Life is an invaluable thing to any individual, whereas people tend to live to the fullest. There is a widespread belief that God controls humans’ lives, yet people can be affected by various injuries that can shorten their lifespan. More so, decisions made by individuals impact on their lives significantly. Drunk driving is an instance of people’s decisions that can directly affects their lives. It is illegal to consume alcohol and drive a vehicle; however, some individuals tend to be engaged in such a malpractice (Carpenter, 2004). There is a need to enact more stringent and tougher rules to help curb this vice. Thus, the current laws and regulations related to the drunk driving issues are to be reviewed in order to prevent the loss of life among other people.
There are several reasons as to why drunk driving should not be encouraged. Firstly, when a person in affected by alcohol, their ability to make sound decisions is impaired. The outcome of the inefficient decisions when being drunk while driving is that the driver is likely to lose control over the vehicle, thus probably resulting in loss of lives, injuries, and loss of property. Alcohol makes drivers unpredictable in terms of decision making. Further, once a person is under the influence of the liquor, their vision is impaired; therefore, it is difficult for them to see clearly and act when necessary to avoid a collision, veering off the road (Fell & Voas, 2006). The alcohol intake interferes with the brain, thus leading to poor judgment due to insufficient visibility.
Another reason for calling for stringent measures to ban drunk driving is because once someone is drunk, their reaction time is reduced. The ability to react fast to a situation that could have otherwise been controlled or avoided is limited. The body of a person impacted by alcohol is weaker, whereas their mind is at rest. This behavioral change may make a driver lose control over the vehicle, hence causing damages to the surrounding. Alcohol also reduces one’s concentration level and the level of vigilance of a person. This lack of attention is dangerous while driving as it will lead to a late response to situations (Voas et al., 2000). Driving requires a lot of keenness and concentration for one to be able to drive safely to the destination. Accidents have been reported because of driver’s failure to establish and maintain this required level of attention.
When drunk, people usually feel more relaxed and drowsy. These characteristics may cause a driver under the influence of alcohol to fall asleep while driving. If this occurs, such driver will definitely cause an accident or loss of property. This is yet another reason why the rules on driving when being drunk should be tightened to eliminate such practices. Drivers under the influence of alcohol also do find it difficult to multitask. The process of driving involves various parts of the body such as legs, hands, brain, and eyes. To be able to participate in these activities while being drunk is a challenge; this, therefore, leads to poor or late decisions made by individuals affected when responding to a situation. Alcohol also presents some level of confidence, which may lead to experimentation (Yanovitzky, 2002). While being drunk, it is difficult for one to understand sensory information. This inability leads to poor decision making, which is eventually hurtful.
There are, however, those who hold a contrary opinion regarding drunk driving. These critics condemn the proposal for tougher laws against drunk driving. Critics base their arguments on the fact that the government needs to focus on dealing with the root of the problem while punishing citizens. Some people believe that the existing laws are already severe enough; thus, there is no need for the tougher regulations (Fell & Voas, 2006). This view, however, raises a critical question: if the current laws are tough, then why are the cases of drunk driving on the rise? The answer to this question is obvious: incidences of drunk driving are in a constant rise as the current regulations are not tough enough to discourage one from the malpractice.
More so, other critics argue that when tougher laws against drunk driving are implemented, like in the case of the sobriety checkpoints establishment, they are about to waste the state’s money. The proponents of this view assert that the huge amounts of money spent on the checkpoints should otherwise be allocated to the rehabilitation of the felons. However, such an approach may end up aggravating the problem rather than solving it. Recent studies have revealed that a majority of those drivers who engage in drunk driving are either receiving rehabilitation services or were attached to a rehabilitation center at some point in their life (Voas et al., 2000). Additionally, there is a high chance that drunk drivers might take the opportunity to receive rehabilitation services as a penalty for drunk driving lightly, thus being further encouraged to repeat the act.
There is also an argument that most of the drunk drivers do not knowingly engage in the offense. Critics argue that a majority of drunk drivers make a choice to drive when they are already mentally impaired. Based on this opinion, since the choice to drive while drunk was made without a clear mental conscious, then the offender should be acquitted of legal charges (Olson, 1985). Drunk drivers pose a huge risk not only to themselves but also to the general public. Drunk driving is the cause of most vital road accidents that end the lives on many innocent pedestrians. The state should, therefore, adopt tougher laws against drunk driving so as to condemn the irresponsible act and ensure public safety.
Despite the heated debate surrounding the need to pass tougher laws against drunk driving, there are many points in support for these laws. Due to the constant loss of life and property, and trauma, there is a need for certain behavioral changes and self-discipline. The pain and trauma that one undergoes in the event of an accident due to drunk driving indeed calls for a need to legislate new laws and policies to help curb the menace. Without these new laws, the innocent civilians will continue to lose their lives in a tragedy way. Moreover, these accidents also lead to high losses experienced by businesses and economics at large. Until these legislations are implemented, the citizens will still experience the aftermath of drunken driving.
Carpenter, C. (2004). How do zero tolerance drunk driving laws work? Journal of Health Economics, 23(1), 61-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2003.08.005
Fell, J., & Voas, R. (2006). The effectiveness of reducing illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for driving: Evidence for lowering the limit to. 05 BAC. Journal of Safety Research, 37(3), 233-243. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2005.07.006
Olson, G. (1985). Alcohol in America: Taking action to prevent abuse. National Academies Press (US).
Voas, R., Tippetts, F., & Fell, J. (2000). The relationship of alcohol safety laws to drinking drivers in fatal crashes. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 34(2), 483-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0001-4575(99)00063-9
Yanovitzky, I. (2002). Effect of news coverage on the prevalence of drunk-driving behavior: Evidence from a longitudinal study. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 63(3), 342-351. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsa.2002.63.342