Combating DWI in Harris County Texas
Written by greg on September 25, 2014
Anyone that has driven in and around Houston roadways understand that there is a great deal that can cause an accident; large amount of construction, the vast number of pedestrians, the reckless nature of other drivers, and of course, drunk driving. However, did you know that Harris County in particular is one of the drunk-driving capitals of the United States?
According to research conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2012 alone, Harris county saw 175 fatalities that involved drivers that held a .08 BAC (blood alcohol content) level of 0.08 or higher. Across the 10 counties in Southeast Texas, the research also points out that in 2012; there were an estimated 265 alcohol-related fatalities; which again, involved drivers that held a 0.08 BAC level or higher.
According to MADD, this can be compared to the 1,296 alcohol-related fatalities in Texas and the 10,332 fatalities in the nation, both estimates occurring in 2012. Needless to say, this information speaks of the large number of DUI instances that have occurred in Harris county and Southeast Texas.
In order to combat this issue, according to the Houston Chronicle, the Harris County Probation Department has enacted new measures that would create a wider punishment on individuals that are charged with a DUI.
This is designed to decrease the number of fatalities and accidents that have been seen as a result of the high number of DUIs in Harris County. Prevention methods that the county has already employed, and will continue to utilize on behalf of the state as a whole are as followed:
- License Revocation
- Jail Sentence, and/or probation.
- Extremely high fines.
The nature and implementation of these offenses will depend on a variety of factors, from whether or not the individual has had a repeated offense or whether there were any injuries that occurred from an accident. Despite these methods, Harris County has been vigilant in creating ways to better combat DUI instances in Texas.
Thus, a new risk assessment will also be implemented in order to gauge the level of risk of current offenders. What this means is that those who have been convicted of a drunk driving related offense will be given an assessment. If the risk is determined to be high, then a probation offer may be assigned in order to offset the potential for future drunk driving offenses. It should be noted that these probation officers have received psychological and criminal training specifically dealing with the nature of drunk driving and drunk driving offenses.
In addition to assigning probation officers to specific cases, their case loads will also be lessened so that more time will be devoted in order to ensure the safety of the roadway.
As a whole, Harris County is working to better enforce better driving and is doing so by targeting those who may be deemed high risk for repeated drunk driving offenses. This in turn, is projected to quell the large numbers of county-specific DUIs that are seen, effectively saving lives in the future.