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Driving Under the Influence: US Policies Report

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Updated: Jun 16th, 2020

Driving under the influence (DUI) is known to be one of the most threatening tendencies in the world of nowadays. Unfortunately, this happening is not rare on the contemporary roads. Driving under the influence has gradually become one of the most common death and injury causes across the world. Millions of Americans are arrested for drunken driving every year. Alcohol-related car accidents annually lead to damages that approximately cost over forty five billion dollars. According to the calculations based on the statistical data collected from all around the world, people are killed and injured in car crashes related to alcohol every thirty seconds.

Within the period of time between 2000 and 2005 at least one hundred and three thousand people were killed in such car accidents only in the United States of America. This statistics often counts the accidents that were caused both by drunken drivers and drunken pedestrians. Generally, driving under the influence of alcohol increases the risk of getting into a car accident significantly. The modern law system keeps working on new policies and regulations designed to reduce the number of drunken drivers in the streets of the United States and minimize the risk of injuries in alcohol-related car accidents. Of course, not all of such policies prove to be effective.

One of the most common policies provided in order to decrease the risk of drunken driving among the population of the US is harsh penalties. This regulation is known to be ineffective, because the drivers are aware that the statistical risk of being caught driving under the influence is very low. Out of one thousand of drunken drivers only two or three will be arrested (Scott, Sharpee 2013). The positive side of harsh penalties is that they can be used as a reason to get the arrested drivers into rehab or treatment, make them parts of monitoring programs or encourage them to set an ignition interlock into their vehicles. Sobriety checkpoints are another contradictory policy, because it does not work effectively under some circumstances and detects very few drunken drivers (DUI Checkpoints Called Ineffective 2004).

The measure that has proved to be very effective is police stops. The bigger the number of such stops, the more effective the policy is. Another very efficient policy is confiscating the vehicles or licenses from the drivers that were caught drunk. Developing new programs and rules the American law system and policy creators have to see the issues from various angles and sides. For example, the restaurant and bar industry plays a very important role in the process of reduction of the risk of drunk driving. This is why the bar closing regulations make a big difference for the statistics of alcohol-related car accidents.

The Task Force also trains officers to notice the traits and signs of drunk driving. The officers take special roll calls wearing recognizable uniform on the holidays related to heavy drinking to make the potential drunken drivers aware that the roads are under constant control, this is also a very effective policy.

Finally, the theoreticians of the drunken driving problem are very important in the process of policy creation, because they are responsible for data collection (Impaired Driving Data: A Key to Solving the Problem 2010). In case if the data is invalid or unreliable, the policies based on such information will not bring the desired results. Poor data can create such problems as public misunderstanding of the addressed issues, misled legislation and waste of costs.

Reference List

DUI Checkpoints Called Ineffective (2004). Enquirer. Web.

Impaired Driving Data: A Key to Solving the Problem (2010). Traffic Injury Research Foundation. Web.

Scott, M. S., Sharpee, T. (2013). Deterring Drunk Driving: What Works (and What Doesn’t)? Web.

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