MADD Raises Concerns About Drunk Driving in Texas

Posted By The Carlson Law Firm || 30-Nov-2011

According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Texas needs to take significant steps to further deter drunk drivers. The organization only gave Texas three out of five stars for the state’s drunk driving countermeasures.

MADD addresses the impact of drinking and driving, and pushes for changes to reduce drunk driving accidents. Debra Johnson, MADD Texas State Executive Director, explained concerns about the state’s record on the issue, “Texas year by year is usually the state with the most deaths, and we are not the largest state.” Over 40 percent of traffic fatalities in Texas last year were alcohol related.

Earlier this month, family members of victims of drunk drivers rallied on the steps of the capital while representatives from MADD listed the troubling state statistics.

Proposals to Prevent Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas

MADD evaluates states based on their efforts to combat drunk driving using five criteria. These are: vehicle ignition interlocks, license revocation for drunk drivers, no refusal programs, stronger consequences for drunk driving while children are in the vehicle and checkpoints to detect drunk drivers. Texas only implements three out of the five criteria established by MADD.

MADD is pushing for legislation of the remaining two countermeasures. The organization would like the state to create sobriety checkpoints and mandate ignition interlock systems in Texas. Ignition interlocks are placed in DUI offenders vehicles and prevent them from starting the vehicle if the device detects that the driver is intoxicated. The organization previously proposed these preventative measures in the 2009 Texas legislative session and they were rejected.

Since Texas averages over one thousand DUI fatalities each year, it is clear increased DUI penalties would save many lives.

Source: KVUE, Texas falls short of perfect score for efforts to stop drinking and driving, Noelle Newton, 16 November 2011


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