Alabama Ups DUI Enforcement In The Hopes of Preventing the Crime
Governor Bentley recently signed Senate Bill 361 into law, requiring a number of convicted drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices on their cars, according to WAFF News. These devices would make it impossible for drivers to start the car without first testing their blood-alcohol levels. This technology is meant to keep a convicted drunk driver from recommitting the crime and to keep them from being involved in a drunk driving accident in Alabama.
These devices will serve as a great inconvenience to those who have been convicted of driving under the influence. These interlock devices are similar to breathalyzer machines that are used by police. The hope is that those who are convicted of DUI will get the help they need in order to prevent a future accident.
Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys understand the intent behind Madison Senator Bill Holtzclaw's decision to initiate this law and we hope for victims of this type of crime it will give them some assurance that the number of repeat DUI offenses will go down statewide. Alabama is the last state to adopt some sort of ignition interlock device in order to prevent these serious and preventable accidents.
As Alabama sees a significant number of drunk drivers on our roadways, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) aims to reduce the number. They know about these dangers all too well, which is why they've placed alcohol-impaired drivers on their "most wanted" list.
As it stands, someone is killed in a traffic accident that involved an alcohol-impaired driver every 48 minutes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a person makes nearly 90 impaired driving trips before finally getting busted. In 2009 alone, nearly 11,000 people died in these types of accidents. Accidents that involved an impaired-driver reportedly accounted for one-third of all highway deaths. More than 196,000 were injured throughout the year. Even though the United States has seen a decrease in the number of highway deaths in recent years, the fact that one-third of these fatalities resulting from an accident with an alcohol-impaired driver has not changed in the last 10 years.
The NTSB offers these suggestions to states to help keep drunk driving incidents under control:
-Conduct sobriety checkpoints.
-Enforce administrative license revocation when sobriety tests are failed or refused.
-Prohibit all plea bargaining and diversion programs.
-Create vehicle sanctions that separate individuals from their vehicles. These sanctions should prevent a previously convicted driver from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.
-Use of jail alternatives, jail/treatment facilities, home detention with electronic monitoring or intensive supervision probation to treat and assess convicted drivers.
According to the NHTSA, Alabama witnessed nearly 350 fatalities as a result of car accidents that involved an intoxicated driver in 2009 alone.
While the numbers are staggering, we hope that drivers will be more responsible and perhaps new penalties will dissuade people from committing the crime. We know that our state has been lagging in enforcement, but hopefully law enforcement will be able to curb this preventable crime.
If you or someone you know is arrested and needs to talk with a Birmingham DUI lawyer, contact Eversole Law at 205-981-2450 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Ignition Interlock Devices Make Big Money at the Expense of DUI Convicts , Alabama DUI Lawyer Blog, June 27, 2011
Mobile Man Picks up Fourth DUI Charge, Faces Tough Penalties , Alabama DUI Lawyer Blog, July 5, 2011
Law Enforcement Will Be Out in Birmingham Looking for DUI Arrests This Fourth of July , Alabama DUI Lawyer Blog, July 1, 2011