Most Americans can agree — impaired driving is a serious threat to everyone on our roadways. Officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) report that roughly 97 percent of surveyed drivers say that it’s a serious threat. At the same time, about 75 percent of drivers say that they support more severe and tougher penalties against those who endanger others by getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Still, someone is killed in an alcohol-related accident every 30 minutes in the U.S. And although there have been some serious changes in the 80s and 90s to help to reduce the risks of these accidents, the progress has since leveled off.
Our accident attorneys in Highland know about 40 percent of all traffic accident fatalities involve alcohol. With the New Year, we’re asking drivers to resolve to stay sober behind the wheel. Officials in Indiana and throughout the nation are working to help curb the dangers, too.
Top Strategies to Reduce Impaired Driving
Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI):
SBI is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders. A healthcare professional will assess a patient for substance abuse problems, then will engage or recommend therapy to those who need it. This evidence-based approach to identifying patients who use alcohol and other drugs at risky levels with the goal of reducing and preventing related health consequences, disease, accidents and injuries. Risky substance use is a health issue and often goes undetected.
Publicized sobriety checkpoint programs are a form of high visibility enforcement where law enforcement officers systematically stop drivers to assess their degree of alcohol impairment. The primary goal of a sobriety checkpoint is not to arrest people, but rather to deter people from committing DUI.
With hundreds of OWI fatalities each year, and better than 20,000 OWI arrests by Indiana law enforcement officials, it is safe to say that Indiana is not exempt from the influx of DWI instances on our highways. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVWI) in the State of Indiana may result in a court order for an ignition interlock device (IID). At seemingly random times after the engine is started, the IID will require another breath sample. The purpose of this is to prevent someone besides the driver from providing a breath sample. If the breath sample isn’t given, or the sample exceeds the ignition interlock’s preset blood alcohol level, the device will log the event, warn the driver and then initiate an alarm (e.g., lights flashing, horn honking) until the ignition is turned off, or a clean breath sample has been provided.
Support for Prosecution and DWI court
About two-thirds of drivers arrested or convicted of DUI are first-time offenders, according to the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation. Because a significant portion of alcohol-related fatalities involve people who are not habitual or “hard-core” DUI offenders, efforts to reduce drunk driving need to reach beyond problem drinkers. We need tougher sentences for those who have been convicted of drunk driving to help deter them from offending once again.
Attorney Burton A. Padove represents auto accident victims. If you or a loved one has been injured, call (219) 836-2200 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Indiana Traffic Safety: Don’t Take That Cruise Control for Granted, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, November 20, 2013
Indianapolis Ranks in America’s Best Drivers Report, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, September 19, 2013