A 15-year-old boy was recently killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver in Frisco, Texas. The boy was traveling with his family just before midnight on the Dallas North Tollway when they crashed with a vehicle that was traveling the wrong way. The boy's sister was hurt in the accident and their parents were critically injured.
According to the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), the wrong way driver ignored several “One-Way,” signs, four “Do Not Enter” and four “Wrong Way” signs before getting onto an exit ramp equipped with raised pavement markers and reflective arrows showing the correct direction of travel. The wrong-way driver was also killed in the crash.
According to court records, Frisco police arrested the wrong-way driver for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in 2016. Officials are awaiting toxicology test results to see if he was impaired at the time of the crash, though the NTTA said that, “to date, every wrong-way crash NTTA has recorded has involved a driver who was impaired.”
Nearly every driver has found themselves driving the wrong way down a one-way street or accidentally turning into the wrong lane. It can be a simple mistake, and that's why driving the wrong way on a road is not a serious offense in Texas—it's a traffic violation with a fine of up to just $200.
But, if you are driving the wrong way on a road at the time you are pulled over and arrested for DWI can make it more difficult to craft a defense to the DWI charge. Here's why:
- Driving the wrong way increases the chances of having an accident. Not only are you more likely to collide with another vehicle, because your vehicle will be heading towards oncoming traffic, but there is also a much greater chance of having a head-on collision, with very serious and even fatal injuries. If someone is injured or killed in the accident, you can also be charged with Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter. Both charges are felonies that carry mandatory prison time and a fine of as much as $10,000 if you are convicted.
- Driving the wrong way makes it very likely that officers will stop you. Police officers have to have a reason to conduct a DWI stop. Driving the wrong way on a road provides them with that reason. There is no good reason for anyone to be driving the wrong way on a street. The officer who stops you will assume you are either disoriented or under the influence. Even if an officer does not witness you driving the wrong way, another driver or bystander is likely to report it, and authorities often rely on traffic cameras to identify people driving the wrong way. It will be difficult for you to claim that an officer was not justified in stopping you if you were driving the wrong way.
If you were driving the wrong way when you were pulled over for DWI, you need an experienced attorney who can help you protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome. There are still ways to defend yourself, but you need an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced. Contact Board Certified DWI Specialist Attorney Doug Murphy today to help you contest the charges against you.