Driving under Influence (DUI)
Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and illegal substances has attributed to multiple car crashes in the United States as well as globally. These crashes have injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians resulting in either temporary or/and permanent disabilities as well as fatal injuries. Drivers undertaking their role under the influence attribute their behavior and actions to personal attitudes, experiences, and understanding towards drugs, alcohol, and toxic substances. The department of transport has formulated policies, rules, and regulations aimed at motivating and encouraging drivers to be sober and alert. Various campaigns have also been conducted to raise awareness on the dangers and adverse effects of driving under the influence. However, surveys, interviews, and questionnaires indicate that drivers are still operating motor vehicles under the influence. This report is therefore authored to examine and evaluate punitive, preventive, and control measures. They should be adopted by new and old drivers in order to end the practice of driving under the influence.
Statement of the Topic
Driving under the influence is a major challenge in the country as well as globally. Drivers presume safety measures while intoxicated from alcohol, drugs, and illegal substances. They operate a car while drunk endangering several lives. In the United States, drivers license are offered at the age of sixteen years and above. Conversely, the legal age to consume alcohol is set at twenty-one years. The department of transport however records that drivers less than twenty-one years have either been fined or/and arrested for endangering lives due to high levels of alcohol concentration in the blood. Those who are caught drink driving the first time are often fined a penalty. On the other hand, regular offenders face serving time in jail and paying a fine (Oulad 7).
This proposal asserts that both first time and regular offenders ought to face equal and strict punitive measures. It affirms that operating a motor vehicle under the influence is unethical, illegal, and dangerous. Thus, offenders should be penalized and punished irrespective of the number of times they have been accused and/or arrested. Research findings will be applied to verify these sentiments. Participating drivers will highlight personal values, attitudes, and behavioral practices in relation to driving, alcohol consumption and drugs. The findings will reveal that most drivers arrested, fined, and charged are often ignorant, presumptuous, and neglectful. Thus, strict punitive measures ought to be formulated and implemented across the country and globally.
Diverse patterns are applied in reviewing alcohol consumption among drivers across both genders. They reveal that males indulge in alcohol and drugs at higher rates than their female counterparts. This proposal will therefore hypothesize the following facts. Firstly, more males than females are arrested, fined, and charged for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs at higher rates. Consequently, it will hypothesize that young drivers, especially teenagers attending high schools and colleges, drive after consuming alcohol and indulging in intoxicating drugs. The proposal will include recorded statistics in relation to driving under influence among males, females, and teenagers. This is because the statistics will achieve the following objectives. First, they will apply in exploring arrests and charges due to driving under the influence. Consequently, they will apply in analyzing indicators and detailed information crucial in understanding why persons are involved in this illegal, dangerous, and unethical practice. Lastly, they will be utilized in formulating recommendations applicable in reducing incidences of DUI across the United States and globally.
Operating a motor vehicle under the influence is a behavioral practice associated with negative attitudes and values to safety and health. Drivers are aware that operating a motor vehicle under the influence leads to physical, mental, emotional, and psychological pain, torture, injuries, and disabilities. More so, they are trained to be attentive and careful in handling a motor vehicle. The intake of alcohol and drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroine however hinders these abilities. These substances cause adverse effects on consumer’s mental and physical abilities. They lose their ability to control their movements and mental activities coupled with impaired vision. Thus, a driver driving under the influence lacks the keenness and attentiveness required to handle a motor vehicle safely. Consequently, they cause road accidents and car crashes resulting in serious injuries, disabilities, and fatalities (Elizabeth, Thomas and Narelle 13).
A research was conducted in California to study the effects of toxic substances, mainly alcohol and drugs on drivers and their ability to control a motor vehicle effectively and efficiently. The research provided findings on the effects among women, men, and teenagers. Consequently, the researchers provided observatory findings in relation to persons who controlled a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and the findings were compiled. First, a high number of teenagers aged between sixteen and twenty years are guilty of handling a motor vehicle under the influence. More so, these drivers cause major accidents across roads in the United States due to of alcohol or/and marijuana intoxication. The findings also revealed that men indulge more in alcoholic beverages and drugs than women. Thus, majority of road accidents associated with drunken driving are often caused by men and teenagers. However, a small number of women have also caused car crashes due to handling a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and/or prescription medicines (Helen and Scott 27).
