With all of the public campaigns working to end driving under the influence, people still get behind the wheel of a vehicle when they should not. This is true even though a DWI conviction in Texas and throughout the U.S. carries heavy penalties.

Does it simply come down to bad judgment, or are other factors in play?

A long list of reasons

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation listed the reasons people give for driving when they believe they exceed the legal limit of alcohol consumption. The largest reason by far voiced by survey respondents was that they thought they could drive fine; in other words, they believed they would make it home safely. Only driving a short distance also gave drivers a sense of comfort, enabling them to step behind the wheel after a few drinks or more.

About one in ten drivers believed they could drive extra carefully, while smaller percentages said they “didn’t even think about it” or “thought they would not get caught.” Other reasons included low traffic, did not have an alternative and familiar route.

A number of solutions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists a number of strategies that can work in the fight to reduce drunk driving. These measures include the following proven strategies:

  • Strong drunk driving laws
  • Sobriety checkpoints
  • Mass media campaigns
  • Alcohol screening and interventions
  • School-based programs
  • Ignition interlocks

In many states, license revocation or suspension laws allow authorities and the court system to take a driver’s license away from a person convicted of a DWI. The laws vary from state to state. A suspension of driving privileges should last at least 90 days for best results.