The problem with Drinking and Driving is… the Mourning after…



Undoubtedly, college students drink and drive.  In fact, research has shown that approximately 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries, annually.  Of course, this includes automobile crashes.  Moreover, assaults increase when students drink.  This includes, but is not limited to, alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. 


“It was just another day.  No one special came.  Nothing unusual happened.  The evening was the same.  Just an ordinary day…  And then the telephone rang.  From that moment on forever…everything was changed.”

                                                                                                                                – Richard A. Dew, MD

A high percentage of injuries and fatalities occur when students decide to drive while intoxicated Consider the following real life story where the names have been change to protect all involved.  Last summer, police officers arrested a 21-year-old Texas State student for driving while intoxicated.  Marie Johnson admitted to law enforcement that she had been drinking while floating the river.  After her adventure on the river, Marie decided to drive.  She honestly believed that she was capable of operating a vehicle, despite the fact that she had been drinking alcohol with her friends.  Unfortunately, she presumed incorrectly.  While driving, Marie inadvertently guided her Impala across the highway center line and collided with oncoming traffic.  She struck a Toyota Corolla and instantly killed the passenger, Matthew Ramirez.  His wife, Angela Ramirez, a 24-year-old Bryan resident, sustained serious injuries.   Paramedics transported Angela to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center for immediate care.  At the time, Angela was pregnant, and the police believed that the unborn child would succumb to injuries caused by the accident. 

Maire had two previous arrests in Hays County.  These arrests were for drug charges.  She explained to officers on the scene that she had consumed beer and liquor while floating the river at Texas State Tubes.  Moreover, according to reports, her breath contained a strong odor of alcohol, and her eyes were red, glassy, and blood shot.  Furthermore, she was unsteady when she attempted to stand. 


“The only way I can even begin to convey to them the feeling of what we have been through is to tell them to imagine being in a helicopter that is traveling over an ocean. There is no land in sight. Suddenly, for no reason that YOU can comprehend, you are shoved out the door without a parachute…and then WHAM, you hit the water hard.

Your body tires from treading water. It is an effort just to keep your head above the waves. It is an effort just to breathe.”

                                                                                                                                – Kelly Kowall

 Imagine that you are the one behind the wheel.  Imagine that you are the one that had one too many drinks of beer and liquor.  Now, you realize that you should have stopped…you should have, but you convinced yourself that the night was still young, and one more for the road would not make much of a difference.  Besides, you only lived ten minutes away from the local bar.  What could possibly happen?  Imagine, you get into your vehicle, slowly pull out of the parking lot and head towards your home.  All of a sudden, you see bright lights from a vehicle headed towards you.  Imagine that your car strikes the vehicle, flips several times, and eventually lands upright.  Imagine yourself easing out of the damaged vehicle.  Imagine that you glance out onto the road and discover that a young man and young woman are lying face down on the ground.  Both individuals are covered with blood.  Imagine that you stumble over to the victims and attempt to wake them, but they do not respond.  Imagine a few minutes later, paramedics and police officers arrive on the scene.  The police officers read you your rights, place handcuffs on you, and place you in the back of their patrol car, while the paramedics are working whole heartedly to assist the victims lying motionless on the ground.  A few minutes later, another car appears and an older couple jump out of the vehicle, runs towards the paramedics while screaming, “No…no…please God…no…not my babies…not my babies.” 

Later, you learn that the individuals that you struck were siblings.  The couple that arrived on the scene were their parents.  Imagine that the older child, a sophomore in college, sustained serious injuries.  He was visiting for the weekend and decided to spend that horrific night with his younger sister, the passenger in the seat, and a junior in high school, who remained in a comma for months.  Prior to the crash, they enjoyed dinner at their favorite restaurant and a movie.  They were headed home when you struck them and changed their lives…forever.  


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

                                                                                                                                -1 John 1:9

Imagine all of that…just to realize that it was not your imagination…because it really happened.  You are devastated and believe that you deserve any punishment that is given to you.  However, as a criminal defense attorney, I disagree.  You made a mistake, and you should be held accountable, but a great criminal defense attorney has your best interest at hand.  Specifically, I will ensure that all evidence is properly gathered.  Moreover, I will make certain that all procedural aspects of the case are implemented.  Laws and rules are forever changing.  Therefore, it is imperative to hire a qualified defense attorney.  Of course, you could settle for a court appointed attorney.  Yet, a court appointed attorney does not have the time, resources, or commitment that is provided by a criminal defense attorney.  In addition, I will adequately review the case, create a strong defense, assess the prosecutor’s case, and provide you with the best solution.  In many instances, I can negotiate with the prosecuting attorney and have your charges lowered or even dismissed. 

Do not attempt to defend yourself, and do not rely on a court appointed attorney.  I am an experienced criminal defense attorney.   Do not delay.  Call our office, today!  We may be able to assist you.