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New Legislation Regarding Drunk Driving Essay

1925 words - 8 pages

New legislation regarding drunk driving is constantly being drawn up, debated, and passed in the United States. Many states are working to make the penalties for drunk driving much harsher, especially for repeat offenders (Xavier). Currently, in every state, the minimum punishment for convicted drunk drivers involves the automatic loss of their licenses for a period of time determined by the state (Xavier). An offender’s driver’s license should be automatically suspended or revoked after a drunk driving conviction and subsequently do away with the possibility of an implied consent hearing. An implied consent hearing is an administrative hearing conducted by an administrative law judge to determine if the suspension is legal under all applicable statutes. By law, a person who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. Therefore, just by driving a motor vehicle, the motorist has consented to giving a sample.
In Oklahoma, the acronyms DWI and DUI stand for driving while impaired and driving under the influence. In addition, these terms describe the crime of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver’s intoxication level is determined by his or her blood alcohol content (BAC), which is a measure of the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream. It is normally measured as mass per volume. Someone with a BAC of 0.02% has 0.02 grams of alcohol per 100 grams of blood. Each county and state in the United States has its own legal blood alcohol limit for driving. The legal percentages range from as low as 0.02% to as high as 0.08%. Everywhere in the United States it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
Anelli Xavier, a writer for the DWI DUI Foundation, makes some interesting points in an article subtitled Fact vs Fiction.
Fiction: Beer contains less alcohol than a glass of wine or a shot of distilled spirits.
Fact: They all contain the same amount of alcohol. A 12-ounce bottle or can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and a 1.5-ounce shot all have the equivalent amounts of alcohol.
Fiction: A person becomes more quickly by drinking a combination of beer, wine, and spirits.
Fact: All these drinks contain the same amount of alcohol, so the combination of drinks consumed makes no difference. The effects of alcohol depend on other factors, such as a person’s weight, gender, and if he or she has eaten before drinking. (Xavier)
Consuming drugs or alcohol prior to driving greatly increases the risk of car accidents, highway injuries, and vehicular deaths; the greater the amount of alcohol consumed, the more likely a person is to be involved in an accident. As a result, in 2006, approximately 17, 600 people died in traffic crashes involving alcohol. In that same year, over 1.46 million drivers were arrested for...

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