Drunk driving deaths in Texas on the rise

Texas has a high number of drunk drivers. Organizations and residents are urging lawmakers to pass stricter DUI legislation.

Although state and national campaigns warn people of the deadly dangers of drinking and driving, Texans continue to climb behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drunk drivers in Texas and across the country pose a significant threat to motorists on the road. While some people may feel as though they are able to operate a vehicle after having a few drinks, their ability to respond to their driving environment is severely compromised. This can lead to devastating drunk driving accidents, catastrophic injuries and even the untimely death of innocent people.

Drunk driving facts

In 2013, Texas had the highest drunk driving fatality rate in the country with 1,337 people killed by drunk drivers, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This was a 3.6 percent increase from the number of people killed in DUI accidents the year before, and accounted for nearly 40 percent of all motor vehicle deaths. In addition to killing innocent motorists on Texas roadways, drunk drivers cost taxpayers $6.2 billion in 2013 as well. Despite these troubling statistics, Texas lawmakers have not taken the actions necessary to put a stop to this senseless and preventable problem.

Ignition interlock devices

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 25 states in the nation and four counties in California have laws requiring all convicted DUI offenders to use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. Many of these states have seen a significant decrease in the drunk driving fatality rate since implementing this legislation. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that ignition interlock devices reduce the drunk driving recidivism rate by 67 percent. With less drunk drivers on the roads, motorists are less likely to become involved in a tragic collision. Although Texas does not require all convicted drunk drivers to use interlock devices, MADD is pushing for state lawmakers to consider enforcing this lifesaving policy.

Drunk drivers are deadly

The legal limit in Texas is 0.08 percent. However, people who have a blood alcohol content level as low as 0.02 percent may show signs of driving impairment. MADD reported that certain biological characteristics and other factors, including how much food a person has in their stomach, may determine how people tolerate alcohol. At 0.02 percent, drivers may experience a decline in their ability to track a moving target and begin to lose judgement. This may cause drunk driving car accidents, even though the driver is not legally considered intoxicated.

Finding legal help

Innocent motorists who are involved in a tragic car accident caused by a drunk driver may suffer from life-changing injuries and disabilities. Some people may have lost loved ones in a DUI collision. A personal injury attorney may provide vital legal assistance to those who wish to receive compensation for their injuries and emotional pain.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury