ASK A COP — What is more dangerous, drunken driving or texting and driving?
Frannie from Beaumont asks: I was recently involved with a debate with my niece who said she took a driving class from you two years ago you said texting while driving is worse than driving while intoxicated. So I decided to check the source, Officer Antoine, is texting while driving more dangerous than driving while intoxicated?
Answer: It’s correct, studies have shown texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. I like to call it “Driving while INTEXTICATED.” Studies show a person who is operating a motor vehicle who’s blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C) is 0.08 or over in the state of Texas is five times likely to have a vehicle accident than someone sober. Studies further add someone texting while driving is eight to 32 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash than someone who isn’t texting. So Frannie, we all know in order to text it requires the sender and receiver to look down and totally take their eyes and mind off the roadway. According to studies, during the same time span of an intoxicated person operating a motor vehicle and someone INTEXTICATED (texting while driving) operating a motor vehicle, the texter presents the greater danger while driving!
Bren from Port Arthur asks: I have a vehicle that has a transmission problem and sometimes when I get in it, the gear won’t go into drive but reverse works just fine. Let me say this first, I’m very skilled at reverse driving. If I get in my car and the transmission is acting up and won’t go into drive, can I take it home in reverse if it’s not too far away?
Answer: I’m sorry to inform you driving on the roadway in reverse is not permitted in the state of Texas. Your vehicle is not fit to be on the roads of Texas until you have your transmission properly repaired. Driving in reverse is not allowed, and if you find yourself in an area on the roadway where your vehicle won’t shift into drive, call a tow truck!
Mel from Port Neches asks: I am writing you today to find out the difference between a DWI and a DUI. I always hear about DWIs, which stands for Driving While Intoxicated, and DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. Are they the same thing, just said differently?
Answer: First off, a DWI, which stands for Driving While Intoxicated, refers to someone 21 years of age and greater, and a DUI, which stands for Driving Under the Influence, includes all motorists who are under the age of 21 when charged. When a minor is charged with his/her first DUI under Texas law, they have “any detectable amount of alcohol in his/her system” while operating a motor vehicle. Driving Under the Influence is considered a Class C offense in Texas. The first time you are stopped for drinking and driving, you could face the following penalties: Up to a $500 fine, a 60-day Driver License suspension, 20 to 40 hours of community service or mandatory alcohol-awareness classes. Now if you’re 17 years of age or older and are pulled over for drinking and driving with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater, you could face: Up to a $2,000 fine, 3 to 180 days in jail or a Driver License suspension for 90 days to a year. Texas has zero tolerance on minors drinking while driving. Now, a DWI in Texas is when a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration). A person can also be intoxicated if impaired due to other drugs regardless of BAC. If convicted, they face a penalty of a fine of up to $2,000, 3 days to 180 days in jail, suspension of Driver License up to a year, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain Driver License.
Join Officer Rickey Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. as Antoine discusses Ask A Cop. Tune in via internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in questions live to 409-982-0247. Email questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can Ask A Cop!