We all know drunk driving is a problem in the U.S., but what about closer to home – right here in the Lone Star State of Texas? Is it a serious problem here? How are we measuring up to other parts of America? Are our roads more or less dangerous from a drunk driving standpoint? We’ll answer these questions and more as we take a look at drinking and driving from a Texas perspective – the stats, the DWI numbers, and anything and everything in between – below.
Breaking Down the Numbers
Whether it surprises you or not, Texas has a serious drunk driving problem. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the state saw more than 10,000 alcohol-related car wrecks during the 2014 football season alone. That’s only a few months out of the year, and it’s a whopping 7 percent increase over the previous year – just for that tiny timeframe.
But pigskin season in Texas isn’t the only time we have to worry about drunk drivers on our great state’s roads. In fact, across the whole year of 2013, there were more than 25,000 drunk driving crashes, nearly 100,000 DWI arrests, more than 70,000 DWI convictions and a whopping 1,337 drunk driving fatalities in total.
And DWI car accidents didn’t just hurt and kill people. They also cost Texas residents money – lots and lots of money. According to estimates, the total taxpayer subsidy of drunk driving fatalities was more than $6.2 billion dollars in 2013 alone. That’s more than 4 times the recent Powerball jackpot everyone went crazy for!
When compared to other states, the picture gets even clearer: In 2010 and 2013, Texas led the nation in deaths caused by drunk driving. Cars.com listed 4 Texas cities on its “Top 20 cities with the most drunken drivers list,” and TheRightStep.com even called Texas “the worst state for drunk driving,” citing stats from the Century Council, a non-profit organization that helps combat drunk driving.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in particular has the highest number of DWI fatalities and car accidents in the state, and the Central Texas area, which includes Austin, San Antonio and other major cities, isn’t too far behind. County-wise, Harris County, Dallas County and Bexar County are the most dangerous. What are the worst days and times? That’d be between 2:00 and 3:00am and on Saturdays, when more DWIs occur in Texas than any other timeframe or day of the week.
How to Stop DWI Car Accidents in Texas
There are a number of ways to help cut down on drunk driving in the Lone Star State. Texas’ recent ignition interlock law and “Plan While You Can” campaign will certainly help us make some strides, but the real solution starts with all of us. We need to commit to using safe ride options, like Uber, Lyft, cab services and those available on Soberrides.org, and we need to make sure our friends, family members and loved ones have a trustworthy person they can call if ever they’re in need and too drunk to drive. We also need to work hard to penalize drunk drivers for their actions. They must be made an example of in the community, and they need to be deterred from future drunk driving incidents in every way that is legally possible.
That’s where our Dallas DWI car accidents lawyers come in. We work to make our communities safer by punishing drunk drivers for their poor decisions and actions. If you or someone you love was involved in a DWI car wreck in Dallas, give us a call ASAP. We’ll make sure the driver gets the penalties they deserve – no matter what.