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Drinking and Driving Essay

drinking and driving essay

Example #1

Personal Response

There are a few reasons I picked a subject within the dimension of physical well-being. I think all people should look after their bodies and try to be healthy and in shape. The physical component is one of my strongest out of the five components, therefore, it is one of the most important to me.

The main reason I chose the subject of drinking and driving is that it affects us all. Children, teenagers, adults, seniors, drinkers, and also non-drinkers are all involved. If someone on the road is driving while under the influence of alcohol, any type of person can be the victim of the drunk s actions.

I believe it is important for me to have knowledge on this issue, and teens in general as well. Many of my friends are now getting their driver s licenses, and alcohol being around the people I know is becoming a lot more common. Since we are getting older, it is easier to obtain and more likely to be at parties and such.

Another reason for my research on drunk driving is that my dad is a lawyer who specializes in motor vehicle accidents. Through this, I have heard all the stories of how much pain and suffering a car crash can cause. This pain is physical and emotional, and it can last a lifetime. When one of the drivers was drunk, the crash is more significant since it was so predictable and preventable.

Drinking and driving is a very serious problem in Canada. It causes more deaths and injuries than all murderers, muggers, rapists, and robbers combined.

Drinking has a very dramatic effect on our bodies, and this is proven through all the death statistics on drinking and driving in Canada. For example, after 3 typical alcoholic drinks, an average male adult would have a blood alcohol level of 0.06%. At this level, the drinker would have a mild feeling of happiness, or the reverse- a slight depression.

At 0.1% though, some motor areas of the brain are already affected- speech is slurred and reflexes are slower. A level of 0.2% depresses all of the motor areas, and emotions are seriously affected. If your blood alcohol level reaches 0.45%, this may result in a coma. A level of 0.7% may result in death.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is an offense to be in control of a vehicle if your blood alcohol content exceeds 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood (over 0.08%). It is also an offense if your ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by alcohol, whether or not your blood alcohol level exceeds 0.08.

The Criminal Code also requires a breath or blood sample when asked to do so by a police officer. These criminal charges have heavy penalties. They range from large fines and license suspensions to long jail terms.

More than 1 700 Canadians die every year at the hands of drunk drivers. Over 250 of these are Albertans. Someone is killed every 6 hours by an impaired driver, and every 20 minutes, someone falls victim (fatal and non-fatal injuries) to an impaired driver. 45% of all traffic fatalities in a year involve alcohol.

In Canada in 1995, 20.4% of the drivers in fatal collisions were impaired by alcohol. This is compared to the 9.6% of drivers in non-fatal collisions who were impaired. As you can see, the more severe the collision was, the more alcohol was involved.

The most likely group of drivers to have been impaired before a crash are young males. In alcohol-related collisions, males are five times more likely to have been the driver than are females. When looking at the involvement per 1 000 licensed drivers, males between 18 and 21 years old were the most likely to have been drinking before the crash.

Collisions involving alcohol go up on weekends, very early in the morning, and also during summer months. In 1995, the month of July had the highest number of alcohol-related fatal collisions, with 16.5% of the total.

The most fatal and non-fatal-injury collisions related to alcohol occur on Saturdays, between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.

Drunk driving is a large cost to society as well. There is not only the physical and emotional costs of the victims and of their families but also the financial cost. Drunk driving costs of country tens of millions of dollars each year in court costs, rehabilitation, health care, and social programs.

Preventing Drinking and Driving

There are many ways that we can prevent this serious and fatal problem. The best way is to know your limit- most people are able to have one drink per hour without any ill effects. Other ways to drink responsibly are to eat food at the time, sip (not gulp) your drinks, accept a drink only when you want one, and alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

If you do find yourself drunk, there are always other options than driving. First, before going to a party or social function, pick a designated driver. You can take the bus or a taxi home and pick up your car the next day. Spend the night if you are at a friend s place, so the alcohol can leave your system. Finally, you can always call a friend or your parents to have them pick you up. I believe they would rather want the inconvenience of coming to get you, then having you injured, or worse, dead.


