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How Drunk Driving Affects The Galveston- Houston Area and The Greater State of Texas

BY LANDON BIEHL

Irving, Texas. February 15, 2019

The new year started out with more than 70 Houston area drivers arrested for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While many DUI arrests prevent fatalities, accidents, and property damage from occurring, authorities are not able to stop every intoxicated driver before it’s too late.

In North Houston, during the New Year’s weekend, a woman was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Other factors, such as heavy fog, played a significant role in accidents during the new year holiday weekend but alcohol remains to be a contributing factor in accidents throughout Texas, and not just during the holidays.

In June of 2018, two bicyclists riding with a group were struck by Gerilyn Weberlein, 50, who was driving while under the influence of alcohol. One of the cyclists, Marco Antonio, 23, died from his injuries in the hospital. Weberlein was charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault; her BAC was .103 upon her arrest.

Three months after the fatal accident, the bartenders who served Weberlein alcohol the night of the accident were charged with a misdemeanor.

These tragic drunk driving incidents are just a fraction of alcohol-related accidents that occur every year in Galveston, Houston, and throughout Texas.

Drunk Driving Stats in the Galveston and Houston Area

According to the latest information available from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were a total of 23,760 alcohol-related accidents in Texas during 2017. 910 of the accidents were fatal and resulted in 1,024 fatalities. Here are the stats for the Galveston and Houston area:

  • Galveston County: 247 alcohol-related accidents with 15 fatal accidents and 16 fatalities

  • Harris County: 2,896 alcohol-related accidents with 142 fatal accidents and 151 fatalities

  • Fort Bend County: 288 alcohol-related accidents with 8 fatal accidents and 8 fatalities

  • Montgomery County: 494 alcohol-related accidents with 19 fatal accidents and 21 fatalities

How Drink Driving Affects Your Community and the Greater State of Texas

While there were some counties in Texas that has no DUI-related accidents, drunk driving affects every community throughout the state. Drunk driving accidents are one of the most preventable accidents throughout Texas, but alcohol continues to be a significant factor in thousands of crashes every year.

Considering the few stories of tragic accidents involving a drunk driver, it’s clear that intoxicated drivers can affect everyone.

Let’s take a closer look at the accident involving Weberlein. Employees at the bar, where Weberlein drank the night of the accident, may be affected by the potential loss of business, losing the alcohol license, or having coworkers who are facing legal troubles.

Because Marco Antonio was struck on his bicycle by Weberlein, and later died of his injuries, the lifeguard community of Galveston is one member short. His cycling group lost a friend, and he is undoubtedly missed by friends and family.

Even Weberlein’s life is forever changed for her decision to get behind the wheel after drinking.

One fatal accident caused by an intoxicated driver can affect your workplace, your family, your social group, your neighborhood, and your community overall.

BY LANDON BIEHL | Bio

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