On September 8, 2020, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported that police said while alcohol-related crashes and crash fatalities have largely dropped this year in Denton, arrests for driving while intoxicated (DWI) had not. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded about 3,900 vehicle crashes each year in the city since 2016 but there were only 1,792 crashes in Denton halfway through the year.
Denton Police Sergeant Bryan Cose said the department was averaging about 400 to 600 crash reports every month in 2019. This year, there were 500 crashes reported to Denton police in March and 190 in April.
Of the 17,482 crashes in Denton between Jan. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2020, 790 were alcohol-related and 164 were drug-related, according to TxDOT. The 65 fatal crashes included 11 alcohol-related deaths and 12 drug-related deaths.
Denton police have made 2,327 DWI arrests since 2016, with each year except 2019 logging about 400 arrests. The number jumped to 711 in 2019, but there was not sufficient data to determine if the increase was due to an increase in efforts on the part of police or if there was an increase in offenses. Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said in May that there were fewer vehicle crashes, home burglaries and public intoxication reports between March 10 and May 12 compared with the same time frame in 2019 but DWI reports increased by 4 percent.
On September 4, 2020, the Cross Timbers Gazette reported that law enforcement officers would increase their DWI and traffic enforcement in southern Denton County and around the region and state for Labor Day weekend. A news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety stated that the Texas Highway Patrol would increase its enforcement on Texas roads.
During the 2019 Labor Day holiday, troopers issued 102,274 citations and warnings, including 10,506 citations for speeding; 1,461 seat belt and child safety restraint citations; and 938 warnings and citations for Move Over, Slow Down violations. Enforcement efforts also resulted in 489 DWI arrests, 358 fugitive arrests, and 354 felony arrests.
The Lewisville Police Department said it would increase its efforts to remove impaired drivers from the roadways during the Labor Day holiday with DWI enforcement officers on the streets during the late night and early morning hours looking for intoxicated drivers and minors driving under the influence. A Flower Mound Police Department spokesperson told the Gazette that there would be strict enforcement on impaired driving, as there always is.
The Record-Chronicle reported on September 7, 2020, that Denton police arrested a 61-year-old man on a charge of DWI after he crashed his vehicle. Officers arrived in the 8000 block of Woodcreek Drive after a caller reported the crash.
A police spokesperson said the caller told officers “the driver drove through the fence and his driveway, coming to a rest after hitting a tree.” The man told police “he was on the phone and hit a ditch” before crashing through the fence while on his way back from the golf course where he had consumed two beers before leaving.
The site of the crash was roughly four miles from the Denton Country Club. The man refused to submit to standard field sobriety tests but was arrested on a charge of DWI, with the Denton Fire Department transporting him to a local hospital to look over for a possible injury and conduct a blood draw.
On September 20, 2020, the Record-Chronicle reported that a search for a suspected drunk driver prompted police helicopter activity over Flower Mound early that Sunday morning. Officers responded to an intoxicated driver complaint at 2000 Lakeside Parkway just after 11 p.m. that Saturday night.
Upon arrival, officers discovered a crashed vacant vehicle, with extensive damage, facing eastbound in the westbound lanes of Lakeside Pkwy. A witness gave a description of the driver and stated the driver fled the scene north on foot via Wayfair.
Officers discovered a second occupant had also fled the scene. He was located behind Wayfair and was arrested for public intoxication.
An officer later located the suspected driver walking eastbound in the 800 block of Flower Mound Road. The driver spotted the officer as well, and fled into a large heavily wooded area, south of Flower Mound Road
While responding officers quickly created a perimeter in an attempt to contain the suspect and officers attempted to locate the suspect within the perimeter, the area was too dense. Supervisors requested the assistance of a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter, which arrived and searched the area extensively but was not able to locate the suspect.
DWI Defense in Denton, TX
DWI arrests can result in serious criminal charges. While most first-time DWI offenses are classified as Class B misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, an alleged DWI with a breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or more is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
Traffic accidents like the one described above can also have a serious impact on criminal charges. When an alleged DWI offender by accident or mistake, operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated and by reason of the intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another party, they may be charged with intoxication assault.
Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The crime can be enhanced to a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offender caused serious bodily injury to a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of an official duty, or caused serious bodily injury to another in the nature of a traumatic brain injury that results in a persistent vegetative state.
When a DWI offense results in a fatal car accident, then charges of intoxication manslaughtercould be the result. This crime is also a second-degree felony, but charges can become a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offender caused the death of a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of an official duty.
All DWI charges deserve to be fought in the courtroom by experienced attorneys who can make sure the alleged offenders face as few penalties as is possible. An arrest for DWI can be a humiliating and humbling experience, but people need to be quick to get legal help so they can have their rights protected and fought for in court.
Denton DWI Lawyer
If you were arrested for DWI in Denton or a surrounding area of North Texas, you will want to act now to secure yourself legal representation. Do not wait to contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a winning defense against your criminal charges.
Our firm offers more than two decades of experience fighting DWI charges for clients throughout the Denton area. We will be able to sit down with you and really discuss what you will be able to do when you call 940-222-8004 or contact us online to set up a free, confidential consultation.