Tips For Staying Safe on New Year's Eve 2018

Tips For Staying Safe on New Year's Eve 2018

It's one of the most fun and exciting holidays of the year. There are fireworks, bonfires, and sparklers all around and large amounts of people gathered together. It's a time to think about how far we have come as well as the goals we have for the future. However, for some the new year will begin with a DWI charge on their record and some jail time. It's important to be smart on this holiday and plan for any potential mistakes that may come your way. Here are our top safety tips to keep your new year moving in a positive direction.
Forget the Alcohol
This will be a hard tip to follow for most people, but it could end up saving lives. If you have been designated as the driver for the night, this is your only option. When you think about it, this can only help you with drunk drivers all around the roads and cops keeping a look out on every turn.
Have a Sleepover
If you find yourself out at a New Year's Eve and you think you've had too much to drink don't be embarrassed to ask to stay the night.  Any good host will have already made sure this was possible for their guests. A good thing to keep in mind is that you can always ask ahead of time if this is an option. If not, you might want to think about going to another party.
Pick a Driver
Make sure you and your group have chosen a reliable and responsible driver to get everyone home safe. There are plenty of New Year's Eve activities to partake in for fun besides drinking. Try and stay encouraging to your DD and help them have fun without the drinks.
Download Uber or Lyft
Choosing a ride share option is one of the smartest and easiest ways to avoid drunk driving on this holiday. Make things even easier by downloading and creating an account with the app before the party even starts.
At Martin Walker Law, we want to encourage all East Texans to stay safe out there on New Year's Eve. It's important to have fun on this holiday, but it's not worth it if you get hurt or if you cause someone else to get in an accident. Happy New Year! Stay safe out there.


Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

The statistics have been clear for many years now. The night of New Year's Eve and morning of New Year's Day are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Most years, drunk driving related accidents spike by 70% or more during the early morning hours of New Year's day. Each year upwards of 120 people lose their lives over the holiday season related drunk driving crashes. Understandably, it is also one of the most dangerous times of the year for pedestrians. Some 20 pedestrians will likely die this New Year's by being hit by a vehicle.

Fortunately, these statistics don't have to be this high. In Tyler, we have several options that can let you have an enjoyable holiday while keeping yourself and others safe.

  • We have multiple quality cab companies in Tyler that will be glad to help you or your friends or family members home safely. Often times they even offer discounts or even free rides to help keep people safe during the New Year's holiday.
  • This New Year also marks the first time Tyler has had Uber operating in town. Like with a cab company, booking a ride home with Uber is a great way to have fun and then get home safe.
  • Another good option is to plan your celebrations in a way designed to keep you and your guests off the roads, especially during the overnight hours.
  • Finally, if you need to be on the road this New Year's Eve, take extra care to watch out for erratic drivers and please don't contribute to the problem by drinking and driving yourself.

We hope you'll stay safe this holiday season and have a great new year. It's important to note that each year, we advise all who are drinking during the holiday season to utilize the local Tyler taxi service, or an Uber.


Ways To Stay Safe On The Road This New Year

While their are fewer overall driving deaths on New Years Eve and New Years Day than on some other holidays, the hours between 6pm on Dec 31st and 6am on Jan 1st are one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. The combination of holiday travel, late night parties, and alcohol push the number of crashes and driving related deaths during that period far higher than almost any other night of the year.
There are any number of statistics out there about how dangerous New Years driving is. You can find a good summary of the reasons not to be on the road during New Years here.
So, what's the best way to stay safe during the New Years holiday?

  • Don't drive unless you have to. Play it smart and stay off the roads.
  • Consider using a designated driver, cab service, or ride sharing service if do need to get somewhere, especially if you are coming home from a New Years party.
  • Above all, if you must drive this New Years, don't drive drunk.

From all of us at Martin Walker, P.C., we hope you have happy and safe new year.


Personal Breathalyzers, A New Tool To Help Prevent Drunk Driving?

With Thanksgiving now behind us, the final two big holidays of the year are fast approaching. The New Years holiday is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be driving, but perhaps a new trend can help make it safer in the years to come. More and more people are buying and using personal breathalyzers.
Though they aren't yet in widespread use, a recent study by the National Safety Council showed that up to 26% of those that responded had at one time either used a personal breathalyzer themselves or used one to help convince a friend that they were too impaired to drive safely.
Personal breathalyzers come in a variety of form factors ranging from one-time-use tubes that don't require batteries, to smartphone connected devices, all the way up to professional tools used by law enforcement. While the accuracy of individual breathalyzers can vary quite a bit, even the less accurate versions can be a good tool to help prevent others from driving drunk.


No Reason To Drink and Drive This New Year's Day


The statistics have been clear for many years now. The night of New Year's Eve and morning of New Year's Day are some of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Most years, drunk driving related accidents spike by 70% or more during the early morning hours of New Year's day. Each year upwards of 120 people lose their lives in New Year's related drunk driving crashes. Understandably, it is also one of the most dangerous times of the year for pedestrians. Some 20 pedestrians will likely die this New Year's by being hit by a vehicle.

Fortunately, these statistics don't have to be this high. In Tyler, we have several options that can let you have an enjoyable New Year while keeping yourself and others safe.

