Samantha New York

Drunk Driving: Too Many Lives Lost

There needs to be more solutions and stricter laws to prevent driving under the influence. People are losing family members unexpectedly. The next one could be yours.

Dear future President,

Drunk driving, a major problem putting the lives of others in danger. Something that people on the streets can’t avoid due to not being able to control the poor decisions of others. Laws need to be stricter considering the fact that we are still losing innocent lives that deserve another chance in this world. The solutions we have now are not doing the job. There needs to be more solutions and stricter laws to prevent driving under the influence. Department of Transportation statistics show “about a third of all fatal vehicle crashes in the USA involve a drunken driver.. People are losing family members unexpectedly. The next one could be yours.

Drunk driving has taken too many lives that don’t deserve to be gone. In 2014, 9,967 people were killed and approximately 290,000 were injured. In 2015, 10,265 were killed due to drunk driving and 290,000 injured. The lives lost are increasing which is not what should be happening. Drunk drivers are not considering their actions before they get behind the wheel. It’s selfish. People say that only the good die young, but young lives shouldn’t be taken due to other people’s selfishness. No lives should be taken due to someone else’s irresponsibility.

I wonder what goes through a drunk driver’s head before getting behind the wheel. Are they considering calling for a ride instead? Are they nervous? Do they know it’s wrong but are going to proceed anyway? Are they considering the precious and innocent lives of others and their families as well? Drunk driving deaths don’t only affect the lives of the victims, but their loved ones as well. Imagine getting a call that someone you love was in a fatal accident, and is about to lose their life due to something you couldn’t control, and neither could they. I’m sure you would wish very bad things upon the driver; most people would. You wish you could’ve done something that would’ve prevented this, but you didn’t and you start to put the blame on yourself. Everyone involved in a drunk driving traffic incident runs the risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder goes beyond depression and often includes experiencing flashbacks of the unpleasant memories of the crash scene. These memories interfere with a person’s thoughts and awareness. They can happen as a person is driving or when certain images or smells remind him or her of the traumatic incident. Imagine surviving a fatal crash and still dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those are not thoughts anyone should have to live with.

Drunk drivers do not get enough jail time for endangering the lives of innocent people and killing them. The DUI/DWI laws vary from state to state, but most states don’t require jail time for a first DUI/DWI offense. However, almost all states require that a driver who gets a second DUI/DWI conviction serve jail time, and in many states, a third DUI/DWI conviction can lead to three or more months in jail. Drunk drivers are murderers. They should be sentenced in jail for life. Letting them out of jail can be the cause of another life lost. How do we know they won’t drink and drive again? If the victim doesn’t get a second chance at life, then the person that took their life shouldn’t get another chance either. In 2007, former Congressman John Sweeney was arrested for DWI which resulted in a misdemeanor charge. He pleaded to this lesser charge. His driver’s license was suspended for three months, he was fined $1,000 and attended classes and a meeting of victim’s impact panel instead of going to jail. In 2009, he was arrested again for DWI. This was a felony charge. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison, three years probation, 300 hours of community service, revocation of his driver’s license. That is a prime example of someone who was freed after getting caught drunk driving once and then did the same thing again, luckily not killing anyone. If he was put in jail the first time for life, there would be no chance of him risking more lives.

Some people opposing this issue would say that as a form of punishment, DWI offenders should be offered rehabilitation rather than serving jail time. If they were careless enough to drink and drive in the first place, then they clearly don’t care to help themselves. They shouldn’t get help. They should get jail. They should suffer. They should feel the pain that they caused others to go through. Getting help is no guarantee that it won’t happen again. The only guarantee is putting them in jail for life, giving them no option to even be behind the wheel again. The loss of life is something that you can never get back. By letting drunk drivers out of jail we are risking another death and more lives being put in danger.

Drunk driving laws are not doing enough at the moment and we have no more time to waste TRYING to fix them. They NEED to be improve now.



Works Cited

Madd. "MADD - Drunk Driving." MADD - Drunk Driving. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

@anellixavier. "Emotional Cost of Drunk Driving | DUI Foundation." Anelli Xavier. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Saratogian, By EMILY DONOHUE The. "Former Rep. John Sweeney Officially Sentenced for Second DWI." Former Rep. John Sweeney Officially Sentenced for Second DWI. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Geller, Wendy. "Randy Travis Pleads Guilty To DWI; Sentenced To Rehab, Probation." Rolling Stone. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Troy High School

Mr. Mo's Amazing English Students

Each of my students has a voice that needs to be heard. These are the minds and hearts that will help shape our country's future. All student writing, audio, video and artwork is 100% original and supported with in-depth research. Enjoy their incredible work.

All letters from this group →