Texas, the Lone Star state, is known for hunting, BBQ, and world-class country music. Unfortunately it is also has a notorious reputation for accidents and crashes caused by drunk driving. Here are some worrisome facts about drunk driving-related incidents in Texas:
- Nearly 33% of the United States population has been in a car accident caused by drunk drivers. Disheartening, isn’t it? In Texas alone, there were nearly 1,500 deaths caused by drunk driving in 2016 and 500 accidents caused by drunk driving in 2018.
- Out of the total recorded deaths caused by drunk driving in 2016, nearly one-third were caused by those under the legal drinking age of 21.
- The counties of Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Harris, Hidalgo, Montgomery, and Nueces were found to have the greatest number of related incidents.
- Texas residents surveyed within the past few years admitted some rather shocking facts about drunk driving: almost 25% of those surveyed admitted that they have driven drunk in the past and that they would likely do it again!
- In similar surveys, Texas residents also felt that DUI and DWI laws should be amended to implement more harsh punishments for offenders. Out of around 125 people who were surveyed, nearly 90% supported the idea of introducing technology that could prevent drunk driving. Drivers would scan their fingerprints onto their cars, which would be able to detect drivers whose blood alcohol limits were above the legal limit and prevent them from starting their cars. Legislation has been introduced that would make this a mandatory feature in the automobile industry.
In Texas, there is a clear distinction between how those under the age of 21 are charged with drunk driving offenses versus those who are above the age of 21. Anyone under the age of 21 who is caught while driving with any amount of alcohol in their system is immediately charged. Anyone above the age of 21 above the legal limit is charged with either a DUI (Driving Under Influence) or a DWI (Driving When Impaired) depending on the amount of alcohol in their system. A DWI is a more serious offense. Both charges include fines, suspension of driver’s licenses, and rehabilitative measures such as community service.
Based on these facts, how can drunk driving be worth it?