Most people in the Dallas area view drunk driving as an offense that is not significantly more serious than speeding or violating a traffic signal. This attitude often has tragic results. Drunk driving can quickly grow into a far more serious violation, as demonstrated by an incident in Garland some days ago.
According to the incident report, a Garland police officer tried to pull over the driver of a black Nissan after he saw the Nissan speed southbound on Broadway Boulevard and fail to stop for a red light at Oates Road. The officer called for assistance, an a police helicopter was dispatched to follow the speeding car. According to police, the car reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. The driver also turned off his lights. Police stopped the ground pursuit of the vehicle, but the helicopter maintained its vigilance.
The speeding driver then exited I-635 and ran another red light as he turned onto westbound Northwest Highway. As the sedan was approaching Shiloh Road, a Ford Mustang carrying two adults and two children was traveling through the intersection. The officers in the helicopter alerted police units on the ground, and several squad cars responded.
The speeding driver and a woman who was a passenger in his car attempted to flee the scene on foot, but both were quickly arrested by police.
The speeding driver is accused of failing to stop for the red light and hitting the Mustang. A two-year old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The two adults and the second child were seriously injured and are currently in critical condition. The suspect has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter, three counts of intoxicated assault and evading arrest while causing the death of another.
The defendant in this case is facing serious felony charges. A conviction may send him to prison, exact a substantial fine and cost him his driving privileges. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence, advice on potential defenses and an estimate of the likelihood of negotiating a favorable plea agreement.