Texas drunk drivers continue to have one of the highest incidences of drunken driving in the nation. Texas’ history of drinking and driving is long standing. In the face of an epidemic the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was formed in the 1980s with its national headquarters in Irving, Texas. MADD has worked tirelessly to increase the awareness of the dangers of drunken driving, stiffen the criminal penalties for drinking and driving, and focus more resources and attention on prosecuting alcohol related traffic offenses. After almost 30 years of diligent effort the current statistics are a little discouraging.
Although some improvement in the numbers of drivers killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents has been reported the decrease is a little misleading. Cars are much safer than they were 30 years ago largely due to the relentless efforts of products liability lawyers. Thus any decrease in the number of motorists killed in alcohol-related crashes may be solely due to safer cars.
According to the 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report 10,839 people were killed in accidents caused by a driver with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of great than .08%. Texas is the clear frontrunner in alcohol-related fatalities with 1,463 deaths, followed by California and Florida with 1,198 and 1,041 deaths, respectively. An accident is “alcohol-related” if one of the non-passengers has a BAC of .01 % or higher. A driver is “alcohol-impaired” if he has a BAC of .08% or higher. Using the higher alcohol-impaired standard Texas still leads the nation with 1,269 alcohol-impaired motor vehicle fatalities, followed by California with 1,029 fatalities. Unfortunately, this means that in Texas alone between 3 and 4 people lose their lives each day in an alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accident.
According to MADD:
One person will die every 50 seconds in a drunk driving crash;
On average a drunk driver is arrested the 87th time that he drives drunk;
One third of the population will be involved in an alochol-related crash at
some point in their lifetime;
Most drivers convicted of a DWI continue to drive even after their driver’s license has been taken from them.
Texas has taken steps in the right direction to address the problem of drunken driving but stiffer penalties and more aggressive prosecution are needed.
For more information contact a Tyler Auto Accident Attorney today.