A 31-year-old woman from Katy, Texas, was involved in a six-vehicle collision on December 26, 2012. She has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
According to police, the woman was traveling southbound near Piping Rock Lane on Texas 6 when she went over the center divider and struck a Ford Escape that was headed north. The driver of the Ford crashed into a Hyundai Santa Fe, and the driver of the Santa Fe lost control of the vehicle and was struck by two other cars which were headed north.
There were two backseat passengers in the Santa Fe, and they were both thrown from the car during the course of the multiple-vehicle collision. Both were transported by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. One of the injured, a 42-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other is suffering from serious injuries.
The woman charged in the accident was found by police to be under the influence of illegal narcotics. She was placed in the Harris County Jail on $30,000 bond.
In Texas, intoxication manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony. If an individual is found guilty of this crime, they will serve a prison term of no less than 2 years and no more than 20 years. The person may also be punished with a fine of up to $10,000. There are other costs involved, such as a court fee which is usually about $300.
By law, a person found guilty of intoxication manslaughter will be required to get an ignition interlock device installed on their car and is not allowed to drive a car that does not have this device installed. To start the car, you must blow into the device. If alcohol is detected, the car will not start. Once driving, the device must be blown into every 20 minutes.
There are other deterrents involved with being found guilty of any kind of crime related to intoxicated driving in Texas. In addition, a person can be sued in a personal injury case.