Outlook Concerning DUI Have Undergone Some Change
Anti-Drunk Driving campaigns have been sponsored at the state and federal levels and tougher DWI laws have been strengthened, with a resulting decrease in fatalities due to drunk driving. The percentage of auto fatalities caused by drunken drivers dropped from 57 percent to below 34 percent in 2009.
Progress is attributable to public education and lobbying efforts of grass-roots organization such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving which now celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The statistics may be a bit deceiving , and in fact they may still be quite alarming.
Every 40 minutes, someone is killed by a drunk driver, as alcohol related collisions still kill 40 people and injure more than 700 people daily.
The costs are stagerring, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), each drunk driver fatality costs approximately $3.2 million annually or a total of $45 billion annually while injuries cost more than $110 billion annually.
Apart from the monetary costs, there are also other costs involved, such as the sometimes incalculable costs of lost productivity. Progress has slowed and the drunken-driving crash rate has leveled. Maybe we need to get MADD again.
Not surprisingly, alcohol related industry groups have all attempted to deny responsibility culpability , with claims that statistics are overstated, despite the fact that most alcohol related incidents involve repeat offenders.
Some contention on continuing discussion include lowering the arrest threshold.
– Should civil liability for DUI be expanded?
– Who is really responsible? Should the establishments that serve alcohol hold any responsibility?
Beating Alcoholism will reduce the number of repeat offenders, but will require more effort from those affected.
Some European countries have lowered their BAC limits to 0.02 to 0.05 percent.
The established method of keeping DUI offenders off the road has been to suspend the drivers license. Under a procedure called administrative license suspension, licenses can be taken when a driver fails or refuses to take a chemical test before conviction. The administration of license suspension laws are independent of any criminal procedures and are invoked right after arrest. This procedure, although with many detractors, has found to be more effective than instituting imposing sanctions after conviction. However, the DUI statistics may again be misleading as studies indicate that some of the drivers involved in fatal crashes were suspended at the time of the accident. The bottom line is that high risk drivers can continue to drive while under suspension.
In response to the large number of suspended drivers and the associated risks, some states are attempting to control illicit driving by impounding , immobilizing or confiscating the license plates of vehicles operated by suspended or impaired DUI offenders.
Alcohol safety interlock devices which prevent the operation of the vehicle if the driver BAC is over the prescribed limit, have reduced the rate of recidivism for periods of up to 2 years for multiple offenders, however, the major limitations with these sanctions is that they are only effective when in place. One the sanctions have been lifted, the effect tends to disappear.
DWI Lawyer issues have been made quite complex.
It appears that some deterrence laws and anti DUI programs work better than others. Vehicle sanctions may be more effective if longer terms were imposed, but the problem of civil liberty in introduced.
Incarceration appears to offer only a very short-term solution for the worst DUI offenders and a combination of programs seems to offer the most promise and unfortunately more research may be needed as legal ramifications may appear hinder progress in reducing DUI occurrences.
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