The Dangers of Drinking and Driving

So only one drink can’t hurt at all. Right? Wrong. That one drink of alcohol and the decision you make to get in a car and drive, can lead you to killing someone, your own death, jail, financial loss, and much more. The most frequently committed violent crime in our nation is driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drug (DUI). There are two choices that you make when you drink and drive: to drink (or use other drugs) and then to drive afterwards. Drinking and driving, among young adults, can lead to major damages, socially, financially, health-wise and statistically.

Many people wonder why young adults like us, drink and drive, when they know it’s illegal. There are three main factors to why young adults drink. The most major and common reason is peer influence. This includes unwanted pressure more generally and involves a social expectation that certain kinds of events involve drinking (Simpson). Secondly, there are socially-based reasons these are more common, and relate to the ways alcohol and drinking are used to facilitate social relations. Some examples of these are developing trust with friends and exploring sexual relationships. Alcohol is seen to serve both relaxing and bonding functions within the peer group, as well as providing an excuse for bad behavior. The third reason depends on the person individually. For example, drinking alcohol helps with changing moods, coping with stress and feeling happy. (Institute of Alcohol Studies)

What are the results of drinking and driving? Besides the most common reasons like accidents and death, there are two results. The first result is more of the punishment. You have four convictions if you are caught with a DUI. The 1st conviction is minimum fine of $300 and a mandatory 48 consecutive hours in jail. The 2nd through 4th convictions (within seven years) is a minimum of $300 and more than year in jail. Fines can go up to as high as $5,000 and jail time can be up to two years. Then again, if you refuse to take the DUI test or driving while license is suspended, you can carry a fine of $1,000, at least 90 days in jail, and one additional year of license suspension. (Torrance Police Department)

Many states now have amended their criminal drunk statues to enhance the penalty if a minor child is the car at the time of the offense. This means that in the next few years, the laws in the United States will be getting tighter and tighter. The second result is the health and social problems. Some of the harm associated with alcohol is caused by critical intoxication, some by regular, excessive consumption over a long period. There is a range of problems associated with alcohol dependence. Problems can be psychological, physical or social, and they exist in varying degrees of severity. Sometimes, the problems are so bad that you could have certain side effects that could cause you never to be the same again.

The results of drinking and driving, over a long period of time, can add up to a large number of statistics. Did you know that in 1999, 15,935 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes – an average of one every 33 minutes? Or how about this one: eight young people, just like you die in alcohol-related crashes, each day. The most outrageous idea is that more Americans have died in alcohol-related traffic crashes than in all the wars the United States has been involved in, since our country was founded.

These above statistics are drinking and driving conviction numbers (James 102). Don’t think that this could never happen to YOU, because sometime in your life, if you chose to booze and cruise, you could be involved in a alcohol related crash. You don’t have to be “drunk” to be dangerous behind the wheel. Impairment begins with the very first drink. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the brain immediately upon consumption, causing delayed reaction, vision distortion and emotional changes.

This information about drinking and driving, may not change many people, but just think about this. On an average Saturday night when you are driving on the road, one out of every ten cars that pass you, one is a DUI.(Veron Township Police Department). That car could be the end of your life. Drinking and driving, among young adults, can lead to major damages, socially, financially, health-wise and statistically. Just remember if you booze, you cruise, you loose.

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