Houston DWI Law Blog

Grandmother Charged With Intoxication Manslaughter After Granddaughter Dies In Car Accident

A Chandler grandmother has been arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter following the death of her 5-year-old granddaughter during a car accident in July. The accident occurred a few miles outside of the Tyler city limits around 10:00 p.m. The grandmother, driving a Chevy Tahoe, apparently lost control, crossed the roadway and struck a tree.

The only other passenger in the car was the 5-year-old granddaughter. Following the accident, emergency officials transported the grandmother and the child to the hospital. The grandmother remained in stable condition. Tragically, the 5-year-old died the following day from injuries sustained in the crash.

Grandmother arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter

Troopers who investigated the accident said that the grandmother operated the car at unsafe speeds in the wet road conditions. The speed limit in the area is 35 miles per hour. One Texas trooper who arrived at the scene stated, “[t]here was reasonable suspicion to believe the driver was indeed drinking, there was the smell of alcohol.”

While the grandmother was in the hospital’s intensive care unit, police drew blood in order to determine her blood alcohol content. The tests revealed that the grandmother had a blood alcohol content of .154, which is well in excess of Texas’s legal limit of .08. Investigators learned that earlier in the day before the crash, the grandmother attended her sister’s funeral and then went to a family gathering, where she had several alcoholic drinks. To make matters worse, the grandmother apparently had Xanax and marijuana in her system during the crash.

After Texas troopers completed their investigation, they called the grandmother to inform her that they had a warrant for her arrest. The grandmother’s response startled the officer: she was apparently rude and had no compassion about the situation. Even more surprising, however, is what one officer learned after looking at the grandmother’s Facebook profile. The grandmother had been making references on her Facebook page to drinking games involving alcohol.

Chandler police eventually arrested the grandmother after they located her and made a traffic stop. The grandmother remains in jail, subject to a $350,000 bond.

Intoxication Manslaughter under Texas law.

Under Texas law, a person commits intoxication manslaughter if the person operates a vehicle in a public and “is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.” Intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony offense. A second degree felony is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 2 years and not more than 20 years. In addition, an intoxication manslaughter conviction can carry up to a $10,000 fine. 



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