Dallas DUIs

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in DUI/DWI | 0 comments

The United States is a much larger country that many foreigners realize, and Texas is even larger than most other American citizens realize. In fact, it is a common adage that “everything is bigger in Texas”, but unfortunately this is also true of deaths due to drunk driving. Within Texas, the city most afflicted with these deaths is Dallas, a huge, sprawling metropolitan area where it is essentially necessary to own a car. In fact, Dallas sits at the top of the list as the city with the most drunk-driving deaths in the nation.

According to an article in D Magazine, a periodical primarily dedicated to arts and entertainment in Austin, there are a variety of reasons why Dallas is the drunk driving capital of the country. The first is that the city was built specifically for drivers. The article cites an LSU study in which all of the cities in the top 10 for alcohol related traffic deaths are in either the sun belt or the rust belt, where the main mode of transportation is by personal vehicle. The second reason the article addresses is that up until 2010, Dallas was a patchwork of wet and dry areas, forcing those who wanted to consume alcohol to drive to a different area of town to get their fix. The problem has not been rectified, however, because Texas continues to be the state with the highest number of drunk driving deaths year after year. The article also notes that an increase in the number of highways does double duty of reducing local population and increasing the amount people drive, so they advocate for denser, more compact cities.

Considering that all of the highways have already been built, it would not seem wise to let all of that valuable infrastructure go to waste. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is incredibly large, and consolidating space in a world with continuing population increases seems nearly impossible. While the article in the D Magazine advocates for such extreme measures as to remove TxDoT entirely, I think that having TxDoT focus more on reliable public transportation could be a step in the right direction. Ridesharing companies that can be hailed on a cellphone are also gaining in popularity, and easing regulations for these companies may also lower the drunk driving rate (although this comes with its own set of complications, most notably the Uber and Lyft controversy in Austin).

Drinking and driving ruins many lives, and one mistake could cost you your future. Most DUIs and other alcohol related incidents fall under criminal law, requiring a decent criminal defense lawyer, and by extension, a significant amount of money, to even have a chance at living a normal life without a criminal record. There are many ways that this problem can be addressed, and in my opinion, it starts with increasing the efficacy of alternate forms of transportation and pulling away from a culture of binge drinking. The ever-increasing punishments for those who drive drunk have not done much to quell the number of accidents, so we must focus on changing the entire environment.

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