Dallas Has One of Nation's Highest Rates of Drunken Driving Deaths

Categories: Transportation

DrunkDriving parking.jpg
Via.
The best way to prevent drunken driving deaths, as we were repeatedly reminded in the wake of Jerry Brown's death last month, is for drunk people to stop driving.

The obvious problem is that the people who are deciding whether to drive are drunk and, while per capita drunken driving deaths in the U.S. have dropped by two-thirds over the past three decades, are still prone to making terrible decisions. And data, in this case per capita drunken driving fatalities, indicate that drivers in Dallas make the wrong decision more often than in other places.

According to a review of statistics from 2001 to 2010 by software company IDV Solutions, Dallas had the fifth highest rate of drunken driving deaths among the country's 25 largest cities and the fourth highest rate of traffic fatalities overall.

The IDV Solutions post doesn't suggest why some cities, like Dallas, have disproportionately high rates of drunken driving crashes or why other cities, like New York and Philadelphia, have abnormally low rates, but The Atlantic Cities does, suggesting that some cities are simply built to encourage drunk driving.

This should make intuitive sense to anyone who doesn't live in Uptown, Deep Ellum or Lower Greenville and has ever gone out for a few drinks. Assuming no one volunteered to be designated driver, you're basically left with two choices: pay an ungodly amount for a cab or drive drunk and hope for the best. In places like New York, where things are denser and more accessible by foot or by public transportation, there are more viable options.

That's not to say that people in Dallas have an excuse to drive drunk, just that the data make sense.

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33 comments
tagkev1
tagkev1

gun violence  aside..can  we  please ban alcohol?.....that shit  is  killing  thousands!

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

People in NYC do not think it is ok to drive to CT to go to a bar and get wasted either. People in DFW think nothing of driving equivalent distance. Find a neighborhood bar and get wasted there.

If you are too cheap for a cab, park your car on private property. Grab 3 empty beer cans and put them on ground outside car. Put your car keys in your trunk and lock it. Get into your car and lock it. Sleep in back seat. If police go after you, make no statements how you arrived at parking lot or when you were drinking. Your case is that you were not in physical control of vehicle and circumstantial evidence indicates you may have consumed alcohol, assuming they can prove you are over limit, AFTER you parked. That is what the 3 cans OUTSIDE the vehicle do for you.

Nerd214
Nerd214

As a city, perhaps we should stop making excuses and start providing people alternatives. We don't have public transportation for people leaving bars at 2:00a.m. Maybe we should consider keeping our public transportation running til 3:00 AM on the weekends. Just a thought. 

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart

How does one avoid a public intox on the train? Just curious.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Dallas is car dependent.  NY and Philly have "abnormally" low drunk-driving rates because so many people take cabs and public trans.

observist
observist topcommenter

Either Memphis has the worst sober drivers in the country, or they're under-reporting intoxication of drivers in accidents.

keepcensoringDO
keepcensoringDO

It's funny-- white liberals completely ignoring the fact that this is a HISPANIC problem. 

John D Nathan
John D Nathan

Oh... lovely. And this is why we need more DART coverage and longer service hours.

NightSand
NightSand

And why in Dallas do people get charged an extra $2 a person in a cab?   Other Texas cities don't do this?  It makes riding in a cab that much more expensive.  

WylieH
WylieH

And yet, as you pointed out last week, the City of Dallas has sicced its attorneys on one possible solution, Uber, using a bunch of trumped up nonsense to try to drive them out of business.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

And people think I'm crazy when I ask why, at the very least on weekends, DART doesn't run even on a staggered schedule until 3am. Hell, after a Mavs game the train stops running in about an hour-how many drunks end up driving from there?

An at least partial solution is obvious. DWI is a public problem, and there is a public solution. But no one, including the modern day temperance movement known as MADD, wants to talk about it.

I've done my share of drunk driving in my life, thankfully after over indulgent happy hours The Goat was only a few miles from my home. Since I moved back to Dallas, I've never lived more than 6 blocks from the Landing or Greenville Ave. When I lived in Denton in college I lived 3 blocks from Fry St. That said, whenever I went to Expo Park, Ellum, or Downtown (City Tavern is a great bar), it became a chore to recruit enough people to reasonably split cab fare both ways. And then hope the cab shows up. At the right place.

