Dallas, TX (5-14-15) – Repeat drunken driving is a safety issue and a constant menace to Texans. Each year over a million people in the U.S. are arrested for the drunken driving, and at least half of those people will drink and drive a second or third time. That’s why state lawmakers in Texas are taking steps to curtail repeat drunken driving through stricter DWI laws.
The latest effort is a bill introduced by Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) which will make it mandatory for first-time convicted DWI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their car. Current law only makes these devices mandatory for a second offense or if a convicted offender’s BAC was over twice the legal limit.
For those of who you who don’t know, an ignition interlock is essentially a breathalyzer, similar to the ones police use, which connects directly to the ignition system in order to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration.
Lawmakers believe that making ignition interlock devices mandatory will prevent tragic drunken driving accidents like one from last month that left two children from Liberty Hill dead.
My Fox Austin reports on April 22nd, a repeat drunken driver with two prior DWIs violently rear-ended a vehicle carrying five members of a Texas family. A mother was just driving her four children home when the driver plowed into her vehicle.
Two children, a 9-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were killed. The mother and her two other children were seriously injured, according to My Fox Austin.
A record check revealed that the at-fault driver, 45-year-old John Alvarado has prior DWI arrests; one from 2008 and another 2009.
By passing H.B. 2246, legislators believe they might be able to avoid accidents like these since a previous study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that ignition interlocks reduce incidents of repeat drunken driving by 67 percent, according to a press release from Rep. Villalba’s office published by CBS 19.
The bill still has to pass the Senate to become law.
Texas is just the latest to move legislation making ignition interlock devices mandatory for all DWI offenders. So far, 24 states have passed similar legislation in part due to persistence on behalf of Mothers against Drunk Drivers.
Ignition interlocks are not a cure-all for drunken driving, but that fact won’t slow the momentum of this type of legislation, which means a person facing this charge needs expert legal assistance. Being arrested for a DWI is just the beginning of you legal headaches. Your arrest is just the beginning and you have jail, no more driving privileges, and possibly an ignition interlock device to look forward to if you are convicted of a DWI.
If you have been charged with DWI, USAttorneys can connect you with an outstanding DWI defense attorney in the Dallas area to give you advice about your case. If you have vigorous defense, you may avoid conviction or seek lesser charges and a reduced sentence. A DWI is not one to ignore or take lightly so you need to do the smart thing and contact a DWI attorney.