Drunk driving is one of the riskiest driving behaviors people engage in. This is why police officers and prosecutors treat it so seriously. Unlike speeding or even exhaustion, they cannot simply trust a driver to make it home after a stop. This increases the likelihood of jail time if officers detect impairment.
The NHTSA estimates that every day, 30 people die from crashes related to drunk driving in America. Of all car crashes, 29% are attributed to drunk driving. To be fair, this number is actually much lower than it was 30 years or so ago, but they are still high. The death toll coupled with property damage totals $44 billion every year.
The dangers of mixing alcohol and drinking come down to the ways in which one affects the other:
- Loss of small-muscle control
- Poor muscle-coordination
- Slowed control and reaction time
- Lost ability to make sound judgments
- Visual impairment
Some states are also stricter when it comes to handling DUIs than others. This comes down to not just how willing police officers are to be lenient, but the actual laws in place. MarketWatch names Arizona as the state with the toughest DUI laws. Following close behind are Virginia, West Virginia and a handful of other states. These states impose more serious penalties even for first-time offenders, have longer minimum jail times and may even try the case as an automatic felony.
This is why so many people facing DUI allegations do all they can to resolve the issue without a conviction. Failure to take the issue seriously could cause a DUI to follow them for years to come.