English / Drinking And Driving
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Autor: anton 22 June 2011
Words: 1304 | Pages: 6
What possesses a person to get behind the driversÐ²Ð‚â„¢ seat of a car and drive intoxicated? This question is always asked whenever a drunk driver is involved in a drinking and driving incident. Many people drink and drive without thinking about the consequences. The majority of fatal car crashes are caused by alcohol related incidents. Of all traffic fatalities in the United States in 2005, 39% of traffic related accidents were alcohol related (Alcohol Alert, 2006). Driving while intoxicated puts drivers and others lives at risk. Drinking and driving do not mix and the consequences can be prevented. A simple solution can be by simply having designated drivers to help keep drunk drivers off the road.
All 50 states have a designated blood alcohol concentration level. This blood alcohol concentration level is determined when a person is legally drunk. A person is not permitted to operate a vehicle when this limit is reached. The limit for all 50 states for the blood alcohol concentration level is .08. 43 states and the District of Columbia have strict laws that prohibit the driver and the passengers from possessing an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle (DUI and DWI Laws, 2007).
Drinking alcohol can have many side effects on a person. Every personÐ²Ð‚â„¢s body will react differently to alcohol absorption. Alcohol begins to be absorbed into a personÐ²Ð‚â„¢s bloodstream within one to two minutes after an alcoholic beverage is consumed. After consuming alcohol it accumulates in the bloodstream. Intoxication usually occurs when an individual drinks alcohol faster than the liver can oxidize it. While the percentage of alcohol in the blood increases, the more a person becomes intoxicated (Hanson, 2007). Remember that only time can sober a person who has been drinking. Always remember that this is a slow process.
The more a person drinks, the more their ability to make crucial driving decisions becomes impaired. After just one drink, a driver can begin to lose their ability to perform the tasks necessary to drive a car: braking, steering, changing lanes, and using judgment to adjust to changing road conditions. At a certain point, a driver will become legally intoxicated and can be arrested for attempting to operate a motor vehicle (Drinking and Driving Data, 2007).
There are many preventative measures that an individual can take if he or she must drive after drinking. Make sure while drinking they are consuming food. If an individual eats before while he or she is drinking it will help slow the absorption rate of the alcohol in the body. Whenever an individual is drinking make sure to sip on alcohol instead of drinking rapidly. The faster a person drinks, the faster the alcohol is consumed in the body. Whenever drinking make sure to always know the bodyÐ²Ð‚â„¢s limit. Never participate in chugging contests or drinking games. Always remember to accept a drink when a drink is wanted. Never take a forced drink from someone. Switch between non-alcoholic drinks and alcoholic drinks that will help keep the blood alcohol content level down. This spaces out the body and keeps drinks controlled. Always keep active and do not just sit around and drink. Keeping the body active will make an individual drink less and be aware of how the body is reacting to the alcohol. Make sure to beware of unfamiliar drinks and drink responsibly when consuming alcohol (Hanson, 2007).
Many consequences follow when an individual decides to drink and drive. Legal consequences can include penalties, criminal record, high insurance premiums, license suspension, and jail time. The penalties are strict when it comes to a conviction for driving while intoxicated. The first offence for driving while intoxicated is a minimum fine of $600 and a minimum one year driving prohibition. A second offence requires a minimum jail sentence of 14 days and a minimum driving prohibition of two years. Third offences require a minimum jail sentence of 90 days and a driving prohibition of at least three years. Usually when four or more offences occur, an individuals license is permanently revoked and the no possibility of reinstatement (Jourard, 2007). Depending upon where an individual resides will determine the consequences of his or her actions. When a person is convicted of a dui or dwi, a criminal record of the individuals behavior is recorded. Obtaining a job or traveling can be hard due to the negative information on a personÐ²Ð‚â„¢s background. Most people are aware when convicted of a dui or dwi, that it is a possibility oneÐ²Ð‚â„¢s insurance premiums will sky rocket. Every insurance company has its own guidelines and will make sure to inform individuals of the charges. A personÐ²Ð‚â„¢s license can be suspended and the possibility of reinstatement is not always possibly. The cost of reinstating a suspended license for a dui can range in price from $300 to $1000 depending upon what state an individual resides in. According to Jourard (2007), first offenders and repeat offenders must be assessed and finish an 8 hour education program or 16 hours of treatment. People who are convicted and found guilty of an dui or dwi can sometimes have a harsh social life. Friends and family sometimes do not associate themselves with that particular individual. Most people usually want to hide from the outside world, because they have committed a crime and feel guilty. Usually drunk drivers get depressed, anxiety, and sometimes they have panic attacks. Drunk drivers sometimes kill people. Families of the lost individuals seem to have hatred towards the individual who caused the death in the family. A drunk driverÐ²Ð‚â„¢s life can change dramatically after being convicted of a serious charge.
Designated drivers play a crucial role in helping keep drunk drivers off the road. When a drunk driver is available, it helps prevent the possibility of a death or someone getting seriously hurt. Ð²Ð‚ÑšDon't ever let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys, have them stay the night, have them ride home with someone else, call a cab, or do whatever else is necessary - but don't let them driveÐ²Ð‚Ñœ(Hanson, 2007). A designated driver helps friends avoid embarrassment, keep drivers licenses, avoid fines, and no jail time. It is always best to use a designated driver. Designated drivers save lives.
Statistics tell a true story of how drunk driving affects the world. In 2005, the United States had 43, 443 total fatalities of which 16,885 were alcohol related fatalities (Alcohol Alert, 2006).
While viewing statistics closer to home in 2005, the state of Missouri had 1257 total fatalities of which 515 were alcohol related fatalities (Alcohol Alert, 2006). Kansas had 428 total fatalities of which 151 were alcohol related fatalities (Alcohol Alert, 2006). Comparison between the two states shows that in the state Missouri more alcohol related fatalities occurred in 2005. Reading the statistics show there were more drunk drivers on the road and not enough designated drivers.
Drinking and driving do not mix. They will never mix. Many peopleÐ²Ð‚â„¢s lives are at risk and their own lives are at risk as well. Take the precautions given to help prevent accidents from happening. Drinking and driving can be prevented. Nothing is keeping an individual from getting behind the car and driving while intoxicated. If everyone takes responsibility for his or her actions, there would be fewer accidents in the world. The next time someone gets behind the wheel of a car he or she should reevaluate their actions and think of the consequences.
Alcohol Alert. (2006). Alcohol alert. Retrieved June 8, 2007, from http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html
Drinking and Driving Data. (2007). Nhtsa. Retrieved June 8, 2007, from http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/kids/research/drinking/index.cfm
DUI and DWI Laws. (2007). Iihs. Retrieved June 8, 2007, from http://www.iihs.org/laws/state_laws/dui.html
Hanson J.D., (2007). Alcohol Problems and Solutions. Potsdam. Retrieved June 8, 2007, from http://www2.potsdam.edu./hansondj/DrinkingAndDriving.html
Jourard, R. (2007). Drinking and Driving. Retrieved June 13, 2007, from defencelaw Web site: from http://www.defencelaw.com/drinking-driving-1.html
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