Drunk driving is defined as when one drives with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than 0. 08.
It has been established that in every 30 minutes someone dies in an alcohol related accident (http://www. nsc. org). Alcohol has also been seen to be the cause of 6% of traffic crashes. It was brought to the forefront in the 1990s by the association of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and also those who campaign against drunken driving. The alcohol related accidents are defined as those when either the driver of the car in wheel, the pedestrian or any other person has an alcohol content in the blood that is above the acceptable limit.There are specific groups of people who are targeted by the anti drunk campaigners.
They are mostly those who are below 21 years old because in America they are not even in the legal age bracket that is allowed to drink and drive. Those who are repeat offenders are also targeted by those campaigns and those whose age ranges from 21 years to 34 years. This is because they are the ones who cause most of the drunken driving accidents especially those which are fatal. The reason why they protest so much is because the problems caused by drinking and driving are easily preventable.Those who have a Blood Alcohol Content of more than 0. 15 percent are the major proportion of the causes of fatal accidents. (http://www. potsdam.
edu). Those who have the highest possibility of having a Blood Alcohol Content that is beyond 0. 15 are those aged between 25-35 years. It is has also been established that they are usually male. When one looks at statistics, one finds that the majority of those injured fatally due to drunken driving are usually those with a Blood Alcohol Content of more than 0.
16. They also tend to be repeat offenders who have had a number of skirmishes with the law.The number of vehicle crashes caused by drunk drivers, pedestrians or passengers is more than twice that caused by sober drivers (Shore E. R. & Ferrari J. R 1998 pg 45-73). There has been the conclusion that the only way to deal with drunk driving is by increasing the legislation laws that are against it. It is also necessary to strengthen the already existing laws that pertain to the issue.
There are courts which have been established and are specifically designated to deal with the issues concerned with drunken driving.They are either called Driving While Intoxicated courts or Driving Under the Influence courts. There are other names used to refer to these courts but these two are the most common. There should be the establishment of these courts where they have not yet been established and where they already are, they should be strengthened. They have been a real help in that they have helped reduce the impact of drunk driving on the roads. They have done this because they are able to deal with the issues concerning drunken driving exclusively.
They especially deal with repeat offenders and their rate of failure is quite low.The repeat offenders are seen to be a nuisance to the society and need to have stiffer punishments to deal with them There has also been introduction of the laws that bring about the suspension and / or revocation of driving licenses. This is done especially to those who are repeat offenders and have been brought to the DWI courts a number of times. This has been found to be very effective in reducing the number of drunken driving cases. The combination of suspension and revoking of driving licenses with a mandatory jail sentence is even much more effective.This has been found to be necessary especially to recidivists who have been warned and fined yet do not stop the habit. There is also the impounding or confiscicating of the license plates of those found committing the crime.
The vehicle itself may be impounded or immobilized once the driver is found to be drunk. This helps a lot because the drivers are afraid to be living without a car. Since this is inconveniencing for them, they either avoid driving their vehicles when they are drunk or get someone who is not drunk to drive them when they are drunk.This then leads to reduction of the cases of accidents caused by drunken driving. There are other laws that make it mandatory to have interlock devices installed to the vehicles that ensure that it does not start if the person is drunk (http://www. iii.
org). To the already existing laws, there has been a need to reinforce them so that they become more effective. These include the fines that the offenders are required to pay once they are convicted of the offence. The fines were found to be very lenient and thus the need to make them harsher so as to make an impact was found to be necessary.With the increase in the fines that people are charged with, it becomes a bit easier to make them feel the financial impact of the fines.
This leads to a reduction in the number of cases concerning the issue of drunken driving. The increase in jail terms is also very effective in the reduction of the amount of cases brought forward due to drunk driving. The education on alcohol usage has also been made mandatory. Since the presence of alcohol education has been around it only needs to be expanded and also made mandatory. This then helps in showing the different effects of alcohol usage.It also includes the teaching of various laws put in place regarding the use and abuse of alcohol. This ensures that the people who drink do so with full knowledge of what is expected of them.
There are also social norms programs that are introduced and implemented that are supposed to correct the various misconceptions that people have about alcohol use. This is also used to correct the assumption that people have about the number of people who drive under the influence (Greenberg M. D. , Jain A. K. & Morral A.
R. Vol. 65 2004 pg 1-3).
There is also the use of alcohol and substance use test on all those who are involved in car crashes.This has been made mandatory and helps a lot and in the convicting of those who have been driving under the influence. Once a person tests positive to having been driving under the influence, they can then be prosecuted as having been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. All these legislations have gone a long way to reduce the number of cases of accidents caused by drunk drivers but the number is still high. The various groups who are anti-drunk drivers have also contributed a lot through campaigning. Works cited Alcohol Problems and Solutions Drinking & Driving retrieved on 29 November 2007 from http://www2. potsdam.edu/hansndj/DrinkingAndDriving.
html Insurance Information Institute Drunk Driving Retrieved on 29 November 28, 2007 from http://www. iii. org/media/hottopics/insurance/drunk/ NSC. org Drunk Driving April 13 2004 Retrieved on 29 November 28, 2007 from http://www. nsc. org/library/facts/drunkdriving. htm Shore E.
R. & Ferrari J. R. Preventing Drunk Driving Haworth Press 1998 pg 45-73 Greenberg M. D.
, Jain A. K. & Morral A. R. How Can Repeat Drunk Drivers Be Influenced to Change? Analysis of the Association between Drunk Driving and DUI Recidivists’ Attitudes and Beliefs in Journal of Studies on Alcohol Vol.
65 2004 pg 1-3