Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, a female motorist turned down the wrong side of Almeda, and drove against traffic. She swiped the patrol car of an officer who tried to avoid a collision, and then ended up in a ditch. Not surprisingly, she failed field sobriety tests at the scene and was arrested, according to reports. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Not so fortunate was a female cyclist who was killed on December 1, 2013 when she was riding her bicycle near Waugh. Authorities have charged Margaret Mayer with failing to stop and render aid. Allegedly, Ms. Mayer was intoxicated when she hit the cyclist.
These incidents remind us that driving while intoxicated is very dangerous and poses unnecessary risks of serious injury or death upon members of the public, as well as upon the intoxicated drivers themselves. There is simply no acceptable excuse for “just trying to get home” after drinking too much, especially when Houston has numerous taxi services.
Those who drive while intoxicated must be required to bear the consequences of the hazards they impose. This should take the form of criminal prosecution. And, when they injure or kill others, they should also bear all damages meted out by the civil justice system. In addition, those who provide alcohol to intoxicated people should also be required to pay for the damages caused by those drunk drivers. Only when society enforces “zero tolerance” can we expect a substantial reduction of the needless and preventable hazard caused by impaired drivers.