There are numerous organizations and programs throughout Canada that are working towards diminishing Canada s drinking and driving problem:

Operation Lookout:

This is a high profile public awareness campaign that encourages the public to report drivers that they suspect are impaired to the police. Information posters are placed in many community centers, convenience stores, and gas stations, describing the program.

MADD Canada:

MADD stands for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Their goal is to make people aware of the dangers of impaired driving and to offer aid and counseling to its victims. This volunteer-driven organization also has support groups for those who have lost someone by a drunk driver. It has over 2.5 million supporters across the country. Other organizations similar to this one are PAID ( People Against Impaired Driving) and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving).

Operation Rednose:

This program offers rides home from anywhere around Edmonton, during the Christmas and New Year season if you are impaired. This has a lot of potentials since drivers will receive a safe ride home, and it will not cost them anything.


Lately, there has been numerous advertising campaigns targeting the problem of drinking and driving. These commercials are very realistic and are sometimes gory and graphic when portraying a crash site for example.

Creative slogans are used such as Think and Drive and If you drink and drive, you re a bloody idiot.

Designated Driver Programs:

These programs are becoming more and more popular in restaurants and bars. This allows the bartender or waiter to make a judgment on whether the patron is sober enough to drive safely. They may call a cab for the one who is drunk, or encourage their friends to provide a safe ride home.

Alcoholics Anonymous:

This is perhaps the most famous organization when it comes to alcoholism. It does not deal specifically with impaired driving, but it touches the subject indirectly, for those who are alcoholics may very well drink and drive.

Personal Action Plan

There are many steps I can take to prevent myself from being in the dangers of drinking and driving. First of all, I will always try to be sober on most occasions. When I do have I few social drinks (when I am older, of course) I will not let myself get too drunk as to not be able to make smart, conscious decisions. I will know my personal limit and the proper time to stop drinking. I won’t take any unfamiliar drinks, such as alcoholic fruit drinks since I would not be totally sure of the alcohol content in them.

There are many things I also must do when my friends around me have been drinking. I will not let my friends drive drunk, even if it means physically taking their keys and driving them myself. I will certainly not let myself get into a car where the driver is drunk.

If I am hosting a party when I am older, there are many things I will do to prevent drunk driving. Such things as serving food before drinks, having a responsible bartender rather than an open bar, serving a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, and ending the party with coffee for the last hour or so.

I believe that all these steps can help me and the people around me prevent impaired driving.


Example #2

My essay is on “Drinking and Driving Offences”. In my essay I will tell you the various kinds of drinking and driving offenses, the penalties, and the defenses you can make if you are caught drinking and driving.

Let me tell you about the different offenses. There are six offenses in drinking and driving. They are “driving while impaired”, “Having care and control of a vehicle while impaired”, “Driving while exceeding 80 m.g.”, “Having care and control of a vehicle while exceeding 80 m.g.”, “Refusing to give a breath sample”, and “refusing to submit to a roadside screen test.

These are all Criminal Code Offences.

Now let’s talk about the penalties of drinking and driving. The sentence for “refusing to give a breath sample” is usually higher than either of the “exceeding 80 m.g.” offenses. Consequently, it is usually easier in the long run for you to give a breath sample if asked. If, for example, you are convicted of “Refusing to give a breath sample” for the first time, but was earlier convicted of “Driving while impaired”, your conviction for “Refusing” will count as a second conviction, not a first, and will receive the stiffer penalty for second offenses.

For the first offense here are the penalty and the defenses you can make. Driving a vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs is one of the offenses. Evidence of your condition can be used to convict you. This can include evidence of your general conduct, speech, ability to walk a straight line or pick up objects. The penalty of the first offenses is a fine of $50.00 to $2000.00 and/or imprisonment of up to six months, and automatic suspension of license for 3 months.

The second offense penalty is imprisonment for 14 days to 1 year and automatic suspension of license for 6 months. The third offense penalty is imprisonment for 3 months to 2 years (or more) and automatic suspension of license for six months. These penalties are the same for the following offenses.

