Officer Drinks off the Clock and Gets Caught

According to station WFAA, a local Fort Worth police officer was arrested Wednesday night after an accident on the suspicion of driving while intoxicated when he was off duty.

At around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, while driving his personal vehicle in the 4500 block of South Freeway, Officer Bryan Blue, age 32, was involved in a minor traffic accident.

A second officer responding to the report of the accident placed Officer Blue under arrest for suspicion of DWI pending a toxicology report.

Officer Blue is currently on restricted duty pending further investigation.

Drinking and driving is never a good idea. The leading cause of fatal car accidents in the United States is driving under the influence of alcohol. In the state of Texas, drunk driving is considered a serious offense. There are strict sentences recommended for those who do decide to drink and drive. In the State of Texas, the legal blood alcohol level that anyone can have to operate a vehicle is 0.08% for holders of a standard driver’s license, and the legal limit is set at 0.04% for holders of a commercial driver’s license.

First time DUI offenders in the State of Texas are sometimes considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are less serious and usually will result in less than one year in jail and a lesser fine than a felony. Usually there is up to a $2,000 fine and anywhere from three to 180 days in jail and potentially up to 24 -100 hours of community service in a misdemeanor DUI case. Such a conviction can also result in a loss of a driver’s license for up to one year, along with a fee of $1,000 – $2,000 over a three year period in order to retain it. Additional penalties may be imposed such as the requirement of DWI classes, drug and alcohol counseling and are at the judge’s discretion.

Second time Texas DUI offenses also usually count as a misdemeanor, provided that the driver did not cause serious property damage or injury to another person. With a second conviction, penalties roughly double to $4,000, and jail sentences can be up to one year. Community service requirements also increase with service times from 80 -200 hours. A driver can find their license suspended for a period of up to two years. The annual fee to retain the license for the next three years could again range from $1,000 to $2,000. At this point, a driver could be put on probation. Probation would require the driver to use an ignition switch that would not allow the driver’s car to be started if they have been drinking.

If a Texas driver is found arrested three times or more for DUI, they will be facing a charge of felony DWI. In the state of Texas, a felony DUI carries a fine that is not to exceed $10,000. A driver guilty of the felony DUI charge may also be jailed for a period of 2 -10 years with a requirement of 160 hour to 600 hours of community service.

In addition, in the case of a driver convicted of felony DUI, a driver’s license would be suspended for a period of between 180 days to 2 years. The fines are the same as the second conviction and the driver is placed on probation. The ignition switch would be put on again as well.

In the state of Texas, if a driver is caught drinking and driving with a child in the vehicle who is younger than 15 years old, that driver faces a charge of felony child endangerment. This charge is considered extremely serious with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to two years in jail. In cases of felony child endangerment due to DUI, the driver will lose their license for up to 180 days or six full months.

If someone is injured or killed because of the irresponsibility of a driver who is intoxicated, that driver will face even more serious penalties.

Intoxication assault in the State of Texas is defined as the act of accidentally causing someone serious bodily injury with a motor vehicle while DWI. This crime is considered a third-degree felony.

The charge of intoxication assault carries a fine of up to $10,000 carries a sentence of anywhere from two years to 10 years in prison. A driver convicted of DUI felony assault may also have to serve between 160 and 600 hours of community service at the judge’s discretion.

If a person dies as a result of the actions of a DUI driver, the charge then is elevated to that of intoxication manslaughter, this is an even more serious crime than intoxication assault and it is a second-degree felony. Intoxication manslaughter is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years. A driver convinced of intoxication manslaughter may also face 240 to 800 hours of community service, according to the judge’s recommendation.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a drunk driver you need an experienced attorney on your side in the Dallas – Fort Worth area on your side.  Our team of attorneys can help see that justice is served and that you and your loved ones are given compensation for your medical expenses, ongoing long-term care costs, pain and suffering.  By giving our offices a call with the details of your case we will take the time to listen to everything involving your specific case.  We can then outline all the potential courses of action and make a recommendation to help you in settling your case.  Your initial consultation with us is free and you are under no obligation. Call us today.

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