Students at Texas Christian University returning from spring break today must be heart-broken to learn that popular Assistant Dean Jamie Dulle tragically died last week in a Fort Worth DWI crash. She was rear ended by an intoxicated driver not far from their campus.
This story makes you want to cry. Ms. Dulle’s future was bright. She was only 41 and had been awarded a Ph.D. a few months ago. To make things worse, she leaves behind two children.
A 33-year-old woman, Cristen Hamilton, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. KDFW-TV reported that the drunk driver was speeding and the crash was severe, of course.
Here’s another tragedy in the never-ending saga of DWIs here in North Texas.
Fort Worth DWI crash rate is spiraling
We are obviously glad that the police caught the criminal. She will be punished and the public will again be reminded that DWI is illegal and often deadly.
But it is a well-known fact that drinking and driving cause thousands of car wrecks each year. According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, a shocking 1,468 Texans lost their lives in 2017 at the hands of a drunk driver.
These people who get intoxicated and choose to get behind the wheel are a serious threat to everyone on the roads in Fort Worth and North Texas. Maybe we are all numb to this fact since we see it all the time on the news.
19 people tragically died in a Fort Worth DWI and 322 people were injured, many seriously, in 2017.
Far too many people have been personally affected by these often devastating collisions.
But simply jailing someone after they have committed this crime is clearly a case of too little, too late.
We have to stop DWIs
Every day we read about driving while intoxicated crashes as if they were a normal part of life, that there is nothing we can do to stop them from happening.
We have to do more here in North Texas to prevent or at least curb the staggering number of driving while intoxicated collisions.
This is a public safety crisis. Texas is one of the worst states and Dallas and Fort Worth are two of the worst cities in Texas for this outrageous conduct.
Her are some ways we can keep drunk drivers off our roads:
- Increase law enforcement presence on our roads, especially after midnight. Sobriety checkpoints in high bar areas like the Stockyards and West 7th areas of Fort Worth and Uptown and Addison in North Dallas are badly needed.
- Boost the budgets for our district attorneys offices so they can prosecute more drunk drivers.
- Reduce the allowable blood alcohol content. The National Transportation Safety Board has been trying to reduce the .08% standard to .05% for many years. Commercial truck drivers are held to a .04% standard in the U.S. Some countries have a zero-tolerance policy and about 100 others only allow .05% or less alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream.
- Crack down on all the bars, restaurants, and package stores over-serving their intoxicated customers. The most recent example here was revealed in the lawsuit against the former Dallas Cowboy who got wasted at a private club in Dallas, drove his car at a speed of 130 mph, and killed his best friend and teammate.
- Focus on repeat offenders. Innocent motorists in our country have to drive beside two million people who have three or more DWI convictions. Texas finally got all-offender ignition interlocks in 2015, largely due to the work of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but more work is needed on this front.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is the leading organization in the U.S. that is trying to eradicate intoxication on our highways. That’s why Mr. Berenson is a big supporter of this fine group. DWI facts from MADD
A Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can help
Berenson Injury Law has unfortunately represented countless people and their families affected by a Fort Worth DWI crash over the last almost 40 years. We know that any serious car accident, and obviously one involving the death of a loved one, is devastating.
Our deepest sympathies go out to the children and family of Ms. Dulle. We sincerely hope this tragedy serves as a wake-up call for Fort Worth, especially our young drivers including sometimes rowdy college students. The need for greater enforcement of our laws has never been greater.