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Driving Under The Influence Essay

1473 words - 6 pages

Drunk driving is an issue that effects many people across our nation. People do not realize the affects alcohol can have on the body and mind that slow decision making while driving. This issue begins in the home. Children see their parents, or other adults figures, have a beer or a cocktail and get in the car. Thus, making it seem like it is acceptable to drink and drive. “One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime” (MADD).

Driving under the influence is measured by a person’s blood alcohol level (BAC). BAC is determined by the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream. Individual counties and states have their own legal level on blood alcohol percentages that they measure a person’s BAC to determine if they are intoxicated while behind the wheel. “Everywhere in the United States it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher” (DUI Foundation).

Once an individual makes the decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol they are not only putting themselves at risk but the lives of other people on the road. After reviewing the Annual Report of the California DUI Management I was astonished to find that in 2008 there were a total of 214,811 DUI arrests (Annual Report). Of those 214,811 arrests I was sickened to find that 38,266 of the drivers were a second-offender (Annual Report). This means that these individuals have had one DUI arrest within the previous ten years. It is disheartening for me to discover that 26.4% of the reported 214,811 arrests are due to individuals who were second to fourth-offenders.

California obviously has an issue with people who really do not give a second thought to getting behind the wheel of their cars after partaking in a few adult beverages. Sadly, they are not thinking about injuring themselves or others on the road. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities were 1,028 in 2008 for the state of California (Century Council). Of those deaths, 68% of the drivers were considered “Hardcore Drunk Drivers”; drivers who had a BAC level of 0.15+ (Century Council). Unfortunately, the drivers who got behind the wheel of those vehicles now have to deal with the fact that they slaughtered a person(s), because they made the choice to drive their car when they knew they had consumed alcohol.

Not so fun fact: In 2009,“According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving fatalities accounted for 32% of all traffic deaths last year, that is, on average someone is killed in an alcohol-impaired driving crash every 45 minutes in the U.S.” (National Highway). Doesn’t that just make you want to get in your car and go on road trip?!

It seems odd to me that people would get behind the wheel after drinking. However, that is what alcohol does. Our brains are altered with a false sense of security. Alcohol impairs our thinking, making us have irrational thoughts or views. Yet, I also believe that individuals who...

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