Drunk Driving: Driving Under Influence
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty-eight people die in the United States every day as the result of an accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver” (Gale). I chose this quote because it provides information of how many people are dying every day. It is a cause and effect situation. The cause is that the person driving is drunk first of all. The effect of the cause is that there are deaths because of the alcohol-impaired driver driving.
“In 2005, […] 3,467 drivers between the age of 15 and 20 were killed, according to the United States Department of Transportation” (Blitstein). This is more evidence that many people die because of the person conducting the vehicle is driving while being in a situation where they cannot drive and are not supposed to either way. It’s very dangerous to be driven by someone who is drunk and clearly cannot drive. You are risking your life by letting a person who is drunk drive you somewhere and the driver is risking their life too.
Based on what I read in Opposing Viewpoints in Context, it states that “Beyond its human toll, alcohol-impaired driving carries an annual financial burden of $44 billion, according to the CDC […]. All of these costs result from accidents involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or exceeding the standard legal limit of 0.8 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood” (Gale). The standard legal limit is 0.8, anything higher makes you legally impaired. Although that’s the legal standard limit, anyone that is drunk or even drank a little bit should not drive at all.
The drunk and driving Canadian Medical Association journal states that “Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol continues to be an important public health problem” (Maskalyk). I chose this quote because people who consume alcohol and even people who do not should know that it damages your health. Drinking alcohol is clearly not good for you.
Consuming alcohol can cause many major health problems. One of the major health problems is Anemia. According to Health Risks of Alcohol: 12 Health Problems Associated with Chronic Heavy Drinking “Heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness” (Freeman). Anemia needs to be treated or else it can become worse.
Cancer is also one of the major health problems. “Habitual drinking increases the risk of cancer,” says Jurgen Rehm, PhD, chairman of the University of Toronto’s department of addiction policy […]. Cancer sites linked to alcohol use include the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region” (Freeman). Cancer is a very severe health problem. Many people die because of cancer. As mentioned above, cancer can be in several places. Such as the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus. These are located by the head area. The liver, breast, and colorectal region are located by the middle area of the body.
“Top science, medical and public health experts as well as congressional and state leaders agree on the effectiveness of the 21 minimum drinking age law in saving lives” (Gale). Having to be 21 or older to purchase or consume alcohol is great. The problem would be that even if it is set with that specific age, people below that age number still consume alcohol. “According to a new survey released today [August 19, 2008] by Nationwide Insurance, 78 percent of adults support 21 as the minimum drinking age and 72 percent believe lowering the drinking age would make alcohol more accessible to youth” (Gale). It is obvious that if the drinking age lowers it would make alcohol more accessible to youth. If the drinking age were to be lowered and be accessible to the youth it would be really bad because many more will start purchasing drinks since they see that it is allowed. They think that it is right to purchase alcohol and consume it. That will only change if the drinking age law changes. If it is already bad right now with the youth drinking and older people, it would be even worse if the drinking age law changes. “Drunk driving needlessly kills thousands of young people every year. That’s why I wrote a law to create a national drinking age of 21 and why we fight so hard to reduce drunk driving and save lives on our roads,” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) said” (Gale). Senator Frank R. Lautenberg did a great job in writing that law. It was created to help and save lives, to try and decrease the danger because people are driving while being drunk. People die in these accidents or get injured really badly. That law will help by decreasing the number of deaths and injuries. It may not seem as much but in reality it is.
Driving under the influence can lead to several consequences. “If you are arrested for drunken driving in any state in the United States, there are several things that are going to happen that will cost you money” (T.). Some consequences for when you are caught drunk driving is getting arrested and booked, court appearance, suspended license, fines, prison and/or probation, drunk driving school and alcohol evaluation.
According to 10 Things That Happen If You Get A DUI “If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, […] you will be placed into a police vehicle and taken to the nearest police station or jail. There your photograph (mug shot) will be taken and you will be fingerprinted” (T.). Majority of the states require for you to be sober, until then you will be held.
Court appearance is one of the consequences, “At the time of your arrest, you will be given a ticket or a summons that tells you the date that you have to appear in court to face driving under the influence charges” (T.) […]. As I read, they say it is a humiliating experience. Having to go to court because they were driving under the influence.
Another consequence for driving drunk is that you can lose your license.“In all states, even for a first-time conviction, your sentence will include the loss of driving privileges for a period of time. […] In some states, if you refused to take the field sobriety test or submit to a breathalyzer or blood test, your driver’s license is suspended immediately, even before you go to court” (T.). A license is pretty hard to get. You have to study really hard, take and pass the test to earn your license. To just lose your license like that because you were driving drunk is really not worth it. It requires a lot of time to earn that license. It is great that they get their license taken away. It should teach them that they should not drive when they are in a condition where they can not drive.
Paying fines is another consequence. “If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, part of your sentence will definitely include paying a fine. […] If property was damaged, someone was injured or a child was endangered as a result of your driving while drunk, the fines can be increased” (T.).
Driving while drunk can lead to jail. According to 10 Things That Happen If You Get A DUI “In a growing number of states, jail terms have become mandatory even for first-time drunk driving offenders. […] first-offender jail terms are only one or two days that can be served on a weekend” […]. You could bail out of jail but you’ll need to pay. The costs are around $150 – $2,500” (Gale).
A way you can get your driving privileges returned is going to a drunk driving school. “These classes include hours of drunk driving prevention education and an assessment of your drinking habits. And there is a fee for attending these classes, another expense you must pay to get your driver’s license back” (T.). Drunk Driving School is a great opportunity to fix your habits of driving drunk.
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