Texas number one in U.S. for drunk driving deaths

Although drunk driving injuries and deaths are a major issue for many states across the nation, the problem is especially serious for Texas motorists. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that Texas has the highest number of drunk driving fatalities when compared to all other states in the country. Despite the surprisingly high number of deaths, Texas lawmakers have yet to implement stricter drunk driving laws that may otherwise help to prevent these catastrophic accidents.

A look at the numbers

In 2013, 39.5 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths in Texas involved drunk drivers. This is significant when compared to the national average, which stands at 31 percent. Approximately 1,337 people lost their lives in DUI car accidents in the state, which was a 3.6 percent rise from 2012. Of the 25,479 drunk driving accidents that occurred in Texas that same year, 15,687 people were injured. Some believe that these numbers only represent a portion of the actual drunk driving accidents that occur annually, as many collisions involving alcohol go unreported. Nationwide, 10.076 people were killed by careless drunk drivers and an additional 290,000 people were injured.

Ignition interlock devices

When people are convicted of a DUI in Texas, they have their driver's licenses suspended and may face additional consequences depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. According to MADD, however, convicted DUI offenders who have had their driver's licenses revoked, continue to drive and put other people's lives in danger. In some cases, these offenders commit subsequent offenses, even though they lack a valid driver's license.

Ignition interlock devices help to solve this problem by disabling the vehicle if the driver blows a bad breath sample. Drivers who have a blood alcohol content level that measures above a preset limit, which is usually 0.02 percent, will not be able to start the car. States that enforce laws requiring all convicted DUI offenders to use ignition interlock devices have seen the DUI fatality rate decrease throughout the years. Texas only orders repeat DUI offenders to use these lifesaving devices, unless otherwise decided by a court-appointed judge.

Surviving the aftermath of a DUI accident

Those who are fortunate enough to survive an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, may be left suffering with serious injuries. These injuries can range from broken bones and lacerations to spinal cord damage, brain trauma and even paralysis. It can be difficult to deal with accumulating medical expenses, emotional hardships and the inability to return to work following such a collision. A Texas personal injury attorney may be helpful when organizing the details of your case.