Pardon the pun, but the statistics on alcohol-related accidents are truly staggering! Of 42,000 people who die on U.S. Highways annually, more than 18,000 lives are taken due to drunk drivers. One in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident in their lifetime.
A terrible accident just happened two days ago in a small Texas town. While passing through this little town, a driver forced one man’s car off the street, kept going, only to nudge another company vehicle innocently on its way to work. As law enforcement was notified, the driver moved on out of town. In a matter of minutes, going at a high rate of speed, he hit another vehicle so hard that it became airborne, slamming head-on into a tree, taking an innocent person’s life. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital, where a blood sample was obtained, resulting in an intoxicated manslaughter charge. The accident happened around 8:30 a.m., and the driver was on his way to a deer lease. We can never know what possessed this person to get behind the wheel in this condition. The family of the deceased can now only grieve over their loss, caused by such thoughtlessness.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has an organized campaign to improve conditions on the roadways. Some projects they have been able to get approved are:
- High Visibility Drunk Driving Crackdowns – Twice yearly during high-risk periods such as Labor Day and the December Holidays.
- Sobriety Checkpoints – Evaluating drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment at specific points of the roadways. Signs may be posted in advance. Average time of stop would be the equivalent of a traffic stoplight.
- Smart Vehicle Technology-Within the next five years, car manufacturers may have developed DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety).
- Ignition Interlocks – Convicted drivers have to blow into a device about the size of a cell phone that is connected to the starting circuit of the vehicle.
Designated drivers play a valuable part toward the protection of their friends who are impaired, as well as the innocent folks in the other lane. As the saying goes, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk!”