North Texas Daily

Drunk driving is serious business

Drunk driving is serious business

October 25
00:05 2012

It’s a message that’s been repeated hundreds of times: Don’t drink and drive. One might imagine this endless chant would cause intoxicated students to climb behind the wheel, but the UNT Police Department saw a significant increase in the number of DWI arrests this year..

In 2011, officers made 114 DWI arrests, averaging 9.5 arrests per month. In the first three months of 2012, the average increased to 16.5 arrests per month – that’s about 50 arrests in only three months, and one can only imagine the number it’s at now.

Students need to understand the seriousness of driving under the influence and stop shrugging it off like it’s no big deal.

Before taking the driver’s seat, students often give the usual excuses: “I’ve done it many times and can drive perfectly fine drunk,” “I have no other way home, so I have to drive,” “I’ve only had a couple shots. I’m not that drunk.”

While some might make it home safely, there are many more who don’t. According to 2010 statistics released by the National Highway Safety Administration, Texas had the highest number of alcohol-related accidents in the United States – 2,998 out of the 10,228 found in the U.S.

Taking the chance of getting injured, killed or killing another person is not worth it.
Denton is in the top 10 counties with the most DUI-related accidents, totaling 494 crashes, according to 2011 statistics.

Undoubtedly, the three colleges surrounding Denton play a major role given that a vast amount of students are within the legal drinking age – and let’s not forget the underage ones who choose to drink anyway.

Besides risking an accident, there’s always the consequence of getting pulled over. Sure, students can refuse to take the sobriety test, but Texas law says doing so can result in suspension of their license for up to six months. This doesn’t include other penalties faced if later on convicted of a DWI.

First-time convictions don’t just result in an arrest – they also might lead to a fine of up to $2,000 and fees to reinstate suspended licenses, and they stay on the record for life. Avoid becoming a statistic – plan ahead and have a designated driver.

If you can’t find one, stay where you are or call UNT Safe Ride at 940-565-7433. The organization provides free rides home in the Denton area, Thursday to Saturday from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

With services like these available to everyone, there are no excuses for driving drunk.

Christina Nava is an English and journalism senior. She can be reached at

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