Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
photo of attorney Timothy P. Kelly

Drunk driving: A problem in search of a solution

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Drunk Driving |

Despite countless marketing campaigns to stem the persistent drunk driving problem, many motor vehicle operators take to the road while under the influence. Oftentimes, drivers catch the attention of law enforcement.

What was once a “just get home safely approach” in the 1970s had become serious and life-changing legal consequences. The 1980s saw drunk driving resulting in nearly 20,000 lives or 40 percent of accident fatalities.

Multiple initiatives

Since then, high-profile advertising campaigns have attempted to stem the growth of this type of dangerous driving, only to move the needle down slightly to 30 percent by the end of the 20th century.

Ten years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Transportation Safety Board released a study meant to reduce the frequency of drunk driving. The only achievement over several decades was the enactment of mandatory seatbelt laws.

A few states signed on for the individual strategies that included:

  • Lowering blood-alcohol content to 0.5 percent
  • Documenting the last bar or restaurant that served drinks
  • Increasing the number of sobriety checkpoints

The objective is lofty, but the ultimate goal is zero traffic crashes due to drunk driving.

Another strategy and subsequent win came in 1984, changing the minimum drinking age to 21. Statistics revealed a smaller number of motor vehicle crashes throughout the following decade.

What studies do not account for are shortcomings and outright errors committed by law enforcement that violate the rights of drivers trying to get to their respective destinations. A DUI arrest does not mean a conviction is automatic. Help from an attorney can get to the facts while protecting your rights.