Blog of Charles Bryan Alred
Oklahoma Using New Measures in Fight against Drunk Driving
Posted on May 30, 2014
The menace of drunk driving has taken the lives of countless Oklahomans over the years, and police try to curb the incidents, but it’s usually a losing battle. Authorities find themselves constantly coming up with new ways to combat the problem in an attempt to prevent as many deaths and serious injuries as possible. In that spirit, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop F now wants to know where drunk drivers are getting their last drinks before getting in the car.
The statistics in Troop F’s jurisdiction and provided by their state crash team coordinator and commander are harrowing. 1,903 drunk driving crashes have occurred since 2003. Of those, 1,334 people were injured and 61 were killed. Underage drinkers make up a portion of the collisions; 264 were below the drinking age, nine were killed and 219 suffered injuries. 74 percent of these accidents happened in rural areas, where speeds are often higher.
Their new focus, then, is to target the drunk driver before they get in the car. The troop sent letters to roughly 50 licensed bars in the area encouraging them to implement Preliminary Breath Test devices, or PBTs. PBTs could be used in two ways:
– Make available to bar patrons the ability to check their alcohol level before leaving the bar to ensure that they’re legally allowed to drive.
– Test underage patrons on the way in and the way out to make sure they are not intoxicated at any time.
The new measure is voluntary, but bar owners can sometimes be held liable if they knowingly let an intoxicated person drive, so it’s in their best interest to police themselves.
Regardless of the steps law enforcement take to protect you, the danger of impaired driving will probably always around. If you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving accident, an Oklahoma lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for your medical expenses and loss of wages.
Source: ardmoreite.com, “Point Of Last Drink investigations target alcohol-impaired drivers, underage drinking,” Marsha Miller, May 19, 2014
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