  • We have multiple quality cab companies in Tyler that will be glad to help you or your friends or family members home safely. Often times they even offer discounts or even free rides to help keep people safe during the New Year's holiday.
  • This New Year also marks the first time Tyler has had Uber operating in town. Like with a cab company, booking a ride home with Uber is a great way to have fun and then get home safe.
  • Another good option is to plan your celebrations in a way designed to keep you and your guests off the roads, especially during the overnight hours.
  • Finally, if you need to be on the road this New Year's Eve, take extra care to watch out for erratic drivers and please don't contribute to the problem by drinking and driving yourself.

We hope you'll stay safe this New Year holiday and have a great new year.


City Council Approves City Ordinance Allowing Uber in Tyler, Texas

The Tyler City Council has approved a revision of a city ordinance that will allow ride-sharing companies to operate within Tyler, Texas. Uber will officially launch operations in Tyler this fall.  Tyler is now the fourteenth city in Texas to adopt a ride-sharing friendly ordinance.
The advantages and benefits of having a service like Uber in Tyler are excellent for our community, and we had a big part in bringing the service to Tyler. In addition to increasing the overall level of modern conveniences available to us in Tyler, we think a modern, convenient service like Uber will decrease late night, alcohol-related incidences in Tyler and help make the public and the streets safer in the long run. Martin Walker Law wanted to help usher in the foundation of Uber in Tyler because we saw the public safety advantages that ride-sharing services could bring to the city and the burgeoning downtown scene. The company applauded the City of Tyler for approving new "modern ride-sharing rules that prioritize public safety and access to safe, reliable transporation." Residents will now be able to go enjoy a night on the town, have drinks, have fun, and not have to worry about getting a ride home or consider driving themselves home. You just open up the Uber app on your smartphone and request a ride - your Uber will be there in minutes to bring you home safely.
Uber drivers must pass a rigorous test and background check, and have an approved vehicle to be able to drive for Uber. Bringing this service to Tyler also brings with it an added industry and economy; it gives locals the ability to make extra cash on the side, at their own pace. Beth Huddleston, Uber's General Manager, said, "We are thrilled that the City of Tyler has chosen to embrace Uber. The passage of this ordinance means that residents, students, and visitors will soon be able to get a ride or earn extra money at the touch of a button." If you are interested in becoming a driver for Uber in Tyler, you can apply here.


Help Keep The Roads Safer This New Year

Help Keep The Roads Safer This New Year

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New Year’s Eve and the early morning hours of New Year’s Day are some of the most risky times to be on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, half of all fatal New Year’s accidents involve drunk drivers and only the far busier Thanksgiving holiday sees more overall deaths each year. January 1st is also the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrians with an average of 22 people being struck and killed each year.
Help make this New Year’s holiday safer, don’t try to drive if you have been drinking. If you do plan to drink, please plan ahead and use a designated driver.


Mother of Drunk Driving Victim Appeals Case to United States Supreme Court

 

Mother of Drunk Driving Victim Appeals Case to United States Supreme Court

MarthaChavis
Martha Chavis, whose 42 year old son Kevin Jones was killed by a drunk driver more than four years ago, is having trouble obtaining justice simply because she lives in the state of Texas. Driver Pedro Rodriguez hit her son's vehicle head on, killing them both, after speeding the wrong way down Interstate 20 the night of August 20th, 2011. Shockingly, the crash happened after Rodrigues had been stopped and released just minutes before by a State Trooper from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“I’m feeling bad right now. I stopped him 40 minutes ago,” the trooper was recorded saying on his patrol car’s dashcam when he learned of the accident after failing to arrest Rodriguez earlier that night. Not only did Rodriguez appear to be drunk in video of the highway stop obtained by Channel 7 KLTV, the trooper let him go even though he had been speeding in excess of 20 mph over the highway limits, without a driver’s license.
Chavis sued after her son’s death, but unfortunately the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, has yet to recognize state-created danger as a cause of action to sue a state actor. Of the eleven federal courts of appeals, only the Fifth Circuit and First Circuit, which covers Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island, have failed to adopt the theory.
Schouten, attorney with Martin Walker law, isn’t giving up, however, and has appealed the Fifth Circuit’s ruling all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Now, the Chavis family waits to see if the Supreme Court will take up their case from among the more than 8,000 cases appealed to the high court each year.
For more information on this case, watch KLTV’s 7 Investigates report.


Martha Chavis, Victim of Drunk Driver Wreck, Receives MADD Victims Rights Advocate Award

Martha Chavis, Victim of Drunk Driver Wreck, Receives MADD Victims Rights Advocate Award

martha-chavez-award

On April 24, 2015, Martha Chavis received an award from MADD on the steps of the Gregg County Courthouse. It was National Crime Victim’s week, and Martha has worked tirelessly to spread the message of the damage that drunk driving does.
Martha lost her son in a drunk driver wreck.
The drunk driver hit Martha’s son in a head-on style collision on August 20, 2011, at 3:35 a.m. on I-20. Both vehicles were crushed and both people died. The drunk driver was driving the WRONG WAY in the east-bound lanes of traffic, at eighty to eighty-five miles per hour, in an intoxicated state–almost three times the legal limit.
The drunk driver had two prior DWI convictions, and one prior DWI arrest with a pending court date at the time of the wreck that ended Martha’s son’s life.
A trooper stopped and detained the drunk driver just minutes before the collision, assessed that he was intoxicated, admonished him nine times not to drive or he would “go to jail”, and let him go in possession of keys. At the time the trooper detained the drunk driver, he was headed the correct way down I-20. After the trooper detained the drunk driver, the drunk driver pulled a U-turn and drove the wrong way, causing the deadly wreck.
We are proud and honored to represent Martha Chavis, and other victims of drunk driving wrecks.