While the mere consumption of alcohol is not in and of itself wrong, failure to set a limit and drive under the influence certainly can lead to poor decisions, erratic driving, and even death. Now, the state of Texas is taking a stand. Considering Texas was second only to California in 2007 in traffic fatalities as a result of alcohol, an aggressive approach may be overdue.
In its fight against alcoholism and drunk driving, the state has enacted two measures that would give police officers more tools to catch drunk drivers. The Claims Journal reports that SB 261 would expand the circumstances under which a driver can be required to give a blood or breath sample. This bill adds four more situations that would require a test.
These situations include a person who causes an accident that leads to a person being taken to a hospital; if the individual is driving with a child in the car; if they have a prior intoxication felony conviction; or if they have two DWI convictions. The bill is instead designed to target chronic repeat offenders and those who endanger the lives of children.
The second bill, SB 298, would allow sobriety checkpoints where drivers could be randomly stopped to check for driving under the influence. These checkpoints would be restricted to areas where drunk driving regularly occurs and is designed to avoid stereotypes and socio-economic factors.
Sobriety checkpoints have been successful in other areas, not because people are being caught, but because it raises awareness. And, while these checkpoints may not reduce alcoholism within the state of Texas, it may help people think twice before they drink and drive.