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Photos at Sobriety Checkpoints to Convey Message of the Dangers of Drunk Driving in Tennessee

A drunk driving car accident in Tennessee 41-years-ago is remembered by signs on the side of the road on Murfreesboro Road near Clovercoft Road. That night, the lives of two residents changed forever. A woman involved in the accident, who was seven months pregnant at the time, remembers it vividly. She says her husband, herself, their daughter and their nephew were heading back from a peach-picking trip is Nashville when a drunk driver crashed into the car. Their 19-month-old nephew and their 4-year-old daughter were killed in that accident.

The pregnant passenger suffered from a broken neck and burns on almost three-quarters of her body. Her husband was badly burned as well.

Our Tennessee drunk driving car accident attorneys understand that the Franklin Police Department conducted its very first sobriety checkpoint this last Saturday to help to reduce the risks of anymore accidents like that one. The funds for the checkpoints were provided by the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. That checkpoint was dedicated to the family, which has been mourning their run-in with a drunk driver for more than 40 years. Pictures of the woman, the husband and the pair’s daughter, who was born prematurely and blind, were on display at that site of the DUI checkpoint, according to The Tennessean.

As this family is all too painfully aware, the consequences of drunk driving can last a lifetime.

“This kind of shows more of a powerful reason of why we are out there,” said Franklin Police Officer Rachel Gobe. “We are out there for a reason: to save lives.”

The woman involved in the drunk driving accident was the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and started the organization’s Tennessee chapter back in 1981. She even appealed to President Clinton, asking him to lower the drunk driving limit from .10 to .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). That national standard was passed late in 2000.

Although she is no longer the national president of the organization, MADD is still going strong in its fight against drunk drivers across the nation. According to a recent press release from MADD, new legislation is being pushed to require everyone convicted of drunk driving to install ignition interlock devices, or machines that measure a driver’s blood alcohol content. The vehicle won’t start if the driver has been drinking. The majority of drunk driving car accidents are caused by repeat offenders. The interlock devices would help to make sure these motorists won’t be drunk on our roadways.

“While drunk driving remains the primary threat to American families traveling on our roadways, we are closer than ever to making sure no family must endure the pain of losing a loved one to this 100-percent preventable crime,” said MADD National President Jan Withers.

These devices are one of the most beneficial components of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk DrivingĀ®. The passage of laws requiring these devices for all offenders have already reduced the risks of drunk driving-related fatalities, as observed recently in Arizona and Oregon.

Ignition interlock devices save lives and save taxpayer money. For an offender who has been sentenced to use an interlock device, the user has to dish out about $2.25 for each day for its use. Researchers conclude that for every dollar invested in these devices for a first-time offender, it saves the public about $3. When you consider that drunk driving accidents cost the nation more than $130 billion every year, the fees required by these convicted drivers is a small price to pay to help ensure roadway safety and to help to reduce the risks of alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Lastly, MADD is hoping to get the ROADS SAFE Act into legislation. This act could help to offer research funds to those creating Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety are working to advance this potentially life-saving technology.

If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed in a Tennessee drunk driving car accident, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Tennessee injury lawyers. Call (877) 472-5657.

Additional Resources:

Woman relives tragic crash as DUI checkpoint dedicated, by Charles Pulliam, The Tennessean

More Blog Entries:

New Statistics Reveal More Car Accidents in Tennessee than Last Year, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, December 18, 2011

Knoxville Drunk Driving Accidents Illustrate Risks to Cyclists, Motorists, Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, July 20, 2011

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