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Drunk Driving Can Be Prevented

By kevinatny Nov 25, 2014 680 Words

Drunk Driving Can Be Prevented
Drunk drivers are a major safety threat to themselves and others. Every day in America, 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (FARS, 2012). In addition, over 1.2 millions drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States: 2011”) Statistics however cannot reflect the pain and loss suffered by drunk driving victims and their families. Therefore, drunk driving can be prevented by law enforcement, self-control improvement and effective treatment to alcoholic. Law enforcement with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under influence (DUI) should be strengthened. Meanwhile the punishment for the hardcore drunk driving offenders should be more severe than before. Take New York City as an example, the DWI penalties (21 and older) for first offense are a $300-$500 fine and a license suspension for 90 days. The penalties for second offense are a $500-$700 fine, a license revocation for at least 6 months and up to 30 days in jail. (www.dmv.org/ny-new-york/automotive-law/dui.php) However, these penalties are not severe enough to prevent drunk driving. It is reported that a Texas man who has had nine DWI convictions in his life has been sentenced to life in prison for his recent offense in 2009 (ABC News, Aug 13, 2010). His license should have been revoked forever before the ninth conviction. Some people may object to this life penalty and think that is too harsh. On the contrary, it is saving innocent lives from the danger of a man who has consistently endangered himself and others. It is obvious for patrol departments to predict that alcohol impaired drivers will appear on the highway during each holiday period and weekend. Law enforcement should be strengthened. Once the hardcore drunk drivers are identified, it is important to prevent them from driving until they become sober. As responsible adults, we should have self-control to avoid driving after drinking. According to an investigation of the drinking statistics from NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) 71.8% of males who participated in the research had at least one drink last year , and 42.3% of them usually consumed 3 or more drinks on a drinking day. As a matter of fact, a 160-pound person drinking two beers with an hour would have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04%. That means you will be charged if you’re driving a commercial motor vehicle (DMV). Before you go out, you should decide who is going to be doing the driving and make sure that person doesn’t touch any alcoholic beverages. If nobody in your group is sober, you can choose a designated driver. If a designated driver is not available, then call a taxi or take public transportation. Taking anything else is better than getting in the car with a drunk driver. If you are throwing a party, try to offer non-alcoholic beverages and never pressure guests to drink alcohol. Arrange alternate transportation for your guests or give your guests one hour or two without alcohol before they leave. Always keep it in mind, don’t drive while you drink. Effective treatment can help alcoholics. Intervention is one of those options. With the doctors and family members’ help, alcoholics can arrange an action plan for abstinence. Keeping a daily diary of how much alcohol will take and it can help to get away from the alcohol dependence. A strong social network and family support is most important. Families and friends need to be taught how to assist the alcoholics and not enable them drink again. Counseling, medications, and social support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are the other helpful options. In conclusion, law enforcement should strengthen their DWI inspection during the weekend and holidays to warn hardcore drunk drivers. Severe penalties of the second DWI offenders should be legislated to convey the sense of determination from authorities. Proper and effective treatment for alcohol dependence can bring about behavior change. Drunk driving might have been a nightmare in the past, but nowadays, it can be prevented fundamentally.

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