Would Tougher Sanctions Help Halt Drunk Driving?
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 30, 2014 – South Carolina has enacted new drunk driving legislation: “Emma’s Law.” It increases sanctions for driving while impaired.
“Texas has the dubious distinction of being one of the top states with the highest number of drunk drivers. The latest numbers from 2011 show 46 percent of all fatalities were related to driving while impaired. A total of 3,016 accidents were recorded that year, with 1,397 drunk driving accidents. Almost 40 percent of the drunk drivers were also over 0.08,” says Austin attorney, Bobby Lee of Lee Gober & Reyna. If legislation such as this works in South Carolina, something similar may work in Texas.
Emma’s Law toughens the penalties for drivers charged with a DUI. Under the auspices of this legislation, every first time DUI driver, convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .15, must install an ignition interlock for six months. The device prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has a BAC of 0.02 or higher.
“An added sanction is that the driver’s license must say they are required to have an interlock device to prevent them from driving another vehicle,” Lee points out. The law does have certain options available for convicted first time offenders with a BAC between 0.08 and .14.
They may choose to put an interlock device in their vehicle instead having restrictions on where they may travel. They may also opt for a restricted license that only permits them to attend addiction meetings. Should a repeat offender be convicted with a BAC of over 0.08, they must install an interlock ignition for two years.
“A law like this one may make a huge difference is Texas. It’s worth trying, as it would save lives. Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. Our firm sees too much carnage on the highways as a result of drunk driving. Think. Don’t drink and drive,” says Lee.
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759