Should Tougher Drinking & DUI Laws Be Enforced?
Drunk driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Because a person's motor skills are impaired while drunk, driving under the influence is a major threat to public safety and is a criminal offense in most countries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that “40% of total traffic deaths in the United States are due to drunk driving” (GET INVOLVED). To determine whether or not someone is driving drunk, a person's blood alcohol concentration is measured. “The current legal limit for drunk driving in Wisconsin is 0.08 BAC”, which some people feel does not go far enough (Wisconsin DUI (OWI) Laws). People support tougher penalties for DUI convictions and favor a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. Others feel that the current legal limit is adequate and stricter laws would penalize social drinkers instead of actual drunk drivers. A number of other suggestions have been made to combat drunk driving, including reducing the number of underage drinkers, imposing restrictive licensing laws to keep heavy drinkers off the roads, and increasing the use of sobriety checkpoints. Even though stricter DUI laws will hurt economies on local restaurants, bars, and stores, tougher drinking and DUI laws should be enforced to prevent more deaths and to promote safer driving environments on the road. As easy as it would seem to enforce tougher DUI laws, there are some penalties to doing so. Stricter laws will penalize social drinkers and could have a negative economic effect on restaurants and bars. This is similar to the debate as to whether or not the passage of no-smoking laws had adverse consequences for businesses in the tavern industry. In 2010, the state of Wisconsin implemented a law that banned smoking in all public places. Immediately, bars across the state noticed a drop in revenue. The problem with this change is that it is like looking at a...
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