Anti-Drunk Driving Awareness
Driving under the influence of alcohol (also termed driving while intoxicated, drunk driving, drinking and driving, drink-driving), is the act of operating a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol, medication, drug or other substance, to the extent that mental and motor skills are impaired to the degree that the driver is unable to drive a motor vehicle with the caution and care of a sober person. The specific criminal offense may be called driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving while impaired (also DWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OMWI), driving under the influence of alcohol, medication or other drugs (DUI), driving under the combined influence of alcohol and/or other drugs (DUID), or driving under the influence per se (DUI). The following organizations represent some of the strongest platforms in the fight against drunk driving which shed light on the root causes of drunk driving as well as the need for proper representation in DUI cases:
1. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): The organization has three goals: to stop drunk driving, to support the victims of drunk driving, and to prevent underage drinking. With the help of MADD volunteers, changes have been made to the legal drinking limit and the legal drinking age. MADD has saved at least 300,000 lives over the last 30+ years. The organization meets this goal head-on through its core educational efforts, victim assistance, advocacy for specific legislative policies, and helping victims of drunk driving, including families of victims.
2. Fathers Against Drunk Driving (FADD): The organization hopes to reduce and eventually eliminate all deadly alcohol crashes on US highways, as well as stop underage drinking. With associate chapters, veterans, students, teachers, high schools and law enforcement agencies the organization implements educational awareness prevention campaigns, programs and events. Veterans Against Drunk Driving (VADD) is an affiliate organization that was established to bring awareness to those brave men who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America and their families about the dangers of drinking and driving.
3. Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD): The primary mission of SADD is to educate students using “the best prevention and intervention tools possible to deal with issues of underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, and other destructive decisions.” The organization currently comprises over 350,000 active student members across the nation and holds chapters in middle school, high schools, as well as colleges. The organization includes projects such as student-focused forums, leadership training, media outreach, fundraising, peer-led classes, and more. All of these are designed to help students get into the mindset of leadership excellence so that they can make the appropriate decisions in any given situation.
4. Recording Artists Against Drunk Driving (RADD): Non-profit organization that was started in 1986 as the entertainment industry’s answer to road safety. RADD’s target audiences are teens from ages 13-18 and young adults from ages 21-34. Because vehicle crashes are the number one killer of those age groups, RADD is dedicated to “solution-based, age appropriate messages” to promote safe and sober driving. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk”, you have been exposed to the brilliance of RADD.
5. Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR): Centered on the need to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking altogether. The organization currently has a presence in all fifty states as well as the nation’s capital. Currently, the organization meets these aforementioned goals through educational resources, which are available on the site as well as through various social media platforms. In addition, the organization also offers countless research considerations and opens up a dialogue so that students and adults alike can be more responsible when it comes to drinking.
Root Cause Analysis
All 50 states now have two statutory offenses for what is commonly called drunk driving. The first offense is the traditional common law offense, variously called driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI) or operating while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). The second more recent offense is the so-called per se offense of driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. While there is not a simple solution to preventing people from drunk driving, what is clear is there are some ways that actually get to the root of the problem that have shown to be effective. What we know is that getting through to people about the dangers of drunk driving takes more than awareness campaigns. The Center for Disease Control gives the following methods as proven ways to prevent drunk driving:
- Enforcement of the minimum drinking age (21 in most states)
- Sobriety checkpoints
- Community-based programs for education and prevention
- Enforcement of lower blood alcohol content level (currently in most states, 0.08 is the BAC level for drunk driving arrests. Some states are passing laws to lower this rate to .05)
- Raising the price of alcohol
- Requiring mandatory substance abuse treatment for DWI offen ders
- DWI Service Providers
- Alcohol and Drug Counseling
- Residential Treatment Facilities
- Drug Rehab Facilities
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Law Enforcement and Sobriety Checkpoints
- DWI Attorneys
The anti-drunk driving movement has been innovative, as advertising and lobbying campaigns have been directed at raising awareness of social and legal issues related to the dangers of driving while intoxicated. The various versions of “driving under the influence” laws generally constitute misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to one year in the county jail. However, a DUI offense may be elevated to a felony and punished by a longer term in state prison if the incident caused injury (felony DUI), death (vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide), or if the defendant has a designated number of prior DUI convictions within a given time period.
It is important to confirm that an attorney or law firm regularly takes driving under the influence cases to trial. Additionally, it is important to confirm that the attorney or attorneys at a DUI law firm are members of professional organizations and regularly attend seminars focusing on training lawyers in the latest developments in DUI defense and prosecution. Finally, it is wise for an individual considering hiring an attorney or law firm to represent them in a DUI case to actually visit the office and meet the attorneys, investigators and staff. The attorneys and staff of The Hadi Law Firm welcome you to call our office, speak with and meet members of our firm.