According to the founder of ATX Safer Streets, Austin, Texas, has a big problem. While the city may be ranked as one of the safest in the nation, drunk driving continues to plague the city. The Austin police chief hosted a symposium on Aug. 5 in order to spark ideas to improve the problem.

According to statistics from the Austin Police Department, there were 27 fatal car accidents in Austin last year that involved a drunk driver. Serious injuries were involved in another 364 crashes involving an intoxicated driver. The police department arrested more than 6,400 people for DUI last year, as well.

The chief said, “That’s 6,404 people that are playing Russian roulette with their lives, our lives and our neighbors lives.” This was why the symposium was held, according to the chief.

The chief said that stronger penalties are needed for those convicted of DUI because some people only received probation even after a fatal DUI accident. Other suggestions posed by the symposium attendees included reduced speed limits, improved crosswalks and bus lines that run 24 hours.

The police chief said that the suggestions gathered from the symposium will be carefully considered to see which ones may be implemented. The Austin transportation department has created a website that shows different options for those who have been drinking, including where a vehicle can be parked overnight.

Victims of drunk driving accidents have rights, as do the families of those who are killed in such accidents. No one should have to deal with pain and suffering simply because of driver impairment. An attorney can provide information on the rights of victims and their families, including seeking compensation for medical costs, final expenses, lost wages and more.

Source:  KVUE ABC, “APD hosts traffic symposium to address drunk driving” Ashley Goudeau, Aug. 05, 2014