Drunk Driving Persuasive Essay

Distraction of drivers is one of the main causes of accidents. When a driver picks up the phone, reads a text, and answers it, he/ she cannot keep all the attention on the road which, unfortunately, often results in life threatening accidents or in rare cases a lucky escape from a life threatening accident. A split second of focus loss on the road can cost a life.

Alcohol negatively influences the body. It slows down the brain reaction and body reaction in general. It is believed that driving under the influence of alcohol is responsible for more than 25% of deaths that are related to road accidents. It is explained by the fact that alcohol use leads to poor coordination, double vision, blurred speech, and decreased self-consciousness (Ludbrook et al., 1999). One drink is enough for a driver to lose his/ her ability to perform the tasks needed for safe driving. Hence, excessive alcohol consumption greatly impairs judgement and affects the ability to process information. A drunk driver usually finds it difficult to judge the distance between the cars, to judge the speed of a vehicle, concentrate on the driving task, notice pedestrians, traffic light, and other hazards, appropriately react to things around him/ her, keep the balance, as well as stay awake. As drunk driving may result in traffic accidents and even death, it is a crime that should be punished.

In every country and state there is a legal limit to how much alcohol a driver can have in the blood while driving. Violation of these regulations is a crime. Drunk driving is considered to be one of the crimes that is not predicated upon intentional harm to a person or property. The crime is predicated upon the risk of harm. As a result, innocent people are regularly injured and killed by drunk drivers. In some cases drunk driving is classified as a felony, irrespective of the fact whether the driver killed or injured a person ("DUI or DWI Punishments and Penalties," 2014).

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Drunk driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents, vehicular deaths, and highway injuries. Possible prevention measures include impounding or immobilizing vehicles, impounding or confiscating vehicle plates, suspending or revoking driver licenses, increasing penalties such as jail for the first offense, enforcing open container bans, and mandating alcohol education. The question of air bags, safety seat belts, designated drivers, and other effective practical ways to stay sober is also widely discussed. It is essential to know that every single death and injury caused by drunk driving is preventable.

Before drinking and driving, a person should think about future consequences of the offense. A driver caught under the influence of alcohol will be treated as a criminal. He/ sheis usually taken to jail. It is also necessary to go to court and face jury or a judge. In most states, 0.08 alcohol level in the blood means that the driver will be found guilty of drunk driving. A driver with alcohol concentration in the blood of 0.10 or greater is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a sober driver. Basically, the more alcohol consumes the driver, the more likely he/ she is to have an accident.

When a person is caught drunk driving, the driver's license is usually revoked or suspended. Most states require going through an assessment of drinking habits and taking educational classes about alcohol, its harm and dangers before getting driving privileges back ("DUI or DWI Punishments and Penalties," 2014). In some cases, treatment is inevitable. In addition, a drunk driver will have to pay for the installation of an ignition interlock device that allows the car to start.

Drunk driving is a serious problem not only in the USA, but also around the globe. Strict measures that aim to deter people from drunk driving have been constantly utilized in the hope that one day humanity will forget about the problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (n.d.) reported that more than 1.5 million Americans were arrested in one year for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol meaning that one out of every 121 licensed drivers was a drunk driver. It was also stated that within two hours of drinking, over 700 drivers are arrested for drunk driving. It was found that in 2000 more than 1400 taffic accidents involved fatalities and were caused by a driver with under the influence of alcohol or drugs (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, n.d.). This number accounts for almost 9% of all alcohol-involved road accidents where a fatality has occurred. The statistics shows that drunk driving is a serious offense. Drunk drivers are nearly 1.5 times more likely to get involved in fatal accidents.

The US statistics reveal the fact that almost 12,000 people die every year because of alcohol-related accidents. More than 900,000 offenders are arrested every year for drunk driving. Despite the fact that drunk driving has decreased during the past 35 years, the problem is still eminent. The solution to the problem lies not only in the hands of laws and regulations, but also in the consciousness of drivers. It is necessary to keep the roadways safe and avoid drunk driving decreasing mortality rate and ensuring safer driving.

People continue violating the law and more and more often get behind the wheel in a state of drunkness despite public awareness of the problem, warnings, education programs, stiff penalties for violation, and even imprisonment. Over 40% of all people in the USA have ever been involved in a traffic mishap related to drunk driving.The penalties for drunk driving have been constantly increasing, especially for the repeated offences (Hedlund & Fell, 2007). Many US states have even passed laws that require jail time for such offenders. The fines have become larger and the license suspension length has gotten longer. However, this does not eliminate the problem.

Basically, the penalty for drunk driving depends on the state law and aggravating circumstances. However, in all states, first offense related to drunk driving is classified as a misdemeanor and may be punishable by up to six months imprisonment. The time of imprisonment may be increased under certain circumstances. Some states mandate more severe punishments for such drivers, depending on the blood-alcohol content at the time of arrest. Many states require minimum jail sentences for the first offense. However, subsequent offenses often result in longer jail sentences that may even last for a year.

Causing death in a state of drunk driving is considered to be the most serious driving offense. The increased level of alcohol consumption results in a more severe penalty. Second time offenders usually receive a jail sentence. However, in some cases alternatives are considered by the judge. Penalties associated with drunk driving also include probation, alcohol abuse treatment community service and others. Continuous repetition of drunk driving and not fear of the punishment suggest the idea that the government should take strict measures to prevent the crime.

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Some states have chosen the strictest for the offense in the hope that enforcing at least minimum jail sentences will prevent people from drunk driving. Jurisdiction and the severity of the drunk driving case are taken into consideration while determining the length of a jail sentence. Drunk driving may also be solved with the help of passing mandatory alcohol testing in fatal crahes. It might promote successful drunk driver prosecution. In many cases mandating the installation of interlock devices is more effective than revocation of driving license (Ludbrook et al., 1999). A mandatory jail sentence with automatic license revocation is an extremely effective way of drunk driving elimination.

Thus, alcohol negatively influences human judgement, perception and motor skills that are required to drive safely. All 50 states have taken serious action when it comes to drunk driving. All offenders are punished according to the state laws. Drunk drivers should be punished as they are not concerned about the safety of other people. Absence of clear mind, vision, and consciousness, as well as inability to concentrate and drive in the correct line is more than enough to pose a threat to other drivers putting their life in danger.

Unfortunately, in spite of great progress and a drop in alcohol-related driving, drunk driving still remains a serious problem that tragically effects many people. Since drunk driving is a great danger, other drivers and society in general, offenders should be punished to prevent the same impaired driving in the future. Thus, drunk driving is a crime as it may lead to deaths and injuries. It causes hazard to the pubic safety and requires urgent elimination.

References

  1. DUI or DWI punishments and penalties (2014). Nolo. Retrieved from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/dui-or-dwi-punishments-penalties-30321.html
  2. Hedlund, J., & Fell, J. (2007). Repeat offenders and persistent drinking drivers in the U.S. NHTSA, NTS-20, 400 Seventh St SW, Washington, DC 20590, USA. Retrieved from http://casr.adelaide.edu.au/t95/paper/s21p2.html
  3. Ludbrook, A., Godfrey, C., Wyness, L., Parrot, S., Haw, S., Napper, M., & van Teijlingen, E. (1999). Effective and cost-effective measures to reduce alcohol misuse in Scotland: A literature review. Edinburgh, Scotland: Department of Scottish Ministries. Retrieved from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2007/08/alcoholmisuse/alcoholmisuse
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.). Impaired driving. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired