DUI: Reality Of The Problem In America

MIAMI - DECEMBER 15:  Officer Kevin Millan from the City of Miami Beach police department conducts a field sobriety test at a DUI traffic checkpoint December 15, 2006 in Miami, Florida. According to police, the woman failed a breathalyzer test by blowing into the device and receiving two readings one at .190 the other .183, which is twice the legal limit in Florida. The city of Miami, with the help of other police departments, will be conducting saturation patrols and setting up checkpoints during the holiday period looking to apprehend drivers for impaired driving and other traffic violations.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Millan MIAMI - DECEMBER 15: Officer Kevin Millan from the City of Miami Beach police department conducts a field sobriety test at a DUI traffic checkpoint December 15, 2006 in Miami, Florida. According to police, the woman failed a breathalyzer test by blowing into the device and receiving two readings one at .190 the other .183, which is twice the legal limit in Florida. The city of Miami, with the help of other police departments, will be conducting saturation patrols and setting up checkpoints during the holiday period looking to apprehend drivers for impaired driving and other traffic violations. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Millan

DUI or Driving under the Influence is a growing concern especially in many cities as the age of driving is from 16 onwards. Many people, in particular youngsters enjoy new found freedom of being independent. With high school underway or nearly over and other young adults who are off to college, the teenagers feel the freedom of being able to be in control of a powerful car and being mobile and able to drive. No matter which car they may have, it still holds enough power to get you to places and the power to kill if used improperly.

That being said, the temptation of being young, with friends and no responsibilities to tie them down makes youngsters potential DUI offenders. And it doesn’t matter which way you look at it, a DUI is a very serious crime because of the consequences it could possibly have. If you’re lucky enough, you can get home safe after a crazy night out where you’ve been drinking. If fate deals you a bad card and something really bad happens, your life could be changed forever.

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DUI is also known as DWI (driving while intoxicated), OWI (operating while impaired) and OVI (Operating a vehicle under the influence. You may think that this applies only to driving under the influence of alcohol, but there’s where you would be mistaken. With so many states in America moving to legalize marijuana, this term has includes driving under the influence of any substance – whether that be alcohol or various drugs.

There has been a split of authority across the country in regards to the law. Some states make it illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence or driving while intoxicated and other states indicate that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle. Where the split occurs is when the law fails to come to a conclusion of what that may entail. To put it simply, some states permit enforcement of DUI, DWI, OVI/OWI when the person concerned is either operating or is in control of a vehicle while others state that the person under influence is actually driving the vehicle.

There have been many court cases that have argued these points and when it comes to it, the differences between the two are really just technicalities. If you’re behind the car, you’re dunk and you’re driving, you’ll be prosecuted. In terms of travelling, while DUI is not such a major crime in the US, especially if you have not caused damage or harm to anybody, it makes you inadmissible to Canada. Many travelers have been surprised at the border because you don’t serve jail time if you’re let off with a ticket or a fine. If the DUI is on your record, according to the laws of the country you are visiting, it could make your entry inadmissible.

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The statistics themselves are quite scary when it comes to DUI in America. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffics Safety Administration) estimates that approximately 17,941 people died in alcohol related accidents or collisions in the year 2006. This represented almost 40% of the total number of traffic deaths in America.  While the statistics vary every year, the sheer numbers show us how very real the dangers of DUI are. A further 275,000 people were involved in alcohol-related accidents and the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that nearly 1.5 million are arrested for DUI. In 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. 1983 proved to be a peak year in DUI statistics with 1 out of every 80 drivers in the US being arrested for DUI.

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A Few Words..

My parents have always been very particular about alcohol. We, my brother and I, grew up in a very liberal household. We would have wine at dinner time and occasionally join visitors with a glass of good whiskey or a pint over the weekends.More.....