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What can be done to reduce Texas drunk driving accidents?

Texas motorists have a right to use state roadways without risking serious injury or death at the hands of drunk drivers. Unfortunately, Texas leads the nation with the amount of traffic fatalities caused by drivers impaired by alcohol. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, at least 1,337 Texans died in 2013 as a result of irresponsible people getting behind the wheel after they've been drinking.

The numbers are shocking. Despite current laws that dispense heavy fines and even jail time, MADD estimates that taxpayers are footing the bill to the tune of $6.2 billion in subsidies related to drunk driving fatalities. In 2013, law enforcement throughout the state arrested 99,195 individuals on suspicion of drunk driving, although only 71,030 of those arrested resulted in convictions.

Safety proponents are now advocating for the application of new methods to deal with the menace posed by drunk drivers. Among these is the requirement for the installation of ignition interlock devices even in cases where it is a drunk driver's first offense. Texas judges are currently allowed to require first-time offenders to install ignition interlock devices, but it is not mandatory in each case.

Civil litigation might also provide some deterrent for inebriated drivers to climb into their vehicles after tipping a few back. Victims injured by drunk drivers are entitled to sue those responsible for their injuries. In some cases, successful lawsuits can result in the recovery of compensation for medical costs and lost wages. Additionally, the estate of victims killed by drunk drivers can also sue for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.

If you or your family have been victimized by the reckless actions of a drunk driver, you not have to suffer quietly. Your Texas personal injury attorney can assist you in pursuing legal action that may serve to deter other would-be drunk drivers.

Source: MADD-Texas, "2013 Texas Drunk Driving Statistics" accessed Feb. 02, 2015

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