Rhetorical Analysis: Drunk Driving

?Corey Friedman’s Lawmakers Target Drunk Drivers, appeared in North Carolina’s “Wilsons Daily Times” on February 18, 2013. In his essay, Friedman, explains new bills and laws that are trying to get passed by North Carolina’s congress. They will target and prevent drunk driving across the state by developing harsher laws and consequences for those found guilty of these offenses. Friedman uses many different perspectives on the issue by restating various North Carolina state representatives, and various group advocates among Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

These many opinions on the new bills proposed to the North Carolina state legislature proved significant recognition of the issue by many across the state along with Friedman. Friedman begins his article by making a statement that expresses that the North Carolina legislators and representatives acknowledge drunk driving as an issue in North Carolina, and are developing laws and bills aimed to remove and prevent drunk driving from our North Carolina roads and highways.

I believe Friedman began his article this way to prove that there is an issue at hand, and there are multiple people working together to target and resolve this issue across the state. It also shows a value of importance by expressing such a significant issue in the very beginning of the article that targets many others across the state and country, furthermore acknowledging those effected by drunk driving and prove their opinions throughout his article.

He starts off on a serious note, which grabs his audiences’ attention throughout his article and persuades his audience to really capture the issue at hand and almost force empathy upon the readers. This helps persuade the audience to make a difference by providing them knowledge of current state legislation’s various new proposals on the topic along and the many opinions with in the legislation. This way the audience can develop their opinion, become an advocate and express themselves and potentially provide motivation to make a difference in our state and country in respect to drunk driving laws.

The audience that Friedman is trying to target are North Carolina citizens, by addressing the issue, and revealing the significance of drunk driving laws to prove that there are advocates across the state working to help aid in prevention, and create harsher consequences for those who commit and have been convicted of this crime. Friedman’s article has a serious tone and expresses empathy towards drunk driving as it seems to be a topic of importance to him. It is almost as if he has been effected by this awful crime and wants to raise awareness and help aid in preventing drunk driving across the state.

This remains clear throughout the article by vividly expressing the current bills being proposed to create these new laws and consequences. I chose this article by, Corey Friedman, to help me throughout my research, because of his seriousness and his empathy on the subject. I was also able to learn about current laws being proposed to aid in prevention and development of harsher consequences for the many who commit these crimes. Freidman has a great article, but I feel that it fails to represent both points of view among those who commit the crime and those who were victims of this crime.

As for me, I have experienced both sides in the past several years. Two years ago my best friend was killed by a drunk driver in a tragic accident. A bystander was also severely injured in the tragedy and is no longer able to walk, talk or eat by himself. People will have to take care of him for the rest of his life. Many people in my home town were effected and touched by this accident. The person responsible for the accident blew a blood alcohol content level two times over North Carolina’s legal limit and while taking a life and might as well have taken the other life, got away with only serving three years in the Alamance County jail.

Ever since the accident my friends and I have done our best to raise awareness and convince others that if they are going to drink, do not drive. You put yourself and many others at risk on the road. No one should ever be killed over someone’s ignorance or a situation that can be easily prevented by making a phone call or staying where you are at. Drunk driving has also affected me unfortunately at home. My older brother committed this crime and has been convicted with two DWI’s. Though I love my brother very much, I think he got off too easily.

There are consequences to every decision you make in life and if you are going to make a bad decision you should be ready to experience the consequences. I honestly believe that everyone deserves a second chance but, I believe my brother deserved harsher punishment the second time around. Thank god no one was injured in either incident but he did put himself and everyone else on the road at risk of injury or death. So as you can tell drunk driving has affected me from practically all sides of the spectrum and it is a significant issue in my life and I am interested in how to prevent these events from happening.

By supporting harsher consequences for DWI’s and DUI’s that I believe in return will prevent many more people from getting behind the wheel while impaired and putting innocent lives at risk. “Lawmakers have filed four bills that would ratchet up the penalties for those convicted of driving while impaired. ” (Friedman, 2013 n. p. ) Out of the four bills that have been filed “Two bills would place new restrictions on those convicted of driving while impaired, and the remaining two deal with the crime of habitual impaired driving. ” (Friedman, 2013 n. p. ) One of these bills consists of placing an “ignition interlock device” (Friedman, 2013 n.

p. ) in all cars of drivers who had previously been convicted of DWI’s. These interlock systems force the driver of the vehicle to blow a legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level before their vehicle will start, therefore preventing them to make bad decisions and putting others and themselves in danger. An opposing argument for this bill is that any sober person could blow 0. 0 BAC for the driver of the vehicle, allowing them to drive drunk and proceed to commit these crimes multiple times and putting many other people at risk of injury or death due to ignorance and stupidity.

Another bill being brought to the attention of the state legislature would be house bill 41. Freidman (2013) noted that Bill 41 “…would set a blood alcohol content limit of 0. 0 for those convicted of DWI who have their driving privileges restored. Those with a previous DWI conviction could be charged with DWI if sobriety tests show the presence of any alcohol. ” (n. p. ) North Carolina’s MADD chapter has seconded the ignition interlock bill, supporting state lawmakers and continue to show support to aiding in DWI and DUI prevention across the state.

The other two DWI bills, House Bill 31 and House Bill 40, changes the way we define the habitual impaired drivers, people who have made this crime a habit in their daily lives, making it a class F felony that requires a one year minimum prison sentence. (Freidman, 2013 n. p. ) State Representative Jean Farmer-Butterfield, a Wilson democrat states “I think that’s a good bill. A lot of people die due to drunk driving in car accidents, and people need to be responsible for their behavior. This would be an incentive for people not to drive while impaired, and it gives the courts an additional tool.

It may even keep people off the streets for a while who drive while impaired. ” State Senator Buck Newton, a Wilson, North Carolina republican said, “While we may very well need to strengthen and make our penalties more severe, we still need to be very careful of how we do that and what the ripple effect is. ” (Friedman, 2013 n. p. ) Drunk driving is a big issue not only in North Carolina, but across the country. This is something that needs to be addressed with seriousness and severity, because approximately sixty percent of motorist fatalities in the U.

S involve alcohol each year. (“Drunk Driving”) Drunk driving prevention is very important because of the great amount of fatalities, injuries and accidents each year due to ignorance. I believe harsher laws and consequences will aid effective with significant amount of DWI and DUI reduction across the State and Country for years to come. These preventative measures will provide incentives for people to make better decisions to not drive while impaired to continue help keeping our roads safe not only across North Carolina but the country as a whole.