In 2006, it was estimated that close to 18,000 people died because of impaired drivers or operating a vehicle while impaired. An old statistic from 1996 indicated that law enforcement throughout the United States made close to 1.5 million arrests for impaired driving. DUI and DWI are synonyms that simply represent the criminal offense of operating motor vehicles while impaired, and within every state, a blood or breath alcohol level helps determine the point where an independent criminal offense will be laid. Each state has a very similar general blood-alcohol content minimum, but every state has different subsections within this law where charges can be laid. For example, most states have a blood-alcohol limit of .08% and this is very common, but in some states, an offender can be charged even if they are under this limit.
When a person is charged with one of these offenses this is a very serious violation and the courts handle this in a very strict manner, as it could have resulted in the serious injury or death of a person or other people. In many cases these DWI and DUI courts will utilize substance abuse treatment and intervention with defendants who plead guilty to this charge; in the year 2004, there were about 90 different courts for DUI and DWI offenders. The whole purpose of these specific courts is to help reduce impaired driving by ensuring the offender receives treatment and help. If a person opts in for drug or alcohol rehab, there will be some requirements such as random visits from law enforcement, blood and urine tests, community service, attending a treatment program and finishing it, and ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. This is all to ensure the offender gets help and does take responsibility for their actions.
When these courts first started in the late 1990’s they were having a huge impact on the United States; in fact, the recidivism rate went from over 40% to just under 14%. Just because this is a very serious offense does not mean a person does not have the right to take full responsibility for their actions. Drug and alcohol rehab is available for these offenders so they may be able to regain control of their lives and make a change for the better. These courts are important throughout the USA, as they have proven to help people and keep impaired drivers off of the roads. It is also very helpful for them to sometimes be followed by a sober or recovery coach after treatment, to have someone making sure their recovery is going well and helping them adjust to real life after treatment.
Alcohol-Impaired Driving in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that every day, 29 people in the nation die in a motor vehicle crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals over 44 billion dollars and this is one death every 50 minutes. In 2016, 10,497 people died in an alcohol-impaired driving crash, which accounted for roughly 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the country. In 2016 over 1200 traffic deaths involved children aged 0 to 14, and 17% of these deaths involved an alcohol-impaired driver. More than one million drivers were arrested for driving while impaired, whether it was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Within the nation are over 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among US adults each year. Involved in roughly 16% of motor vehicle crashes are different drugs other than alcohol. Marijuana, for example, has been seen in an increased amount of nighttime and daytime drivers who were caught driving under the influence. People who used marijuana were around 24% more likely to be involved in a crash. The state of Colorado is a good example, and since the legalization of marijuana, traffic-related incidents have increased. Drinking and driving is a severe problem that affects millions of Americans. Countless alcoholics are charged with alcohol-related offenses such as driving under the influence. Every year innocent people are killed because of drinking and driving, yet many states have taken practical steps to curb drinking and driving.
Crime and drug abuse
There is a direct link between many of the crimes committed within the city and people struggling with drug addiction. Whether it is addicts, dealers, or drug traffickers, there is a high percentage of crime directly connected with these problems, but some offenders are given a second chance through court-ordered drug treatment centers. Drug courts work with offenders and rehabilitation programs to work in ending these ongoing cycles of crime and addiction.
Impaired driving and drug problems
Driving while impaired is not only dangerous and reckless but will endanger the people in the car and everyone else around. Law enforcement agencies have their hands full with intoxicated drivers but are now also cracking down on drivers who are under the influence of drugs such as marijuana. DUI charges bring some hefty penalties, and the offender will spend a lot of money and time dealing with this charge.
Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Programs for DUI/DWI Offenders in the United States
Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Programs are often statewide substance abuse program, which is mandatory for individuals who have been convicted of driving under the influence. These types of programs help lower the number of injuries and deaths that occur each year in many states. Typically, someone who is convicted of a DUI or DWI must enroll in an alcohol and drug safety action program within 30 days, although this may differ from state to state. There will normally be certified alcohol and drug safety action program providers in the state, and if the offender does not enroll within a specific time frame, they will be found in contempt of court. As part of sentencing, the person convicted will not be able to regain his or her license until the completion of an ADSAP. These programs are successful because they can help identify any factors that contribute to your DUI conviction. Once this is done, the person will then be assigned goals that will help address their problem areas, which do include education and treatment services. The education and treatment services will help the person reduce his or her risk of committing another DUI offense.
Every day in the United States, on average 29 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve the driver being impaired by drugs and alcohol. The annual cost connected to impaired driving on average is $45 to $50 billion dollars. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, which accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. In that same year, more than one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and narcotics. The increased rise in impaired driving in many states, especially the states with legal marijuana, has led state officials to implement stricter laws and alcohol and drug safety action programs. Drivers with a prior DUI conviction where a blood-alcohol content of .08% or higher was involved in a fatal crash, were 4.5 times more likely to have more than one conviction. Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Programs do work, however; much of the problem is with follow-up care and help. Many people who are involved in impaired driving crashes have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Going through a drug rehab program will help, and court-mandated Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Programs are effective but follow-up help and care will ensure these problems can be eliminated for good.
As of 2018, there has been a steady increase in drugged driving, which means driving under the influence of narcotics that are not alcohol. This has posed new challenges for road and highway safety, but new measures are always being taken to lessen the amount of impaired driving taking place. There are many effective preventative measures, such as alcohol and drug safety programs. All states will actively enforce existing blood-alcohol content laws of .08%, along with minimum legal drinking ages, and zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 21 in all states. Most states have implemented ignition interlock devices upon being convicted, which does include first-time offenders. Local and state police will use sobriety checkpoints to ensure impaired drivers are being caught before something horrible happens. State health officials will put health promotion efforts into practice and influence the economy, organizations, policy, and school/community action programs. Community-based approaches have also proven effective to prevent impaired driving, and mandatory substance abuse assessments will occur for DUI offenders.
Impaired driving impacts everybody and alcohol and drug safety action programs are used in different states to help. Not driving while impaired is the ultimate solution, and there are numerous ways to prevent this from happening. Before drinking, you should designate a non-drinking driver, or make arrangements for transportation after. Never let friends drive while impaired, or anyone else for that matter. If you have been drinking alcohol or using drugs and driving prior, get a ride home, take a taxi, a car service, or public transit. Anyone who is hosting a party where alcohol is being serviced should always remind their guests to plan ahead or make arrangements to have taxis come to the home or designate a sober driver for the end of the party.