James Dorward
James Dorward

If the few trains DART has ran all night there might be fewer drunk drivers.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Once overheard a convo about why someone chose to drive home hammered when he lived like a 5 minute walk away....Well its only 1 minute by car, why would I walk.  Another one said, the last time one of his buddies walked home from a bar to his apartment 5 minutes away he ended up in an assisted living home with half a brain. 

Samantha Garrison
Samantha Garrison

the data absolutely makes sense. With everything set so far apart in the Metroplex and a sub par public transit system....along with astronomical cab rates, the only other option is to drive.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@observist Id surmise they just have shitty sober drivers.  Hell have you ever tried to drive after eating Red Hot N Blue, you get those deep stomach rumbles going and greasy sweat dripping from your brow down into your eyes as you try to keep that shit from sliding out onto you drivers seat.   Yeah, upid wreck too after eating memphis bbq

gollyrojer
gollyrojer

@NightSand Being charged an extra $2 makes riding in a cab more expensive... did you put that together all by yourself?

hix.miblue.john
hix.miblue.john

@SuperfuzzBigmuff Sorry but your partial solution will not continue to serve you or the other drunks.  All those excuses for driving after getting drunk have been heard way too many times, ie. I just live down the street, I know the back roads home (so do the cops), I a the mosst sober one to drive so all my drunken friends will have to ride with me, Its mine and the banks car so regardless of my condition, the bank has told me I can drive it. And on and on. Make your plans before you go out ie. how you will get home and lock them in as you can not be trusted to make a sane decision after being in your favorite tavern that will continue to serve you until you are blotto. Probably why it is your favorite tavern. 

NightSand
NightSand

@SuperfuzzBigmuff The enforcement is a joke as well.  Get on 75 between Lemmon and 635 on Thurs-Sat night and tell me over half the cars couldn't be sited for DWI.  

observist
observist topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin You'd have to be stupid to risk walking when there are so many drunk drivers on the road!

keepcensoringDO
keepcensoringDO

@looptwelve @keepcensoringDO http://www.mugshotsonline.com/texas/dallas

All 3 on the first page arrested for DWI are hispanic. 

The pickup trucks with the driver passed out at the stop lights? Always hispanic.

The cars you see rolled over on 30 mph straight sections of Garland road? Always hispanic.

Fact is "Don't drink and drive" has been drilled into Whitey's head in English for the past 30 years. 

How many "Don'to Drinko Drivo pooor favor esse" billboards do you see around town?

NightSand
NightSand

@gollyrojer @NightSand Just trying to be informative, I bet you didn't know they charged $2 extra a rider, since that would require someone willing to share a cab with you.  

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@hix.miblue.john I forgot to mention that I've been sober for over a year, you know, that whole AA thing. Detoxing in Timberlawn isn't exactly fun-just take my word for it.

The Landing would usually overserve me, but they knew I was walking home because I knew the staff. To me, that's not irresponsible at all on their end. Now The Goat, that was a whole other animal....they'd serve you until you passed out on the bar. Same with the old Winedale Tavern. Then again, that's not shocking for bars that open and have patrons at 8 am.

Whenever I went out with the intention of getting drunk I either walked or took a cab. I thought I made that clear above. Well at least past a certain age I did.

The point wasn't that, though. The point was why can't we offer public transit on a staggered schedule for people who want to go out? It's $5 for a DART day pass, $5 doesn't get you far in a cab unless you have 4 people with you. But if you take a bus/train to a bar and stay past midnight, cab is your only route home-so people drive. And very few people will leave their car overnight. I've been there, I know.

This isn't Paris or NYC and never will be, I get that. DART will never be as convenient as the metro or the subway. But if the discussion is finding feasible solutions to drunk driving, extending DART to 3am is a good starting point.

WylieH
WylieH

@NightSand @SuperfuzzBigmuff DPD stopped patrolling Central Expressway entirely several years ago.  The only time you will see DPD elements working an incident on Central is in response to a 911 call or DFR request .

hix.miblue.john
hix.miblue.john

@observist @ScottsMerkin So you play the odds by waiting to leave after closing time because the cops cant get us all. Driving in Dallas after bar closing time is like spinning the roulette wheel in hopes your number comes up and you get home safely. Roulette has the worst odds in the casino.

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