Houston Area Group Unveils Campaign Against DWI

The Houston-Galveston Area Council is an association of local governments and elected officials that address regional issues such as transportation needs and the environment. The goal is to establish cohesive plans that will benefit a thirteen county area inhabited by nearly 5.5 million people.

Earlier this year the council created a special group titled the Regional Safety Council. RSC is comprised of elected officials, law enforcement personnel, representatives from the insurance and transportation industries, health care officials and safety advocates. Their focus is on safety concerns and coordination of safety efforts across the region.

The RSC recently announced an outline of recommendations aimed at reducing automobile accidents, especially alcohol related crashes. The timing of the announcement was well planned. According to the latest data available, Harris County ranked number one in the country in DWI related deaths per capita, and the peak of vehicular crashes occurs in December.

The Regional Safety Council recommendations include:

– Having judges require installation of ignition interlock systems in the vehicles of those convicted of Texas DWI, even first time DWI offenders.

– Passing State legislation that would require hospital emergency room workers to report patients with a high blood alcohol content.

– Initiating Legislation that would make it illegal for bartenders and alcohol servers to drink on the job.

– Authorizing sobriety checkpoints to check drivers for Texas DWI.

– Studying Texas DWI arrest patterns to identify businesses and areas prone to drinking and driving incidents.

– Creating education programs warning teens about the dangers of under-age drinking.

Responsibility for the implementation of the recommendations will now fall to a combination of local and regional courts and agencies, as well as the Texas State Legislature.

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