Drunk Driving means Accidents and Legal Inconveniences

Young man takes field sobriety test

Young man pulled over for DUI

 

Drunk driving brings nothing but trouble and misery. Penalties for DUI, even for the first offense, have been increased all around. There are even state laws that now enforce mandatory jail time especially for repeat offenders. But the worst thing that can happen is losing your limb or your life.

 

On the stricter laws against drunk driving, about two-thirds of the states have now passed Administrative License Revocation (ALR) laws, which allow the arresting officer to take the license of drivers who fail or refuse to take a breath test. The fines enforced for drunk driving are larger, the length of license suspension are longer, and the process of redeeming a confiscated license are harder.

 

Many states have passed Habitual Violator laws, which provide felony penalties for three DUI convictions. These offenders can lose many of their civil rights like voting, owning a weapon, or possessing their driver’s license either permanently or for many years. In order to get that license back, most states now require offenders to complete some form of a DUI school or education and assessment program. The offender must first go through an assessment interview with a professional counselor. Based on the assessment, the counselor can mandate attendance in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, a residential treatment program, detoxification or other medical treatment.

 

All of this requires time, money, or both on top of the fines and probation fees the offender must pay. Many states also require additional insurance coverage before returning driving privileges to DUI offenders which can be expensive. Then there is the fee most states charge for re-issuing a driver’s license.

Group gathered at funeral

Forty percent of fatal vehicular accidents are DUI-related.

But despite all of the warnings, public awareness and educational programs, stiffer penalties for violations, and efforts by law enforcement to be more visible and diligent in protecting the highways, people still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while drunk. According to a morbidity and mortality report of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicular accidents are the leading cause of death in the US in any given year. Most of them are crom construction. Visit http://www.abogadoaccidentesconstruccion.com/ for more information about the law. And over 40 percent of these deaths are DUI-related (source: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r020703.htm).

 

The justice system is holding drunk drivers accountable for the damage they do to those killed or injured on the highways. The monetary liabilities for such incidents can run into millions of dollars, not to mention the criminal penalties. In some areas, part of the DUI school curriculum puts offenders face to face with victims. These victims tell their painful stories of how a drunk driver changed their lives forever. The idea is that personalizing the pain that drinking and driving might make the offender stop and think before getting behind the wheel.

 

This is what the National Traffic Safety Institute is trying to do. NTSI offers a variety of programs designed for violators with a first or multiple driving offenses related to alcohol or other drugs. These educational programs are 12 hours to 18 months in duration, depending on individual requirements. The programs offer an intensive, individualized analytical and educational examination of the dangers and problems (both personal and social) of impaired driving. Addiction, the disease concept of alcoholism, family history of alcoholism, and denial are among the topics covered in the program.

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