Approximately 11,000 people are killed as the result of a drunk driver annually in the United States, more than three times the number of Americans killed on 9/11, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Due to the high number of people killed in drunk driving accidents, a variety of strategies are being employed to crack down on this very serious problem.
Stiffer Drunk Driving Penalties
With few exceptions, states and local units of government across the United States have continued to stiffen the penalties imposed on drunk drivers. This includes enhancing the potential jail or prison terms associated with the crime, as well as increasing the penalties imposed upon conviction of drunk driving.
Penalties associated with drunk driving are progressive. What this means is that if a person ends up with more than one drunk driving conviction, he or she will face ever increasing sanctions. In addition, if convicted of drunk driving for the first time, a person usually no longer merely get a proverbial slap on the wrist. Even first driving convictions for DUI or DWI come with real penalties and sanctions.
Alcohol Education and Treatment
Over the course of the past 20 years, there has been a significant increase on the emphasis of meaningful alcohol education, and abuse or addiction treatment has occurred as means of combating drunk driving. Historically, a person convicted of DUI or DWI might have to attend a fairly meaningless “drinking and driving class”, which no longer is the case across the United States.
In this day and age, a person convicted of DUI or DWI faces the prospect of being ordered to attend alcohol education classes, alcohol abuse or addiction treatment, or both. These classes and treatment programs oftentimes last for extended periods of time and work to help combat the root problems associated with this crime.
Because of the increased penalties and requirements associated with a DUI or DWI conviction, retaining legal counsel truly has become a must when a person faces these types of charges. The theory is that the need for legal representation is also playing some type of role in the process of cracking down on drunk driving.
According to the Fannin Litigation Group, the reality is that engaging an attorney for representation in a DUI or DWI case is an expensive proposition. The prospect of expending literally thousands of dollars for legal representation alone is thought to serve as some sort of deterrent to driving while intoxicated for some individuals.
A comprehensive approach for cracking down on drunk driving is being carries out by utilizing a number to strategies, and is deemed to be the approach most likely to be effective. Sanctions, education, and similar strategies are designed to work together to lower the incidence of drunk driving in the United States.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.