Drunk drivers getting hammered, this time in the US courts

by | Mar 20, 2013 | Attorney

There isn’t a day, an hour or a minute that goes by without somebody in the world getting arrested for driving under the influence, DUI. For many of these offenders this will not be the first time they have been caught driving under the influence. The percentage of repeat offenders is very high.

Now, due to pressure on governments by groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, there are an increasing number of laws being passed relating to DUI. Indeed the severity of the punishment for any offenders has risen dramatically since the mid 1980’s.

The laws that seem to have had most impact are the Administrative License Revocation laws, changes to the Blood Alcohol Concentration laws and the harsher penalties handed down to repeat offenders. The ALR laws now permit a police officer to take immediate possession of an offenders license should they fail or refuse to take an alcohol breath test while the BAC levels have been significantly reduced from .10 to .08 percent for adult drivers and a zero tolerance law which prohibits drivers under the age of twenty-one from having any trace of alcohol whatsoever in their system whilst in charge of a motor vehicle. Tackling the problem of repeat offending has been a trickier hurdle to overcome. States across America including Washington, have been encouraged to hand down harder penalties to repeat offenders and slowly but surely the threat of these harsher penalties seems to be having the desired effect.

The process of getting ones license back after a drink driving ban has also come under close scrutiny. State laws now require drivers to undertake an assessment or awareness program that runs over a number of days. These programs have become a lot more in depth than in previous years with the offender now having to undertake an assessment interview with a qualified counsellor. During this interview, agreements must be made by both parties as to the steps to be completed before an offenders license is reinstated. These steps can include, at the counsellors discretion, a period of attending Alcohol Anonymous or for more problematic cases a stint in one of the many residential treatment centres.

As mentioned before, changes in the severity of penalties for DUI have come about due to pressure by groups such as MADD. They collected and put forward some very damning statistics in their quest for tougher laws. Some of the more shocking statistics can be seen below:

* Approximately one third of all drivers arrested for driving under the influence are repeat offenders.

* In fatal crashes in 2010, 34% of drivers were from the 21-24 year old age bracket.

* In 2010 there were 211 children killer by drunk driving, 62% of those were riding with the drunk driver.

With continued awareness and these tougher penalties slowly being implemented into the system it appears that life as a DUI attorney in Belfair, Washington and the rest of America will remain a busy one.

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