Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler December 6, 2016

Drunk drivers kill as many as 1,446 persons yearly in Texas (as in 2014), and the death toll can be especially high during the year-end holidays. That’s why the Texas Department of Transportation has run DUI (driving under the influence) campaigns during holiday seasons, urging drivers to be safe and “plan while you can” to avoid driving after drinking.

TxDOT reports that 110 persons were killed and 190 were seriously injured in drunk driving-crashes during the 2014-2015 Christmas holiday season alone.

As for arrests, according to Select Insurance Group, among the 1.4 million Americans arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense in 2015, Texas had 99,195 arrests and 71,030 convictions.

Texas Drunk Driving Laws Are Strict

Already, Texas ranks 10th among the 50 states for strict drunk driving laws, according to wallethub.com. But while Texas ranks seventh in terms of tough criminal penalties, it ranks only 30th in terms of actual drunk driving prevention.

What are the penalties of Texas’ drunk driving laws?

Minors (who are under 21 years old) are subject to a zero tolerance law in Texas and can face these penalties for a first-time drunk driving offense (with penalties rising after the first offense):

  • $500 fine
  • Suspension of driver’s license for up to one year
  • Community service
  • Ignition interlock device placed on vehicle
  • 12-hour Alcohol Education Program

Adults who are 21 and over can face these penalties in Texas for a first-time DUI offense:

  • Jail time for as many as 180 days
  • $2,000 fine
  • Suspension of driver’s license for up to two years
  • Yearly fee of up to $2,000 for the next three years to retain driver’s license
  • DWI intervention or education program
  • Ignition interlock device

The ignition interlock device became required by all drunk drivers after arrest via a relatively new Texas law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 19, 2015. Such devices measure blood alcohol content (BAC) before a car can be started.

Texas law holds that an adult with a BAC of 0.08 per cent or higher is drunk. This is the standard in most other states as well. For commercial drivers in Texas, 0.04 per cent or higher BAC constitutes drunk driving.

In addition, drivers or passengers can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle. Also, drivers can be charged with child endangerment for driving while intoxicated if any passenger in the vehicle is 15 years old or younger.

Holiday Safe Driving Tips

Jim Adler offers many holiday safe driving tips in his blog. When it comes to driving and drinking, he advises Texans to get a designated driver at the wheel who doesn’t drink, and to be especially alert to erratic driving by possible drunk drivers.

If you spot someone who may be drunk while driving, Jim Adler advises you to give them as much room as possible, and also consider calling 911 to report erratic driving.

Check out these and other holiday safe driving tips from Jim Adler, and be prepared as the year-end holidays approach.

Texas’ Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also offers support for drunk driving victims.

You can learn more about MADD and its commendable efforts to fight drunk driving in another Jim Adler blog post.

FREE Case Review


Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
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Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.
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