The War On Drunk Driving
In 2005, 16,885 people died in alcohol related vehicle crashes. This accounts for 39% of all traffic related
deaths in the United States.
Everyday more and more drivers are stopped and arrested for driving under the influence.
Although authorities are working to crack down on drunk driving, there are simply too many drunk drivers to stop
all of them.
For many of the drivers that are stopped it is not the first time to be driving under the influence or even
getting caught doing it.
Since 1980 Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD), have lobbied to get first offense penalties for drunk drivers
to be more severe. Unfortunately, these penalties do not stop people from making that choice to get behind the
wheel of a car after they have been drinking alcoholic beverages.
All of the states have passed the law for age 21 to be the legal drinking age and two-thirds of all of the
states have lowered the legal blood alcohol concentration limit from .10 to .08 for adults. Most recently, twelve
states have passed Zero Tolerance laws for anyone under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their blood
In 1997, MADD got a new arsenal in their war against drunk driving when Princess Diana was killed in a traffic
accident after the man driving her car was found to be intoxicated at three times over the legal limit in France.
This accident was a powerful reminder that anyone can be affected by drinking and driving. No one is exempt from
In recent years, the Justice System has begun to hold drunk drivers responsible for the damages they have
caused. This goes beyond holding them legally responsible and now including monetary restitution to the victims and
their families. Another new weapon that is being used in the war against drunk driving is an intolerant legal
It is a waste of time these days for a drunk driver to get an attorney and try to get a reduced sentence by
pleading to a lesser charge. Although the laws differ from state to state, most states no longer allow even first
time offenders to get way without feeling the consequences of their driving under the influence.
In most states now even a first time offender faces a lengthy suspension of their license and at least a weekend
in jail. In order to get their license back, most states require the offenders to attend a DUI school, which
includes an assessment with a professional counselor.
Did You Know
There are four general rules that are used by diagnosticians to determine alcohol
1. Recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to
fulfill major role obligations at work, school, home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work
performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions
from school; neglect of children or household)
2. Recurrent substance use in situations in which it is
physically hazardous such as driving a car or operating machinery.
3. Recurrent substance related legal problems
4. Continued substance use despite having persistent or
recurrent social or interpersonal problems that are caused or made worse by the substance
Many states have passes what is called the Habitual Violator Law, which provides felony penalties for three DUI
These violators lose their licenses permanently if not for many years and lose their civil liberties such as
the right to vote or own a weapon.
A DUI conviction can be an extremely expensive even, especially a second or third offense. The costs can be
even greater for those who receive a DUI because of a traffic accident where someone was injured or possibly
Don’t be ashamed, don’t place blame, don’t ignore the problem, don’t try to solve the
problem alone, don’t try to reason with a drunk person, and don’t get
into the car with a driver who has been drinking.
Regardless of thecircumstances, more offenders are being held liable for the damages of any accidents or
tragedies they cause while under the influence.
The new war on drunk driving can cause the offenders to be not only financially devastated for life but they
can also lose their right to live a life of freedom.