Drunk Driving

Topics: Blood alcohol content, Drunk driving, Alcohol law Pages: 7 (3033 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Drunk driving is considered a serious crime in every state. It is wrong, irresponsible and wastes many lives. People who abuse alcohol hurt everyone around them, endanger public safety, and create carnage on the nation’s highways. There is nothing positive that can come out of drunk driving, so why do people do it? It is society’s job to punish these menaces and try to take control of this out of control issue. America doesn’t want to watch idly as hundreds of people are killed each day. We want to take a stand and let the world know that we may be the “land of the free and the brave” but there is nothing brave or free about driving drunk. What should be done about this problem is debatable and certainly open to discussion, but the first step is lowering the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level from .10 to .08. Many states have already done this and I commend them on this decision, but the government needs to mandate this to all the states. Some people oppose this decision and say that it is based on “emotion, personal vendettas, and irrational, sound public policy, nor backed up by statistical data.”( DWI Dilema, Internet source) However, I disagree. We need to send the message that it is not acceptable, nor is it constitutional to drive under any influence of alcohol, weather it be .08 or .20. “Drunken driving was once treated much as car accidents—a regrettable but unavoidable part of life on the roads. But a vocal grass-roots movement led my MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) persuaded much of the country, over two decades, to view it as a type of criminal negligence. Public patience with drunk drivers quickly grew thin as well-publicized death tolls mounted. ( Mishra, Internet source) What exactly is drunk driving? This is a question that has yet to be answered. “To determine the concentration of alcohol in the body at any given time, it is necessary to establish the blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which measures the percentage of alcohol in the blood. When a person consumes more alcohol than his or her body can immediately eliminate, alcohol accumulates in the bloodstream and the BAC rises.”(Henderson, 23) In Connecticut the BAC level is .08, this means that the blood alcohol level needed to be arrested for drunken driving has to be .08 or higher. “One can also be convicted of drunk driving without the results of a blood alcohol test or if your blood alcohol test result is lower than the statutory amount. A conviction can be based on evidence that your breath, conduct, language, and motor movements showed that you were drunk and unable to drive safely.” (Driving While Intoxicated, Internet source) “Alcohol’s effects are progressively more noticeable as the blood alcohol concentration increases. At a BAC of .02 to .05 percent the effects are almost entirely pleasurable. The drinker feels relaxed and sociable. There may also be some modest impairment of reasoning or memory and general reduction in caution. A BAC of .05 to .07 produces a state of excitement. The drinker begins to suffer from what may be a slight but nonetheless noticeable impairment of balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing. Judgement and self-control are also effected. The driver’s behavior is apt to become more aggressive. In general, the drinker feels stimulated and highly capable. In reality his or her ability to safely perform tasks such as driving that require quick reactions, concentration, and good judgement has been significantly reduced. A drinker’s ability to function deteriorates quickly at BACs of .08. to .15 percent, the drinker enters a state of confusion. At this stage, the level of impairment becomes obvious, if it is has not already. Speech becomes slurred; the drinker’s sense of balance, vision, reaction time, and reasoning ability are distinctly and obviously impaired. With a BAC this high the...
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