Archive for January, 2014

West Palm Beach Drunk Driving Prevention in Focus

Drunk driving remains a top cause of fatal accidents, with as many as 40 percent of deadly traffic collisions still involving intoxicated motorists. In Florida alone, the NHTSA reports that 697 people were killed in 2012 in crashes where alcohol was believed to have played a role. 

These troubling statistics show that much more needs to be done to try to make the roads safe and prevent these senseless tragedies. This helps to explain why as many as three out of every four Americans has strongly endorsed the imposition of tougher penalties against drunk drivers as a means of reducing intoxication behind the wheel.

Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Drunken Drivers

Drunk driving accident attorneys in West Palm Beach know that a great deal of progress was made throughout the 1980s and 1990s in reducing the risk of drunk driving, and many of the programs and policies put in place during this time remain in effect today and continue to deter people from driving while intoxicated. New policies continue to develop and new laws continue to pass to try to further reduce the dangers.

Recently, the National Safety Council (NSC) has summarized some of the steps that are being taken, that have been pursued or that may be options in the future as a means of reducing drunk driving. Some of the different strategies that the NSC highlights include the following:

  • Screening programs and brief interventions. Typically, employers will offer screening to identify high-risk individuals and will offer intervention to try to provide assistance. Employers may offer these services as a part of the health benefits afforded to employees. In some cases, employers opt for screening and intervention because they want to protect their companies from potential liability of a drunk employee. Regardless of an employer’s motivation, screening and brief intervention has been shown in more than 360 studies to be the most cost-effective way of reducing dangerous drinking behavior and assisting people in getting the help that they require.
  • DWI court and additional prosecutions. The NHTSA is placing a priority on improving the prosecution of drunk driving offenses so offenders are not able to escape the consequences of their actions. DWI courts are also being established in an effort to make sure cases are tried expediently and properly.
  • Ignition interlock devices: Around a third of the 1.5 million drivers arrested each year for drunk driving have already been convicted at least one time. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that ignition interlock devices be required for all drunk driving offenders. This could help reduce the rates of re-offense and keep more drunk drivers off the roads.
  • High-visibility enforcements. When the public is reminded of the criminal consequences of drunk driving and made aware that police will be out in full force enforcing the law, this reduces the risk of drunk driving. Sobriety checkpoints and public service campaigns about drunk driving consequences around high-risk holidays are effective ways of reducing impaired driving.

All of these programs have made the roads much safer, but people continue to die in drunk driving offenses. Motorists need to make a commitment to always drive sober. Those who are hurt by drunk drivers can take legal action.

Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. has offices in West Palm Beach. Call 800-608-2965 today to schedule a free consultation