Satire Essay On Drunk Driving

Satire Essay On Drunk Driving-6
Several studies have found that talking on a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, causes more driver impairment than a 0.08 BAC.

Several studies have found that talking on a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, causes more driver impairment than a 0.08 BAC.A 2001 American Automobile Association study found several other in-car distractions that also caused more impairment, including eating, adjusting a radio or CD player, and having kids in the backseat (for more on such studies, see the 2005 paper I wrote on alcohol policy for the Cato Institute).By contrast, a driver who is impaired when he's pulled over, but who stopped drinking an hour or so before, benefits from the delay, since his BAC is falling by the time he arrives at the hospital.

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At the time he is stopped, he is under the legal limit.

But his BAC is rising, and it tops 0.08 by the time his blood is drawn at the hospital.

In 2009, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, 1,600 sobriety checkpoints in California generated $40 million in fines, $30 million in overtime pay for cops, 24,000 vehicle confiscations, and just 3,200 arrests for drunk driving.

A typical checkpoint would consist of 20 or more cops, yield a dozen or more vehicle confiscations, but around three drunk driving arrests.

Consider the 2000 federal law that pressured states to lower their BAC standards to 0.08 from 0.10.

At the time, the average BAC in alcohol-related fatal accidents was 0.17, and two-thirds of such accidents involved drivers with BACs of 0.14 or higher.A person's impairment may also depend on variables such as the medications he is taking and the amount of sleep he got the night before.Acevedo et al.'s objections to the legal definition of intoxication highlight the absurdity of drawing an arbitrary, breathalyzer-based line between sobriety and criminal intoxication.In 21 of the 30 categories, those states were either no different from or less safe than the rest of the country.Once the 0.08 standard took effect nationwide in 2000, a curious thing happened: Alcohol-related traffic fatalities , following a 20-year decline.These ever-expanding enforcement powers miss the point: The threat posed by drunk driving comes not from drinking per se but from the impairment drinking can cause.That fact has been lost in the rush to demonize people who have even a single drink before getting behind the wheel (exemplified by the shift in the government's message from "Don't Drive Drunk" to "Don't Drink and Drive").The right solution, however, is not to push the artificial line back farther.Instead we should get rid of it entirely by repealing drunk driving laws."The level of 0.08 is where we know most people are good and drunk…and there are people who are driving at less than the limit who probably should not be.It might keep some people from driving [drunk] again."Acevedo, Whitmore, and Lewis are right, although probably not in the way they intended. For many people one drink may well be too many, while experienced drinkers can function relatively normally with a BAC at or above the legal threshold for presuming intoxication.


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