HOUSTON – Texas leads the country in drunk driving fatalities, according to data collected by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2016.
MADD said there were 1,438 traffic fatalities in Texas involving drunk driving in 2016.
Every 20 minutes, someone on a Texas roadway is injured or killed in an accident involving alcohol, according to Texas Department of Transportation.
Drunk driving is the leading cause of death on roadways, but this crime is preventable.
The Texas Department of Transportation offers these tips for staying safe on the road: don't drink and drive and if you do drink, have a designated driver, request a ride or spend the night where you are, if possible.
In 2015, Texas took action by becoming the 25th state to pass an all-offender ignition interlock law.
"Interlocks reduce repeat offenses by two-thirds and reduce fatalities by 15 percent not just while the device is installed but even later after its removal," MADD said on its website. "It’s a long-term, behavior-changing solution that does not prevent someone from legally driving to treatment or work."
MADD said the state should strengthen its existing interlocking law by adding compliance-based removal. Additionally, MADD said the state could improve by implementing legal sobriety checkpoints.
Texas currently is rated 2.5 stars by MADD for its efforts to prevent drunk driving. The state received one star for child endangerment prevention, half for all-offender interlock, license revocation and no refusal and no star for sobriety checkpoints.