MADD Pushes for Changes to Texas DUI Laws

25
Feb 2013
By:

According to KVUE.com, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) visited the Texas State Capital in mid-February as part of their efforts to push for some reforms to Texas drunk driving laws. The article spoke with mothers who had visited the Capital and who had suffered personal tragedy including one woman who lost her 16-year-old son to a drunk driving crash.

The stories told by the mothers are powerful. They aim to urge lawmakers to adapt reforms that could have a big impact on reducing DWIs in the state of Texas. Our San Antonio, TX personal injury attorneys support their efforts and hope lawmakers will carefully consider proposals that can have an impact on drunk driving accidents and fatalities.

The Proposed Changes to Texas DWI Law

There are two important reforms that Mothers Against Drunk Driving are pushing Texas lawmakers to adopt. The first is a law permitting statewide sobriety checkpoints. The second is a law that would require all first-time drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles.

A Texas Republican Representative, State Rep. Bill Callegari, has already authored a bill, House Bill 260, which would impose the ignition interlock device requirement. Callegari authored the bill after a friend and a constituent lost their son in a drunk driving accident.  No bill has yet been filed regarding statewide mandates on sobriety checkpoints but such a bill could originate in the Texas senate.

How the Proposed New Laws Would Reduce Drunk Driving

Both statewide sobriety checkpoints and mandated use of ignition interlock devices for first time offenders could have a significant impact on the number of drunk driving accidents and deaths within the state.

Sobriety checkpoints allow law enforcement to set up checkpoints in a targeted area in order to identify potential drunk drivers. The checkpoints can serve as a deterrent since people might be less likely to drive drunk if they know that there is a good chance they’ll encounter a law enforcement checkpoint. They also make it easier for police to identify drunk drivers before they become involved in a crash and hurt or kill themselves or others.

Texas is one of a minority of states that does not have sobriety checkpoints in place already on a statewide level, and some believe that this contributes to making Texas the worst in the nation for drunk driving. While others argue that such checkpoints may be a violation of constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure, the Supreme Court has already ruled them constitutional.

Ignition interlock devices, on the other hand, would stop a person from being able to start his car when he was drunk. The devices require an offender to blow into a breath test in the dash before starting the vehicle. If an offender wasn’t able to show his BAC was below the limit, he would be unable to drive and thus any accidents he might have caused in his intoxicated state would be avoided.

Both these laws, therefore, could have a significant impact on reducing drunk driving accidents and deaths if they pass. Hopefully, lawmakers will listen to MADD and make the smart, safe choice.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a confidential consultation.

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