' experience. Ms. Haney has been arrested, charged with two counts of intoxicated manslaughter, and bail has been set at $100,000.

By now, everyone-especially a public official-knows that severe and unjustifiable risk that impaired drivers inflict upon other motorists. And it is time to tell offenders that this conduct will not be tolerated. Montgomery County appears to be sending that message. It has a crack-down on repeat violators, and, just recently, a jury imposed a life sentence on a defendant convicted of his eighth dwi. Hopefully, drivers will get the message and these tragedies can be avoided in the future.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584.

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