Texas continues to have one of the worst drunken driving problems in the nation. According to a 2009 Texas study approximately 40% of all fatal crashes involved alcohol. The National Transportation Safety Board recently reported that Texas falls in a group of ten states that have done the least to address the problem of alcohol related fatalities. Texas’ drunken driving problem is a long standing problem that gave birth to Texas based Mothers Against Drunk Driving. MADD has called significant attention to the problem which nonetheless persists.
Texans’ love affair with drinking and driving has a long history and old habits die hard. Up until about 20 years ago it was perfectly legal in Texas to drink and drive as long as the operator of a motor vehicle was not legally intoxicated. Although the consumption of alcohol beverages while operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway is now illegal and the level for legal blood-alcohol levels has been reduced from 0.10 to 0.08 many Texans continue to drink and drive. Lowering the legal blood-alcohol level will have no appreciable effect upon the problem. Many of the alcohol related fatal crashes are caused by drivers with blood-alcohol levels of greater than 0.15%.
Texans drink and drive because they don’t believe that they will be caught. Likewise, increasing the penalties for drinking and driving is unlikely to have any appreciable effect. Drivers that do not believe that they will be caught are not concerned about the severity of potential punishment because they simply don’t believe that they will face punishment.
Certainty of punishment is more likely to have a deterrent effect. Measures that are reasonably calculated to apprehend, charge, and convict more drunken drivers are needed to curb this growing problem.
For more information contact a Tyler Car Wreck Lawyer today.