In order to affirm these findings, interviews, surveys, and questionnaires were conducted in New York. The interviews and surveys were conducted among a group of thirty persons comprising men, women, and teenagers in equal numbers. It was revealed that eighty five percent of men indulge in alcohol, engage in recreational drugs, mainly cigarettes, and consume prescription medicines before controlling a motor vehicle. Consequently, fifty-five percent of women affirmed that they indulge in alcohol and control a motor vehicle. More so, thirty percent affirmed that they had controlled a motor vehicle while consuming heavy prescription medicines. Lastly, ninety-two percent of teenagers affirmed that they indulge in alcohol and drugs as well as prescription medicines before and during operating a motor vehicle.
The questionnaire was applied to determine the number of persons guilty of causing an accident due to DUI. In relation to men, ten percent were first time offenders while the rest had driven under the influence more than five times. They declared that they had been arrested, spent a night in jail, and/or had their drivers license suspended temporarily. In relation to women, eighty percent affirmed being first time offenders. The rest confirmed had been arrested, charged, and the driver’s license suspended due to DUI.
The questionnaire results in relation to teenagers were however worrying. Five percent affirmed being first time offenders. However, they confirmed that they had been in possession of the driver’s license for less than six months. The rest affirmed had served time in prison due to DUI and their driver’s license suspended for at least three months. Adult male and females therefore recorded higher number of first time offenders than teenagers. This is in spite of holding a driver’s license longer than teenagers. Teenagers confirmed they indulge in alcohol and drugs in higher rates than adults. This is due to the fact that they are ignorant of the effects. More so, they are neither well informed on the effects of alcohol nor the consequences of handling a motor vehicle under the influence.
Reasons for Driving under the Influence
Drivers in the United States and globally often provide different and diverse reasons for handling a motor vehicle under the influence. For example, drivers from the United Kingdom assert that driving under the influence of alcohol is common, as the beverage is a cultural drink in the country. Thus, most drivers in the country indulge in alcohol on a daily basis before and during operating a motor vehicle. Statistics assert that more than ten percent of adults in the United Kingdom consume alcohol daily. A survey was conducted in the country in 2007 to affirm these findings. It was revealed that more than forty and thirty percent of men and women respectively consume alcohol once a week. Although some prefer indulging at the comfort of their home, majority prefer driving to a public place in order to socialize with friends. Thus, they consume alcohol before driving back home intoxicated (Wendy, Carola, John, and Jean 17).
Drivers often assume they can control their levels of alcohol toxins. However, their estimates in relation to blood alcohol concentrations are always inaccurate. More so, they presume consuming alcohol and water at the same time lowers the level of toxins in order to slow down the effects. Thus, they indulge in alcohol, consume lots of water, and assume they can operate a motor vehicle effectively and safely. They therefore fail to acknowledge that water does not lower alcohol concentration the blood system. Instead, they should rest for no less than six hours after indulging in alcohol before they can operate a motor vehicle safely. Meanwhile teenagers are careless and presumptuous. This is because they acknowledged they attempt to drive while being aware they are highly intoxicated (Wendy, Carola, John, and Jean 19).
Drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs often control a motor vehicle with aggressive behaviors. Such drivers also show negative attitudes and lack of respect or value among persons who cannot control their indulgences. Drivers therefore always strive to prove they can control alcohol and drug indulgence and maintain physical, social, and mental abilities. However, this is challenging, especially among teenagers who are always thrilled to over speed to draw attention often in traffic streams. They ignore and presume traffic rules, which often cause the motor vehicle to crash resulting in serious and fatal injuries (SUMC 3).
Adults assert that they drive under the influence due to stress. This is because they indulge in alcohol to relieve stress before undertaking driving. However, they fail to acknowledge that alcohol and stress fosters aggravated behavioral patterns and practices coupled with neglect and carelessness. Women who operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated from prescription medicines assert that they assume and ignore the doctor’s instructions. More so, some engage in alcohol consumption while taking medications before controlling and managing a motor vehicle. This is dangerous and increases the risk of accidents as it can result in loss of mental, psychological, and physical abilities. Consequently, car crashes and accidents are witnessed hurting, injuring, and killing several victims. These reasons affirm the public lack sufficient information in relation to the adverse effects of alcohol and drugs among persons and their skills in operating a motor vehicle.Thus, drivers guilty of DUI can attribute this unethical, illegal, and dangerous practice to ignorance, assumptions, carelessness, and lack of information in relation to effects of alcohol (Wendy, Carola, John and Jean 21).
