Effective Strategies To Reduce The Chance Of A Houston DUI Arrest
The following strategies have been found to be effective at reducing or preventing drunk driving:
The Law & Drunk Driving
The current laws regarding drunk driving, particularly those aimed at drivers under the age of 21 years, have been found to have a significant impact on increasing highway safety and reducing fatalities, saving tens of thousands of lives since they were instituted. The current national laws state that it is illegal to drive with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) exceeding 0.08%. A zero-tolerance policy has also been adopted with regards to drivers under the age of 21 making it illegal to drive with any detectable level of alcohol in the blood.
Checkpoints For Sobriety
A sobriety checkpoint must be highly visible and allows offers to stop vehicles at their discretion to determine whether a driver is impaired. Officers may give breathalyzer tests at these checkpoints if they have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Ignition interlocking devices have become mandatory for drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving in order to prevent a repeat of the same offense. These devices analyze alcohol on the breath of the driver and prevent a vehicle from starting should the BAC be determined to exceed a certain level. These devices are most effective at preventing drunk driving if they are mandatory for all drunk driving offenders, including first-time offenders.
Interventions consisting of multiple components including policies and programs that are aimed at education and prevention of drunk driving have been found effective at reducing drunk driving. These interventions have been found to be most effective through the mobilization of the community and introducing dedicated task forces as part of the strategy.
Mass media campaigns are aimed at educating the public about the dangers of drunk driving as well as the legal consequences. The campaigns encourage people not to drive when they have been drinking and to prevent other drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking. These campaigns have been found to have the greatest effect in conjunction with other strategies to prevent impaired driving.
License Suspension & Revocation Laws
The administrative revocation and suspension of drivers licenses is an effective strategy that allows police officers or the court to suspend a driver’s license if their blood alcohol tests higher than the permitted BAC or if they refuse to be tested. The BAC percentage, repeat offenses, and other factors are taken into account in determining the period of suspension. Currently, a minimum of 90 days for first offenders has been found to be effective.
Alcohol Screenings & Interventions
This is a combined strategy that is applied in areas such as universities, medical and other settings and involves screening for alcohol to open the door to provide an opportunity for teaching about the risks, hazards, and consequences of drunk driving. The strategy has been found to be effective at changing behavior and therefore reducing collisions and injuries resulting from accidents due to impaired driving.
School-based Educational Programs
These educational programs are aimed at teaching teenagers not to get into the car with a person who has been drinking. However, more research needs to be conducted as to whether this strategy is effective at reducing drunk driving and related accidents.