In 2013, Texas led the nation in terms of the number of deaths caused by a drunk driver, states the Mother Against Drunk Driving organization. To prevent the high number of fatalities and injuries that occur as a result of drunk driving in the state, the president of MADD is advocating for all first-time DWI offenders in Texas to be required to use an ignition interlock device in the vehicle they drive. Currently in Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News, only first-time DWI offenders who had a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.15 at the time of the arrest are required to use an ignition interlock device.
A continual effort
This is not the first time MADD has advocated for tougher ignition interlock laws in the state of Texas. The Dallas Morning News states that MADD has been lobbying for a mandatory ignition interlock requirement since 2006 and the recent efforts by this organization are part of one of its initiatives for 2015 that is designed to require all first-time drunk driving offenders in every state to use an ignition interlock device. The president of MADD has plans to lobby lawmakers in Austin later this year to encourage the implementation of new ignition interlock legislation and intends to educate people about the importance of first-time ignition interlock laws in the meantime.
How do ignition interlock devices work?
Ignition interlock devices are devices that are about the size of a cellphone that are wired into the ignition of a vehicle, states MADD. A convicted drunk driver with one of these devices in his or her car must blow into the device in order to start the vehicle. If the device detects a measurable amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these devices are associated with a 70 percent reduction in arrest rates for drunk driving.
Drunk driving is still a prevalent problem
Although the enactment of stricter ignition interlock laws in Texas may reduce the number of drivers, passengers and pedestrians who are injured in a vehicle crash caused by a drunk driver, the average intoxicated driver has driven in an impaired state approximately 80 times before getting arrested, states MADD. Additionally, at any given moment, drivers share the roadways with over 2 million drunk drivers who have three or more previous intoxicated driving convictions on their record.
Drivers in Texas who are involved in a drunk driving-related accident may sustain injuries that harm their ability to live a normal life. If you incurred injuries in a motor vehicle collision, contact an attorney to determine what you can do to protect your rights to fair and proper compensation.