Drinking and driving has never been and never will be okay. Every drunk driver thinks they are safe to drive when they get behind the wheel, no matter how much they’ve had to drink. What they do not think about is the potential car crash that could occur during the drive to their destination. Not only does it take a toll, or even a life, of those involved in the crash, it effects the families and communities as well. In 2012, drunk drivers got behind the wheel about 121 million times (Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving State Fact Sheets). There are multiple strategies used to put an end to drinking and driving, but it is still very prominent in our communities. Drinking and driving isn’t only dangerous, but law enforcement must take multiple steps to properly assess drinking and driving arrests and accidents.
The legal blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, for anyone twenty-one and older is at or lower than 0.08%, anything above is considered alcohol-impaired. The zero tolerance laws state that it is illegal for anyone under twenty-one to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Almost one third of all traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. Between 2003 and 2012, in Indiana alone, 2,210 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. Per 100,000 people in a population, 1.2% of people who died by a drunk driving wreck were between the ages of zero and twenty, 7.2% of people were between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-four, 3.5% of people were thirty-five or older and 3.6% of people were between all ages. Only 1.6% of adults report driving after drinking too much (Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving State Fact Sheets).
According to the article Driver Alcohol Impairment in Fatal Crashes, by Age by the Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection says that, 22% of US teens in a 2013 survey reported that in the previous month they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking. It also states that 71% of drivers ages fifteen to twenty years old killed in 2012 in a motor-vehicle crash after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt. The article Drunk Driving by Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection states that, beyond its human toll, alcohol-impaired driving carries an annual financial burden of $44 billion, according to the CDC. This estimate accounts for medical and legal expenses, court costs, property damage, insurance administration, lost employee productivity, workplace losses, and traffic congestion resulting from accident investigations.
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