An examination of the severity of drunk driving in america

Short-term effects of alcohol consumption Alcohol has a very significant effect on the functions of the body which are vital to driving and being able to function. Alcohol is a depressant, which mainly affects the function of the brain.

An examination of the severity of drunk driving in america

Clearly, laws against drunk driving, enforced by the police and adjudicated by the courts, must play a leading role in the effort to keep people from driving while drunk.

But legal action alone cannot solve the problem. Many other strategies also have the potential to significantly reduce drunk driving. Together with the law, these strategies can have a major effect.

There can be no question that alcohol is a major contributor to the problem of traffic safety in the United States. In about half of the 44, fatalities caused by traffic accidents inthe drivers or other people killed in the accident had alcohol in their blood see Figure But this statistic can be misleading.

It does not mean that if no one ever drove after drinking, highway fatalities would be cut in half. As David Reed of Harvard University points out, "Drinking-driving countermeasures can be legitimate and useful government actions, but. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities are nearly twice as numerous on Friday and Saturday nights as on other nights, and they tend to more The reason, explains Reed, is that the presence of alcohol in an accident does not always mean that alcohol caused the accident.

In many accidents that kill people who have been drinking, the alcohol plays a minor or insignificant role. Roadside testing by researchers has shown that an average of 10 to 20 percent of all drivers on the road have measurable levels of alcohol in their blood. It is inevitable that some of these people will be involved in fatal accidents, even if their drinking is not to blame.

Using several epidemiological studies of drunk driving, Reed has calculated a more accurate estimate of the number of deaths that could be prevented if no one ever drove after drinking. These studies compared the blood alcohol levels of drivers involved in accidents with the blood alcohol levels of drivers not involved in accidents this latter control group was randomly selected at times and places similar to those at which the accidents occurred.

The data show that 24 percent of the fatalities would not have occurred if the drivers had not been drinking. Similar calculations give average estimates of 12 percent for the number of disabling injuries that would be prevented and 6 percent for the amount of preventable property damage.

Of course, these figures are only estimates. Several factors that could not be included in the calculations could force these percentages higher or lower, and the data are far from perfect. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the number of theoretically preventable deaths, while not the 50 percent often cited, is still high.

Nationwide, a 24 percent decrease in fatalities would mean that over 10, of the nearly 45, people killed annually in traffic accidents in recent years would not have died.

These figures indicate what might be possible. The question then becomes, how can the United States move toward these goals? Do More Arrests Have an Effect? The law in the United States and throughout the world clearly declares that people should not drive while drunk.

Drunk driving in the United States - Wikipedia

Generally, legal codes specify a blood alcohol content BAC of between 0. Almost everyone agrees that drunk driving is reckless, therefore dangerous, and therefore wrong. Here, then, is a case where the law reinforces widely held public opinions. The effectiveness of these laws, however, must be open to question.

For every arrest made for driving while intoxicated DWIan estimated to 2, drunk driving incidents go unpenalized, although more arrests are made for drunk driving in America than for any other offense and significant sums are spent on enforcement.

Even doubling or quadrupling the number of arrests would leave the chance of arrest extremely small. With the possibility of getting caught so slim, it may seem that people would shrug off an effort by police to make more arrests.

Surprisingly, several studies show that this is not the case. An increased risk of arrest can significantly reduce drunk driving. The classic example is the British Road Safety Act of This act defined driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.Nov 18,  · Alcohol is a major cause of severe road accidents.

Punishment differs from state to state, but in all states the Continue reading "Drunk Driving Laws in America".

Drunk driving offence in Cyprus is the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Drunk driving is defined as driving with a specific amount or percentage of alcohol in blood which can be calculated through breath or blood tests.

Drunk driving is an excellent example of both the need and the opportunity for prevention to be comprehensive. Clearly, laws against drunk driving, enforced by the police and adjudicated by the courts, must play a leading role in the effort to keep people from driving while drunk.

But legal action alone cannot solve the problem.

An examination of the severity of drunk driving in america

The Dangers of Drunk Driving in America Approximately 16, people a year will die of a drunk driving related accident in the United States. 1 in 3 Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash in their lifetime. Alcohol impairs the function of the brain and many do not realize they are too drunk to drive before getting in their vehicle.

Over the past two decades, the United States has experienced an overall decline in the rates of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests. However, this downward trend has not occurred uniformly across all groups of DUI offenders. For example, between and female DUI arrest rates rose.

Drunk driving is a serious problem in the US, where excessive alcohol is estimated to be a factor in some 40 per cent of all traffic fatalities. More than million people are arrested for drunk driving each year, a small fraction of the millions who drive while under the influence of alcohol.

Preventing Drunk Driving - Alcohol in America - NCBI Bookshelf