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Driving under the influence of alcohol has affected and devastated countless people’s lives. Driving under the influence is one of the most dangerous situations you can put yourself or someone else into. If you drink and drive, not only do you possibly put yourself at risk but your passengers, as well as other people on the roads too. “Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and roughly 1/3 of these accidents involve alcohol or another substance.”(DoSomething.org) These victims could easily be your friends, family, or neighbors. The majority of the injuries related to the alcohol-related crashes are not just cuts and bruises, people got paralyzed, severely disfigured, or even the loss of a life. We need to put a stop to drunk driving and there are numerous ways to prevent it from taking away someone’s life over something that can very well be prevented.
There are legal consequences due to drinking. The more a person drinks, the more their ability to make important decisions becomes impaired. After just one drink, a driver can lose their ability to perform the tasks necessary to drive a car. At a certain point, a driver will become illegally intoxicated and can be arrested for attempting to operate a motor vehicle. The legal system needs harsher punishment for people who drink and drive drunk. Someone who gets pulled over and caught under the influence of alcohol should go to jail and stay in there until their court date which will maybe make them think about what could of happened if they got into an accident and potentionally hurt of killed someone.
If we stiffen the penalties for impaired driving, it may very well make repeat offenders think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, or even the first time for that matter. “During the year 2007, alcohol-impaired driving was involved in the deaths of nearly 13,000 Americans.” (facts.randomhistory.com) These statistics are too high. Longer jail sentences for first time offenders will hopefully make them realize what they have done, and how it has affected so many people for their drinking and driving. For this reason, the government should enforce the law for drinking and driving.
Another way to prevent drunk driving is to have a designated driver. A designated driver is simply one who agrees to abstain from alcohol and be responsible for driving others home. The others are free to drink or not as they choose. “Designated drivers have probally saved nearly 50,000 lives and spared many more thousands of people from suffering injury from drunk driving.” (2.potsdam.edu) The designated driver approach prevents drinking under any level of impairment because that person consumes no alcohol. It also doesn’t require a driver or passenger to determine if a person is too impaired to drive.
The designated driver concept is easy to understand, simple to implement, costs nothing, and is effective. People should plan ahead whenever they’re going to socialize with alcoholic beverages, decide ahead of time that will not drink any alcohol before a party or event, and consider taking turns being the designated driver. In addition to being or using a designated driver, people can save lives by taking car keys from intoxicated people to prevent them from being drunk drivers. Although thousands of lives are saved each year, by designated drivers many more are needlessly lost. Each such death is a tragedy affecting many others who are left suffering and grieving. Be a designated driver and become a hero and save someone’s life or future for making a wrong decision.
Lastly, people need to be well educated in the consequences of drunk driving and what can happen if you kill or injury someone and the affect it will leave on them for the rest of their life, especially educating teens. The earlier you teach someone about drunk driving, the more the lessons will stick. When it comes to the consequences of drinking and driving, people need to fully be aware of what it means to kill or injure someone on the roads and the devastating impact it will leave on their family and friends. This is not always easy for people to understand but it is a lesson in which need to learn. It is also very important for people to fully understand the consequences of being caught driving while under the influence of alcohol. Educating people will not only decrease the number of alcohol related crashes, but it can also prevent an alcohol related crash from occuring.
In conclusion, these three ways can help reduce, or eliminate the deaths caused by drunk driving. Through the education of drinking and driving, designated drivers, and having stiffer penalties for offenders, we can prevent or even reduce the number of fatalties due to impared driving. Drunk driving can be very deadly. Yet many people drive while under the influence all the time. Drivers who are drunk are blamed for the loss of as many as twenty thousand lives in alcohol related crashes each year and hundreds of thousands of severe injuries. Drinking and driving is not right. It is not worth the consequences, and it is not fair for a drunk driver to risk the lives of innocent people.
Hanson, David J., Prof. “Alcohol & Driving.” Drinking & Driving. Bitglyph, 13 Apr. 2008. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
Stowell, Calvin. “11 Facts About Driving Under the Influence.” DoSomething.org. Do Something Inc, 26 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 Nov. 2014.
Van Tuyl, Christine. “34 Random Facts About Drunk Driving.” 34 Random Facts about Drunk Driving. RandomHistory.com, 28 Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.