Combating the problem of drunk driving is one of the most important ways to make the roads safer, especially since someone dies in a drunk driving-related accident every half hour. In Texas alone, the NHTSA reports that 1,296 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2012. Reducing the number of drunk people on the road could also help many people to avoid serious and potentially life-changing injuries, since someone gets hurt once every two minutes in the United States in an accident involving an intoxicated motorist.
Drunk driving accident attorneys in Fort Worth know that there are many different ways to try to discourage drunk driving and decrease the number of intoxicated motorists. Recently, the National Safety Council has provided a summary of some of the different techniques and procedures that are used in an effort to prevent intoxicated driving and reduce the accident rate.
Steps to Combat the Problem of Drunk Driving
According to the NSC, some of the different techniques that are used to help discourage drunk driving and make the roads safer including the following:
- Screenings and brief interventions. This technique is typically used by employers. Employers can offer screening programs and brief interventions as a part of their employee health benefits. Around 360 different studies have demonstrated time and again that screening and brief intervention is a very cost-effective way to facilitate people with drinking problems getting help and to discourage and cut-down on higher risk behaviors such as driving while impaired.
- Public enforcement of drunk driving laws. Around many major holidays like New Years Eve and Labor Day, public service announcements are made alerting motorists to the fact that there will be an increased police presence enforcing intoxicated driving laws. These public enforcement techniques have been proven in the past to discourage people from getting behind the wheel drunk. People don’t want to get arrested and knowing there are more police out can make them think twice about driving drunk. Sobriety checkpoints, although not permitted in the state of Texas, are also common in other U.S. states and are viewed as a very visible method of enforcing laws against intoxicated driving.
- Ignition interlock device installation. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has urged all states to require ignition interlock devices be installed in vehicles of even first-time drunk driving offenders. This could help to cut down on repeat offenders, of which there are many (around 1/3 of the 1.5 million people charged with drunk driving annually have been convicted of this offense before).
- DWI Courts and prosecutor support. The NHTSA wants to provide more support for prosecutors assigned to drunk driving cases. Special courts could potentially also be established for the handling of cases against intoxicated motorists.
Each of these programs reduces the overall risk presented by intoxicated drivers by helping to reduce the number of people driving drunk. Individual motorists can also protect themselves from becoming involved in a drunk driving crash by making sure they have a designated driver or alternative plan for getting home before they have a drink. Unfortunately, even if you drive sober, you could still become the victim of an intoxicated motorists who causes a crash. If this happens to you, you may have a legal right to compensation for losses.