It’s the weekend and partygoers are flocking to local bars and restaurants. But as the evening winds down, these same drunken revelers climb into their respective cars and proceed to mow down innocent pedestrians and opposing drivers. The condition is so bad that Kansas has one of the highest drunk driving statistics in America. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility there were more than 168 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in America.
Alcohol-impaired drivers cost the country almost $51 – $100 billion every year. To control erring drivers and to reduce fatalities, almost every county has upped their drunken driving patrols on popular roads and neighborhoods.
Times have changed though. With increasing awareness, stricter rules, and harsh penalties, DUI statistics have decreased. However, most Louisville, KY drunk driving accident attorneys state that this is not enough. Dangerous accidents still take place like the recent accident at the KFC Yum Center.
Officials who reached the spot stated that 64-year-old Russell Mullins Jr. drove his car into a parked vehicle on Third and Main. The parked vehicle contained a pregnant mother and her two other children. The mother delivered the baby on the same day and two other children were admitted to the Kosair Children’s Hospital. Official documents showed that Mullins admitted to drunken driving when he was arrested.
In fact, witnesses noted that Mullins would have mown down two or three more people due to the way he was driving. Mullins was arrested by police personnel and is now in Metro Corrections on a $10,000 cash bond.
He is facing charges of assault, wanton endangerment, and driving under the influence. The tragedy is that Mullins is a repeat offender. The 64-year-old driver has been arrested five times before for drunk driving. Three of the accidents happened in a ten-month period from 1996 to 1997. Mullins also had drug possession charges. Thankfully, Mullins did not manage to kill anyone yet but it could happen.
Call for Stricter Penalties
At present, repeat offenders like Mullins are the most dangerous. As a result, national organizations like Mothers against Drunk Driving are all increasing pressure on local authorities to impose stricter penalties on first-time and repeat offenders. Current penalties for first-time offenders are just fines and license suspension but this could change. Most organizations are pushing for a minimum of one day to seven days imprisonment for first-time offenders with heavier fines.
Unlike medical diseases, there is no way to vet drunk drivers, as drunken drivers are from all age groups, genders, ethnicity, and socio-economic groups. Stricter penalties and jail time may be the only active deterrent possible to control repeat offenders and to deter first-time offenders.
No Wiggle Room
Kentucky now has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21 to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 or more. Several Kentucky counties also offer intervention programs for minor citizens to reduce repeat offenses. With these measures, Kentucky could become one of the safest places to drive in. It will be even better when they are allowed to coal mine again! But 0.02? Wow, that is little room for error!