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After family tragedy, Delanie Walker works for tougher DUI laws

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Hours after they watched their nephew play with the 49ers in the Super Bowl, Delanie Walker’s aunt and uncle were killed in New Orleans by a suspected drunk driver. Walker, who now plays for the Titans, is honoring their memory by working to strengthen laws designed to prevent drunk driving.

Walker was on hand Tuesday to see Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam sign a law that Walker has supported, requiring people who have been convicted of drunk driving to install breathalyzer devices in their cars. When the device is in place, the car won’t start if the person’s blood alcohol level is higher than 0.02.

I’m going to honor my auntie and uncle, and this is, I feel like honoring them by doing something that helps somebody else prevent people from drinking and driving and make them think twice before drinking and driving and hurting someone else,” Walker told the Titans’ website. “I think this is something big and honoring them. That’s why I’m part of it and happy to be part of it.”

Kudos to Walker for finding a way to honor his aunt and uncle and, hopefully, helping to prevent other families from experiencing such tragedies.

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20 Responses to “After family tragedy, Delanie Walker works for tougher DUI laws”
  1. blacknole08 says: Jun 5, 2013 12:45 PM

    Good for Delanie. It’s not fair what happened to his family members, and others affected by these tragedies like these.

    I think another law that needs to be passed nationwide is a ban on texting while driving.

    This could be a worse phenomenon than DUI because a person is sober (for the most part) and taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds is like driving while impaired.

  2. phyxius13 says: Jun 5, 2013 12:49 PM

    Unfortunately, people stupid enough to drive after drinking, is most likely stupid enough to ask another person to go through the breathalyzer to start the car. Let’s hope that no one is willing to ‘help’ guys in this scenario.

  3. marvsleezy says: Jun 5, 2013 1:04 PM

    He could have more impact simply by talking to other NFL players about their own drinking and driving habits

  4. tindeaux says: Jun 5, 2013 1:17 PM

    Good job Walker. I’m all for that. Sick of all these DUI and the bad guys live on leaving the victims’ families in pain.

  5. amanistumor says: Jun 5, 2013 1:29 PM

    phyxius13,
    Apparently you are not familiar with how these work. While yes, anyone could get the car started for a monitored drivers car, but they won’t get too far as they require periodic blows for the vehicle to stay running.

    And while it may vary state to state, if someone with this device is caught a) driving another car without a device or b) cheating the device (drunk on the side of the road b/c the car cut out after someone else initially blew) they are going to do serious jailtime.

    I speak of all this from 2nd hand knowledge, I practice safe driving to the best of my abilities.

    Back to the story though. I commend DW for being an advocate but a monitoring device for a single infraction is a little steep. Maybe if it wasn’t the typical political moneymaking game to the lawmakers in charge the culture would change. The national limit of .08 is a shill for states to capture more “adminstrative” fees versus eliminating a epidemic. Keeping the limit @ .10 and stiffening the penalty was all that was needed, but they wouldn’t catch as many fish (read $’s) with that net.

  6. uwsptke says: Jun 5, 2013 1:30 PM

    This is a good first start, and a concept that should be adopted nation-wide. I’m sick of hearing about some idiot on the news who is in court because of this “8th” DUI/OWI arrest.

    I wonder how much we could cut down on drunken driving arrests/deaths if breathalyzers were required equipment in all new cars. If driving without a seat belt is illegal, and we require all new vehicles to have those, and it’s a law meant to protect the driver/passengers, wouldn’t it stand to reason that it makes sense to require a piece of equipment meant to protect innocent drivers from a drunken operator?

  7. nyfcat says: Jun 5, 2013 1:43 PM

    Good for you, Delanie. (Start with Kenny Britt)

  8. steelhammer92 says: Jun 5, 2013 1:44 PM

    DUI laws should be more strict across the board. There’s no reason why we should be hearing about people being arrested for their 15th, 16th, etc DUI. They should have been locked up for good long ago. Instead, those prison cells are being used for guys who smoked or grew some weed in their own homes. Not, you know, the people driving around impaired in 4,000 pound killing machines.

  9. iced107 says: Jun 5, 2013 1:47 PM

    Heart and mind is in the right place, but terrible idea.

