The War on Drunk Driving
Nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven lives were taken away during alcohol related accidents. Out of those nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven, one third of those fatalities were children between the ages of zero and fourteen.
Dear next President,
It starts with a simple choice. It seems to some as a simple choice to not drive while intoxicated. For others, they don’t see a problem with it. Those that that drive with a BAC of .08% or more have destroyed lives. They’ve ripped sons and daughters and mothers and fathers away from families. Every forty nine minutes someone makes a choice to wreck havoc on someone else’s life. Some may say they don’t know it’s the outcome of their choice, but the fact of the matter is that they chose to make a decision that they knew had the ability to obliterate someone’s joy and happiness.
Nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven fatalities occurred in 2014 because someone made a choice. Nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven lives that were taken away during alcohol related accidents. Out of those nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven, one third of those fatalities were children between the ages of zero and fourteen. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Incorporation, three thousand nine hundred and fifty two of those were drivers that were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It’s astonishing that people still make the choice to drive while drunk even though the Center for Disease Control predicts that eleven thousand people will face death in alcohol related traffic accidents every year. It seems even more shocking that people make a choice so destructive when it is shown that someone is injured every one hundred and twenty seconds because of their choice, but I suppose it takes someone to die for drunk drivers to wise up considering that one third of arrested or convicted drunk drivers are repeat offenders. Even once they are convicted and their license is suspended, fifty to seventy five percent of drunk drivers will continue to drive.
It’s time something be done for every life that was taken away by a drunk driver. New, harsher laws that will bring people to realize that drunk driving is no joke. That someone dying every forty nine minutes is too often. That nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven is too many. As the laws stand today, only forty two states allow the law enforcement to suspended the driver’s license. Even worse, only twenty two states have mandated ignition interlocks. I believe that all states should suspended a driver’s license for at least one year and once they are allowed to drive, the driver should have to have an ignition interlock installed to ensure that they are driving sober. I also believe that teenagers across the country should have to complete a drunk driving awareness course before obtaining their license.
Some might argue that the laws on drunk driving have changed enough seeing as the death tolls from accidents involving alcohol have dropped from a staggering twenty one thousand one hundred and thirteen deaths in the 1982, to nine thousand nine hundred and sixty seven deaths in 2014. I think that the laws still aren’t strict enough seeing as over nine thousand people are dying each year because of someone’s decision.
It comes down to such a simple decision, it’s shocking to me that people are still choosing to make the decision to drive while intoxicated knowing that they have the ability to rip the life away from someone. At someone point, we need to decide how many is too many.
https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/driving-while-impaired-alcohol-and-drugs Friday 26, June 2015 15:59
Fell, Jim. “Repeat DWI Offenders in the United States.” Washington, DC: National Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Tech No. 85, February 1995.
Jewett A, Shults RA, Banerjee T, Bergen G Alcohol-impaired driving among adults— United States, 2012. MMWR Morbi Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(30):814-17
Department of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Safety Facts 2014 data: alcohol-impaired driving. Washington, DC: NHTSA; 2015 [cited 2016 Feb 5]. Available at URL: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812231.pdf
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which started collecting and reporting annual traffic crash fatalities, including drunk driving deaths, in 1982.