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Essay/Term paper: Alcohol and driving while intoxicated

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Alcohol and Drugs

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Alcohol and Driving While Intoxicated

Alcohol is a drug, a very popular drug. Alcohol has been around for a
long time, and people have always enjoyed it's effects. Many people have
passions for alcohol, some people have refrigerators filled with beer, many
others are wine connoisseurs. Alcohol always seems to liven up the party. But
no madder what your preference is, alcohol can be very dangerous when combined
with the operation of an automobile. If you can remember only a few things from
this report remember this: driving drunk is unsafe to you, and everyone else
around you. The driver's of other cars, pedestrians, etc… Driving drunk can
also be very, very costly: insurance surcharges, insurance rates, tickets, fines.

You should understand what alcohol does to you before we go on. Alcohol
is a depressant, and often enhances your mood. If your angry, after a couple
drinks you may be quite possibly angrier. If you are sad, you probably will
feel sadder after some drinks. It is not good to drink and drive when you are
in a good mood, but your driving is also influenced by your mood. It can make
you drive faster, pay attention less, etc… Study's have shown that the
combination of anger, and drinking is responsible for much of reckless driving.
Not only can alcohol enhance your mood, but it has been proven that it can
quickly alter your mood. When alcohol is consumed, it is not digested. It
passes through your stomach and small intestine directly into the bloodstream
and is carried to all parts of your body. It reaches your brain in small amounts.
When alcohol is ingested in larger amounts, it dulls the area of your brain
that control inhibition, judgment, and self-control. Hopefully you can see how
this could be detrimental to your health when driving. Drinking.

But how does alcohol effect my driving? To expand upon this, drinking
increases your self-confidence, and inhibitions but lowers your driving
performance (reaction times, stopping distance). You may feel like you can do
anything behind the wheel of a car after a six-pack. But you can't. Many, many
accidents occur because of drinking. Most of these accidents involve only 1 car,
but other people are killed by drunk drivers. There is a technique to protect
yourself from drunk drivers. First, always wear your seat belt. Second, keep
your distance from anyone that may appear to be under the influence. Anyone who
is swerving, or going to slow are good examples. But it is impossible to
prevent all of these accidents, people have to be educated about drinking and

So how much alcohol is safe? No amount of alcohol in your body is as
safe as having none. But certain amounts of alcohol are safer than others.
There is no set limit of how much is too much, because there are too many
factors in drinking. Body weight, amount of drinks, and how fast you drink are
all factors in how alcohol affects you. Even the amount of food in your stomach
can be a factor in how fast the alcohol gets into your blood stream. You cannot
always tell by looking at someone if they've had too much. Some people can hold
their alcohol real, others cannot. The only real way to measure the amount of
alcohol in your body is with a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer measures your BAC;
blood alcohol concentration. Your BAC is how much of your blood is alcohol.
You must be 21 in the U.S. to drink, but the BAC limit is .10%. If you are over
.10% you are considered legally drunk, and will be charged with DUI if you are
caught. At slightly above .05% your risk of causing an accident is double what
it would be at 0%. Considering that most people are not excellent drivers to
begin with, this is scary.

How do is sober up? Eating, taking aspirin, drinking black coffee, deep
breathing and cold showers are not effective at all in sobering up. The only
way to sober up is time. This is important to remember, do not let anyone tell
you otherwise. If you do drink, you can be smart about the actions you make.
If you have any second thoughts about driving, don't. Have a friend drive you
home, call a friend, or call a cab. Don't worry about your car, it is not as
important as human life, and will probably be in better condition if you don't
drive it drunk. Also, don't let friends drive drunk either, if they are
stubborn, take the keys from them. It is a good idea to make agreements with
your friends about not letting each other get in a car intoxicated. If you have
a party, and someone who gets intoxicated at your party is involved in an
accident, it may involve a lawsuit. Everything about drinking and driving is

If you are driving drunk, there is a very good chance of you getting
pulled over. Indications of drunk driving are speeding, a drinking driver
sometimes thinks he/she can drive safely at high speeds (superman). Weaving,
even if a drunk driver stays in the right lane, sometimes they have trouble
steering straight. Slow driving, when a driver knows that they are intoxicated,
they may drive slower than the flow of traffic so that they do not get in an
accident, this can be dangerous in itself. Sometimes drunk drivers have jerking
motions because of short mental lapses and may not keep a steady speed. Another
indication of an intoxicated driver is quick stopping, which causes many
accidents. Police officers have seen drunk drivers many times, and know how
they drive. Don't be a fool a try to beat the system, because it is you that is
going to get screwed. It is sad but true that there are people who drive drunk
all the time and get away with it, and never get caught. But the odds are not
with you. If you do get pulled over and the police officer thinks that you are
intoxicated, they will ask you to perform a field sobriety test. The sobriety
test consists of you walking the line straight, following the police officers
finger with your eyes, and touching your nose with both index fingers while
having your eyes closed. Depending on how you do with this test the police
officer will usually conclude whether or not to perform a breathalyzer test.
The cop may skip the sobriety test, and go straight to the breathalyzer if
he/she feels like it. It depends on the judgment of the police officer what
happens to you. But in New Jersey and some other states in the U.S. there is
the implied consent law, which says that if you refuse to take the breathalyzer
test you will be considered under the influence, you will lose your license for
six months if it is your first offense, and for two years for repeaters, and a
charge from $250-500. There is also a mandatory insurance surcharge of $1,000
for three years, plus court imposed fines and penalties. It can be quite costly
being a drunk driver. Failure to pay insurance surcharge will result in
indefinite loss of driving privileges.

Driving while intoxicated does not add up. It is very dangerous,
expensive, and stupid. It easy to avoid it if you are educated. If half the
people who have there license knew the penalties for getting caught, many people
would not do it. Education is key.


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