By: William C. Head, Atlanta DUI Lawyer
Austin, Texas has a frightening number of DWI fatalities. A total of 39 deaths attributable to impaired drivers in 2015 led to calls for higher police visibility to deter motorists who have been drinking from chancing the drive home. The May 12, 2016 report on www.kut.org indicates that families of victims want the local police to do more to stop people from becoming problem drinking drivers.
Georgia DUI statistics for the past three decades show marked improvement in reduction of DUI-DWI fatalities. Georgia utilized federal money from the Reagan Administration and the next two presidents, pushed for visible interdiction and enforcement efforts to stem the high number of drunk driving fatalities, and launched dozens of DUI task force operations, with most receiving federal funding.
A portion of the money paid for BATMOBILES (mobile vans, especially wired and ventilated for purposes of placing a breath testing until near the area where DUI checkpoints were being established, or where heavy traffic was exiting a bar and restaurant district, like Buckhead in Atlanta). Most of the federal cash infusion went for training, cars with videos, breath machines and hand held breathalyzers. These implements assisted well-trained officers to make better arrests, utilizing these screening and enforcement tools.
“In a yet-to-be-published report where eight researchers (including Dr. Jane Maxwell with the University of Texas) considered what most effectively reduces DWIs, enforcement tops the list. The authors tout Georgia as an excellent example. After ‘highly visible, publicized DWI enforcement,’ fatal DWI crashes fell from 34 to 17 percent over a 30-year span.”
However, the published report deals with the period from roughly 1985 to 2014. Highway deaths in Georgia are climbing again, but many of the deaths are not from DUI, but from using cell phones, texting and other distracted driving. A sobriety checkpoint will not stop this ubiquitous, highly dangerous activity.
Additionally, major DUI task force units in Georgia have been disbanded or reduced in manpower. The once-proud Atlanta DUI Task Force made between 5,000 and 8,000 DUI arrests annually. The current Chief of Police disbanded it. The Fulton County DUI Task Force (Fulton is the County Seat for Atlanta) had already disbanded their task force in the late 1990s. Other task force units in Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Cobb County and other metro Atlanta areas are a shadow of their former units. Many motorists are using WAZE, an app that uses GPS technology to tell drivers that police are on the road ahead, and this can be a tool that drunk drivers use to avoid to detect “checkpoints near me.”
One major tool used in Georgia is missing in Texas. Texas is one of about a dozen states that does not permit random DUI checkpoints. So this technique, which is utilized by the Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement officers across the state of Georgia, helps deter driving drunk.
Local news reports on radio, television and in newspapers warn drivers about DUI roadblocks, and this stops many from risking a DUI arrest. In light of this unavailable method of deterrence, Austin police are adding another traffic enforcement unit to try to curtail this devastating pattern of DUI death cases.
Call 42-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your DUI case and get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515