Texas is well-known for going big on a lot of things, including DUI and DWI statistics. Texas and Harris County DWI statistics, in particular, are some of the worst in the country, unfortunately. We rank high on everything from a simple DUI charge to a full-blown DUI fatality.
Let’s quickly cover some of the baseline DUI and DWI statistics for Texas and Harris County, as well as some hidden statistics associated with Texas DUIs.
General DUI and DWI statistics in Texas
Total number of DUI crashes statewide and by county
In the most recent accumulation of annual drunk driving statistics compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation (2018), Harris County leads in alcohol-related crashes and fatalities statewide. Unfortunately, alcohol-impaired drivers helped Harris County rake in 3,229 total DUI crashes and sadly, 113 fatalities.
The county closest to Harris County would be Dallas County, with 2,257 total DUI crashes and 77 fatalities. This is nearly 1,000 fewer DUI crashes than Harris County.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas saw 24,305 alcohol-related crashes and 871 fatalities in 2018
DUI arrests per 100 people
Although DUI crashes and fatalities are high, especially for Harris County, these stats have seen a 10-year decline by nearly 33%. In fact, the Texas average is 259.6 DUI arrests per 100,000 people — the nationwide average is 330 per 100,000 people.
As of 2018, Texas ranked 36 for DUI arrests. This lower rank is a good indicator that Texas is finally headed in the right direction and doing what is necessary to avoid drunk driving and the consequences that come with it.
Sobering statistics to overcome
Even though Texas as a whole has been seeing fewer DUI arrests on average, there are still some sobering statistics related to DWI. For example, the CDC reports that Texas has the highest number of total drunk driving fatalities between 2003-2011. With 13,138 drunk driving fatalities, Texas ranks above California (10,327) and, yes, even Florida (8,476).
Learn More: The Penalties For Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas
Hidden DUI and DWI statistics
When people think about DUI and DWI statistics, they are typically thinking about the individual(s) who were hit by the drunk driver. But what happens to the drunk driver?
The majority of times, people picked up for a DWI are simply picked up for a DWI (no crash and no fatality involved). There are many statistics to consider at this point, like prison time, financial responsibility, wrongful convictions, BAC testing inaccuracies, and more.
At Thiessen Law Firm, we see wrongful convictions and faulty testing happen all the time. Many of our clients are charged with DWIs based on inaccurate procured BAC levels, inappropriate pullover procedures, and more. Unfortunately, statistics on this side of DWI are rarely reported on. So let’s cover what we do know to be statistically true:
- The financial impact of a DWI: up to $10,000 (plus annual fines totaling up to $6,000)
- DWI prison time: up to 10 years
- License suspension: up to 2 years
- Time spent recovering from a DWI: a lifetime
Even a Texas DWI first offense can impact nearly every part of your life. From child custody arrangements to employment opportunities to living situations, a DUI can negatively impact it all. That’s why you need to understand not only DUI and DWI statistics but the nuances surrounding them.
For example, if you’ve ever wondered, “Can you get a DWI on a scooter?” the answer is yes. Many Texans are simply not aware of this fact. They may hop on a scooter thinking they’re doing the right thing by not getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when, in fact, they’re only one officer away from a DWI.
Other factors you may want to consider brushing up on if you live in Texas:
- The math and science behind the legal alcohol limit in Texas
- What a DWI hit-and-run actually looks like in Texas
- Your rights as a drunk passenger
- The facts behind DWIs and bicycles in Texas
Don’t be another DUI or DWI statistic. Contact Thiessen Law Firm today.
At Thiessen Law Firm, we are 100% dedicated to helping our clients fully overcome DWIs — whether it’s a first charge or beyond. With Triple Board Certified DWI Specialist Mark Thiessen on the Thiessen Law Firm team, we have what it takes to get your life back on track.
Having won over 100 Not Guilty verdicts and 1000s of dismissals, Mark and the TLF team have the skill and experience needed to fight back against faulty science, overzealous officers, and more.
Give us a call at 713-864-9000 or fill out our online form to request a free DUI/DWI consultation today.
More Helpful Articles by Thiessen Law Firm:
- What to Do When Pulled Over by the Police
- Can I Be Fired for a DUI in Texas?
- Pretrial Diversion vs. Deferred Adjudication in Texas
- What Happens When You Get Your 3rd DWI in Texas
- DUI in Texas: The Basics