Texas is the leading state in the Union in fatal alcohol related car accidents. Drinking and driving was so engrained in the Texas culture, as a matter of fact, open container laws were not even passed until 2001. This made the Lone Star State among the last to release their grasp on the bottle while behind the wheel.
Although it’s officially illegal, not all drivers are paying heed. Texas roads are especially dangerous when it comes to drunk drivers, and the facts are glaring when compared to the rest of the nation. Of all fatal accidents in 2011, 40% were still accredited to alcohol impairment and totaled 1,213. This compares to the nationwide average of only 30%.
Given these stats, it’s obvious why law enforcement is doing their best to crack down on all drinking and driving statewide, especially in recent years. Giving less slack to the drunk driver- familiar face or not- Texas law enforcement have bid harsh farewell to the days of ‘looking the other way.’ There is no more sending the old friend on his way, regardless if they were teammates in high school or not.
And law enforcement actually has been quite consistent in helping drive down the number of fatal alcohol related incidents for period. The alcohol-related fatal accident count was down from the 2007 figure of 1,333 to the 2011 figure of 1,213. But with the numbers back up in to 2012 and 2013 to 1,296 and 1,337, respectively, the heat is on to get numbers to start dropping again.
If you ever find yourself on the wrong end of the law after a night of drinking, remember your rights and be extremely careful not to incriminate yourself. If taken down to the station, be sure to contact an attorney with your first phone call and never admit you were drinking.