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Drunk Driving in America.

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Introduction

Drunk Driving in America Drinking alcohol can be traced back to the Puritans drinking in taverns, and social drinking in Old Regime Paris (Barrows 4), but drunk driving is a modern problem that endangers everyone on the road (Knox 87). Knox says that the driving ability of most people deteriorates after they consume relatively little alcohol because alcohol acts as a depressant by slowing down all mental processes (42). The law is harsh on drunk drivers if they are caught and prosecuted, but many drivers are not caught. The statistics on the number of people killed by drunk drivers are shocking and many innocent lives are lost. However, there are a few ways to protect yourself from being involved in a confrontation with a drunk driver. It is illegal in every state to operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Weekly, it says that many states allow a person to drive as long as their blood alcohol level is under .10 percent. ...read more.

Middle

The most common way to chemically test for alcohol consumption is with a Breathalyzer. If a person is found to be under the influence of alcohol, they will be arrested and a court date will be set (1,2). According to Knox the consequences for drunk driving are harsh, yet still thirty percent of drunk drivers arrested are repeat offenders (80). For the first DWI offense, the punishment includes a mandatory loss of license for 30 to 90 days, fines from $75 to $200, attendance at alcohol abuse classes in or out of prison, and community service. For the second DWI offence, the punishments are the same as for the first, but also include a mandatory jail sentence of 7 to 90 days, and the fines can be as much as $1000 (98). These are the punishments if an officer pulls over a person that has been drinking. If the driver isinvolved in a wreck that kills someone, then he or she can be charged with vehicular homicide felony (99). ...read more.

Conclusion

If you know someone has had too much to drink then make sure you take their keys away to prevent them from endangering lives. While on the road keep your eyes open for cars that are weaving or swerving, strangely stopping or showing bursts of speed, and look for obvious driver errors. If you see a suspicious car, sway as far away as possible and call the police (1,2). Olson found that to prevent drunk drivers, police in some states set up sobriety checkpoints at various places to increase surveillance of drivers (39). Zaliskas believes that treatment for alcohol abuse and longer sentences are necessary to effectively combat drunk driving (190). "Drunk driving is the nations worst frequently committed violent crime" (Esurance, 1). While many states are pushing for tougher laws on drunk driving, it doesn't help combat the number of drivers who never get caught for drunk driving. Those are the people endangering lives by making poor decisions. Please be safe and responsible by not driving while under the influence of alcohol. ...read more.

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