Effects of Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages are often consumed while people socialize. However, persons are advised to regulate and moderate the amounts of alcohol they take. This is because alcoholic beverages contain toxins interfering with regular functions of the body. The effects of alcohol are diverse, including blurred or impaired vision. Thus, a driver is unable to focus while driving, which can result in car accidents. Alcohol also interferes with physical movements, including the ability to walk and control either legs or/and hands. Thus, a drunk driver is more likely to accelerate than a sober driver, as they prefer over speeding. Drunken drivers regard high driving at a high speed as fun and thrilling. However, they fail to acknowledge that alcohol interferes with their vision and movement. Thus, they can neither brake nor accelerate appropriately due to impaired judgments and mental abilities (Lindsa and Debra 724).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded more than thirty thousand deaths attributed to DUI. At least ten thousand deaths were related to drunken driving. A driver’s blood alcohol concentration should not exceed 0.5h/dl. However, during the interviews and surveys, several participants affirmed they had been arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding 0.15h/dl. Majority of high school and college students are binge drinkers. More so, they combine alcohol with cigarettes and illegal substances before, during, and after operating a motor vehicle. They therefore exceed the legally defined standard levels of drinking, including 12-oz beer and wine cooler, 4-oz glass of wine, and 1.25-oz liquor. Majority affirmed they have controlled a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration exceeding 0.15h/dl. This endangers the driver, passengers, and innocent victims. It is therefore vital to formulate measures that can curb the practice of DUI (SUMC 5).
Controlling and preventing persons to drive under the influence are major approaches towards reducing road accidents and saving lives. Public awareness campaigns should be conducted to encourage persons to observe, respect, and obey traffic rules. Alcohol, illegal substances, and drugs hinder drivers and pedestrians from being alert and keen. More so, they tend to ignore and disobey traffic rules. They should therefore be educated on the effects of alcohol and drugs across public platforms. Public awareness campaigns should be conducted to inform them that alcohol is a major contributor towards the rising number of road accidents, injuries, and deaths. Thus, they should either regulate their rates of indulging in alcohol and drugs or refrain from driving under the influence (Elizabeth, Thomas, and Narelle 66).
In order to decrease the number of teenagers engaging in driving under the influence, the legal drinking age should be minimized. The driver’s license should be legally provided to persons aged above eighteen years and above. These changes will ensure college students refrain from alcohol and drug intake. They will also encourage the students to be more responsible drivers. Increasing the legal drinking age can therefore reduce fatal car crashes and arrests associated with DUI (Lindsa and Debra 721).
conclusion, the government should formulate and implement stringent measures
against drivers found guilty for DUI. Currently, the law asserts that first
time offenders found guilty ought to pay a fine. Thus, they are neither
arrested nor the driver’s license confiscated. This has encouraged new drivers
to attempt driving under the influence, as they are aware the consequences are
neither severe nor strict. The government should therefore formulate new
punitive measures, including serving time in jail to motivate and encourage
drivers to be sober, attentive, careful, and keen. Ultimately, driving under
the influence should be illegal. The government should therefore formulate
policies affirming that driving with alcohol concentration in the blood is
neither legal nor acceptable. The blood alcohol concentration levels should therefore
be set at 0.00 h/dl (Wendy, Carola, John, and Jean 66).
Elizabeth, Grey, Thomas Triggs, and Narelle Haworth. Driver Aggression: The Role of Personality, Social Characteristics, Risk and Motivation, Department of Psychology, Monash University, 1989, Print.
Helen, Tashima and Scott Masten. An Evaluation of Factors Associated with Variation in DUI Conviction Rates among California Counties, California Department of Motor Vehicles, 2011. Print.
Lindsa, Ham and Debra Hope. College Students and Problematic Drinking: A Review of the Literature, Clinical Psychology Review 23(1): 719 – 759, 2003. Print.
Oulad, Daoud. Annual Report of the California DUI Management Information System, California Department of Motor Vehicles, 2011. Print.
Stanford University Medical Center (SUMC). Underage Drinking and Driving: Binge Drinking, Underage DUI Laws, Teen Parties, Tips for Parents and Teens, A Parent and Teen Guide, 2006. Print.
Wendy, Sykes, Carola Groom, John Kelly, and Jean Hopkin. Road Safety Research Report No. 114: A Qualitative Study of Drinking and Driving: Report of Findings,London, Department for Transport, 2010. Print.