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DWI Still a Major Traffic Problem in the U.S.

Drunk driving remains to be a major traffic problem in the U.S. In 2013, those arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the U.S., including in the District of Columbia, totaled to 1,171,935. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records showed that the number of arrests due to drunk driving went as high as 1.4 million. With these unbelievable figures, many authorities feel relieved that the yearly number of fatal accidents do not go over 10,500. Authorities consider this bit of success (in maintaining the number of fatal accidents to just a little above 10,000) to the zeal of traffic enforcers in enforcing these laws, to the efforts of private, non-profit groups, like the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) which, since 1980, has helped in the passing of new DUI laws, like the Zero Tolerance, which prohibits individuals below the age of 21 from having in their blood system any measurable amount of alcohol, and to the passing of additional laws, such as the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law, which authorizes arresting officers to confiscate the license of drivers who refuse to take or fail a breath test.

The current blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for car drivers is 0.08%. This BAC limit is still considered high based on the fact that a person’s driving ability and response time to emergency situations are already affected even at 0.05% BAC level. Application of the law, however, simply allows for traffic enforcers to consider and, therefore, arrest an individual due to alcohol-impairment if he/she has a BAC level of 0.08% or higher. To further reduce risks of accidents due to drunk-driving, some states also authorize traffic enforcers to consider a driver as already alcohol-impaired if they see that his/her abilities are been affected by alcohol even if such driver’s BAC level is below 0.08%.

A DWI conviction can ruin one’s professional and personal future. A lot of attention has been drawn to drunk driving over the past couple of decades, all directed to punishing offenders and proving guilty or convicting those who are caught. This makes it important, even necessary, for people who are charged to seek representation from a highly-skilled defense lawyer, who may be able to save him/her from possible conviction.

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