Why Drunk Drivers Should Be Imprisoned On The First Offense

1179 words - 5 pages

The federal government needs to take action on imposing tougher penalties on first time drunk driver offenders. To better clarify the dangers of DUI, a year of imprisonment should be mandated across the country for first time offenders. The government needs to have zero tolerance when it comes to this issue. It is unfortunate to constantly hear on the news how many cases there are of drunk drivers tragically ending people’s lives. How long do residents of the United States have to be put at stake because of reckless drivers? At this point this shouldn’t be a topic of discussion for the state and federal government; it is a necessity for them to step in and come up with new laws to penalize these criminals.
According to the Department of Transportation, every 20 minutes just in the state of Texas, someone is injured or killed by a drunk driver. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 10,322 fatalities caused by intoxicated drivers, making that more than 31% of all crashes throughout the year (NHTSA.gov). It is calculated by them that six major holidays are when more casualties are reported because of drunk driving. Those holidays include: Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and 4th of July. The penalties being imposed right now are not harsh enough. There are high numbers of fatal crashes; drivers are not thinking twice before drinking and driving. In fact the number of alcohol-related accidents have been rising for the past 40 years.
By enforcing stricter laws on this problem, it can help alert the nation on the importance of abstaining from drinking and driving. People are aware of what the penalty is for committing this crime, but still choosing to do it anyway. A temporary suspension of their driver’s license

First Offense: • A fine of up to $2,000
• Three days to 180 days in jail
• Loss of driver’s license up to a year
• Annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
Second Offense: • A fine of up to $4,000
• One month to a year in jail
• Loss of driver license up to two years
• Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

Third Offense: • A fine of up to $4,000
• One month to a year in jail
• Loss of driver license up to two years
• Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
Table 1.
(TxDOT.gov)

and paying minimal fees is not cutting it anymore. People need to realize that their actions have serious consequences. Table 1 shows us the punishments given to a person stopped if driving while intoxicated (TxDOT.gov). As we can all see, penalties for first time offenders are too lenient for the state of Texas but even worse is the state of Wisconsin. This state doesn’t consider driving under the influence for first time offenders to be a crime. Their fines are much lower; they range from $150- $300 for first time offenders (WisDOT.gov). By having such permissive laws and...

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