The Texas Department of Public Safety claims that a 37-year-old woman was drunk and speeding when her Chevrolet SUV struck a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy in Hidalgo County on the night of Sept. 6. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene. The boy suffered what the DPS described as serious injuries. The Edinburg resident faces a raft of felony charges including counts of intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in serious injury or death. She faces a long custodial sentence if she is found guilty. The intoxication manslaughter charge alone carries a possible sentence of between five and 20 years.
Clear signs of intoxication
The accident took place near Alamo at approximately 10:00 p.m. Initial reports indicate that the two children were walking a dog when they were struck. A DPS representative said that the woman was traveling at a speed in excess of the posted limit at the time of the accident and failed to stop and render aid. Her vehicle was discovered a short time later. She was taken into custody after DPS troopers noticed what they described as clear signs of intoxication.
Woman allegedly admits to drinking
When troopers questioned the woman, they claim that she admitted to consuming several beers and striking what she thought was a dog. This prompted the troopers to obtain a search warrant for a blood draw. A records check revealed that the woman has three prior drunk driving arrests. Her most recent brush with the law came in June 2016 when she was charged with a third-degree felony. The felony charge was dismissed in May 2018 after she completed a DWI treatment program.
Admissions cannot be taken back
Individuals who could be charged with serious crimes like felony DWI or intoxication manslaughter may be wise to remain silent when questioned by police. Misleading police officers, making excuses or confessing to criminal behavior will likely make the situation worse and could make it more difficult for experienced criminal defense attorneys to secure favorable terms during plea negotiations.