Danger of Drunk Driving
“10,497 people died involving an alcohol impaired driver in the United States in 2016, which were all accounted for traffic related deaths.” (“National Highway Traffic Safety Administration”). Drunk driving has affected many lives and is a very tragic thing that exists today. The damage occurred by driver under the influence of alcohol is very expense. Vision, reaction time, and balance are the effects of the drunk driver. Due to the damage and tragedies of drunk driving, there should be higher restrictions on BAC levels, (Blood Alcohol Concentration), increased use of sobriety checkpoints, and education about drinking and driving should occur more in schools.
Drunk driving has caused tons of damage and tragedy to many people and places. The (CDC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claims that” In the United States, every day twenty-eight people die of an accident involving a drunk driver, which is about ten thousand fatalities per year” (“Drunk Driving”). When a driver is under the influence of alcohol, he puts himself and everyone around him in danger. Many people think drinking seems harmless, but it isn’t when it could cost the lives of many innocent people by the driver who may be controlling a huge vehicle. Every 48 minutes one person dies including drunk driving crashes and the average drunk driver will drive eighty-seven times before being pulled over (Wessel). When a person drives under the influence of alcohol it does not seem important to him or her at the moment but really it can have a huge impact on a person’s life and everything around him.
Drunk drivers do not realize the consequences of their actions and therefore they will make a poor decision. The public cost involving drunk driving is about $115.2 billion per year in the United States which include fees and expenses such as attorney fees, court costs, and medical expenses (Gold). When a driver who is under the influence gets involved in a crash, he or she should be obligated to pay all bills and fees and be involved in educational programs. Drunk drivers need to be required do all these steps before being eligible to have their license. Although many drunk drivers don’t realize their problems and continue to endanger many people’s lives, there are many solutions to solving issue.
One of the solutions to solving the issue of drunk driving is lowering BAC or blood alcohol concentration levels. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “BAC levels at 0.08% or higher weaken the driver the ability to drive and their reaction time, vision, balance, and speech get worse” (Lacey). Lowering the BAC level to 0.05% is one way of prevention. Less death and damages and would occur if blood alcohol concentration levels are decreased. It takes about three and half hours after drinking for alcohol to be eliminated from the body with a BAC level of 0.05%, and with a BAC level of 0.08%, it takes 6 hours for alcohol to be removed (Preidt).
Basically, at a BAC level of 0.05%, it takes about half the time for alcohol to be removed from the body than at a BAC level of 0.08%. Many lives could be saved in that time period. Research shows that even at 0.05 BAC, the driver immediately experiences reduced reaction time, difficult steering, and impaired judgment (Michael). When a drunk driver experiences reduced reaction time, they don’t react until the last second. Also, as the driver has a difficult time steering, they begin swerving into other lanes putting others at risk. Lowering the BAC limit prevents the cost of many innocent lives, the driver himself, and everything around him.
There are many preventions to drunk driving and one of them being sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints are where police stop most or some people driving through the checkpoints to check your level of alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety administration, “sobriety checkpoints are very expensive, but it is one of the best ways to prevent alcohol impaired driving crashes” (“Motor Vehicle Safety”). Even though these checkpoints carry a big cost, it is one of the best ways to reduce the deaths and tragedies of many people. As more sobriety checkpoints occur and are visible in many areas, drivers will know better not to drink and drive. Law enforcement set up sobriety checkpoints during a holiday or a weekend at night where there usually is a “significant spike” in alcohol impaired driving crashes (Maryland). Sobriety checkpoints occur almost every night rather than just on holidays or weekends.
Although the cost is very expensive, its better to have that person stopped then to go on and get into a crash and take the life of an innocent person. In many states, if a driver gets one drunk driving conviction, he or she is required an ignition interlock, which requires them to blow into a device before operating a vehicle (Wutke). Once a driver goes through the consequences of breathing into a device, he or she will know better to make a smarter decision to think twice before drinking and driving. Ignition interlocks are embarrassing and frustrating to the driver and therefore will stop the driver into being a repeated offender of drunk driving. Sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlocks are one of the most effective ways to make people rethink before drinking and driving and having to go through tickets and getting a DUI.