Drunk driving has long been a major thorn in the side of policy makers. Billions of dollars are spent each year to implement policies and strategies that realize a reduction in road fatalities because of drunk driving. Increased fines, introduction of prison terms, suspension and cancelation of driver’s license are only some of these strategies.
Statistics show that of the 275,000 road fatalities in the USA each year, at least 18,000 of that number are from are directly related to DWI. As a result, there is an unfortunate but alarming fatality rate due to DWI of one DWI related death in every thirty-nine minutes. To be charged with a DWI offence, the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must be over 0.08. Some states have lower levels of 0.07 especially for young drivers who lack the necessary experience required to navigate difficult circumstances.
States with Highest DWI Cases
Different states have different levels of DWI cases for several. Some of these are because of natural causes while others are man-made.
California: Each year there are over 200,000 DWI related accidents in California. Of this amount, almost 4000 result in fatalities. This high amount of DWI related charges are due to a number of reasons. First, to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, the Department of transport of the state of California has stipulated that individuals under the age of twenty-one are not allowed to drive with a BAC level above 0.01 to 0.5. Breaches result in revocation of license and mandatory drunk driver visitation programs. In addition, drivers are not allowed to drive while having an open alcoholic beverage in their possession.
From a cultural standpoint, Californians are known to have a wild side. The lifestyle of the many rich and the famous does little to quell the high rates of DWI cases in California. These individuals sometimes display a carefree attitude and consume high volumes of alcohol that results in them being charged for DWI.
Alaska: Weather is a major contributing factor to the high rates of Alaska’s high rate of DWI charges and road fatalities. Alaska has one of the longest winters and like countries such as Russia, the population consumes high volumes of alcohol in order to keep their internals warm. Couples the high level of alcohol consumption with icy roads and you have an accident just waiting to happen. To stem the tide of DWI, the Alaska Road Safety Department has stepped up the drive to control the high volumes of road fatalities. They have increased fines, spot checks, prison time and termination of driving license.
Texas: Texas is another state with high DWI cases and road fatalities. The number of DWI cases is influenced by the stringent laws implemented by the state to curb accidents related to DWIs. According to Texas DWI Law, an individual who is above the age of 21 is declared drunk once their BAC level is above 0.08. For individuals below 21, any traces of alcohol regardless of how small will result in one being charged with DWI. Hence, with increased patrols the number of reported cases seems high. In addition, they also charge drinking establishments under the Dram Act that holds these sellers responsible for allowing a drinker to drink until they are a danger to themselves and others.