Thursday, January 16, 2014

Are Tough New DWI Laws Working?

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Texas News Blog: It's terrible each time news is reported that another Texan has been killed by a drunk driver. Like you, I get angry when a person does not take personal responsibility for their actions. In Texas, lawmakers in Austin have been busy passing tougher laws designed to crack down on people who get drunk and then climb behind the wheel of an automobile. Over the past 10-years or so, the state legislature has also been going after DWI drivers who leave the scene of accidents, because they are drunk. I'm from the old school that believes, if something isn't working – why not try something different? It's clear that drunk driving in Texas has not gone down, to any great extent, since all of these tough new laws have gone into effect. In fact, the 'leaving the scene of an accident' law, recently passed, might be leading to even more people failing to stop and render aid. I think when Texans get mad at drunk drivers, we end up pressuring our elected representatives into passing tougher laws and those new laws do not always work as intended. For example, when tough new DWI laws went into effect years ago – the first unintended consequence was that drunk drivers started leaving the scene of accidents, so they could sober up and then turn themselves in the next day after the alcohol was out of their system. Once people realized what these DWI drivers were doing, even more new laws were passed to increase the punishment for anyone who does not stop, after having an accident. The truth is the first law didn't work, because criminal DWI drivers found a new way to skip out on paying for their crime. Doesn't it make sense now, that these same folks will find newer loopholes that will also keep them from being held accountable? I don't know why some folks continue to drink and drive, but no matter what laws have been put on the books to slow them down. Nothing seems to work as intended. I wish I knew how to stop intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel in Texas, but I do not. I just don't think throwing more laws at the problem are making the situation any better.

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