Houston, TX- Houston Police have charged a truck driver with DUI in connection to fatal accident that occurred late Sunday night.

The truck driver, identified as James Johnson Jr., was traveling westbound on Beecher Road when he ran red a light at Cook Road, according to reports. As Johnson was attempting to the make a left on Cook, he headed through the intersection against the light where he struck a SUV traveling south on Cook Road.  The SUV entered the intersection with the green light and struck the Johnson’s truck, according to My Fox Houston.

The motorist, who was later identified as Adrian Garcia, survived the initial impact and was taken to an area hospital. He was later pronounced dead.

The tractor-trailer was not hauling a load.

After the accident, Johnson admitted to police that he had a few drinks with friends earlier that evening and he was charge with intoxication manslaughter. Police did not say what his level of intoxication was or whether any other substances were involved.

A check of Johnson’s record revealed he was arrested and convicted for possession of a small amount of marijuana. He spent three days in jail and had his driver’s license suspended for six months.

Truck drivers who have a blood alcohol level of .04 or more can be charged with a DUI. That is a much lower threshold t than passenger vehicle motorists, but commercial trucks are much larger and can leave more destruction in their wake in the event of an accident.

While truck drivers account for a smaller percentage of intoxicated drivers on the road, when a truck accident occurs, the consequences can be catastrophic, and often deadly when consider. Commercial trucks are significantly larger and heavier than to a passenger vehicle. It’s easy to assume that passenger vehicle occupants are at a serious disadvantage when they collide with a large commercial truck and will suffer far more serious injuries than truck driver. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that 98 percent of truck accidents that involve a fatality results in at the death of passenger vehicle occupant.  Tractors for tankers, trailers and other large trucks sit much higher and offer more protection than car or SUV.

Operating a large truck under the influence of any substance whether it is alcohol, marijuana or stimulants is strictly forbidden by federal and state laws. Not only is the trucker culpable if they cause injury or a wrongful death, but their trucking company must also take on liability and compensate the accident victims who are harmed.

Drunken driving truck accidents are especially troublesome for victims, and the surviving family members of those who are killed. Many truck accidents are caused by negligence or driver error, but driving under the influence is an especially egregious action. A truck accident attorney understands the pain and anger truck accident victims are going through and will do everything in their power to ensure they get justice in the form of a favorable personal injury or wrongful death settlement.