“Having Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle while Impaired” is another offense. Having care and control of a vehicle does not require that you are driving it. Occupying the driver’s seat, even if you did not have the keys, is sufficient. Walking towards the car with the keys could be sufficient. Some defenses are you were not impaired, or you did not have care and control because you were not in the driver’s seat, did not have the keys, etc. It is not a defense that you registered below 80 m.g. on the breath-analyzer test. Having care and control depends on all circumstances.

“Driving While Exceeding 80 m.g. is the next offense. Driving a vehicle, having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion of alcohol in your blood exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 mi liters of blood. Some defenses are the test was administered improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not functioning properly.

“Having Care and control of a Motor Vehicle while Exceeding 80 m.g.” is the next offense I will talk about. This offense means having care and control of a vehicle whether it is in motion or not, having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion of alcohol in your blood exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. The defenses are the test was administered improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not functioning properly. To defend against breathalyzer evidence you must understand how the test should be administered. The proper procedure for a breathalyzer test is as follows.

Warming up the machine until the thermometer registers 50 degrees centigrade. This should take at least 10 minutes. The machine should then be turned to zero (by using the “adjust zero control”) and a comparison ampoule (of normal air) inserted. If the meter remains at zero, the test can proceed. An ampoule with a standard solution is then inserted. If the meter reads high or low by more than. 02% on two successive tests, the machine should not be used. If the trial is valid, the machine should be flushed with room air and the pointer set at start.

You will then be asked to provide two breath samples, about fifteen minutes apart. Normally they will take the result of the lowest result and use it as evidence against you.

“Refusing to Give a Breath Sample” means refusing without a reasonable excuse to give a sample or refusing without a reasonable excuse to accompany a police officer when demanded by the police officer. Before demanding by the police officer, he must have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that you are committing or at any time in the preceding two hours have committed, one of the offenses of driving or having care and control of a vehicle while impaired or while having a blood alcohol level in excess of 80 m.g. You can refuse to give a breath sample until you have communicated in private with your lawyer even if this takes you beyond the two hour period unless it is shown that your request for a lawyer was not genuine and merely to delay the testing.

The test can be done after the two hour period, but a technician must testify in court as to what your blood alcohol would have been in the two hour period. You cannot refuse to accompany the officer until you see your lawyer. You can argue that the officer didn’t have reasonable and probable grounds to suspect you, but this however depends on the circumstances.

“Refusing to submit to a Roadside Screening Test” is the last offense. When you commit this offense you are refusing without reasonable excuse to give a breath sample for a roadside screening device, or refusing without reasonable excuse to accompany a police officer for the purposes of giving such a sample, when demanded by an officer. Before the officer demands a breathalyzer he must reasonably suspect that you have alcohol in your blood.

The maximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm to someone is up to 10 years in prison and up to a 10-year prohibition from driving. The maximum penalties for impaired driving causing death is up to 14 years and a 10-year prohibition from driving. The maximum penalty for manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death in up to life in prison and up to a lifetime prohibition from driving.

I think that these penalties for all the drinking and driving offenses are very appropriate, but I think impaired driving causing death should be a lifetime imprisonment. Also if a person is impaired and causes bodily harm to someone they should have their license suspended from him for 20 years instead of 10 years.


Example #3

Drinking and Driving is dangerous to yourself and others around you. Alcohol is a depressant, it impairs your ability to drive, slows down your reaction time and causes you to make some risky decisions that you wouldn’t normally take. The penalty for Drinking and Driving is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) registers over .08 which is 80 miligrams of alcohol per 100 mililitres of blood, you are Driving Under the Influence.

After having one drink it takes approximately one hour for your body to burn off the alcohol. You can’t depend on yourself to be able to drive after an hour because everyone processes alcohol differently and you might even feel the effects long after you’ve been drinking. Your BAC is based on; your body weight, how much you have had to drink, the amount of food you may have eaten before drinking, the length of time over which you have had alcohol, and the speed at which your own body processes alcohol (once again, everyone’s is different).

There is no way to make your body burn alcohol faster, eating food, drinking coffee, exercising, or taking a cold shower may make you feel better but they have no effect on your rate that alcohol is processed. The following drinks all contain about .5 oz of alcohol; 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1 oz of 80 proof liquor.

