An Overview of Drunk Driving

Topics: Drunk driving, Alcohol law, Blood alcohol content Pages: 13 (4588 words) Published: October 15, 2013

Philip B. Linke is a libertarian who has been driving drunk for 25 years. He clearly shows that it is possible to drink and drive successfully and he calls it “responsible drinking.” (Lerner, 1) He believes that the measures of activists groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “severely encroach upon the rights and liberty of people.” Drunk driving is one of the most controversial offenses, one where drunk individuals knowingly put themselves behind a wheel that can wreak havoc. Americans love freedom, they love individual liberties, they love driving, and they love alcohol. We are a society that condemns and tolerates drunk driving at the same time. “It is not unreasonable to require people to undergo great inconvenience to avoid killing other people.” (Bonnie Steinbock)

The problem of drunk driving has been persistent since the birth of the automobile in the late 19th century. People who drink and drive put lives at risk, they role the dice each time they get behind the wheel and horrible outcomes can be inevitable. Even with the amount of awareness and anti-drunk driving movements people still choose to remain oblivious to the facts. People are not aware of the consequences or choose to ignore them completely. If you are drunk or even somewhat buzzed and choose to get behind the wheel, you should know that there could be fatal consequences. Today prosecutors are pushing to have drunk drivers who kill, be charged with the serious crime of murder for their mistakes. Even though a drunk driver usually does not have any intent to hurt anyone, only to get home safely from a bar, they can go to jail for murder. The argument in a case like this is whether or not the driver had the intent to get behind the wheel while drunk. (Olian, Catherine. "Is It Murder?") Many will say that the alcohol caused them to get behind the wheel, and no one but the driver can say whether or not that is true. Before recent years, the worst a drunk driver could of have been charged with was manslaughter but our nation is growing restless with the problem. Laws are getting stricter and law enforcement is cracking down on drunk drivers. Maybe this new tactic is being used as another way to inform the nation that the problem must stop. It kills too many to continue, especially with the amount of drivers on the road today. The question to discuss is, what defines murder? Is it simply the intent to kill or is it much more than that? If someone is drunk, should we call it an accident? A big question that many people are asking today is whether or not drinking and driving should be constituted as murder. Drunk Driving causes an average of 13,000 deaths a year with many more accidents and injuries. The act of drunk driving is so common that an “accident” in which a death occurs happens about every 30 to 40 minutes in the United States. (Jones, Janice E. "Drunk Driving Laws.") It is a tragedy that happens too often and affects too many people to go unnoticed. With all the laws, protocols, and information about it the awareness continues to rise and the number of accidents remains the same. Many people are starting to believe that if the people of America want it to stop then we should start treating it as if it is a serious crime and not something so minor that drunk drivers will not hesitate to do it again. Drunk driving is subversively accepted by society because of alcohol's role in our American culture. This national disgrace has not only led to an accumulation of death over the years, but an acceptance of drunk driving as a viable action. Even with all measures and acts to this tragedy, it continues to be a part of our society and as a nation, we will have to change the way we think about public safety and our moral responsibilities on the road if it is to be ended. Drunk Driving should not be constituted as murder because the requirements of premeditation and intent are absent. History

There has been drunk driving since the...

Bibliography: 1. Olian, Catherine. "Is It Murder?" 60 Minutes. CBS. 01 Apr. 2009. Television.
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13. Jacobs, James B. Drunk Driving: An American Dilemma. 1st ed. Chicago: University Of Chicago, 1992. Print.
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15. Rosenberg, Gary E. "Political Libertarianism and Drunk Driving." Garyrosenberg-law.com. The Law Offices of Gary E. Rosenberg, 07 Jan. 2011. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
16. Balko, Radley. "Abolish Drunk Driving Laws." Reason Magazine 11 Oct. 2011: n. page. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
17. Gold, Jeffrey. "Utilitarian and Deontological Approaches to Criminal Justice Ethics." Ebooks. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
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