In legal parlance, drunken drivers are known as DUIs, i.e., "Driving Under the Influence". With statistics revealing that approximately eighteen million of Americans are alcoholic, their chances of falling in the category of DUIs increases manifold.
Keeping these statistics in mind as well as looking at the various consequences, the laws have become stricter such as the legal BAC, i.e., blood alcohol content, has been reduced to .08 from .10 percent in all states of America for adults. As for those under 21, even a trace of alcohol in the blood while driving is considered illegal. Offenders, i.e., those who are found guilty of crossing these stipulated legal limits have to suffer from a number of effects.
One of the most obvious results of drinking and driving is an accident which can prove to be fatal. When a person has had alcohol, it suppresses the nervous system, reducing the reaction time to a great extent. Thus, a drunk person is unable to control the vehicle, leading to a fatal car crash.
Harm to Others
Another person who has to bear the brunt of this, is the pedestrian. When a drunk person loses control of his vehicle, he may hit a passer-by. The pedestrian might be injured and can even die for no fault of his. Thus, a drunk driver is not only putting his own life at risk but is risking other people's lives as well.
When a person is caught, his license is marked for the aforesaid crime. A person has to become a part of various hassling court proceedings and legalities to get the license renewed. This can affect his reputation as well as cast a bad spell on his professional life. Some states have made it mandatory for the offender to get a formal DUI education and clear a test to get the license back. Drivers who are charged with repeated DUI convictions have to serve jail time, their civil rights such as the right to vote may be confiscated, and they may also have to pay huge fines.
The drunk driver's self-esteem might hit a low. If he causes an accident, his friends and family, even the person himself might not be able to trust oneself again.
Facts and Statistics
Going through the statistics, can be shocking for any person. According to the data available with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, in the year 2012, more than ten thousand people lost their lives due to alcohol-related accidents - one every 51 minutes. Another shocking statistics is that around thirteen hundred of those who died were under age. Other facts are that around thirty percent of Americans are involved in such accidents at least once in their lifetime, and alcohol related accidents cause immense financial losses, to the tune of billions of dollars to the American government every year.
Looking at the adult as well as teenage drunk driving statistics, it is important that certain steps are taken to ensure safety. The United States government has framed various laws to prevent these accidents. For example, the legal age to drink has been increased to twenty one. Some states are giving full authority to the arresting officers to seize the license of the driver who refuses to comply with them or take the breath analyzer test. Some other measures that have been taken are holding seminars, especially in schools and colleges, to educate students about the negative effects of drinking and driving and installing breath analyzers in bars. Still, looking at the number of fatalities, a lot more needs to be done, at governmental, societal, and individual levels to bring an end to this menace.