Sobering facts about drunk driving in Texas

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No matter how many people are injured or killed in drunk driving accidents, impaired drivers will always be a problem. While the number of drunk drivers has dropped due to the efforts of law enforcement, legislators and groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, it is still a real problem on our roadways today.

In Texas between 2003 and 2012, there were 13,138 people killed in accidents involving drunk drivers. In 2012, the national rate of deaths by males per 100,000 people was 5.2. In Texas, that rate was 7.6. For women, it was much lower. Nationally, it was 1.5; In Texas, it was 2.4. Adults who said that they have driven after they had too much to drink was 1.9 percent nationally and 2.1 percent in Texas.

Each state has laws in place regarding drunk driving. This strategy has helped to reduce the number of drunk drivers. There are other strategies in use as well, such as sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlocks, mass media campaigns and multi-component intervention programs. Texas does not allow sobriety checkpoints.

Ignition interlocks have been very effective in keeping people off the roads after they have been convicted of drunk driving. Defendants have to pay for these devices to be installed and maintained, which can have an effect on a convicted individual's wallet. Multi-component interventions involves task forces or coalitions to enact community mobilization. This is key in preventing repeat offenses through various programs and policies.

Mass media campaigns work to get the word out on how dangerous it is to drink and drive. They are not only focused on persuading people not to drink and drive, but also to encourage people to keep others from doing so as well.

For those that are injured in drunk driving accidents, it may be possible to seek compensation from the at-fault party. A lawyer experienced in personal injury cases can help by telling you what legal options you have for holding the responsible party accountable for the accident and your injuries.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Texas," accessed Dec. 18, 2015

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