First-Responder Injury or Property Damage During a DWI Arrest

Posted by Doug Murphy | Feb 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

Police, firefighters, and emergency-medical technicians regularly respond to DWI motor-vehicle accidents, often bringing with them a fleet of emergency vehicles. Those first responders can occasionally suffer injury at the scene, and their vehicles may incur collision damage. The injury and damage may be from a careless passing motorist. In some instances, though, the injury and damage is from the suspected intoxicated driver and not just careless, but rather intentional.

First-Responder Risks

One recent Harris County incident shows how the fear of a DWI stop and arrest may trigger aberrant behavior creating serious first-responder risks. A media report reflects that a Harris County sheriff's deputy was directing traffic around a major crash when he tried to stop a passing vehicle. Authorities allege that rather than stop, the suspect attempted to strike the deputy with the suspect's vehicle, crashing instead into a fire truck at the scene.

The report indicates that things then only got worse. The suspect allegedly put his vehicle in reverse, striking the fire truck again, before driving away from the scene. Police chased the vehicle down a dead-end road, where the vehicle crashed and the driver allegedly fled on foot. Pursuing officers quickly caught and arrested the allegedly intoxicated driver, whom authorities indicate faces charges of assault on a peace officer, evading arrest, and DWI.

Avoiding Bizarre Behavior

Fear of a DWI arrest and what might follow can certainly unnerve a motor-vehicle driver like the suspect in the above story. We've all experienced the temptation to briefly cast aside our sense and good reason because of emotional circumstances. Yet, a potential DWI arrest is certainly not the time to do so. Clear thinking is the rule of the moment for a DWI arrest.

A clear and calm mind is especially important around DWI vehicle accidents because of the presence of first responders and their vehicles and equipment. Highway accident scenes can be chaotic, not just because of the accident vehicles and first responders but also because of passing motorists who, in their driving mode, may not be so sympathetic to slowing and stopping while the accident clears.

Intentionally or recklessly injuring a first responder at an accident scene, or intentionally damaging first-responder vehicles, can lead to criminal charges and civil liability, not to mention a DWI charge if the driver is also intoxicated. Yet, the charges and liability are a secondary concern to the lives, safety, and health of those first responders. Accident scenes and DWI arrests present risks not just to the vehicle drivers but also to first responders who come to the scene for their safety. The lesson again? Don't panic over a potential DWI arrest.

Better Fight than Flight

Far better than fear and flight from a DWI arrest is to get the best available legal representation to fight the charges. DWI Specialist Doug Murphy wants you to know your rights and best interests around any DWI accident or arrest. As the 2021 Houston DWI Lawyer of the Year, Doug Murphy provides the expert representation and defense needed for any DWI and related charges like evading arrest. Read here how Doug Murphy defends DWI cases and here why you need a DWI Specialist for your defense.

As a Board Certified DWI specialist and one of only two Texas lawyers holding both DWI Board Certification and Criminal Law Certification, Doug Murphy has the experience and expertise to aggressively enforce your rights while defending DWI, evading arrest, and related charges. Texas DWI attorney Doug Murphy can also help you manage the collateral consequences of a DWI arrest. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm online or at (713) 229-8333 to discuss your case today.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


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