Arguing for harsher laws against DUI offenders

Essay by sweetlilbizotchUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 2003

download word file, 3 pages 4.7

Harsher laws make safer streets

"According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2000 America experienced the largest percentage increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths on record. 17,380 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes - an average of one every half-hour. These deaths constituted approximately 41 percent of the 41,945 total traffic fatalities" (MADD, 2003). The issue of harsher penalties for convicted criminals is a topic of heated debate in this country. In every state it is against the law to operate an automobile while impaired to the point that you can not safely operate a motor vehicle. If the impaired person is arrested by the police, a suspension of his or her driver's license will usually be the result. There are certain programs available to first-time offenders, that allows the defendant's punishment to be decreased under certain circumstances. Although some members of the community believe that mistakes are made, the fact of the matter is, states have lenient reprucission for reperat offenders, driving drunk puts innocent lives at stake, and costs states' millions of dollars.

The government seems to disregarded this serious problem.

"In 2001, about 1,461 fatalities occurred in crashes involving alcohol-impaired or intoxicated drivers who had at least one previous DWI conviction -- about 8.4 percent of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities" (Runge, 2003). DWI actually is an acronym for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired., and DUI is an acronym for Driving while Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. Whichever terminology is used, law enforcement officials fight this illegal and dangerous offense on a daily basis. Those officers know the risks associated with drunk driving, which oftentimes include fatalities.

Some states have a "first forgiven rule." It seems as if this rule is used as a scare tactic. However, law makers must...