Jennifeer Flores R.
LA 202: Creative Persuasion: The Art of Argument
3:30 pm – 6:20 pm
March 23, 2009
Proposal Essay: Driving Under influence of Alcohol
Drunk drivers continue to plague American highways. They crash, they injure, and they kill. In 2000, 16,653 traffic fatalities — 40 percent of all highway deaths —involved at least one drinking driver. Every year, just in U.S.A, almost 20,000 people are killed in accidents involving people under the influence of alcohol. That means that someone is killed from alcohol-related accidents approximately every 7 hours and 29 minutes. This means that every seven and a half hours someone out there is losing a friend, a parent, a brother, a loved one. At certain points of our lives, we have seen signs on the side of a highway in memory of a victim of drinking and driving, witnessed the pain and suffering from people on the news or have read their stories on newspaper. But the reality about driving under the influence of alcohol is much worst than what we can perceive. It is true that every state has an elaborate system of laws, enforcement, courts, and punishments for drunk driving, but these systems do not work as well as they should. Arrest rates are low. Some laws allow some offenders to escape any punishment. Other offenders can avoid getting convicted for DUI through a plea bargain. Sanctions are not applied consistently. These problems are not well known because many states do not have good record systems. Drunk drivers have little fear of being stopped, arrested, convicted, and punished — so they continue to drink and drive.
This study proposes effective and practical actions to improve the drunk driving control system along with specific strategies to implement these recommendations. These actions will help prevent and minimize the many cases of drunk driving.
Through research studies and interviews done by Jones RK, JH Lacey, and CH Wiliszowski, it has been possible to identify common problems in the drunk driving control system. First, the state laws for DUI are complex and contain inconsistencies and loopholes. Second, when pulled over, many drivers opt to refuse to take the Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) test since it is legal to choose not to. Third, many arrested drunk drivers are not convicted. Fourth, offenders are frequently not monitored to assure they complete their sentence. Finally, offenders frequently continue driving after their license is suspended. The most reasonable and possible solutions to these problems would be in the following order. In the case of state laws being inconsistent, the best would be to review and simplify laws and use the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) 2000 as a starting point. The UVC is a privately set of United States traffic laws prepared by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws. In the UVC we can find speeding laws and the sanctions for their violation. It would be a good starting point because speeding laws can be re-written in a way that violators are strongly sanctioned. In relation to the problem that many drivers refuse to take BAC tests, it would be the best if the government established penalties for refusing to take the test that are more severe than the ones for failing it. The average refusal rate across the 42 states reporting is 25%, or one in every four DUI stops. Currently, if a person decides not to take any BAC tests -breath test, blood test, or urine test, - the officer will read a statement to him concerning his rights and the consequences of refusing to take the test. The person will be required to sign a refusal form, and his license will immediately be suspended for 7 days. If a judge decides that the refusal was unreasonable, the license could be suspended for an additional one year. A person can easily get away with having their license revoked and continue driving. Harsh penalties, such as periods of jail time for refusal, need to be...
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