    These devices have been proven to be inaccurate time and time again. People don’t refuse to blow when pulled over “because their guilty” – it’s because it’s a known fact around the US that these machines are faulty. (Last year in my area, 100 cases were thrown out over the course of a month).

  10. ninerfan81 says: Jun 5, 2013 2:05 PM

    If you can’t afford a cab home you shouldn’t be spending money on alcohol. I explain this to my friends, you can spend $5 – $50 on a cab and get home safe or you can save that few bucks and kill yourself or someone else on the way home. There is no other way to think about it. I’ve walked home in DC many times because cabs dont stop for me but its been well worth it every single time, peace of mind. Kudos to Delanie for supporting this.

  11. granadafan says: Jun 5, 2013 2:12 PM

    Unfortunately there are certain yet powerful Conservative elements in the US who refuse to pass federal laws regarding DUIs or texting/talking on phones while driving. For all those who defend NFL players who get caught driving drunk, they should have a little chat with Delanie Walker or other people who have been victims of others driving under the influence. Their perspective will change.

  12. lionsfan2014 says: Jun 5, 2013 2:24 PM

    Drunk Drivers are awful, but all those interlock devices do is help out the turkey baster industry.

  13. purplepunisher says: Jun 5, 2013 3:06 PM

    .02 is rediculous, you would blow higher then that if had a half a beer while eating dinner. I highly doubt anyone caused an accident because they drank a half beer.

    Why dont they put some real stats behind these accidents. Im sure all drunk driving accidents are caused by drunk people, not people blowing .02

  14. junglerat524 says: Jun 5, 2013 3:14 PM

    I applaud DW for backing this effort but I do have a problem with some parts of this. Today .02 is (at least in Ohio) the juvenile limit & .08 is the adult limit. Making 1st time offenders (some who actually did make a mistake & have learned) have to blow into a machine at .02 is not reasonable. What that says is that if you have one drink for dinner (at the beginning) you need to wait at least an hour-hour & a half until you can start your car again depending on weight. I’m all for interlock devices on all vehicles on the road today. I made a one time mistake 9 years ago & I put one in on my own & still have it. It’s calibrated at .025 per the law even though I’m not on probation. That’s the law. I’d rather see them calibrated around .045-5 instead. Unless they can show me the majority are impaired at that level & can’t drive.

  15. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Jun 5, 2013 3:31 PM

    So let me get this straight: the legal limit for drunk driving is .08 but because of a previous offense for which the offender has already served their sentence they will not be able to drive at a .02?
    The “party of small government” strikes again. Great job Mr. Haslem.

  16. cometkazie says: Jun 5, 2013 3:34 PM

    The 0.02%BAC is for people who have been convicted. IMHO, they shouldn’t be driving at all if they had one little drink. If he got caught once, he got away with it hundreds of times.

    A man related by marriage to a good friend killed seven on his way home from his birthday party. These people don’t think it’s going to happen “this time.” He is in prison for a long time.

    The interlocks cost a lot and are required to be checked every so often. This brings in a lot of $$.

  17. asimonetti88 says: Jun 5, 2013 3:34 PM

    Way to go Delanie!

  18. forty9asty says: Jun 5, 2013 4:38 PM

    This kind of tragedy happens all too often. When I was younger, I drank and drove too many times, and was lucky not to have any accidents, but it is very likely to happen and can easily be avoided. As a 9ers fan, my heart goes out to Delanie and I hope whatever he can do helps. On the football side of things, he is an excellent team player and a stand-up guy and he will be missed in San Fran. I hope he has great success as a number one in Tenneessee, he’s earned the right for his shot.

  19. mazblast says: Jun 5, 2013 4:42 PM

    I have no problem with the .08 limit, but there are those of the “never low enough” MADD participation who want the limit lowered to .05. That’s just too low IMO.

    For those who have been convicted, though, I’m all in favor of the .02 limit, maybe .03 or .04 for first-time offenders.

    In any event, props to DW for doing something, anything, to make the roads safer. Any word on what happened to the person who killed his aunt and uncle?

  20. cwk22 says: Jun 5, 2013 4:57 PM

    Good for him. My stupid daughter in law has multiple drunk driving arrests. Yet, still has her license and no jail time! I don’t get it.

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