As a drunk driving defense lawyer practicing in the Birmingham area, I understand how a few drinks can wind up costing a driver his or her license. Driving under the influence of alcohol (or DUI) can be costly in more ways than one. Whether you live or work in Montgomery, Hoover, Dothan or Decatur, being arrested for driving while intoxicated is never a minor matter. Local and state police have a very strict policy against drunken driving, which makes any kind of DUI arrest or drunk driving charges a serious situation.
Because of Alabama's continued crackdown on inebriated drivers and other traffic violations, it comes as no surprise that deaths on our state's highways have dropped from previous years. Not long ago law enforcement authorities announced progress in reducing highway fatalities. According to a report, Alabama traffic safety officials anticipated a 35 percent decrease in the number of state trooper-investigated highway deaths since 2006.
As of the end of 2009, troopers had investigated more than 500 highway fatalities. In 2006, about 800 deaths were reported by the end of the year. According to news reports, much of the reduction in deaths to law enforcement agencies focusing their efforts on areas where a large number of fatal crashes happen over time.
Statistics can result in police setting up sobriety roadblocks, also known as drunk driving checkpoints, during late evening and early morning hours. These checkpoints are designed to net drivers who may have been drinking and driving.
News reports show that state transportation officials instituted a series of “Take Back Our Highways” blitzes, during which 300 troopers patrolled the state 24 hours a day for a week at a time. Police also bought Dodge Chargers and motorcycles for patrols and even partnered with the Alabama Trucking Association to spot motorists driving unsafely around 18-wheelers.
State police also attacked drunken driving by taking advantage of funding from ADECA to buy so-called “Batmobiles,” which let officers check blood-alcohol levels in the field. The number of DUI arrests was up by more than 900 in 2009, according to news reports. Apparently, Alabama's success in this area has also prompted surrounding states to adopt similar programs and procedures.
Although quite a few innocent drivers are charged with DUI offenses as a result of increased anti-drunk driving enforcement, there have apparently been noticeable improvements. For example, in 2009 there were 700 fewer injuries in trooper-investigated wrecks since 2006, as well as 500 fewer traffic crashes.
State efforts cited as fewer die in road crashes, AL.com, December 27, 2009