In 2011 in Michigan, there were 889 alcohol related fatalities (“2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview” 5). You can’t argue about the number of people killed or injured by drunk drivers. Homes and families are destroyed forever, as well as lives. This country’s DWI laws need to be enforced to reduce the number of car accidents and the number of those with fatalities, to make it safe not only for drivers, but passengers and pedestrians, and because repeat offenders don’t take the laws seriously enough.
People’s lives are important, that is why impaired driving laws need to be enforced so we can reduce the number of car accidents and car accidents with fatalities. According to “MSP- Alcohol Impaired Driving,” in 2011 there were 6,175 people injured in alcohol or drug related car accidents. This shows that people do dumb things that endanger their own lives, and the lives of others. If there were more arrests for drunk or impaired driving, there would be less people on the road that have a habit of drinking and getting into a car or getting onto a motorcycle.
The police officers need to stop being so lenient on drivers when they pull them over for suspicion of driving drunk, and the judges need to stop being lenient on the punishments. As long as the rules are really easy to break, people are going to continue to break them, which is why it’s necessary to enforce the laws preventing people from drunk driving and killing innocent people. The current laws for drunk drivers aren’t strict enough to keep other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe.
According to “Drinking and Driving,” when a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is at . 08$, “Muscle coordination is poor (e. g. , balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), it is harder to detect danger and judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impaired resulting in reduced concentration, short-term memory loss, loss of speed control, reduced information processing capability (e. g. , signal detection, visual search) and impaired perception.
” When a person’s muscle coordination is poor, they cannot react in time if a pedestrian is on the side of the road or if someone pulls out in front of them, therefore causing an accident. It is also hard to detect a pedestrian on the side of the road when a person’s information processing capability is reduced. When a person’s perception is impaired, they also cannot tell how far away a pedestrian is on the side of the road or how far away the car in front of them is, also causing accidents which could potentially kill or injure the driver, passengers, and the pedestrian. The BAC needs to be lowered to .
05%, because at that level, coordination is reduced, the ability to track moving objects is reduced, they have difficulty steering and have reduced response to emergency driving situations, compared to having horrible muscle coordination, having short-term memory loss, having impaired reasoning and having a harder time detecting danger. Lowering to blood alcohol concentration would help keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safer. Repeat DWI offenders don’t take the laws made to keep them safe seriously, because they not only have multiple arrests, but continue to drive on suspended licenses.
In fatal drunk driving accidents, the driver with a blood alcohol concentration at . 08% or higher was eight times more likely to have a prior DWI conviction than a driver that had not consumed alcohol and around 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license (“Drinking and Driving” 1). This shows that many drunk drivers abuse the privilege of driving and continue to make bad decisions. If the laws for first time offenders were harsher, then people would not want to get arrested for another DWI.
A first time offender has their license revoked for 1 year, a $350-$1,500 fine, and restitution for anyone injured in the accident (“Drinking and Driving”). If you are a second time offender, you are required in the state of Michigan to have an ignition interlock put on your car, if you have any BAC, you cannot start your car at all. A repeat offender also has fines up to $3,500, and might have their car seized. If the laws for a first time offender were like the laws for a second time offender and were enforced, then there would be less repeat offenders.
Although some people would say the DWI laws are strict enough and being enforced, there are still way too many innocent lives being lost to drunk driving. If the DWI laws were being enforced, there wouldn’t have been 889 fatalities a year and a half ago due to drunk driving. When the police officers are enforcing laws, very few, to almost no people are dying from car accidents, and the judges are convicting people with harsher punishments, then people can say the laws are being enforced enough. Until then, the DWI laws need to continue to be enforced by not only police officers, but judges as well.
When DWI laws are enforced, the number of car accidents and the number of those with fatalities will go down, the roads will be safer for drivers, passengers and pedestrians, and repeat offenders will finally take the laws seriously. Part of enforcing the laws is educating people about the consequences of getting convicted of a DWI, not only will you have it permanently on your driving record, but you could have up to $20,000 in fines, just for making one bad decision. So the next time you’re about to drink and drive, reconsider. References “Drinking and Driving.
” Home: Learn About Alcohol: Drinking and Driving. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. , n. d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <http://www. ncadd. org/index. php/learn-about-alcohol/drinking-and-driving>. “MSP – Alcohol Impaired Driving. ” MSP-Alcohol Impaired Driving. State of Michigan, Dec. 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <http://www. michigan. gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1593_3504_22774-49577–,00. html>. “2011 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview. ” 5 NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Dec. 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <http://www-nrd. nhtsa. dot. gov/Pubs/811701. pdf>.