New Law Gets Tough on Drunk Drivers

6-15-04 - A Fannin County man was sentenced under a new law that makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child 15 or younger in the vehicle. A judge sentenced James Dean Doyle, age 37, of Ladonia, to 2 years in prison.

On February 8th, 2004, Doyle was stopped by DPS Trooper Derick Trammell near Ladonia. Also in the car with Doyle were two children under 15 years of age. Later tests showed Doyle had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his body. Although it was first arrest for DWI, a new Texas law allowed him to be charged with a felony. It normally takes two prior DWI convictions
to charge someone with felony DWI in Texas. There is no possibility of parole for these crimes.

Last week. District Judge Jim Lovett sentenced Doyle to the
maximum 2 years in prison for the offense. Following the hearing, County Attorney Myles Porter stated, "I am glad the legislature finally addressed the issue of DWI with children in the vehicle. Maybe it will make some of these drunk drivers think twice before getting behind the wheel with kids in the car."

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Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving don't mix. Drinking and driving don't mix. Drinking and driving don't mix.

No matter how many times you've heard it, there are people who just don't get it. In fact, every 30 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol-related crash. Every 30 minutes! And last year alone over one million people were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Tell everyone: kids, parents and all licensed drivers, why no one should drive a car, or ride in a car with someone who is under the effects of alcohol. It just doesn't make sense.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT DRINKING AND DRIVING

How does alcohol affect a person's ability to drive?

The more a person drinks, the more their ability to make crucial driving decisions becomes impaired. After just one drink, a driver can begin to lose their ability to perform the tasks necessary to drive a car: braking, steering, changing lanes, and using judgment to adjust to changing road conditions. At a certain point, a driver will become legally intoxicated and can be arrested for attempting to operate a motor vehicle.

What does DUI and DWI mean?

DUI means "Driving under the Influence" of alcohol or drugs. DWI means "Driving While Intoxicated". These are terms used by police. In every state in our country there is a legal limit to how much alcohol you can have in your body if you are driving. If you drink and drive you can lose your driver's license and even go to jail.

How do you Measure how much Alcohol is in the Blood?

A driver's Blood Alcohol Content is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. Police test breath to measure a drivers BAC. It can also be tested in blood, urine or saliva. (Yuck!)

What can you do about drunk driving?

  • Follow these suggestions from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Your best defense against a drunk driver is to wear your safety belt, make sure any children in the car are in child safety seats.
  • Never ride in a car operated by someone who has been drinking - call a cab or ask a friend to drive you home.
  • Report drunk drivers to law enforcement from a car phone or pay phone.
  • Keep a safe distance from anyone driving erratically.

Source: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/kids/research/drinking/index.cfm contributed to these tips.


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