When last we talked about Driving Under the Influence we kind of introduced you to the basics. State laws, alcohol concentrations and the right to arrest. Now, let’s go a little deeper into Driving Under the Influence.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is best defined as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs (including recreation drugs and those prescribed by a physician), to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. Having defined that, let’s look at the consequences of this kind of action.
Traffic accidents are predominately caused by driving under the influence for people between the age of 15 and 29. For that age group DUI is the main cause of mortality. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol-related causes cause approximately $37 billion in damages annually. Between attorney fees, fines, court costs, ignition interlock devices, and DMV fees a DUI charge could cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to the offender. One must wonder, is the cost worth the chance.
We’ve gone into this before but it doesn’t hurt to reemphasize how a DUI is measures and determined. With alcohol, a drunk drivers level of intoxication is typically determined by a measurement of blood alcohol content or BAC; but this can also be expressed as a breath test measurement, often referred to as a BrAC. A BAC or BrAC measures in excess of the specific threshold level, such as 0.08%, defines the criminal offense with no need to prove impairment. In some jurisdictions, there is an aggravated category of the offense at a higher BAC level, as 0.12%, 0.15% or 0.25%. In many jurisdictions, police officers can conduct field tests of suspects to look for signs of intoxication. The state of Colorado has a maximum blood content of THC for drivers who have consumed cannabis.
In most countries including the United States, sobriety checkpoints, driver’s license suspensions, fines and prison sentences for DUI offenders are used as deterrents. Anyone who is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs can be heavily fined or given a prison sentence. In most jurisdictions, impaired drivers who injure or kill another person while driving may face the worst of penalties. In addition, many countries have prevention campaigns that use advertising to make people aware of the dangers of driving while impaired and the potential fines and criminal charges. Much effort has been placed on discouraging impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel, and encourage drivers to take taxis or public transportation home after using alcohol or drugs. In some jurisdictions, the bar (establishment) that serves an impaired driver my face civil charges.
The battle goes on to inform and control the toll on lives and communities created by carelessly operating a vehicle while under the influence. The best of these civic organizations is the well-known Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). The good they have done is immeasurable.
At a later time, we will explore another topic of general concern that comes occasionally to my attention. Thanks for taking the time to visit our site.
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