From the Office of State Senator John Carona

December 17, 1998
CONTACT: John Krueger, 512/463-0116


(AUSTIN)--State Senator JOHN CARONA (R-Dallas) today pre-filed legislation to combat the threat of those who repetitively drive while intoxicated. The joy of the holidays are annually interrupted for many families across this state by the tragic consequences of drunk driving, Senator Carona stated. The legislation I pre-filed goes one step further than current law by targeting repetitive drunk drivers, he added.

In Texas during 1997, nearly 1,750 drivers died as a result of an alcohol-related traffic accident. That translates to almost 50 percent of all traffic fatalities in Texas.

S.B. 101 would permanently revoke driving privileges for those drivers convicted of a third DWI offense. According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), repeat DWI offenders are involved in 15 percent of fatal alcohol-related crashes. Our society has demonstrated its willingness to forgive one or two mistakes, but we must draw the line to eliminate the continuous threat some drunk drivers pose to our citizens, Senator Carona remarked.

A second DWI-related bill introduced by Senator Carona, S.B. 102, would require the vehicle impoundment of a driver caught driving while their license is suspended for a drunk driving conviction. The laws requiring suspension of driving privileges for DWI only work if they can be enforced, Senator Carona explained, This legislation provides real teeth for enforcement. Under this bill, the impoundment would last the duration of the license suspension.

Senator Carona concluded, Driving in Texas is a privilege that carries significant responsibilities, and those who choose to repeatedly endanger others on the road need to be removed for their safety and the safety of other drivers.