Thousands of Car Accidents Still being caused by Drunk Drivers
Driving while under the influence (DUI) of illegal drugs or alcohol is totally illegal due to the big risk it puts other motorists and pedestrians into. Long before actually getting to sit behind the wheel of their own car, drivers have long learned that drinking and driving are a very dangerous combination.
The author of One for the Road, a book that looks at the grassroots of drunk driving in the U.S., says that love of drinking and love of driving are both deeply rooted in the nation’s culture. This is why, despite stricter laws, harsher punishments and heavier fines, so many Americans still drive while under the influence.
In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received 10,322 reports of fatal motor vehicle accidents that involved alcohol- impaired drivers. Two years prior to this, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested after they were found intoxicated either by alcohol or illegal drugs.
The present blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in all U.S. states is 0.08%, while for drivers below the age of 21, a “No Tolerance” policy, is in effect. This policy mandates that no trace of alcohol should be found in their blood system while they are driving, (traffic accident by the way, is the leading cause of death among teens). Punishment for violators include huge fines, jail term and probable loss of license.
The law sees drunk driving as a grave act of negligence, much more so if someone gets injured or killed. Drivers who will be found intoxicated will be charged with DUI, or driving under the influence, a serious violation of road safety rules. Depending on the BAC level or if anyone is hurt in the accident, the punishments become heavier and the fines, more costly; there are also the possibility of the court ordering that an ignition interlock be installed inside the driver’s vehicle and the acquisition of an SR-22.
As explained in the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, DUI is characterized as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08%. While this is the threshold at which it becomes illegal to operate a motor vehicle, one may still be charged with a DUI if his/her BAC was below the legal limit. In many states, such as in Tennessee , there is what is called an “implied consent” law. This law declares one’s position behind the wheel of a vehicle as consent for mandatory submission to a chemical test. Refusal to submit to a chemical test should an officer ask him/her to do so will result in automatic revocation of his/her driver’s license for a period of at least one year, depending on his/her history of being pulled over for intoxicated driving.