Drunk Driving BY: Dustin Sullivan
If you drink a lot and drink fast (binge drinking) you really put yourself in danger. With binge drinking, the depressant (or dumbing) effects of alcohol can overwhelm the body's defenses. Unable to move and think clearly, you can do stupid, risky and reckless things that are unsafe, or even lethal. Each year, approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking. This includes about 1,900 deaths from car accidents, 1,600 homicides, 300 suicides, and hundreds of other deaths due to accidents like falls, burns and drownings.
Alcohol travels through your bloodstream and damages your brain, stomach, liver, kidneys and muscles. As a teenager, your body is still developing, so damage done to it now will affect the rest of your life.3 Over time, drinking destroys your body and your looks, so all that work you've done to look good, keep strong and stay fit goes down the drain fast.
Yes, it's legal for people 21 and older. One reason is that alcohol can have seriously dangerous, long-term impacts on a body and brain that are still developing. Also, statistics show that more teens are killed by alcohol than by all illegal drugs combined • Abovetheinfluence.com
Despite all the warnings, public awareness and educational programs, stiffer penalties for violations, and efforts by law enforcement agencies across the nation to be more visible and diligent in protecting the highways, people will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while intoxicated.
A driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 or greater is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than is a driver who has not consumed alcoholic beverages, and a driver with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater is about 25 times more likely.
Suicide • Alcohol use interacts with conditions like depression and stress, and contributes to an estimated 300 teen suicides a year. • High school students who drink are twice as likely to have seriously considered attempting suicide, as compared to nondrinkers. High school students who binge drink are four times as likely to have attempted suicide, as compared to nondrinkers.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 20. About 1,900 people under 21 die every year from car crashes involving underage drinking. • Young people are more susceptible to alcohol-induced impairment of their driving skills. Drinking drivers aged 16 to 20 are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as drinking drivers who are 21 or older.
Academic Performance • A government study published in 2007 shows a relationship between binge drinking and grades. Approximately two-thirds of students with “mostly A’s” are non-drinkers, while nearly half of the students with “mostly D’s and F’s” report binge drinking. It is not clear, however, whether academic failure leads to drinking, or vice versa
Once you are pulled over and taken into custody on suspicion of DUI, Kentucky law guarantees you the right contact an attorney. You must be given 10 to 15 minutes to attempt to contact a lawyer before you are asked to give the breath, blood, or urine BAC test. Contacting a lawyer will help you protect your rights as you head into trial.
In order to be valid, the BAC test must be performed within 2 hours of your arrest. If you refuse to take the BAC test after your arrest, you will face strict consequences. This evidence can be used against you in court. Even if you are acquitted of the DUI charge, you will still have to face the penalties for test refusal.
Being charged with DUI in Kentucky will send you to court to determine your guilt and which punishments you deserve. Having a lawyer working with you at both your trial will help you protect your rights and get the least possible amount of consequences
Driving while either intoxicated or drunk is dangerous and drivers with high blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) are at greatly increased risk of car accidents, highway injuries and vehicular deaths. Possible prevention measures examined here include establishing DWI courts, suspending or revoking driver licenses, impounding or confiscating vehicle plates, impounding or immobilizing vehicles, enforcing open container bans, increasing penalties such as fines or jail for drunk driving, and mandating alcohol education. Safety seat belts, air bags, designated drivers, and effective practical ways to stay sober are also discussed.
Most drivers who have had something to drink have low blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) and few are involved in fatal crashes. On the other hand, while only a few drivers have BACs higher than .15, a much higher proportion of those drivers have fatal crashes. • The average BAC among fatally injured drinking drivers is .16 • The relative risk of death for drivers in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385 times that of a zero-BAC driver and for male drivers the risk is 707 times that of a sober driver, according to estimates by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). • High BAC drivers tend to be male, aged 25-35, and have a history of DWI convictions and polydrug abuse.
THE SOLUTION • Drunk driving, like most other social problems, resists simple solutions. However, there are a number of actions, each of which can contribute toward a reduction of the problem:
Problems • DWI courts, sometimes called DUI courts, sobriety courts, wellness courts or accountability courts have proven effective in reducing the crime of drunken driving (driving while intoxicated or while impaired). Such courts address the problem of hard-core repeat offenders by treating alcohol addiction or alcoholism. The recidivism or failure rate of DWI courts is very low.
Automatic license revocation appears to be the single most effective measure to reduce drunk driving. • Automatic license revocation along with a mandatory jail sentence appears to be even more effective than just automatic license revocation. • Impounding or confiscating license plates.
Mandating the installation of interlock devices that prevent intoxicated persons from starting a vehicle. • Vehicle impoundment or immobilization. • Expanding alcohol server training programs. • Implementing social norms programs that correct the misperception that most people sometimes drive under the influence of alcohol.
Passing mandatory alcohol and drug testing in fatal crashes would promote successful prosecution of drunk and drugged drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that 18-20% of injured drivers are using drugs and although drinking is on the decline, drugging is on the increase. However, this figure appears to be much too low.