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July 1st, 2016

July 4th – Drinking and Driving

Independence Day weekend has returned once again. July 4th is one of the most celebrated U.S. holidays! Most families will be out of school and will have a few extra days of vacation. Texas being one of the more spread out states, the average Texan drives much further than each year than most states. The average family will drive 50 miles further for 4th of July weekend.

July 4th Statistics:

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, over 10 million people were reported to have been under the influence of illicit drugs each year. Drugs, similar to alcohol, can have adverse effects on your ability to reason and motor skills. Reports from MADD found that 41% or 1,446 of all traffic-related deaths were caused by drunk driving. An 8.2% increase from 2014.

Texas Law and Prevention:

Texas leads the U.S. in drunk driving deaths each year. Those caught drinking and driving will be arrested if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at .08 or higher. Texas has made progress in the last year to implement preventative measures, due to the higher rate of people drinking and driving. According to MADD, the state recently passed an “all-offender” ignition interlock bill; this means that if you are charged with a DUI, 100% of perpetrators will be required to have an ignition interlock system on their car. An ignition interlock is a device that measures the person’s BAC before the car will start.

Texas also has specific legislation that makes DUI/DWI a felony offense depending on the number of priors the individual has. There are also certain statutes that provide additional penalties for drunk drivers who kill another person with a motor vehicle, either on purpose or accident.

Penalties:

1st Offense: 3 to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 fine, 90-365 day license suspension
2nd Offense: 30 days to 1 year in jail, up to $4,000 fine, 180 days to 2 years license suspension
3rd Offense: 2 years in jail, up to $10,000 fine, 180 days to 2 years license suspension

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