April 30, 2012: A car swerved off the road in Redmond Friday night and crashed into a home on…read more
December 1, 2011: Mothers Against Drunk Driving says Washington State has the 4th highest rate of drunk driving fatality car accidents in the nation. 206 alcohol-related wrongful deaths in our state in 2009! I’ve highlighted several such fatality car accidents on this site. But MADD also said that Washington is about average for the laws enacted to cut down on drunk driving. So what are we doing wrong?
Well, MADD makes several suggestions: First, we need a tougher child endangerment law. When I think about drunk drivers carrying children, it makes me sick! It just makes sense to crack down harder on such senseless activity.
Second, we need to legalize sobriety checkpoints. Sure, it would be an inconvenience. But if it prevents car accidents and saves lives, I’m for it.
Third, we should start using “no-refusal” alcohol emphasis times. What’s that, you ask? It’s a specific time when some judges would be on-call at any hour to issue warrants in cases of suspected drunk driving, where the driver has refused to take a breathalyzer test. Those warrants would then allow the police to take a blood draw on the scene, to determine if the driver is over the legal blood alcohol limit. Too many drunk drivers get off the hook simply by refusing the breathalyzer test. An emphasis like this, say on a weekend when there is normally more drinking (like the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays), could dramatically increase DUI convictions, and make people take our drunk driving laws more seriously. That, of course, would reduce car accident deaths caused by drunk driving.
The bottom line, though, is our collective attitude toward drunk driving. Until we as the people of this great state make driving drunk so socially unacceptable that we will do everything reasonably possible to stop it, we will continue to see way too many wrongful death accidents caused by drunk drivers.