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Friday, August 12, 2022

Analysis

Drunk driving cases in Houston on the rise


drunk driving

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

This year, Houstonians have taken the initiative to raise awareness of the rapid rise in fatal drunk driving cases.

Officials said in 2019 there were 155 fatal accidents all caused by driving while intoxicated, however, finding out why there’s an increase is difficult to pinpoint.

Awareness about the risks that can occur when choosing to drive intoxicated is the first step in preventing these cases. 

“Drunk driving has been an issue even before the pandemic, but lately it has increased probably due to people being stuck at home for too long and they finally get a chance to go out,” kinesiology junior Maria Benjamin said. “But unfortunately they can’t control themselves.”

In Texas, minors under 21 are charged with driving under the influence if found operating a vehicle on the road with alcohol in their system. The person receives a fine of up to $500, a 60 day suspended license and hours of community service.

The penalties for those charged with a DWI are more serious and range from greater fines to jail time.

Weaving in lanes, excessive speeding or slow driving, breaking traffic laws, reacting slowly and not using turn signals are a handful of signs that you can notice with other drivers and be cautious of, according to Huffman & Huffman Law Firm. 

For everyone’s safety, Huffman & Huffman Law Firm said if you notice someone that is under the influence of alcohol attempting to drive to go on and let law enforcement know details about the situation. 

“I would take their keys away from (the drunk person) and probably order an Uber for them,” Benjamin said.

An effective way for prevention is to have a plan ahead of time if you know that you’re going to be drinking, according to Drunk Driving Prevention.

Taking public transportation, calling a taxi or enlisting a designated driver,” the Drunk Driving Prevention webpage said. “These are all ways you can prevent drinking and driving.”

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