Despite recent changes to drunk driving laws that went into effect in Jan. 2015, Lafayette officials are exploring what more could be done to curb the number of people who drive drunk.
The new law provides judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys with a clearer understanding of what is required when a person is convicted of a DWI. Under the new law, first-time offenders face a minimum of 10 days in jail and must complete 32 hours of community service. After a second offense, the individual may face 30 days in jail.
Officials in LaFayette believe that more could be done to stop drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Specifically, LaFayette City Court Judge Douglas Saloom believes that a database could help police and prosecutors become better notified of people who have been arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence in another parish. The database has actually been a sought out tool by court and police officials for many years.
A newly formed “Sobriety Court” is also changing how officials deal with repeat offenders. Those appearing in the “Sobriety Court” have the options of going to jail or entering an 18-month program where sobriety is mandated. Each individual in the program must where a SCRAM (secure continuous remote monitoring) device that monitors the skin for elevated levels of alcohol.
SCRAM devices can be expensive at about $10 per day, but the defendants foot the bill. Furthermore, the per-day cost to incarcerate someone is more than five times the cost of a SCRAM device.
The attorneys at Simien & Simien are dedicated to the safety of Louisianans and support these solutions that could curb the number of drunk driving accidents reported each year. Although the number of collisions reported between 2012 and 2013 decreased, the number of fatal accidents actually increased.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact a personal injury attorney at our law firm for a free case review – we can help you fight for your rights.