However if you are under 21 it is illegal to have a BAC of .02 because the state of Massachusetts has a zero tolerance law for drunk drivers under 21. If you are under 21 it is also illegal to purchase alcohol or transport alcohol unless accompanied by someone of the age 21 or over.

It is also illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol regardless of the age. Of course the penalty would be more severe if the driver is under 21. The penalty for Driving Under the influence can be any combination of the following; prison sentence, fine or license suspension. The penalties can be altered depending on how much you’ve been drinking, past history of drinking and driving, the amount of time between your past Driving Under the Influence charges and the severity of damage if you got in an accident.

If an officer suspects you of Drinking Under the Influence you will be forced to pull over, preform a field sobriety test and give a breath sample. The officer must have good reasons to request the test and breath sample. If you refuse to do so it will be charged against you later if you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence.


Example #4

It is amazing the affect one beer can have on a person. Especially when they have to take on the responsibility of trying to drive home, maybe sometimes with passengers. I have heard unfortunate stories ranging from getting fined, D.U.I. School, and also a close friend’s death. All of which could have been prevented if they just would have made a better decision.

Jazmani Meneses was always a good kid when it came to making decisions. Until that one day he found himself behind the wheel, with a little bit too much to drink, and with his best friend, Marcos and two young ladies. They had just left a party and everyone wanted to go home except for Jazmani, he was hungry and wanted to eat Taco Bell. When everyone refused he decided to drop his friends off at home and go by himself. After eating, he had a long drive to his father’s house that lived near Cutler Ridge.

Regrettably, Jazmani fell asleep behind the wheel in route to his dad’s house and collided into oncoming traffic while traveling south on the Florida Turnpike. He died almost instantly at the scene of the accident. After hearing this news I was absolutely astounded. I could not believe that the same guy I would see walking through the halls every day at school was now dead.

I always thought that it would never happen to me but sadly enough, it did. It took me a while to get over this, and even though Jaz and me were not that close, it was painful to imagine what his family and close friends had to go through.

Another friend of mine, Nicholas who is twenty-seven years old, also was involved in a car accident. His brand new Mercedes SL500, which did not even have insurance yet, was a total loss. Luckily he survived with only minor bumps and bruises from the crash, but was forced to pay fines exceeding $2,000, complete fourteen weeks of counseling, attend D.U.I classes four times a week, and was placed on probation for six months from consuming any alcoholic beverages.

In addition to those things, he also had to fulfill 100 hours of community service work. Let’s say Nicholas got stopped on the streets and was driving under the influence again, he would be sent directly to jail. Nicholas could have really hurt some one and possibly have killed some body and then be later convicted for manslaughter.

His entire life would be down the drain all because he wanted to have a couple of drinks at a party amongst his friends, look like he was a part of the cool bunch and socialize a little better.

Statistics these days are amazing just in America. About three in five Americans will be affected by an alcohol related crash at some time in their lives. An average of eight young people a day, die in alcohol linked crashes and it is likely that one out of every 280 babies born today will die in an accident involving an intoxicated driver.

There are many organizations designed to inform and try to stop the drinking and driving trend such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Boaters Against Drunk Driving, the American Medical Association and many more. These programs are aimed at attacking binge drinking and the use of alcohol by U.S. youth. Some of the projects include: “A Matter of Degree: The National Effort to Reduce High Risk Drinking Among College Students? and a program called ?Reducing Underage Drinking Through Coalitions.”

The goal of the underage drinking project is to reduce alcohol use among minors and similar problems through diverse coalitions that address environmental factors that contribute to the consumption of alcohol. The goal for the college project is the same; only it focuses on binge drinking on college campuses.

Through my experiences and gain of knowledge I strongly feel that people should most definitely drink and drive. Instead take the responsible approach and either call a cab or call a friend or relative to pick you up. Never get behind the wheel when you know that you can barely even walk straight. Not only will you be saving your own life but you will also be saving others. Do not become another statistic.


