Everyone knows that there are penalties for drinking and driving but yet there are people who still consume alcohol knowing they have to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. In Wisconsin the average person has consumed alcohol and gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle 80 times before their first offense and there has to be way to prevent people from driving a vehicle after they’ve consumed alcohol but how? Can Wisconsin pass new legislation and implement new laws that decreased drunk driving? How can Wisconsin prevent people who have consumed alcohol from getting behind the wheel of their own vehicle?
“Wisconsin happens to be the only state that doesn’t crimilize for a first time offense of drinking and driving” states CBS news. In 2015 there were approximately 24000 convictions of drinking and driving in Wisconsin alone, ‘We have one of the biggest problems in the nation, and yet we have some of the fewest solutions to correct it,’ State Sen. Tim Carpenter said (CBS news). If Wisconsin didn’t allow first time offenders to get away with drunk driving there could be less of a probloem, letting them get away with doesn’t open their eyes to the consequences of what driving while intoxicated has. If first time offenders didn’t just get a traffic ticket it could open their eyes to the idea that driving drunk isn’t a joke and puts many lives in danger.
One way to lower the statistics of drinking and driving in Wisconsin is to install sobriety checkpoints at various highly visible spots. Police and state patrol can stop all calls or certain cars passing the checkpoint and see if the driver is impaired. They can also install breath tests for drivers who may seem impaired and not functioning well enough to operating behind the wheel or given to someone who “officers are suspicious of drinking and driving” informs the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. This would prevent people from consuming too much alcohol or maybe even any at all because there would be a higher possibility of getting caught in the act. By installing sobriety checkpoint it allows officers to stop all cars or just cars that may be being operated by someone who is impaired. It will make people think twice before getting into the car and driving while they’re impaired because of the fear of getting caught.
Along with sobriety checkpoints car manufacturers could install ignition interlocks. An ignition interlock would prevent the car from starting for anyone “ has a BAC above a certain level, usually 0.02%” states U.S Department of Health and Human services. They mention that even just “mandating interlocks for all offenders, including first-time offenders, will have the greatest impact” (U.S Department of Health and Human services) on the statistic of those who drink and drive and the amount of accidents that are caused by drunk driving. By installing an ignition interlock on the vehicle of an offender of drunk driving it will prevent them from driving while intoxicated, it won’t stop them from drinking but it won’t allow them to drive and put the lives of others in danger. If the car doesn’t start that means they need to find a designated driver that can take them home and get them home safely.
To avoid drinking and driving people can always make sure they have a designated driver or someone who is responsible enough not to drink knowing they have to drive themselves and possibly other people home. “Before leaving the house and attending a party or going to a bar make sure you have a designated driver” (Virtual Drive). If you plan on attending a party and you know the people throwing it ask if you can stay at their place for the night so you won’t have to drive under the influence. If your driver is attending the party with you make sure they’re responsible enough not to consume any alcohol so they don’t jeopardize your safety or their own. Making sure you have a designated drivr is one of the simplest ways to prevent drunk driving, making sure your safety and others isn’t put in danger isn’t hard.
When people go to bars or out for drinks for the night most don’t think about having to hand their keys over but what if bars implemented a security system in which anyone who had the keys to a vehicle and plans on driving later has to hand their keys over or put them in safelock of some sort. Now of course only you would have access to that lock and say if worse comes to worse and you couldn’t drive call up a friend and have them take your keys and have them take you home. Too many times do people go to bars knowing they’re going to drink but also know they have to drive and don’t try to find a safe ride home and put themselves and many others in danger by driving while intoxicated.
Wisconsin could also lower the amount of bars they have, Abby Phillips states “Drive around the state of Wisconsin and you’re probably more likely to come across a bar than a grocery store”, “Wisconsin has a 3 to 1 bar to grocery store ratio” mentions Phillips. The fact that Wisconsin has more bars than grocery stores is pretty outrageous. If Wisconsin limited or removed some bars in some areas that are heavily populated with them it could decrease the amount of people that get behind the wheel of their vehicle intoxicated. “Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the country. According to the advocacy group MADD, it’s the only state in the union where the first drunk driving offense is a traffic ticket, not a crime” states Philips and the amount of bars can help contribute to the drunk driving rate.
There’s no definite way to end drunk driving but if Wisonsin implemented new laws and legistlatrions to make it harder for those who committ the crime to get away with it the statistics might start decreasing and lives of others and the person behind the wheel wouldn’t be in as much danger. Drinking and driving ruins lives of many so I don’t see why anyone would want to risk their own life and others and drive while intoxicated.
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