The age-old adage about everything being bigger in Texas isn’t far from the truth when it comes to the number of drunk drivers in the state. In 2013, Texas led the nation in regards to the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers that year, with 1,337 alcohol-related traffic fatalities. And in Dallas, the number of drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated appears to be on the rise – in January of 2015, two out-of-the-ordinary incidents occurs, both of which involved drunk drivers.
Police Car Hit During Drunk Driving Arrest
On the morning of January 25, 2015, police officers in Grand Prairie – a suburb of Dallas – were in the middle of arresting a drunk driver when another, unrelated drunk driver, hit an unoccupied squad car. Shockingly, a third driver then also crashed into a second squad car, although the third driver wasn’t intoxicated, according to police.
The incident occurred at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Lyle Gensler, the spokesman for the police department, stated that no one sustained serious injuries from the wrecks, and that both drunk drivers were arrested. The third driver received a ticket.
Dallas Veteran Police Officer Arrested
In another shocking drunk driving story, Cedar Hill police officers arrested a veteran of the Dallas police department on Saturday, January 24, 2015 for drunk driving. The officer, Dallas Police Senior Corporal Doreen Sotelo-Caledon, had been with the Dallas police force for 23 years when she got behind the wheel while impaired. At this point in time, the Sotelo-Caledon has been given administrative leave while the Dallas police department’s internal affairs division investigates the case.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Asks for Stricter Regulations
As the number of drunk driving incidents increases in the state of Texas, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, colloquially known as MADD, is making a harder push for stricter regulations in the state, particularly concerning ignition interlock devices. The organization wants all states to require interlock ignition devices – devices that driver must blow into in order to start the car (with a blood alcohol content level of zero percent) – for even first-time DWI offenders. According to MADD, the high number of DWI deaths in Texas can be contributed to the fact that it’s been 10 years since Texas made any changes to its drunk driving laws.
While Texas does not currently require the use of interlock ignition devices for first-time DWI offenders, it does punish the crime harshly – drunk driving penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, jail time of up to 180 days, a license suspension of up to two years, and more.
A Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been charged with a DWI in Texas and need legal representation, the attorneys at Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law can help you. If you have questions about your right to representation under the law, call us today at (214) 550-5771.