As a prominent sponsor for MADD New Mexico, Bert Parnall of Parnall Law has zero tolerance for drunk driving. Bert is an advocate on behalf of drunk driving victims and their families and wants to bring attention to the dangers of drunk driving in his home state. Here, the Parnall Law team discusses new technology designed to detect and prevent drunk driving and how it could make the roads safer for everyone.
Drunk Driving Statistics in New Mexico
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, someone was killed in a drunk driving accident in the United States every 45 minutes in one recent year. Unfortunately, drunk driving is just as common in New Mexico as it is nationally. The following crash data from the New Mexico Department of Transportation illustrate how deadly these accidents can be:
- In one recent year, alcohol-involved crashes made up 5.5 percent of all crashes in New Mexico, the highest percentage in a decade.
- That year, there were 2,020 alcohol-involved crashes throughout New Mexico, resulting in 145 fatalities and 1,293 nonfatal injuries.
- New Mexico drivers between the ages of 20 and 34 represented 54.2 percent of alcohol-impaired drivers in New Mexico drunk driving crashes that year.
- The crash rate for New Mexico alcohol-involved drivers between the ages of 20 and 24 was three times higher than the statewide average that year.
- Male drivers in New Mexico accounted for 70.6 percent of all alcohol-impaired drivers in drunk driving crashes that year.
What Can Be Done to Combat Drunk Driving?
These statistics are concerning, but new technologies aimed at discouraging drunk driving and preventing DUI accidents are cause for hope. Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico’s junior U.S. senator, is working to ensure that these technologies become standard requirements for new motor vehicles.
A drunk driver struck Senator Luján head-on in 1992. He survived, but many others in similar situations do not. Since then, Sen. Luján has worked tirelessly to encourage the federal government to adopt new anti-drunk driving technology requirements. Luján’s RIDE Act was included as part of a bipartisan infrastructure bill recently signed into law.
The RIDE Act requires new vehicles to include some type of promising anti-drunk driving technology, such as:
- Alcohol-sensing systems – Built-in breathalyzers or touch-based sensors in ignition buttons or gear shifts can almost instantly test drivers’ blood alcohol levels and lock certain systems if drivers are intoxicated.
- In-vehicle cameras – Some vehicle manufacturers plan to roll out cameras to monitor drivers discreetly and detect behaviors that indicate possible impairment.
- Lane assist technologies – Lane assist technologies could detect when potential drunk drivers are weaving dangerously and force the car to stop.
Injured by a Drunk Driver? A Drunk Driving Accident Attorney from Parnall Law Can Help
Hurt? Call Bert. Bert Parnall and the Albuquerque drunk driving accident lawyers of Parnall Law can help you hold drunk drivers accountable and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options in a free initial consultation session.