There are numerous efforts in the United States both at the federal and state level to combat the problem of drunk driving and to discourage motorists from getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit. From public education programs organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to enforcement campaigns in individual states, lawmakers are doing their part to try to reduce the number of drunk motorists on the road. Private organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have also been instrumental in helping to make the roads safer by launching effective campaigns against intoxicated driving. Unfortunately, despite all of the different laws and programs in place, an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in McAllen knows that drunk driving remains a huge problem in the U.S. In fact, around 40 percent of all fatal car accidents in this country can be attributed to intoxicated driving. In Texas alone, 1,296 drunk driving deaths occurred in 2012 according to the NHTSA. The data also shows that someone is hurt every two minutes and killed every half hour in a collision involving intoxicated driving. Clearly, there is still more work to be done to reduce the number of senseless crashes that occur at the hands of drunk drivers. The National Safety Council (NSC) has recently published a summary of some of the different programs and policies that could help to prevent people from driving drunk. NSC Discusses Drunk Driving Prevention Techniques Some of the different techniques discussed by the NSC to prevent drunk driving include the following:
- DWI Courts and better support for prosecutors. The NHTSA is considering the possible creation special courts that are designed to deal expediently with drunk driving charges. The NHTSA also believes that prosecutors should be better supported in efforts to convict intoxicated motorists of their crimes. As many as three Americans out of every four support tougher penalties for drunk drivers, so there could be support for changes in the criminal justice system.
- Highly-visible drunk driving enforcement. People need to see that police are actually taking action to stop drunk drivers, and fear of arrest can be an important deterrent that prevents someone from getting behind the wheel drunk. There are frequent public-service campaigns around the holidays warning of increased enforcement and additional police presence on the roads, and these have proven effective. Although not allowed in Texas, sobriety checkpoints have also been proven to be a viable solution in some states to reduce drunk driving, both because they identify intoxicated motorists and because they are a very visible method of enforcing drunk driving laws.
- Ignition interlock devices (IIDs). These devices make it virtually impossible to drive drunk since they require a motorist to test his blood alcohol content (BAC) before starting the car. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently recommending that states require the installation of ignition interlock devices for all motorists who are convicted of driving while impaired. As many as 1/3 of the 1.5 million drunk drivers arrested each year are repeat offenders, so this could prove very effective.
These are just some of the different programs that the NSC explains are used in the fight to make the roads safer by keeping drunk drivers out of their cars. Call (888) 338-2639 to schedule a free consultation with Tummel & Casso in McAllen, TX today.