Local News

Hispanics Have Higher Rate of Drunken Driving Crashes

Posted June 4, 2007

— Drunk driving among Latinos is a problem that law enforcement authorities and Hispanic advocates continue to battle.

According to the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, 7 percent of Hispanic drivers involved in crashes in 2005 were suspected of drunken driving. The rate is more than double the percentage of white and black drivers who were involved in wrecks.

"In '05, Hispanics were disproportionately represented in alcohol-related crashes," said Lt. Everett Clendenin of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. "We've talked to the experts like a lot of police agencies have, and we know there's a cultural difference."

Since last October, El Pueblo has been bringing attention to the problem with books, workshops and public service announcements. The organization even hands out bumper stickers that calls drunken drivers fools.

"I feel that its our responsibility that we have to carry on this message and enlighten people as much as we can," said Irene Godinez, public safety specialist for El Pueblo.

Defense lawyers said Hispanic defendants are often completely unaware of just how serious the U.S. court system treats DWI crashes, especially when someone dies.

"There may be different laws, and there's definitely a different attitude in this country as it relates to DWI as compared to other countries," Godinez said. "It's not acceptable. It is a grave danger for our community, (for) all of North Carolina's communities."

El Pueblo believes one of the issues that leads to high drunken driving rates among Latinos is that many come to North Carolina alone and have no family support system. Depression can lead to substance abuse, officials said.

Another component of the outreach effort involves getting Hispanics the professional help they need if they become addicted to alcohol or drugs.

"We want to do all we can to get this message (against drinking and driving) out to all communities, and especially the Hispanic community," Clendenin said.


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  • LambeauSouth Jun 6, 2007

    If this person is found to be here in this country illegally then I feel that the Federal Goverment should fine the Concrete compamy hard for this for hiring him in the first place. If they can't get a job then they will leave.
    I too feel we have become lazy, what happened to all the High School kids working summer jobs? I'm sure there are alot of retired folks who would love the extra income, but NO they cant because you go to the local fast food and pull up to order and wallah! You cant understand them. SPEAK ENGLISH

  • hardrightroger Jun 6, 2007

    OK ladies and gents...its time to have the big round up and get these beaners out of this country....hello. When will we realize that turning our heads to the problem just because we don't mind them flippin our burgers, cutting our grass, changing our beds, and every other menial job out there. WE have become a lazy society, thats why!

  • atozca Jun 6, 2007

    Earlier I stated that Burr was planning to vote yes for amnesty, however; I was wrong. Please forgive me. According to his press release on May 25 his vote is no to the amnesty bill.

  • AtALost Jun 6, 2007

    Deportation alone is a joke; he had been deported twice. It's basically a free trip home. There should be very harsh sentences including corporal punishment, sparse living conditions (no TV, 2 meals a day, etc.) and years of hard labor for repeat criminals - illegal or not. If they wouldn't work, they wouldn't eat. If found to be illegal, that should give law enforcement probable cause to search their households. Any illegals found should be charged with international trespass and deported. Illegal parents with kids born in the US would still be deported, but get priority when applying for Visas. If caught illegal again, they'd be repeat criminals and get harsh sentences. Their kids would be placed with legal families willing to take them in or shipped back to their home country. Once the word got out about the severe punishment, maybe illegals and citizens would respect our laws. If not, their free labor would help pay for their keep and educating their kids.

  • tarheel22 Jun 5, 2007

    Press "1" for english and "2" for spanish. Please make me learn spanish so I can speak our new national language spanish. Mr. Burr probably has illegals working for him who can read the spanish language newspapers and he can pay them in peso. Oh I forgot a peso is worth 10 times a us dollar.

  • MSN93 Jun 5, 2007

    HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN? Wake up people. Intoxicated, illegal immigrants are killing innocent citizens at an alarming rate. And these are the people we want to give amnesty to! Deport them!!!! Build the wall and put a stop to their continuous flow over the border. Our educational, welfare, health, and law enforcement systems cannot tolerate anymore. And we should severely penalize anyone who hires them.

  • rargos Jun 5, 2007

    I am the son of (legal) immigrants and am married to a (legal) immigrant, so I don't think I have anything against immigration in general. That said, the illegal immigration situation in this country is out of control. The second largest component of Mexico's economy (after petroleum) is the money that Mexicans send back from the United States (instead of spending here) -- no wonder Mexico gets "offended" at the idea the US might build a wall between our two countries.

    If you want a real eye-opener, read the Spanish-language papers here in Raleigh (Que Pasa, La Connecion) and see how they view the whole "immigration" issue. Of course, they are not "illegal", they are "indocumentado" (undocumented) and it's not "immigracion" but "migracion". Pity our lawmakers can't or won't read the local Spanish-language press and see for themselves how these "indocumentados" believe the have the right (derecho) to live and work in the United States, the laws of this country be damned ...

  • thegreatsilly1 Jun 5, 2007

    Pretty simple DO NOT HIRE THEM... PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not buy a house built by tacos or anything else, landscaping, painting or any other service. They will leave when the money is cut off and only then. If they are working at walmart of mcdonalds go to target or chick fil a, keep driving untill you find a place with no illegals, I do!

  • atozca Jun 5, 2007

    Why is the media and the government acting like everyone is for amnesty? When I read these post as well as others, I don't find that the American people are supporting the amnesty bill. Please take action and call your senators. In our state good ole Burr is claiming to represent the people and vote for amnesty. Please call 336-631-5125 and tell Senator Burr to vote no!

  • thegreatsilly1 Jun 5, 2007

    I'll buy the raid