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Drunk driver gets 10 years for fatal Harris County accident

Drunk driving continues to take a heavy toll of lives in Texas. Despite public awareness campaigns to combat drunk driving and the best efforts of law enforcement agencies, people continue to get behind the wheel when they are in no condition to operate a motor vehicle. A recent criminal case provides one more example of the tragic waste of life caused by drunk driving.

A 24-year-old man from The Woodlands was sentenced to 10 years in prison recently for causing a fatal drunk driving accident in suburban Houston. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the accident happened at about 12:22 a.m. on March 9 in Atascocita. The defendant was driving his 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer westbound in the 7400 block of FM 1960 E. As he approached the intersection of West Lake Houston Parkway, the traffic light turned red. Witnesses said the Trailblazer failed to stop at the red light. It collided in the intersection with a southbound Chevrolet Corvette driven by a 22-year-old Atascocita man.

The Atascocita man was killed in the wreck.

The Woodlands man was charged with felony intoxication manslaughter. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced earlier this month.

When a person is killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, surviving family members have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit under Texas law. The spouse, siblings and parents of the victim are entitled to monetary damages as compensation for their loss. The damages that are recoverable include loss of companionship as well as loss of financial support. In a drunk driving case, punitive damages may also be awarded.

Source: The Kingwood Observer, "Man sentenced to 10 years in drunk driving crash that killed Atascocita resident," Jennifer Summer, Nov. 14, 2014

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