Public Order Crimes
Driving Under The Influence (dui)
A potentially tragic and deadly criminal action involving alcohol is driving a motor vehicle while or after consuming alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated 17,401 deaths in 2003 were due to crashes involving alcohol. This was only 18 deaths fewer than in 2002. The 17,401 figure represented 40 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2003.
In addition to fatalities, over 500,000 people are injured in alcohol related vehicle accidents every year. The NHTSA estimates three in ten Americans will be affected during their lifetime by an alcohol-related crash, involving themselves, a relative, or a friend.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a public order crime. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID) have pressured lawmakers to strengthen DUI laws. Their successes include: (1) passage of state laws raising the minimum legal drinking age to twenty-one; (2) lowering the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for adult drivers (twenty-one and over) to 0.08 in many states; and (3) zero tolerance laws for youth.
The 0.08 figure means a 0.08 percent concentration of ethanol in a person's blood or breath. Zero tolerance laws for youth make it illegal for a driver under twenty-one years of age to have any measurable amount of alcohol in the blood. Some states actually set the limit for those under twenty-one at 0.00 while others allow up to 0.02. Every state makes its own laws.
- Public Order Crimes - Alcoholic Beverages
- Public Order Crimes - Alcohol And Crime
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