Drunk Driving Punishments

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According to The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the risk of death due to a vehicle accident is 11 times higher when a driver is under the influence of alcohol. On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. In America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes. In addition, someone is injured in a drunk driving crash every two minutes. On average, eight teenagers a day die as a result of crashes that involve DUI’s. Although the drunk driving rate in the United States has been cut in half, more still needs to be done to prevent deaths and injuries from alcohol related traffic crashes. Impairment is not reliant upon the type of alcohol consumed, rather the number of drinks over …show more content…
Some people say that the laws and punishments should be less strict while others say we need more strict laws. “The National Transportation Safety Board recommended all 50 states decrease the blood alcohol content threshold for drunken driving from 0.08% to 0.05%. The goal is to have zero deaths from alcohol-related car accidents” (Granderson). Sen. Linda Gray wants to cut punishment time for a DUI interlock device from one year to six months. According to Gray, only about 30 percent of first-time offenders meet the requirements to get the interlock and complete the program. “She would introduce a bill that would weaken the law when she has been advocating for tougher DUI laws since 1997 -- after two Phoenix cops were killed by drunken drivers within a few months of each other” (Clark). The law currently prevents those out of compliance from renewing their driver's license. She created a bill that prevents first-time offenders who don't comply with the penalties from renewing their vehicle registration as well. Gray, who has championed tougher DUI laws for the past 13 years, is now saying that six months is a long enough punishment. At the same time, she says her bill strengthens the law by adding other restrictions. Kelly Larkin, the executive director of MADD said, "We don't understand why we want to take a law that is working for our state and change it" since the inception of the law in 2007, DUI …show more content…
had the most lenient policies. South Dakota has very lenient laws and the highest fatality rate. South Dakota’s DUI penalties include no minimum jail time or fine for a first or second offense, no administrative license suspension, and no ignition interlock requirement. It had the number one fatality rate for 1995-2013 (22.4 fatalities for every 100,000 residents) and the number nine rate for 2013 alone (15.98 per 100,000 residents). High fatality rates were associated with lenient laws in several other states. Montana, which also has a low DUI strictness rating (#46 of 51), had the number one fatality rate for 2013 alone (22.56 per 100,000 residents) and the number 5 fatality rate for 1995-2013 (16.85 per 100,000 residents). Montana is one of only a few states to lack an administrative license suspension law. Other states with low DUI strictness and high fatality rates include North Dakota, Kentucky, Wyoming, and Mississippi. While Arizona has the strictest DUI policies, its fatality rate is about average. Arizona, had the 17th highest DUI fatality rate in 2013 alone. Alaska and Connecticut, the states with the next strictest policies, had significantly lower fatality rates. West Virginia has the fourth strictest DUI laws, as well as the fourth highest fatality rate for 2013. It also had the 10th highest fatality rate between 1995 and 2013 (14.05 per

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