Driving while intoxicated is a serious issue in Texas and the rest of the country. In 2014, fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in which alcohol was a factor accounted for almost 10,000 deaths, which was one-third of all of the motor vehicle crash deaths for that year. However, according to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Colorado School of Public Health, state laws that require the use of ignition interlocks for all individuals who have been convicted of a drunk driving offense can reduce the amount of fatal vehicle crashes involving alcohol.
Texas motorists who live in or who have the occasion to travel through Montgomery County should know that local officials are taking steps to reduce the number of cases and fatalities that result from drunk drivingr. Attorneys, local law enforcement and members of the legislature are considering a variety of options, such as stiffer consequences for driving while intoxicated and a specialized task force to combat DWIs.
The warnings about the consequences of drinking and driving are very common. Indeed, most people understand that a drunk driving charge (and subsequent conviction) can cost thousands of dollars and result in jail time. However, reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that impaired driving (through illegal or prescription drugs) is a growing problem that deserves more attention.
The 26-year-old man who police said lost control of a Chevrolet Avalanche and allegedly caused the death of a 33-year-old woman has been released from jail in El Paso on a $75,000 bond. According to the arrest affidavit, the vehicle went up on a sidewalk and struck a stop sign. When the sign fell, it hit the woman who had been waiting to cross the street. She died at the scene from a blow to the head.
Texas pro football fans may be interested to learn that Michael Floyd, a current New England Patriot who was playing for the Arizona Cardinals when he was accused of driving under the influence, could also be facing a multi-game suspension in addition to legal consequences. This suspension is due to the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Texas NFL fans may have heard that Michael Floyd, a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, was charged with DUI on Dec. 12. According to the Scottsdale Police Department, he was found sleeping behind the wheel of his vehicle in Arizona. He was taken into custody hours after playing against the Dolphins in Miami.
Texas residents may be aware that several states voted in November to legalize marijuana. As the criminal restrictions on marijuana use are lifted around the country, some people worry that there could be more and more stoned drivers on the roads. After Washington legalized recreational marijuana, the rate of fatal car accidents involving marijuana intoxication doubled, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Driving under the influence is a pervasive problem in Texas and across the nation. According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, every two minutes a person is injured in a drunk driving accident somewhere in the United States, and nearly 30 people die each day in such an accident. In 2013, nearly 30 million people admitted that they at some point had driven while impaired.
As one of the most populous states in the nation, Texas has a high number of traffic accidents, and a substantial proportion of those are caused by drunk drivers. Although a wide variety of legislative and social solutions to this problem are in place, there is now a product that may be able to prevent DUIs through chemistry.
Law enforcement officials in Texas and elsewhere across the country could soon be using a saliva test in order to identify motorists who drive under the influence of marijuana. The test, which is under development at Stanford University, is the first practical equivalent to the roadside breath test that is commonly used to identify alcohol intoxication in drivers who are believed to be drunk while behind the wheel.