Everyone knows that driving or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and illegal. However, there are instances when common sense and logic are thrown out the window. Everyone understands the dangers, we see it in the news, drunk driving can even affect us firsthand, and it continues to happen. With that in mind, let’s look at the dangers of drunk driving that we often overlook.
In many states, a first time DUI charge is often a simple misdemeanor. This means that the sentence handed down is usually very lenient. At most, the guilty party will most likely only have to attend classes and participate in community service. If that person earns a second DUI charge, that person should expect to spend at least 48 hours in jail. A DUI charge might have a light punishment the first time around, but any after that will have a drastic increase in punishment.
Statistically, drunk driving has caused more deaths than any other type of road accident. On average, one person dies every 50 minutes in an accident that involves an impaired driver. The numbers accumulate to roughly 10,100 deaths from DUI cases every year, and that doesn’t even include the estimated 300,000 DUI related accidents that go unreported.
Any DUI charge will label you as a high-risk driver, even on a first offense. In cases where the drivers only carry liability coverage on their vehicle, the insurance company is likely to double or even triple the cost of your insurance premiums, depending on the severity of your case and your previous record. This is in addition to the fines, court fees, the cost of an attorney and other expenses.
Each state has their own laws regarding DUI charges, varying in severity. For example, Missouri has passed a bill which states that anyone charged with DUI must install an interlock device in their vehicle. Montana is considering charging juvenile drivers as adults and Tennessee has taken steps to ensure that your DUI record follows you for your entire life. These laws are measured steps to suppress the numbers of DUI related incidents. Many states still have mandatory breath analyzer tests and sobriety checkpoints, but these steps won’t have any real impact if we can’t take responsibility for our actions. This means taking the first step and never operating a vehicle under the influence and considering the lives of those that share the roads with us.
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