Michael Pillowcase Rachel Wallows English 102 October 29, 2011 Stricter DUI Laws and the Effect They Could Have At some point in our lives we have heard a news report that involved a drunk driver and an innocent victim. Usually these incidents are accidents where a person driving under the influence runs a red light or Jumps a curb, hitting, and more often than not, killing an innocent person. These injuries and deaths are all easily preventable. In the United States, over 20% of all motor vehicle related deaths are caused by an impaired driver.
Which is why this crime continues to be a national problem that takes the lives of thousands of people every year (Hanson). Way too often the victims of these tragedies are young teens or children. Why people drive drunk is a question that people have been trying to answer for a long time. There have been suggestions to implement tougher DUI laws, which seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, people seem to only look at the downside rather than what tougher laws would do for the safety of the public. There are many reasons why the public would not want to make drunk driving laws tougher.
Some of these reasons include higher taxes for more arrests and more police officers patrolling the streets at night and on weekends. Not many people want to pay higher taxes. Taxes are the irritating part of the government that most people hate. Some may even say that raising taxes for a reason such as Jailing people for a pity crime is nonsense. When looking at a DUI offense compared to a theft or murder, it makes sense that the crime may seem small. However, if someone were to be driving under the influence and got into an accident that caused a death, it could quickly turn into a murder charge.
It is understandable to not want to pay higher taxes as most of the public would agree that they would rather not. Our taxes are increased for different reasons every year and most of those reasons the public does not agree with. However, would it be so bad to pay a little extra tax money to ensure that the lives of innocent children and adults are safe? An increase in taxes would help to put tougher DUI laws into place which could eventually, with time, lessen the number of accidents per year. Some might argue that tax dollars could be used toward something other than DUI laws, such as education.
In this case these taxes could be used toward educating the children in school about the dangers of drinking and driving. Putting classes in schools to educate kids about the dangerous and serious effects drunk driving could be beneficial to the population in the future. The current DUI penalties do not seem to be doing the Job. “Up to 75% of drivers convicted of an impaired-driving offense continue to drive illicitly to some extent (Yoas et al. 1422). If new laws were to be put in place perhaps the number of intoxicated drivers, as well as the number of accidents, would decrease.
As of right ow, it someone gets pulled over while driving impaired they get a night in Jail, which is a slap on the wrist. When they get out there is a high probability that they will repeat this offense. Therefore, drunk driving “consequences need to be so great that people think twice about driving even if theyre unlikely to be caught” (Pinto 3). Stricter policies need to be enforced to limit the amount of repeat as well as first offenses that occur. David Hanson explains “automatic license revocation appears to be the single most effective measure of reducing drunk driving”.
If that is the case hen all states should adopt this practice. Another punishment that could prove effective in reducing the number of drunk drivers is mandatory drug and alcohol tests. If offenders were forced to submit drug and alcohol tests once or twice a week for a certain period of time it may discourage them from repeating it. This practice would also benefit the tax payers. They would not have to pay extra tax for DUI offenders going to Jail. In fact, the offender would be putting money back into the economy, because they would have to pay for their test every time they went to take one.
Therefore, we would be using this as a harsher unishment as well as an economic growth. Creating stricter DUI laws would create peace of mind for families and may even save lives. Every year thousands of people are killed or injured due to an accident involving alcohol. A study done in 2010 showed “112 million instances of driving while intoxicated were estimated to have taken place” and “approximately one-third of motor vehicle related deaths in the US” were caused by people driving under the influence (Schofield and Denson 1). If these offenders who caused the accidents were repeat offenders, they obviously did not learn their lesson.
If they were to be Jailed longer or required to take a drug and alcohol test, perhaps they would not drive impaired again. This would help cut down on the costs of lives being taken, reduce injuries, and cut down on hospital capacity. In conclusion, stricter drunk driving laws would make the world a much safer place to be in. There would be a lot less need to worry about drunk drivers while driving at night. Therefore, stricter drunk driving laws should be enforced, because they could save the lives of thousands of innocent people, reduce the probability of repeat offenders, and possibly help the economy earn money.