How much longer will we be forced to go through the pain and sadness due to the carelessness of drunk driving? Drunk driving has been a problem in the United States since the introduction of automobiles, but it didn’t become an important social issue until the 1980’s. Drunk driving is not only illegal in every state, but it’s also extremely unsafe to operate an automobile if you are under the influence of alcohol. When a person drinks, the alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream. Various tests have been designed to measure the level of alcohol in a person’s blood. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime. It was a late night, May 14th, 1988. Larry Mahoney was very drunk and obviously inept to drive his pickup truck, but he did so anyway, out of recklessness and stupidity. He drove down the highway with a BAC of more than twice the legal limit of .10 percent. He ended up getting into a head on collision with a church bus returning from a trip to an amusement park. The crash caused the bus to ignite, killing 23 children and 4 adults, which injuring 12 others. As this idiot awoke the next morning in a hospital bed with minimal injuries, he was convicted of assault, manslaughter, wanton endangerment, and drunken driving. What he did was simply unforgivable, and the more we excuse and tolerate behavior like this, the more of it we will see in the future. Actions have been taken, which is quite true. During the 1990’s steps were taken to lover the legal limit of a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. Until the late 1990’s, the limit in most states was .10 percent. As of summer 2001, 26 states lowered their BAC limits to .08 percent. More and more Americans each year can say that in someway drunk driving has affected their lives. Every American should be ashamed that this has become true. The numbers of drunken driving incidents has become vast. In the year 2000, 16,653 people were killed in accidents involving drunk drivers, while another million were injured. 2238 of the people killed didn’t even reach the age of 21. Enormous gains have been made against drunk driving over the past twenty years and have created the general impression that drunk driving is largely under control. However, more actions have to be taken in order to turn that impression into a reality.
How dangerous is drunk driving? An alcohol related car crash occurs every 32 minutes. (That’s a little over a half hour.) Drunk driving is a major problem we face in the world today and should be stopped by stricter punishments and public awareness.
©2004 Robert Vulfov