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ATV Driver Charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter

A 25-year-old Harris County man has been arrested and charged with intoxicated manslaughter in connection with the death of an 18-year-old woman who was a passenger on his ATV vehicle. Investigators say that Travis Ayers was driving under the influence of alcohol while h was operating an ATV that he and Julia Wardwell were riding on.  The pair struck a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Keith Harrow Boulevard and Queenston Boulevard around 9:30 p.m. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the impact was so great that the ATV spun around and rolled several times. Ayers and Wardwell were thrown from the ATV and taken vial Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition. Wardwell later died of her injuries. The driver of the SUV that had been struck was not injured in the crash. In the State of Texas, it is illegal to drive an ATV on a public street. ATV’s have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles and is far more prone to spills and the potential for tipping over. Such accidents can cause serious injuries. Drinking and driving or driving under the influence (DUI) is a nationwide problem, and the State of Texas is no different. Driving under the influence of alcohol has been responsible for scores of serious injuries and deaths.  A Texas Department of Transportation report shows that there were 16,163 automobile collisions reported involving drivers under the influence of alcohol and 2,829 accidents involving drivers under the influence of drugs.  Automobile collisions involving drunk drivers resulted in 904 deaths and over 4,030 serious injuries in the year 2008. In the State of Texas, the legal blood alcohol level that anyone can have to operate a vehicle is 0.08% for holders of a standard driver’s license, and the legal limit is set at 0.04% for holders of a commercial driver’s license. When a person dies as a result of the actions of a DUI driver, the charge then is elevated to that of intoxication manslaughter, this is an even more serious crime than intoxication assault and it is a second-degree felony. Intoxication manslaughter is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years. A driver convinced of intoxication manslaughter may also face 240 to 800 hours of community service, according to the judge’s recommendation. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of the irresponsible actions of a drunk driver, give our offices a call. Having an experienced attorney with years of successfully representing clients on your side in the Houston area can make all of the difference. Your attorney can help you receive the compensation and see that justice is served. Give our offices a call with the details of your case. We will match you with an attorney who will give you sound legal advice. We are here to help you. Your initial consultation is confidential, free and without any obligation.

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