February 19, 2013
According to statistics provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Texas sees more drunk driving fatalities annually than any other state in the nation. In response to the problem, the organization is attempting to persuade lawmakers to adopt more stringent driving regulations on convicted drunken drivers.
MADD claims that in 2011, 1,213 lives were lost in Texas Auto Accidents involving drunk drivers, which also cost taxpayers in the state approximately $5.7 billion. NBC-DFW 5 News stated these numbers prompted the organization to lobby state lawmakers to enact a policy that would require all convicted drunk drivers, even first time offenders, to have ignition interlock systems installed on their vehicles. Ignition interlocks are devices which are wired into a vehicle’s ignition system and require a person to blow into a tube connected to the device to have a breath sample tested for alcohol before the vehicle will start. Studies have shown laws requiring the devices in other states have been effective in reducing rates of drunk driving.
The organization is also calling for laws that will allow law enforcement to conduct traffic checkpoints aimed at catching drunken drivers in the act. The 38 states that have enacted such laws have seen a 20 percent decline in drunk driving accidents since implementation.