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Drunk Drivers Should Be Jailed for Life, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 462

Research Paper

Introduction

There is a strong persuasive argument that supports much stiffer jail penalties for convicted drink drivers; particularly where this has ended in the loss of a victims life.  Research indicates that young children are particularly vulnerable, together with the elderly and those involved in car crashes as a result of drunken joy-riders.

The Issues

Common sense tells us that drinking whilst driving is both inconsiderate and dangerous to both the driver and potential innocent victims.  Despite this the statistics on drink driving offences continue to prevail.  Some 50 states in the US now treat drink/driving as a statutory offense.

The Police look at Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and it is illegal to drive with a BAC in excess of  0.08.  In 2008 a statistical survey pointed out that California, Texas and Florida had the highest drink driving offences and number of fatalities.  One correlation is that all of these experience hot climates, have large Cities and big population areas.  (Alcohol Alert, 2012). Between 2000-2007 the number of fatalities in the USA ( as a result of drink driving) hovered in the 40,000 to 43,000 people per annum.  In 2007 this dropped to 37,000 so there is hope that the trend is slowly starting to reverse.  Fig I refers.

There are a number of reasons why people turn to alcoholism but it is clear that a lot of this is after hours social drinking used to relieve stress.  Alcoholism is technically not a disease but more appropriately an illness or malady. In 1956 the American Medical Association called alcoholism a disease and as such a progressive disease. Self-medicating for stress or depression is really the first step of a four stage process leading to alcoholism. The translation from illness to disease is where the concept of addiction manifests itself, normally in the third stage. In addition there is some evidence to support the genetic theory. It is also a psychological disorder, with self-medicating to boost dopamine levels in the brain that stimulates pleasure. The Mayo Clinic stated that children who witness parents abusing alcohol are likely to repeat this by learned behaviour.

Conclusion

There is ample evidence to support that drink driving problem is a serious issue across the United States, with specific emphasis on California, Texas and Florida where the figures represented are at their worst.  In most cases drivers face stiff fines, suspension of their driving license or in more severe cases imprisonment.  It could be argued that where this has involved the loss of innocent life through negligent or impaired driving, then the jail sentences should be more severe up to and including life imprisonment.

References

Alcohol Alert. (2012, 8 7). Drunk Driving Statistics 2010. Retrieved from Alcohol Alert: http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html

Edgar Synder & Assoc. (2012, 8 7). Drunk Driving Accident Statistics. Retrieved from Edgar Synder & Assoc: http://www.edgarsnyder.com/drunk-driving/statistics.html

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