Stronger Punishment for DUI Offenders will lower Alcohol Related Fatalities

Essay by S.EftinkUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.1 1 reviews

Remember the 2996 people, mostly civilians that died on September 11th 2001. Remember the 797 soldiers that have given their lives to protect us here at home, not to mention the 4,524 U.S. troops wounded in action. These numbers equal only one quarter of the people that are killed on our roads each year from people Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, 2003) America experienced the largest percentage increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths on record. 17,401 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes - an average of one every half-hour. Simple math tells me that 48 people a day die from accidents that were cause by a drunk driver. These deaths constituted approximately 41 % of the 41,945 total traffic fatalities" as reported by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD, 2003). Yet, we are outrage by the news telling us another brave soldier has been killed over in Iraq defending our freedom.

If the news broadcasted all the names of family members that were killed each day by a drunk driver, there would be no time in the newscast for even the weather. Being in law enforcement for twenty-two years and responding to numerous accidents cause by drivers under the influence, I can't fathom why we are not outraged at this epidemic. If we wish to reduce the number of alcohol related fatalities we should require stronger punishment for drivers who are under the influence by; mandating unified alcohol concentration levels, enact Federal prosecution standards, and require compulsory or minimum punishment standards.

Currently each state has its own definition of alcohol concentration standards for driving under the influence. Kansas State Annotates (KSA No. 8-1005, 2003) identifies if the operator's alcohol concentration is .08 or more, it shall be prima facie...