GulfLive Editorial: Another failure to protect kids from drunk drivers

IT’S BAD enough when an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and endangers everybody else on the road. It’s even worse, though, when a drunk driver has a child in his or her car.

That was the idea behind state Rep. Greg Snowden’s proposal to make it a separate crime in Mississippi to drive drunk with a child in the car. The bill died in the House earlier this week.
What a shame. Thirty-eight states have some sort of DUI child endangerment law, which creates penalties over and above standard driving-under-the-influence laws. The Magnolia State should join its fellow states in punishing adults who imperil children in this manner.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. One in four crash-related deaths among passengers age 14 and under involves drivers drinking alcohol, according to the CDC.

Gulf Live
2/16/11