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Drinking And Driving Essay

1788 words - 7 pages

“Every single injury and death caused by drunk driving is totally preventable” says David J. Hanson, a drunken driving activist. Drinking and driving is a serious crime in all fifty states. The rules and laws may vary among the states. In Illinois, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) or .08 percent or more. A driver also can be convicted of DUI with a BAC of more than .05 if additional evidence is present (DUI Laws par. 1). According to the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than thirty-seven billion dollars annually and in 2010, more than ten thousand people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes - one every fifty-one minutes (NHTSA par. 3). Anyone and everyone is affected by drinking and driving. One poor decision can affect not only the driver, but the driver’s friends, family, and the people who share the road with the driver.
According to Jesse White, Illinois’ secretary of state, driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense with serious consequences. A DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, which includes any legal or illegal substance that causes impairment. Illinois classifies a DUI as a violent crime and a conviction is never expunged from a driver’s record (DUI Laws par. 11). The law enforcement can give three different types of chemical sobriety tests to test if a driver is intoxicated or not. A breath analysis is most commonly measured through the use of a portable breathalyzer. This test indirectly measures blood alcohol concentration by estimating the amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath. A formula is used to convert breath alcohol level to an approximate blood alcohol level. A urine analysis is a urine sample that is analyzed to determine alcohol content, although it can take up to two hours for alcohol to show up in urine. This test is also an indirect measurement of BAC through an estimate of the amount of alcohol is the urine that is used to determine the overall BAC. A blood analysis is a sample of blood, drawn from the subject to directly determine the blood alcohol concentration in the body. Although the amount of alcohol is at its highest level about an hour after drinking, alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood and can easily be measured through a blood sample (DUI Refusal par. 2). In Illinois, before a driver can receive their license, they have to sign to implied consent. The implied consent law says that if a driver is lawfully arrested by an officer who has a probable cause to believe that he or she has been driving under the influence, that he or she consents to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purposes of determining your blood alcohol content. A driver does not have the right to speak to an attorney before he or she is tested, and the test much be given as soon as possible from the time when he or she was last driving....

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