Carolyn Davis died and her daughter is in critical condition after a Mazda SUV crashed head-on into their car. The horrific wreck in Oak Cliff is just the latest DWI crash in North Texas.
And here is an even worse part of this story, if that is possible. The drunk driver, a 36-year-old man, had already been arrested at least three times for DWI. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison after his most recent conviction. But the sentence was suspended because he agreed to drive a vehicle that had an ignition interlock device. Just last week, he completed his probation and the device was removed from his vehicle. This tragedy was a few days later.
UPDATED 7/18 – This tragedy worsened when Melissa Lashan Davis-Nunn died last night in the hospital. The drunk driver has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. The drunk told police that he had taken Xanax and claimed he was riding with two others, although no other passengers were found at the scene. and was joking with a nurse that he was there for a penile enhancemenet procedure.
As we are often wondering on this blog, what in the world is going on out there? And how can we keep the same catastrophes from happening again?
Deaths Caused in a DWI crash are at epidemic levels
The tragedy last night got a lot more coverage than usual since Ms. Davis served on the Dallas City Council for eight years (and was involved in controversy). But about 1,500 Texans die in a DWI crash each year.
Here are some, well, sobering statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving that will make you see how urgent this problem is.
- One person dies ever 48 minutes in a DWI crash in the U.S.
- That’s over 30 people a day and almost 11,000 a year.
- Another nearly 300,000 Americans are injured at the hands of an intoxicated driver.
- Less than 1% of drunk drivers are arrested and far less than that are convicted.
- Most serve probation, like the man who killed Ms. Davis and maimed her daughter.
Those numbers are hard to believe, especially for the husbands, wives, partners, children, parents, and other family and friends left behind to mourn their losses. And those who survive are often seriously injured. They face months or years of pain and medical treatment, enormous medical bills, lost wages, and disability.
Our law firm has handled many DWI crash cases over the past nearly four decades. We hate drunk drivers and are proud to support MADD to try to stomp them out. Our firm is the Champion Sponsor of the North Texas Walk Like Madd on September 7th in Las Colinas. Please join us.
Ways we can reduce DWI injuries and deaths
This is why we need to give our police departments and courts more money and more authority to get these drunks off our roads.
As we’ve advocated here many times before, there have to be more deterrents and punishments. Here are some good ideas:
- Paying more officers to pull people over.
- Using sobriety checkpoints.
- No refusals to breath or blood draws should be 24/7, not just on a few weekends a year.
- Driver’s license application and renewals need to be more tightly enforced.
- Require interlocks for all offenders. We applaud the new law sponsored by MADD to encourage first-time offenders to use them. A startling one-third of DWI crashes are caused by repeat offenders.
- Automakers need to implement the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety and other software that will prevent vehicles from being driven by impaired motorists.
- And yes, we need more civil lawsuits and high verdicts to punish the drunk drivers and make their insurance companies crack down on their policyholders and make them pay for their choices to harm the driving public.
We can help you
We at Berenson Injury Law know just how devastating a crash can be to you and your family. After nearly 40 years of representing injured people, we do everything possible to get our clients the medical care they need and the compensation they deserve, especially when they are hit by an intoxicated driver.
If you have been injured in a car or truck collision, please contact us for a free no obligation office or telephone meeting by dialing 1-888-801-8585 or by clicking here here.