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Fleeing the scene could now mean conviction for DWI manslaughter

It is not unusual for intoxicated Texas residents to make mistakes due to the consumption of alcohol. The first mistake could be getting behind the wheel of a car and the second could involve getting into an accident. Some drivers will compound these mistakes by failing to remain at the scene and render aid. If someone dies, doing so could result in criminal penalties equal to DWI manslaughter.

Prior to the passage of a new law this year, the penalties under the above circumstances could result in probation but no jail time. The change in the law made failing to stop and render aid equivalent to DWI manslaughter since some people choose to leave the scene in an attempt to avoid a charge for driving while intoxicated. The hope is that increasing the penalties would make drunk drivers think twice about leaving the scene of an accident since the potential sentence would not be any less.

That person may then remain at the scene and at least call 911 and attempt to help anyone injured in an accident. Proponents of the new law say it could save lives. First, the news needs to get out to the public in order to function as a deterrent.

Texas drivers who make the mistake of drinking and driving could face harsher penalties if they leave the scene of an accident involving injuries and/or death. Now that the potential penalties are equivalent to DWI manslaughter, it would be in an individual's best interests to stay put and not flee the scene. In any case, all charges need immediate attention in order to explore all options to achieve the best outcome possible.

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