Some of the common statements from a person who is under the influence of alcohol and believes that he can perfectly drive a car are – "No, I am absolutely fine, just give me the keys; it's not possible when I can not drive when drunk; I drive better when I am drunk. " The irony is that it is his defective senses that makes him come up with such statements.
According to the US Department of Transportation, 28 people die every day in the United States in motor vehicle crashes involving driving driving, which also causes one death every 53 minutes. Moreover, 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2014 which were nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the US
In the US, drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter (g / dL) or higher. With the increasing incidence of alcohol-induced crashes, some strategy needs to be worked on to overcome the problem.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists certain measures that have been recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds them to be effective. Some of the strategies issued by the CDC are:
- Laws for combating drunk driving: As per the US laws, a person with a BAC equal to or above 0.08 percent is not allowed to drive. A person below the age of 21 with any measurable amount of alcohol is also not allowed to drive. These norms are to be followed in all the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The laws have proved to be effective in checking crashes related to alcohol-impaired driving. With stricter adherence, the number of such crashes can be further brought down.
- Ignition interlocks: Ignition interlocks are installed in cars to measure a driver's BAC. A car would not start unless the driver blows into the interlock that is connected to the vehicle's ignition. Typically, the BAC is set at the minimum of 0.02 percent. Such ignition locks are helpful for repeat offenders and also for people charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Although all states have implemented the ignition interlock program, only one-fifth of those arrested under driving while intoxicated (DWI) have used these locks.
- Sobriety points: Sobriety points are essential for reducing driving-related crashes. Security checkpoints in several areas, especially before accident-release areas, can help a police officer stop a car and monitor the driver's alcohol impairment. The CDC said that such sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving accidents by 9 percent.
- License revocation or suspension laws: The state administration should use license revocation and suspension laws for anyone who is found driving in an impaired condition or who refuses to undergo alcohol testing. The police should be allowed to impound the licenses of those who flout the BACorms. The states can further decide the timing for suspending the license.
- School-based instructional programs: With a rise in teenage alcoholism in the US, incidents of drunk driving are also growing. School-based instructional programs about the effects of drunk driving can help students learn the intricacies of drinking alcohol, driving drunk or riding with a drunk driver.
- Mass media campaigns: Mass media campaigns have always played an important role in generating awareness about a particular issue. Drunk driving is an issue that needs immediate attention as many lives are lost in drunk driving crashes. Campaigns and strategies to prevent impaired driving are the most effective methods to dissue people from driving when drunk.
Avoiding drunk driving can save innocent lives
In 2014, over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. Unfortunately, that is nearly 1 percent of the 121 million self-reported episodes of drunk driving among US adults each year, according to the CDC.