In almost every top this or top that national list that comes out, Dallas always beats Fort Worth.
Not this time, though.
Insurance.com has just posted its annual list of top cities for DUIs. Fort Worth finished No. 8, up from No. 14 last year. Dallas is a middling 12, same as in 2010.
However, the accompanying article states, “having a high percentage of DUI offenders does no necessarily mean a city has more boozers than other cities” –– Milwaukee, long the U.S. capital of mass alcohol consumption, isn’t even in Insurance.com’s top freaking 20.
“A city may rank near the top of the DUI citation list for a number of reasons, including a lack of public transportation” –– Fort Worth? Check –– “or a police force that’s good at doing its job” –– Fort Worth? Not sure –– “or both,” the article says.
There were 1.4 million DUI arrests in 2010, according to the article’s FBI information.
In Texas in 2010, there were 94,440 arrests.
Texas has the highest DWI fatality rate in the country. Of 3,024 fatalities on Texas roads in 2010, 1,102 were alcohol related.
Booze isn’t going away. Not only is the desire to self-anesthetize ingrained in our DNA, but booze is big, big, big business. You can bet that even if you’re a casual drinker, you will one day get pulled over for a DUI –– if you’re lucky. A fiery death or vehicular homicide is another possibility.
DUIs are also big business for states. Think of all of the astronomical fines that convicted drunk drivers must pay and all of the policemen, lawyers, and administrative personnel who have to be paid to keep the system running. You can bet that states are confident that the law of averages will eventually come a-knockin’ for every casual drinker who gets behind the wheel. Nothing else explains the startling new push for ignition interlocks on first-time offenders’ cars.
You’ve got to wonder: If every first-time offender has an interlock –– you breathe into it Breathalyzer-style, and if you’re over the limit, your car won’t start –– chances are they’ll never offend again. Who’s going to pick up the slack? New first-time offenders, of course. But why doesn’t the all-powerful MADD, the nonprofit group behind all drunk-driving laws, fight to force every driver, not just first-time offenders, to outfit his or her vehicle with an interlock device? (Pay one time to have the thing installed, and your local mechanic will merely add it to your annual state inspection checklist.) Why, ignition interlock devices on all vehicles would mean –– gasp! –– no drunks on the road, and no drunks on the road would mean –– double gasp! –– no astronomical fines to keep cops, lawyers, and administrative personnel gainfully employed and the system running.
And if there’s a civil rights issue with ignition interlocks on everyone’s car, I can’t think of it, though I’m not saying there might not be one. I just don’t know.