Drunk Driving Consequences

More and more states are passing Zero Tolerance laws when it comes to dealing with DUIs, ( Driving Under the Influence ) and the penalties are severe. It is becoming outdated to have a lawyer plead your case and get a reduced sentence.

Many states are now mandating laws that judges must adhere to and impose sentences, even for first offenders that include jail time and lengthy suspension of licenses. Drunk driving consequences are now extremely harsh and judges are getting ever stricter in handing out fines and penalties.

In addition to the fines and penalties imposed by judges, there are other consequences drivers must consider before getting behind the wheel after drinking:

  • jail time
  • court costs
  • loss of job/loss of income
  • attorneys fees
  • increased insurance rates
  • car impound and towing fees
  • loss of driving privileges
  • cost of drivers education classes
  • cost and inconvenience of ignition interlock device installed on car
  • community service time
  • and the worst consequence of drunk driving is injuring or killing someone

In the last twenty-five years, there have been thousands of new laws passed dealing with drivers operating vehicles under the influence. Binge drinking by underage drivers account for a surprising portion of alcohol related accidents.

All states now have 21 as the legal drinking age and two-thirds of the states have enacted laws allowing arresting officers to seize driver’s licenses when the driver fails or refuses to take a Breathalyzer test. Some states have passed Habitual Violator laws. Drunk driving consequences can include felony charges and extended jail or even prison time.

Excessive drinking that can raise the BAC (Blood Level Concentrate) to .08 and above is becoming one of the nation’s greatest problems. A staggering eighteen million Americans fall into the category of being either an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser.

Possibly one of the worse side effects to alcohol abuse is the loss of memory and impairment of reasoning. Once a drinker has reached a level of approximately .03, they begin to lose the ability to judge if they are capable of safe driving. New technology may be an answer to this quandary and help lessen the consequences of drunk driving.

Breathalyzers, both personal sizes small enough to fit in a purse or pants pocket and the larger coin operated vending machine models are in demand. Responsible drinkers do not want to put themselves or others in danger. Breathalyzers are one way to curb irresponsible drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Owners of bars and restaurants are installing the vending machines not only to help prevent alcohol related accidents but to help protect their establishments from expensive lawsuits.

An individual who has had a few too many drinks now has the opportunity to measure their BAC, and make a rational decision on their ability to drive. More likely, a friend or designated non-drinker may be the one to make the judgment call.

In any event, breathalyzers can be a major factor in saving lives. Ask your neighborhood barkeep when they will be getting a coin operated breathalyzer and don’t be surprised if there is already one installed. It just makes good sense with the consequences of driving drunk likely to become ever more severe.

See DUI Convictions and Insurance

Sobering statistics: the most severe drunk driving consequences