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Drunk Driving Consequences

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A Consequence To Equal The Crime While most Americans would never consider getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after having a drink or riding in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver, a much higher percentage of Americans, both teens and adults, admit to using their phone while operating a vehicle or being passengers in a vehicle driven by a distracted driver. It’s a dangerous and terrible habit American drivers have developed and accepted. With technology at driver’s fingertips, drivers are becoming more and more tempted to take their focus off the road, an action that they by-and-large assume to be harmless and while there is a social stigma against drunk driving due to decades of debate and legislation, distracted driving is more widely…show more content…
Car and Driver Magazine conducted an experiment comparing the dangers of texting while driving and drunk driving. The magazine tested the time it would take to hit the brakes when sober, when legally impaired at a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08, when reading an email, and when sending a text. In the most ideal conditions and sober, focused drivers took an average of 0.54 seconds to brake. For legally impaired drivers, an additional four feet was added. A concerning additional 36 feet was necessary for reading an email, and adding 70 feet was needed for sending a text. Another test conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory found that drivers who texted had slower response times and generally drove worse than drivers who were under the influence of marijuana. Several studies continually show that distracted driving is as or more dangerous as drunk driving and today, most states have banned texting while driving. It would seem like common sense that texting while driving be outlawed, but what is astonishing is that it is not illegal to text while driving a school bus in Montana, Missouri, and Arizona. Even though most states outlaw…show more content…
Even in states without explicit laws, texting while driving can lead to reckless driving charges. In most states, law enforcement agencies are allowed to issue traffic citations and tickets for texting while driving. Drivers in states which use point systems to track drivers’ records can incur points for texting while driving. In some cases, texting while driving can lead to vehicular manslaughter or homicide charges. Despite increased attention from law enforcement, there continues to be a significant variation in the penalties for texting while driving when compared to driving under the influence. In Florida for example, the fine for texting while driving is just $30, while a DUI ticket is $1000. In 42 states, jail time is a possible penalty for DUI, but only 2 states have possible jail time for texting while driving. There are wide discrepancies in penalties across the country. In Alaska, the fine for drunk driving is $1500, but the penalty for drivers caught texting while driving is a shocking $10,000. Alaska is a state that recognizes the dangers of distracted driving and has imposed a fine fitting the offense. California is the opposite. The penalty for texting while driving is just a $20 fine, whereas a DUI translates to a $1000 fine, a 4-month license suspension, and up to 6 months in jail. Alarmingly, most states are similar to California and texting while
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