Drunk Driving Prevention In Texas

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Texas Drunk Driver Detection

Drinking and Driving in Texas

Drunk driving in Texas is still a prevalent problem. Fatal crashes in 2011 reached 2,751; these fatal crashes vs. drunk drivers resulted in 3.85% of all crashes being caused by a motorist under the influence. A total of 3,015 Texans were killed because of one driver’s carelessness to get behind the wheel of a car after they had been drinking. These decisions are reckless and are easily the most preventable kinds of fatalities on the roads; yet drivers continue to drink and drive. Texas has put together drunk driving prevention programs and strict penalties for those who still choose to break the law.

What Alcohol Does

Alcohol impairs the system by slowing everything down, as all depressants do. One’s physical motions are slower and more lumbering, the speech becomes slurred and vision blurry, and reaction times and depth perception decrease dramatically. All of these become increasingly prevalent once a person tries to operate a vehicle. Driving requires focus, quick decisions, straight vision, and proper judgment.

When clarity in all of these capacities is removed, you leave yourself unable to properly see the road or judge where the lines are; unable to react quickly to avoid a collision or sharp turn; more prone to swerving into oncoming traffic; and unable to judge how far away you are from other cars or objects around you. When these inabilities combine, you’re far more likely to hit someone or something else.

How to Spot a Drunk Driver

There are drunk driving prevention programs in place, such as Texas defensive driving coursesthat teach you what to look out for in case you encounter erratic behavior on the road. Some signs include:

  • Swerving motions
  • Braking erratically
  • Speeding or driving far under the speed limit
  • Turning extremely wide
  • Straddling the center lane or line marker
  • Driving without headlights
  • Narrowly missing collisions with other objects or cars
  • Following too closely
  • Stopping at inappropriate places (such as green lights, empty pedestrian crosswalks, etc.)

If you observe any of these behaviors in another driver, stay as far away from them as possible. If you can, get their license plate number; if not, at least get a description of the car, and call 911. This is the best way to remove a drunk driver from the road and prevent them from killing anyone else. Do not try to pass the car, or handle the situation yourself. Call the police and let them do their jobs.

Drunk Driving Prevention Programs

There are programs in place to prevent teens and adults alike from getting behind the wheel after drinking. Both MADD and SADD have Texas chapters that hold educational events and drives to raise awareness, and provide help to those who think they may have a drinking problem. Your local AA chapter also provides tools and help with making the right decisions before driving. Many Texas universities also offer drug and alcohol awareness counseling, and hold entertaining and educational events to get the student and community involved in watching out for the dangers of the roads.

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