Example #5

Driving and drinking is among the worst habits practiced by people all over the world. People think that it is okay to drive themselves to town or even to their homes after drinking. However, this is one thing that leads to occurrence of accidents on our roads leading to serious consequences. Most of the times when someone is under the influence of alcohol, they tend to think that they are invincible. This wrong choice, however, can lead to fatal consequences and should be addressed and avoided.

The behavior of drinking and driving may result in various negative and devastating effects. For one, it is one of the main causes of accidents. A driver driving under alcohol influence is more likely to cause road accident as compared to one driving under no influence. In case of an accident, death may occur, reportedly in many countries across the world many deaths have occurred due to drinking and driving as a result of accidents.

Those who are lucky to survive the accidents may suffer injuries including partial or total disability. Another effect of drinking and driving is the fact that when one is caught driving under alcohol influence then they get a bad record and apparently their reputation is ruined in a way. Due to the devastating effects that result from drinking and driving, it is vital to consider looking for ways that may reduce or better eliminate incidents of drinking and driving.

There is the need to have citizens educated on the effects and consequences of drinking and driving. This way, they understand that driving and drinking is and should not be an option as it can be dangerous and even fatal. In case one is in a party or a club and, may take alcohol it is advisable to have a driver to drive them home.

Alternatively, it would be better to take a taxi home as this would guarantee more road safety. One can also decide to spend the night in town or wherever it is they are partying from as this would be safer than drinking and later on driving home. Strict laws should be enforced in every country against drinking and driving.


Example #6

Driving involves the mind of the driver; for safe driving, drivers should make the right decision when on road; they should follow traffic rules as required by the law. When driving under the influence of alcohol, the risk of causing an accident is high. When someone is intoxicated with alcohol to a state of high blood alcohol content (BAC), his or her decision making capacity is hampered.

Different states have different laws and legislations to legal drinking limit (blood alcohol content (BAC)), that someone can be allowed to drive. For instance some countries have blood alcohol content in excess of 0.05% or 0.08% defines the offense while others have higher levels. Despite the varying rates, the underlying principle is that drinking under the influence of alcohol is risky (Laurence & Gusfield, 1994). This paper discusses issues and consequences relating to drunk-driving.

Issues around drunk-driving

In all states of the United States, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol beyond the set limit per state, according the countries legal definition, drunk driving is driving when one has taken alcohol to the extent that his or her mental and motor skills are impaired.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 40% of death on road accidents in 2006 was as a result of drunk-driving; it estimated that 17,941 people died in 2006 in alcohol-related collisions. It is the realisation of such statistics that each state in the country has its own drunk-driving reinforcement measures and methods.

Consequences of drunk-driving

When driving under the influence of alcohol, the driver ignores traffic signs, symbols, and lights; with the ignorance there is high chance that he will do the forbidden causing an accident.

In the United States for instance, the leading cause of deaths for people under the age of 24 years is motor vehicle wrecks, of which 40% are alcohol related. When driving, the driver is in control of the machine with the decisions that he will make, when someone is drunk, the decisions that he or she will make are likely to be triggered by the intoxication resulting to the wrong decision.

Some of the common forms of accidents that drunkenness leads to include getting into ditch, rolling, hitting another car (either stationary or otherwise), using the wrong lane resulting to head on collision, hitting pedestrians, and unnecessary hooting. When any form of above form of accidents occurs, the passengers/pedestrian risks the chance of dying or suffering from permanent disability (Buddy, 2007).

Accident related medical bills are a challenge to the authorities, they led to economic retardation and stretching of medical facilities. When someone is a victim of an accident, the paid and the psychological trauma is likely to affect his lifestyle thereafter, the rate at which he will be producing or contributing to personal economic development will be hampered; the United States is among those nations with high rates of drunk-driving.

The United States of America has enacted various laws and legislations to control drunk-drinking in the country. The policies include strict penalties on arrested offenders; the penalties include cancellation of one’s driving licence, imprisonment, and fine.

Of the late, the country has enacted the Paradigm Developmental Model of Treatment (PDMT) which aims at rehabilitating drunk-driving drivers. To ensure that the laws are being followed, state governments’ works with traffic police to enforce the laws (Appel, 2009).

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Drinking and Driving Essay. (2020, Aug 24). Retrieved September 13, 2021, from