Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Driving Under the Influence Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Driving Under the Influence - Essay Example Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA (2013) indicate that motor vehicle crashes resulting from alcohol impairment costs over $37 billion every year. In 2010, the number of associated deaths were 10,000, accounting for about 31% of traffic-related deaths in the US, implying one death in every 51 minutes. Therefore, those driving under the influence pose a serious social problem to the society. This has seen many organizations, such as Students Against Drunk Driving, SADD and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, set up to impact on public attitude and the enactment of appropriate legislation on DUI (Carper & McKinsey, 2012). A police officer could contact a driver for various reasons including speeding, dangerous and aggressive driving, running the red lights or just an equipment violation. Pulling over such drivers aims at ensuring the safety of the suspect and all the other road users. When one is suspected of intoxication and as such stopped, sub mission to a field sobriety test would be required. This preliminary test conducted at the scene could involve standard roadside tests as documented by the NHTSA (2013). An officer conducting the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test looks whether the suspect’s eyes jerk involuntarily. ... Intrusive and extractive methods have however proven to be expensive as more states rely on the accurate and economical method of using machines such as the breathalyzer to measure vapor content. Refusal to submit to such a chemical test in the pre-text of the right against self-incrimination could lead to the driver’s license being revoked. This follows the implied consent to test of sobriety whenever suspected by the police, with Nemeth (2012) documenting this implication through the acceptance of a driving license. Carper & McKinsey give the example of the Illinois Vehicle Code which states that for any one below 21 â€Å"arrested as evidenced by a Uniform Traffic Ticket†¦ shall be deemed to have given consent to chemical tests of blood, breath, or urine† to determine the blood alcohol content of such a person, provided the police have a reason to believe that the driver has consumed alcohol (2012, 474). Even so, before revoking the license, the driver has the r ight to warning of the effect of law and administrative or court hearing. All the 50 states in America have set the blood alcohol concentration, BAC of 0.08 as the legal limit for all drunk driving. The BAC for commercial drivers is even lower, at 0.04. For those below the age of 21, the limit is set to zero: any level of alcohol warrants arrest of such persons. Some jurisdictions illegalize driving while taking alcohol, as such, open container of alcohol in a car could warrant an arrest. BAC conveniently measures the alcohol content in the blood by weight. According to Hunter, Wong, Beighley, and Morral (2006), this intoxication level could be reached by a 120-pound female and 180-pound male after only two

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