Posted On November 28, 2016 In Local Car Accidents
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claims our state leads the nation in drunk driving accidents. According to MADD, 1,337 people in our state lost their lives to drunk driving in 2013. Another 15,687 suffered injuries. Our state also has a high rate of drunk driving arrests. Texas had 64,971 DWI arrests in 2013. That is almost twice the number of people who live in Lufkin.
While Texas does have a high number of drunk driving accidents and DWI offenders, our state does have solutions in place to protect the public. Our state has ignition interlock requirements for first-time offenders, educational programs for college and high school students, and other regulations that can prevent drunk driving accidents.
Texas changed its ignition interlock laws in 2015. As of last year, the court may require first-time DWI offenders age 21 and older with a BAC of .08 or greater to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.
Ignition interlock devices require DWI offenders to blow into a device to start their vehicles. The device measures their blood alcohol content level. If it detected a measurable trace of alcohol, their vehicles would not start. MADD statistics claim states who require mandatory ignition interlock devices for offenders see a 43 percent reduction in fatal drunk driving accidents.
Texas only recently required first-time offenders to install these devices, so it may be several years before our state has statistics showing if they are effective.
There are other possible solutions for preventing drunk driving accidents. For example, some people argue ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft prevent people from drinking and driving. Another possible solution is to increase the penalties for first-time offenders.