Houston Scores Better than Other Texas Cities for Quality Drivers

 Men’s Health Magazine released a study that they recently conducted to see which cities had the best and worst drivers.  Houston ranked 46th in the nation for bad drivers, and Dallas ranked even worse in 14th place for this unceremonious award.  Anyone who has ever visited the beautiful city of Corpus Christi wouldn’t be surprised by their 11th place spot either.  Even the Alamo couldn’t help San Antonio from ranking worse than Houston in the 25th spot. Our state's beautiful capital still ranked worse than us in 41st place.  Luckily for us in Houston, we rank better than four of the most populace cities in Texas. 

They got these results from studying factors that increase drivers’ safety, such as speeding, frequency of car accidents, seat belt usage, and drunk driving stats.  Obviously Houston drivers are doing something wrong to end up on the list of the worst drivers in America. But anyone who spends a lot of time driving in this city doesn’t need Men’s Health Magazine to point that out!  I’m actually surprised that Houston is ranking as low as it is in their study for poor quality drivers.  When I originally saw a report about this study’s findings here, I was shaking my head thinking “of course Houston has the 4th worst drivers in the country”.  Then I read the real report and realized they made a pretty sizeable error interpreting the data. 

Houston is not ranked fourth, or anywhere near the top 10 for cities with the worst drivers.  But Corpus is!  I’m surprised Corpus Christi was not ranked higher honestly.  Corpus Christi has a population of about 308,000 people.  It is a relaxing beach town with many thriving businesses and a great local vibe.  The only bad thing about Corpus Christi is the drivers.  Here’s a tip I learned the hard way in Corpus Christi: when you are on the feeder road, be prepared to stop frequently.  In Corpus Christi, drivers don’t slow down when they exit the freeway because they expect all of the traffic on the feeder road to stop when they see a car exiting.  Needless to say, this town’s drivers need some serious driving lessons.

However annoying unique driving habits in cities are, they are not the reason that these cities ranked high for being the worst cities to drive in.  Look at this table from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Texas is off the charts for driving fatalities alone, not even considering drunk driving or any other contributing factors.No wonder so many of our cities are on this list!  If you're a DWI lawyer in Houston, Texas you might want to consider living in Corpus Christi. You'll get more clients per capita there.

 

 

References:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Traffice Safety Facts: State Motor Vehicle Fatalities and State Alcohol-Impaired Motor Vehicle Fatalities, 2011.  http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811699.pdf

 

If Arrested for DWI in Houston, Texas - Can I still Drive?

Assuming that you were driving on a valid Texas Driver's License at the time that you were arrested for DWI, there should be no restriction on your driving privileges immediately after you are arrested for the DWI.  You can legally get in your car and drive as if you were not arrested for DWI.

If you do nothing at all, you will automatically have your Texas driver's license suspended after 40 days.  However, if you request a hearing to contest the automatic suspension of your driver's license within the first 15 days after your DWI arrest, Texas DPS can not suspend your Texas driver's license unless and until you have a hearing on your Texas driver's license.  This hearing on your Driver's License is called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing.

DPS does on occasion lose or misplace the request for your ALR hearing and DPS has taken the position that it is your responsibility as the person arrested for DWI to "prove" that you made a proper request for an ALR hearing.  Therefore, it is imperative that you hire a competent Houston DWI lawyer to represent you on your DWI and ALR cases.

A Compliment from a Police Officer - What's the DWI World Coming To?

I had an interesting conversation with a police officer today after an ALR / Driver's License Hearing today related to a client's DWI arrest.  We spoke briefly about the defendant and the facts of the case that we had the hearing on today. 

The police officer went on to thank me for my previous cross examinations of him in the past.  He said that he has changed the way that he conducts his DWI investigations and the way in which he writes his DWI case reports.  Unlike some that we encounter, this police officer takes a great deal of pride in his work and truly wants to "get it right."

Believe it or not, I want police officers to have pride in what they do and do their jobs well.  It was refreshing to hear a police officer thank me for a rigorous cross examination, which is not the norm.  It is also refreshing for the officer to recognize that we all have a job to do in the criminal justice system.  Their job is to investigate and arrest suspects, the district attorney prosecutes and we have a duty to defend.  Thank you officer for recognizing this.

ALR Judge Denies Motion for Continuance - What am I Missing?

Let's set the stage.  The Government schedules the Administrative License Revocation hearings - the driver's license suspension hearings that accompany a DWI arrest.  The Government scheduled Jordan Lewis to appear for an ALR in Richmond, Texas on April 22, 2010 at 10:00 A.M.  The Government also scheduled Jordan Lewis to appear for an ALR in Montgomery, Texas on April 22, 2010 at 10:00 A.M.

For those not familiar with the Houston metroplex, Richmond and Montgomery are 70 miles apart and according to Mapquest 1 hour and 25 minutes apart.  Now you are probably beginning to understand my question. 

So what does Mr. Lewis do?  He files a motion for continuance on the case in Montgomery because he physically can not be in two places at once. 

Stephen J. Burger, Administrative Law Judge (title he signs his name with), denies the motion for continuance and writes in his denial, "Insufficient good cause."  Did he really say insufficient good cause?  I can't think of much better good cause than the same governmental entity ordering you to be in two distinct locations over 70 miles apart at the exact same time.  Get with the program Burger and start acting like a "Judge" instead of some bureaucrat that doesn't have a clue.  Remember, these are real people's lives you are messing with.

Needless to say the case is now on appeal.  Let me know if this offends you, even the most pro-law enforcement of you would agree that this is simply not right.

New Occupational License Procedures in Harris County DWI Cases

According to Chuck Stanfield, the leading authority on occupational licenses in Harris County, the procedure for obtaining an occupational license in Harris County for DWI cases is in the process of changing dramatically. The DWI occupational licenses will apparently be heard by the Harris County Criminal Courts in the near future.

The Harris County Civil Courts have had jurisdiction to issue restricted driver's licenses for suspensions from Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearings.  This change will be a welcome surprise for criminal attorneys that handle occupational licenses.

Is the Driver of this Houston Police Vehicle Intoxicated?

I took this photo this morning at the State Office.  Presumably, the cop that drove this Houston Police vehicle was at the State Office for an ALR hearing to suspend the driver's license of a person the officer arrested for DWI.

Do you think the officer would consider this a sign of intoxication if the driver was one of our clients?  Would he listen to the innocent reason our client had for the reason he parked the entire front of his car on the curb?  Would this Houston police officer give our clients the benefit of the doubt?  Was this cop DWI?  Had he been drinking?

Is my Texas Driver's License Automatically Suspended with my DWI arrest?

The police officer that arrested me said that my Texas Driver's License will automatically be suspended because I refused to take a Breath Test - Is this really the law in Texas?

If you do absolutely nothing to challenge the suspension of your driver's license, it will automatically be suspended after 40 days form your arrest date.  However, you have an absolute right to challenge this driver's license suspension and any competent DWI lawyer should handle this case and your DWI case.  Our Houston DWI attorneys have successfully challenged hundreds of Texas Driver's License suspension.

Image: ezola