Driving under the influence is a dangerous trend, and the trend is on the rise. Why is this awful habit not yet kicked? What can be done to stop the unnecessary loss of innocent lives caused by careless drunk drivers? Law enforcement, public safety officers, DUI victims, and Las Vegas DUI lawyers agree that the problem is growing.
Drunk Driving is on the Rise Across Nevada
Not only is drunk driving on the rise in the Las Vegas Valley, but also across the entire state of Nevada. In the past week alone, there were four fatal crashes. Two individuals were killed in a DUI-related crash on August 28th, and a woman was critically injured in a crash on the following Wednesday.
Then, on Thursday morning, another individual was killed on the 215, and on Friday, an 8-year-old boy was killed by a woman driving under the influence near Eastern and Harmon. This child’s death is one of two that occurred over the holiday weekend.
A DUI Victim Shares Her Story
Ms. Alma Rodriquez lost her beloved spouse back in 2011 after a drunk driver crashed into their car near Primm, Nevada. Rodriquez said she barely survived the crash, and it was extremely hard for her when she awoke from her coma and discovered her husband had passed away.
Rodriquez had been in a coma for three weeks due to internal bleeding and two strokes. When she woke up, her family was all around her, ready to help her recover and to share the bad news of her husband’s passing.
After a long road to recovery, Rodriquez, who has four children, decided to share her story with the public to help prevent DUIs in the future. She also teaches victim impact panel classes.
Statistics Show a DUI Trend
In the last ten years, there has been a steady increase in DUI deaths in Nevada. Last year, impaired drivers caused a third of the overall road fatalities in Nevada.
According to Andrew Bennett, with the Department of Public Safety, there was an overall dip of about 6% in road deaths in Nevada from 2016 to 2017. However, during that same period, the DUI fatal crashes went up by more than 40%.
“Please don’t drive if you are drunk,” Rodriquez pleads. Seven years after the crash that killed her husband, half her body remains numb, and she has health problems persisting.
Starting October 1st of this year, ignition interlocks will be required for all DUI offenders. But how can we prevent the first offenders from committing the initial, deadly crimes?
Public Officials Plead With the Community
Law Enforcement is calling upon the public to step up and help with the matter. Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, Jason Buratczuk said Friday at the agency’s southern command headquarters, “It really comes down to personal responsibility. We need the public’s help.”
As mentioned before, the recent holiday weekend, Labor Day, was a particularly deadly time. At this meeting, it was revealed that there were 16 fatal crashes between August 31st and last Friday afternoon, according to the Office of Traffic Safety, who was present at the meeting. Nine of the crashes were in Clark County, and about half (if not more) were DUI-related. The number is expected to rise as toxicology, and blood tests come in.
“We’ve completely turned into a selfish driving community,” Metro traffic Sgt. Paul McCullough said on Friday.
Remember the driver that killed the innocent 8-year-old boy? She was driving 103 miles per hour in a 45 mph speed zone.
The woman was Aylin Alderette, and she caused a three-vehicle crash after running a red light at the exceptionally high speed. The investigation determined Alderette’s speed from her Camaro’s black box, according to the arrest report. A dash camera also captured her car running the red light before the fatal crash.