The holiday season can be deadly on Texas roadways, thanks in large part to drunk drivers. Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD, wants Texans to choose not to drink and drive this holiday season. In fact, December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.
The goal of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month is “to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs”, according to MADD. The last available statistics show that in just the month of December in 2009, 753 people lost their lives in crashes that involved drunk drivers. In America, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, “three of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic crash at some time in their lives.” Texas leads the nation in drunk driving related deaths and those drunk driving related deaths are 100 percent preventable.
Kaufman County law enforcement, like most other counties in Texas, is already stepping up their enforcement efforts on the roadways and highways. You may have already noticed increased visibility by traffic officers on Hwy. 20 and Hwy. 80. They are out there to prevent unsafe drivers and intoxicated drivers from hurting themselves or others. Below is a list of some of the consequences associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- In Texas, a first time DWI offender can face from three to 180 days in jail.
- Your driver’s license can be suspended from 90 to 365 days.
- You face a fine of up to $2,000 and up to $10,000 if a child under age 15 is in the car with you.
- There is a DWI surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years.
- If you cause injury to a person or property, you may face a civil lawsuit.
- Some convicted drunk drivers lose their jobs based on their employer’s policy.
- Your vehicle insurance may be cancelled or they may raise the premiums considerably.
- If you hurt or kill someone because you were drinking and driving, you will have to live with that for the rest of your life.
If you intend to drink this holiday season, designate a sober driver or call a sober family member or friend to give you a ride home. Kaufman County does not have taxi’s driving around nor do we have public bus transportation available to us.
If you have been a victim of a drunk driver, MADD has a victim services 24-hour hotline you can call for help: 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).
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