The Dangers and Penalties Of
Drinking and Driving 


Drunk driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired.

Drunk driving is illegal in all jurisdictions of the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 40 percent of all traffic related deaths in 2004 were related to alcohol.

Intoxication is determined by the levels of alcohol in the blood, which is call the blood alcohol concentration or BAC. A BAC of .01 is enough to cause impairment and cause a traffic incident to be determined as alcohol related.

In most states a BAC of .08 or greater will get a person arrested and determined to be under the influence of alcohol. Some states include a lesser charge of intoxication, which includes a BAC of .05 to .07. All states have a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21 because alcohol consumption is illegal before that time.

Often times a person under the age of 21 will lose his or her driving license if they are caught purchasing alcohol or even consuming alcohol regardless of whether or not they are in a vehicle or driving at the time.

Many jurisdictions employ much higher penalties for anyone whose BAC is .20 or higher even if they did not cause a traffic incident but were simply operating a motor vehicle.

To be able to drive at this level of intoxication the person would have to have been getting drunk regularly for many years to build up enough tolerance to the alcohol and more than likely the person would have driven drunk previously as well.

All drunk driving offenses carry possible jail terms. However, most first offenders are given lesser sentences such as driver license suspension or restriction, fines, mandatory driving classes, and alcohol counseling.

Some jurisdictions sentence all drunk drivers to jail no matter what the situation. Most recently, states have begun to use the breath test that is installed in the offenders vehicle. In order to start the car the driver must breathe into the device.

If the person is intoxicated, the car will not start. Many states impose higher sentences on people who are transporting children, have open containers of alcohol in their vehicles, or who are driving in a particularly reckless or dangerous manner.

Habitual drivers also receive stricter sentences. For example in Michigan, a third offense is an automatic felony and an automatic five-year jail sentence.

 Did You Know


Alcoholism is influenced by both hereditary and environmental factors. Addictions, particularly addictions to alcohol tend to run in families and it is known that genes to play a role in that process. Research has shown in recent years that people who have/had alcoholic parents are more likely to develop the same disorder themselves.

Interestingly, men have a greater propensity towards alcoholism in this circumstance than women. People with lowered inhibitions are at an even greater risk for becoming alcoholics. The two main characteristics for becoming addicted to alcohol stem from having an immediate family member who is an alcoholic and having a high-risk personality.

A person with a high-risk personality is one where he or she has lower inhibitions and thrives on taking risks in most all situations. If a person comes from a family with one or more alcoholics and likes to take risks, they should recognized that they are at what is considered high risk for becoming an alcoholic.

At this time, it is thought that the genetic tendency toward alcoholism in a person does not ensure that he or she will become an alcoholic but instead just means that those people feel the effects of the alcohol more intensely and quickly. In effect, the determination of genetic risk is only a determination of higher risk toward the addiction and not necessarily an indication of future alcoholism

In recent years, states have tried to become more unified in the way they handle drunken driving situations in an effort to make the laws more uniform from state to state.
Because of the increase in drunken driving occurrences, the states are also making the penalties for doing so much stricter than ever before. First offenders are being penalized more than in recent years in an effort to teach them not to ever drive under the influence again.
Repeat offenders are receive extremely strict sentences as well so that they cannot offend again and possible do more damage.
Interesting Facts

Drinking steadily and consistently over time can cause a physical dependence on alcohol as well as withdrawal symptoms when going without alcohol for very long. Physical dependence will not lead to alcoholism by itself.

There must first be issues involved that cause the person to abuse alcohol and to abuse alcohol in an effort to deal with painful emotions and/or experiences. Many factors lead to alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

These things are important to recognize when the alcoholic goes through recovery and quits abusing alcohol.

Any factors that can be removed or solved need to be addressed as part of the alcoholism treatment.

Driving under the influence of alcohol decreases a persons ability to react appropriately in driving situations and slows reflections and reaction time.
These people are not able to make driving decisions that are necessary to avoid accidents or to simply be safe in general.
Drunk driving can cause, major property damage as well as severely injure or fatally wound other people. Many times the drunk person walks away from the accident unharmed because of the relaxation effect of the alcohol on the body.



 alcohol affects

Better Your Health

Site Map
What is the Attraction To Alcohol
Alcoholism is a Widespread Problem
The Difference Between Alcohol Dependence And Alcohol Abuse
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 1
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 2
A Brief Summary Regarding Alcoholism
Alcohol Abuse and the College Campus
The Brain And Alcohol
Health Risks For Women Alcoholics
Holiday Survival Guide For The Alcoholic
How A Child See's Alcoholism
Alcoholism Detoxification Steps
Alcoholism and the Workplace
The Children of Alcoholics
Common Questions About Alcoholism
Tests for Alcohol Use
Do All Alcoholics Need a Rehab Center
The Dangers and Penalties Of Drinking and Driving
The War On Drunk Driving
How To Determine When Someone Needs Professional Help
Some Facts About Alcoholism
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Diet Hints To Assist With Alcoholism Withdrawal
Helping Someone To Overcome Alcoholism
Alcoholism Risk Is Linked to Early Aged Drinking
A Portrait Of An Alcoholic
The Symptoms of Alcoholism
Basic Facts About Alcoholism
Hard Facts About Alcoholism
Cautions Concerning Non Alcoholic Beer
The College Campus And Alcoholism
Dangers of Alcoholism
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 1-6
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 6-12
What Causes An Alcoholic Blackout
New Shot to Treat Alcoholism
Alcoholism's Physical Effects
Group Support For Alcoholism
Threats From Alcoholism
The Truth About Alcoholism
Treating The Three Main Issues In Alcoholism
Treatments for Alcoholism
Vitamins and Supplements For The Alcoholic
Recovering From Alcoholism
Help Your Teen Avoid Becoming An Alcoholic
What Is Alcholism
Family Members Drinking Too Much
Explain Alcoholism
Who Are The Alcoholics
Women Fighting The Consequences of Alcoholism
Al Anon Support For The Alcoholic's Family
Health Consequences Of Alcoholism
Medications Used For Treating Alcoholism
Screening Tests For Alcoholism
What Is The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
What the Bible Says About Alcohol Abuse
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol without AA
The Truth About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholism - Curable or Just Controllable
The Causes of Alcoholism
So How Much Drinking Really Is Too Much?
Is Alcoholism Hereditary
What Children Need to Know About Alcohol
How to Recognize When Children are Drinking
What You Need to Know about how to Set Up an Intervention for an Alcoholic
How to Quit Drinking Without Gaining Weight