Ft. Lauderdale, FL-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reignited their push for tougher DUI laws in the wake of new data which shows DUI fatalities increased last year. Their renewed push is getting support from notable groups such as
After six years of decline, traffic fatalities caused by drunken drivers increased 4.6 percent up to 10,322 in 2012. Overall traffic fatalities also increased by 3 percent to 33,561 according to the data released
The NHTSA sees tougher DUI penalties and advanced technology as the best means to reduce DUI fatalities and drunk driving in general.
One proposed law would require that first-time DUI offenders install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. These devices are similar to breathalyzers used by law enforcement officers to determine a driver’s level of alcohol intoxication. When a driver blows into these devices and are over the preset BAC, their vehicle won’t start and therefor keep them off the road.
Currently, there are 20 states that require that first offenders install ignition interlock devices and the NHTSA along with MADD are pushing all fifty states to require ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders even if it is their first conviction.
MADD is also putting pressure on automobile manufacturers to develop technology that will eliminate drunken driving all together. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADDS) is technology that could be included in any vehicle which can detect whether a driver has been drinking. The technology measures the ambient air of vehicle and will prevent it from starting if it detects alcohol.
This technology is a long way off and will gives rise to a number of questions and other problematic scenarios. For instance, what if a driver is sober, but has an intoxicated passenger, would the driver then be unable to start their vehicle? What if the driver has a medical condition, such as diabetes, which causes them to give positive results on a breathalyzer; would they be able to drive their vehicle?
Everyone would agree that a drunken driver who kills someone in a traffic accident should face severe consequences. These consequences often entail mandatory jail sentences and suspension of their driver’s licenses for a number of years.
As drunken driving laws become tougher, which appears to be inevitable since MADD is a formidable lobbying group, it will be even more important that any person facing these charges hires a knowledgeable DUI attorney in their area.
There are a number of reasons a person can be wrongfully charged with a DUI. Other people only make the mistake of driving under the influence once and are otherwise law-abiding citizens. Whichever is then case, a DUI offender has the right to and needs to have legal counsel.
Don’t allow yourself to think you can face or beat DUI charges without an expert DUI attorney fighting by your side. With their help you can negate some of the tougher penalties and fines, and possibly beat a conviction.