Effects Of Drunk Driving Essay

Drinking Alcohol and Driving

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Alcohol and Driving


Imagine being in a bar with a few of your good friends. Everyone is drinking and having a good time. Your are going to leave and go home, but you friends won't let you because they know the dangers of driving after having a few drinks. Instead they ca ll a cab to give you a ride home. You would be extremely lucky to have such smart friends. Drunk driving is a very serious problem in our society today, but it is becomming socially unacceptable causing the numbers of alcohol related traffic fatalites t o decline considerably.

Drunk driving can be very deadly. Yet many people drive while under the influence everyday. Drivers who are drunk are blamed for the loss of as many as twentyfive thousand lives in highway crashes each year and hundreds of thousands of severe injurys.

It is thought that drunk drivers have a long history of doing this and many prior arrests. In addition, most of those killed are just innocent victims whose behavior did not contibute to their deaths. These last two statements are both false. On aver age a drunk driver that kills has never been involved in a alcohol related accident before and have no proir convictions for drunk driving. The part about the people killed are just innocent bistanders is overaggerated also. Most of the drunk drivers v ictims are the drivers themselves, their often passengers, and the drunken pedestrains and cyclists. Despite this drunk driving is still very dangerous. It is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in America today. In fact it is said that ab out 40 % of the population will be involved in a alcohol related crash during their life. Drunk driving is especially dangerous to young people, who seem to be more involved than others. Drunk driving is the number one cause of death among young people, accounting for 20% of all deaths from ages 15 to 20. Drunk driving is such a hard thing to overcome though. In our society alcolol is overwhelmingly accepted as a facilitator of sociable interaction, and the great majority of adults drink. But steps a re being taken and the numbers of deaths are declining.

Alcohol-related traffic fatalities have been decreasing lately. As a proportion of all traffic fatalities it has been decreased since 1982. In fact since 1982 the number of alcohol releated traffic fatalities has decreased 30%, from 25,165 to 17,699, w hile alcohol-related traffic fatalitites, as a proportion of all traffic fatalities, decreased from 57% to 45%.

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This is a great achievment when you consider that the number of miles traveled has increased 40% since then. For the past 14 years the numbe r of alcohol-related traffic fatalities have been dropping steadily. With the help of a growing number of support groups and tougher pentalites the numbers should drop even more in the next few years to come.

The numbers of accidents have been dropping for a number of reasons. The states have taken some effective measures such as immediate lecense suspension, lowering the blood alcohol concentration legal level from .01 to .08 for adults and for people under age 21 to .02. Other's such as sobriety checkpoints, public education, community awareness, and media campaigns about the dangers of alcohol-impaired driving. In addition some strategies should be considered, such as those outlined during the Surgeon General's Workshop on Drunk Driving and in the national plan for injury prevention and control. Such strategies include changing the social norm to make alcohol-impaired driving socially unacceptable, limiting alcohol avilability among underaged youth, a lcohol service training for those who sell and serve alcohol, early alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs, offering alternative transprotation programs for those of the leagal drinking age, and increasing the perception of the risk for arrest for alcohol-impaired driving. States like California have raised the penalty for misdemeanor drunk driving offenses to a maxium $1000 fine and one year in jail. In July, a state law took effect requiring twice-convicted drunk drivers to equip their cars wit h a breath analysis device that prevents them from starting their engines if they have a blood-alcohol level higher than .02%. And after Jan. 1, people under the age of 21 caught driving with a bolld-alcohol level .01% or greater will immediatley lose th eir driver's licenses for one year. In fact Ohio now allows officials to confiscate vehicles registered to drivers with at least four DUI convictions in a five-year period of those who twice allow their vehicles to be used by someone they know to be drun k or without a license. Currently the state istaking away those cars and putting them in a car crusher. Steps like these need to continue to be taken and hopefully the number of accidents will decrease.

It's great to see problems like these decreasing. Drinking and driving is very dangerous. Many people have theri lives shattered and ruined because of a drunk driver. That is why this is becomming so socially unacceptalbe. People are finally starting to realize how dangerous this can really be. With the help of new laws and continued hard work the number of drinking and driving accidents should be very little in the future.



When an intoxicated individual makes a decision to sit behind the wheel of an automobile and drive home, he endangers everyone on the road. This one decision, which may not seem important at the time, can have a crucial impact . When the choice whether or not to drive under the influence of alcohol faces a person, he often does not realize the consequences of his actions, and therefore makes an extremely uneducated decision. Many people believe that increasing fines for drunk driving offenders will play a significant part in the cutting down of driving under the influence. However, while stiffer DUI laws will look affective on paper, they will not make a substantial step in the fight against drunk driving.

The only benefit of increased drunk driving fines goes to the law enforcement agency that collects the fines. Because the majority of DUI stops happen to individuals who do not believe that they have become drunk, a person who chooses to drive does not even consider the fine that he may receive, no matter the amount. If an intoxicated person believes that he has the ability to drive home safely, a new law passed by state representatives will not stop them. A state increasing its DUI fines, will not make the police notice a decline in the amount of drunken driving stops, nor a decreased amount of alcohol related accidents. The only change that would come from such an increase would come in a boost in state government funds pouring in from DUI offenders.

While the fight against drunk driving seems to have no end, many other solutions exist besides the raising of fines. One such solution lies in education. If the general public becomes properly educated about the meaning of intoxication, they will have the ability to make a proper choice when it comes time to decide whether or not to drive home. An individual needs to know facts such as how many drinks it takes to push them above the legal blood alcohol limit to drive. The legal blood alcohol content in Kentucky stands at .08. this means that if an officer stops a driver who’s blood alcohol content proves above .08, the officer recognizes this person as impaired, and can proceed with giving them a DUI. The public also needs to know consequences far more great than a simple fine, such as the risk you take of killing yourself or others when driving while impaired. Simply knowing certain facts about driving under the influence can become the difference between a person driving drunk and taking a cab home. The difference between life and death lies in this choice, so it should lie in the hands of an educated person, not someone who does not know the facts about drunk driving.

Another factor that can affect a person’s decision to drive drunk comes with his friends. A person needs to possess enough common sense to not let someone who is obviously intoxicated sit behind the wheel. While a possible fine will not stop someone from driving drunk, a close friend telling them not to drive will prevent them from doing so. In order to stop an intent person who has decided that he wants to drive drunk, a friend must also prove intent in stopping them. The saying, “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” could not have any more accuracy. Many times, a person will use every excuse in the world to convince someone to let them drive. A true friend should never let someone drive drunk, no matter the circumstances.

The fact remains true, that no matter what anyone does, whether increasing the punishment, or educating the public, we cannot completely solve the problem of drunk driving. “Preaching to me about the evils of drinking didn’t stop me though.” This quotation from “An Indian Story”, by Roger Jack, demonstrates the average person’s attitude towards alcohol. People posses their own determination and will do what they want to do, and this willpower becomes even stronger when alcohol enters the picture. Judgment becomes impaired, and a person’s decision making goes downhill. This fact alone contributes greatly to the fact that people will always drive drunk, no matter what anyone does.

Although nothing can totally prevent drunk driving, certain steps such as the education of not only the potential driver, but his friends as well, can play a significant role. The increase in fines, however, would prove completely ineffective and have no impact whatsoever on the amount of drunk driving that takes place. People simply do not consider the legal punishment when making the decision to drive while intoxicated. Knowing that consequences can go so much further that an easy fine and even be as serious as death, however, may sway someone’s choice. The prevention of drunk driving does not lie in legislation, but in education. Educated people make educated decisions, and educated people will not make the decision to drive drunk.

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