Louisiana law enforcement praised for DWI arrest rate

A study of drunk driving laws around the country and the impact that they are having could raise some interesting questions in Louisiana. The research, which referenced federal accident and law enforcement data and was released by the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, reveals that while police in Louisiana make a high number of DWI arrests, the costs associated with each drunk driving death in the Pelican State are among the highest in the U.S.

MADD praised lawmakers in Louisiana for passing a sweeping ignition interlock law in 2007 that, along with stricter law enforcement, has contributed to a 36 percent reduction in drunk driving deaths. However, the taxpayers in only eight states paid more than the $1.1 billion Louisiana residents spent to subsidize drunk driving fatalities in 2015. These costs dragged Louisiana's overall drunk driving rank down to 32nd in the nation. State rankings were adjusted based on population size.

The figures coming out of Louisiana reflect national trends, and the researchers found that stricter drunk driving laws and more severe DUI penalties often failed to reduce death rates or costs. The DUI fatality rate in South Carolina is one of the highest in the country despite some of the nation's toughest drunk driving laws. However, lawmakers who feel that they are fighting a losing battle may be heartened by the results observed in Florida. The Sunshine State was ranked among the best in DUI arrests, DUI penalties and reducing drunk driving fatalities.

The victims of drunk drivers often suffer debilitating injuries that may leave them unable to work for prolonged periods. In these situations, personal injury lawyers may initiate litigation on behalf of car accident victims against the estate or insurance company of the drunk driver involved.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "Louisiana," Accessed June 9, 2015

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