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Harsh Punishment on Drunk Drivers

Is our judicial system lacking in discipline against drunk drivers? I think that yes, our

judicial system is requiring a difference in the way we are punishing intoxicated drivers. In order

to keep the streets safer, we as a society have to make some changes because too many innocent

lives are being taken because of someone’s poor decision to drink and drive. Drunk drivers

should be imprisoned because they are not only endangering the lives of others but

endangering the lives of themselves, educate other drivers not to drive intoxicated, and

people would be less likely to drive drunk if they knew the stakes of the first offence.

Firstly, I determine that drunk/ intoxicated drivers are endangering the lives of not

only themselves but endangering the lives of other pedestrians and drivers. According to

MADD Canada, in 2014, there were 2,297 lives taken due to drunk or intoxicated driving

(MADD) .This means that every day, 4 Canadians have their lives taken from them because of

an intoxicated driver and a driver that has made the poor decision to drink alcohol and then

operate their vehicle. It is very disturbing and scary to think that every time I get into a vehicle, I

am at risk of coming into contact with an intoxicated driver. When a person is of the influence of

alcohol, their decision-making abilities are impaired as well as their abilities to control their

actions. For example, while operating a vehicle, you have to be very aware of your surroundings

anytime you are driving. Your decisions to switch lanes, make turns, and how to maneuver

through traffic all have to do with knowing and being aware of your surroundings. Being under

the influence of alcohol impairs that quick decision thinking ability. All in all, I believe that

driving drunk leads to the endangerment of not only themselves but other drivers and pedestrians

as well.
Secondly, having a strong first offence can pursue learning experiences and educate

future adults, young adults, and youth about the suffering that people obtain after driving

while intoxicated. When I was in high school, I went through this program called the PARTY

program which was about drinking and driving as well as the consequences that result from it.

This program included touring the ICU of a hospital, meeting police, firemen and women, as

well as meeting paramedics to talk about stories, and lastly, and the one that definitely that stuck

the most with me was meeting a survivor of a drunk driving incident. This program really

opened my eyes about innocent things that can happen to anyone. I feel like having these

programs introduced at the beginning of students’ high school years will make them more aware

of the consequences that result from drinking and driving. According to the San Diego DUI

Specialists, “Research has shown that as many as 1 in 10 teens in high school will drink and

drive.” (San Diego) We as a society can prevent this by having more educational programs about

the repercussions of drinking and driving. Thus, I believe that educating youth as well as adults

about the dangers of drunk driving can help prevent future accidents and endangerments of

people.

Lastly, people will be less likely to drive while intoxicated if this hefty punishment of

imprisonment on a first offence was present. If a new law is passed and in motion to have a

harsh punishment of imprisonment on a first offence, this will not only have a greater effect on

society, it will speak to those who have ever thought about driving under the influence and also

speaking to those who have already done it without getting caught. If this new law is passed,

more people will likely plan more accordingly. For example, if a friend is having a party, the

person will plan either to Uber, sleepover or even stay sober during the party. Because of this
higher punishment, the police will have more ride programs and more surveillance to catch

those who decide to drink and drive. Having more protection is very important to not only keep

the streets safe but to keep other drivers safe by clearing out those who choose to drink and

drive. According to the Royal Canadian Mountain Police website about impaired driving,

“Statistics Canada reports the impaired driving rate in 2015 was 65 per cent lower than the rate

1986.” (Seiden) The statistics of impaired driving are lower because the punishment has been

raised throughout the years. If we raise punishment to the highest possible standard, then we

could lower the impaired driving rate by a tremendous amount. Therefore, I believe that having

stricter punishments will lead to a decrease in accidents and deaths.

Overall, Intoxicated drivers should be detained in light of the fact that they are

imperiling the lives of others as well as jeopardizing the lives of themselves, teach

different drivers not to drive inebriated, and individuals would be less inclined to drive

drunk in the event that they knew the stakes of the principal offence. Drinking and driving

is dangerous and society needs to place new laws and have higher punishments in order to

make the streets a safer place.


References

Seiden, D. (2018, January 02). RCMP Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.rcmp-

grc.gc.ca/en/gazette/impaired-driving

Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://madd.ca/pages/impaired-driving/overview/statistics/

The Facts on Teens & Drunk Driving with Education and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.sandiegoduiattorneynow.com/the-facts-on-teens-drunk-driving/