Showing posts with label Drunk Driving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drunk Driving. Show all posts

Many jurisdictions require more serious penalties (such as jail time, larger fines, longer DUI programs, the installation of ignition interlock devices) in cases where the driver's BAC is over 0.20%, or 0.15% in some places. These additional sanctions are an attempt to deter and punish the operation of a vehicle at extremely high BAC levels and the concomitant danger posed to the safety of persons and property by heavily impaired drivers. As of July 1, 2010, California implemented a pilot project for DUI sentencing. In two counties, Los Angeles and Alameda, first offenders convicted of drunk driving are required to install an ignition interlock device in their car for a period of five months. Previously, this requirement was only mandated for second offenders and then for a three year period. California DMV has now written guidelines to clear up any ambiguities in the law.

Compared to many other countries, penalties for drunk driving in the United States are light, unless alcohol is involved in an incident causing injury or death of others, in which case they are very heavy compared to other nations. See Driving under the influence. Some states, such as Wisconsin, do not permanently revoke driving permits even if the offender is convicted multiple times.

Drunk driving is the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. It is illegal in all jurisdictions within the United States, though enforcement varies widely between and within states/territories.

The specific criminal offense is usually called driving under the influence (DUI), and in some states 'driving while intoxicated' (DWI), 'operating while impaired' (OWI), or 'operating a vehicle under the influence' (OVI). Such laws may also apply to boating or piloting aircraft. Vehicles can include farm machinery and horse-drawn carriages.

In the United States the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died in 2006 in alcohol-related collisions, representing 40% of total traffic deaths in the US. NHTSA states 275,000 were injured in alcohol-related accidents in 2003. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that in 1996 local law enforcement agencies made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide for driving under the influence of alcohol, 1 out of every 10 arrests for all crimes in the U.S., compared to 1.9 million such arrests during the peak year in 1983, accounting for 1 out of every 80 licensed drivers in the U.S.

NHTSA defines fatal collisions as "alcohol-related" if they believe the driver, a passenger, or non-motorist (such as a pedestrian or pedal cyclist) had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01% or greater. NHTSA defines nonfatal collisions as alcohol-related if the accident report indicates evidence of alcohol present. NHTSA specifically notes that alcohol-related does not necessarily mean a driver or non occupant was tested for alcohol and that the term does not indicate a collision or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol. On average, about 60% of the BAC values are missing or unknown. To analyze what they believe is the complete data, statisticians simulate BAC information. Drivers with a BAC of 0.10% are 6 to 12 times more likely to get into a fatal crash or injury than drivers with no alcohol.

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