Posted: August 7th, 2013
Argumentative Essay on Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is a term associated with the consumption of alcohol and subsequently driving a motor vehicle. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a primary contributor to road accident deaths. Authorities around the world prohibit the consumption of alcohol in combination to the use of machinery or driving on roads as it exposes the driver to danger as well as engaging other motorists. Consumption of alcohol impairs the judgment of an individual making the driver unfit for driving a motor vehicle or any other individual unfit to operate any form of machinery (Cefrey, 21).
Causes of excessive consumption of alcohol are numerous and vary form one party to another. Young individuals usually engage in drinking and driving due to the need to show off to their friends by taking such risks. In addition, they might do so with the aim of getting the attention of their ever-busy parents. Use of other drugs especially in adults is also a major cause of drinking and driving. This is because mixture of other drugs impairs judgment prompting excessive risk taking. On the other hand, stress could also be a cause for drinking and driving among working class individuals. This is evidenced by the need to drink on the way home to relieve and forget individual troubles.
After consumption of alcohol, the brain functions are impaired leading to lack of judgment and other cognitive applications of the brain. The brain eventually takes longer to execute cognitive functions such as the movements observed by the eyes into reception by the brain for execution or relevant actions. Hence, information is processed at a relatively slower pace than in normal instances in comparison to normal instances. In normal instances, all bodily functions such as sight and muscle movements are relayed from the brain in relatively high speeds. Studies indicate that the consumption of alcohol reduces the cognitive functions of the brain by an approximate 10-30% (Knox, 11).
When a drunken individual is involved in driving, he or she is unable to see distant objects. In addition, double and blurred visions are usually associated with the consumption of alcohol. Impaired judgment also becomes a factor as an individual is unable to determine the events in his or her surroundings and specifically when on the road. Overconfidence is also an issue, which results from the consumption of alcohol prompting people to undertake greater risks, which could prove as devastating to the health and life of an individual as well as those in the surroundings.
Younger individuals are usually prone to accidents emanating from drunk driving. This is because young people have a lower alcohol tolerance in comparison to older individuals who have a higher alcohol tolerance. Hence, younger individuals are usually considered as prone to alcohol related road accidents and death. The legal limit of driving and drinking is usually put at 80 milligrams of alcohol for each 100 milligrams of blood. This is equivalent to 35 micrograms of alcohol in every 100 milliliters of breath, or 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of urine (Mendralla, & Grosshandler, 32).
Majority of the drunk drivers are usually male. Individuals who are usually under the age of 21 constitute more than 10% of the drunken driving convictions issued. Other offenders, who are of age, constitute the greatest percentage of individuals charged with drink driving convictions. In addition, the charged individuals after alcohol tests usually have in excess of more than 150milligrams per 100 milliliters of alcohol in their blood. This is a considerably high level of alcohol in the blood (Mendralla, & Grosshandler, 32). Individuals in early adulthood usually constitute of the highest numbers of individuals involved in cases related to alcohol consumption accidents. In some incidences, majority of convicted drunk-driving offenders usually have previous offences. Hence, it is evident that individuals in their early adulthood have the potency to engage in unwarranted drinking and driving.
Underage drinking and driving has been an issue since the past. This brings forth the question of the ability of underage individuals to access alcohol as well as access to vehicles given that they are not allowed to drive (Aaseng, 19). Majority of these underage individuals usually engage in alcohol abuse mainly due to giving to peer pressure with an aim of fitting in with their peers. They usually use fake licenses or take cars, which do not belong to them without knowledge of owners for their pleasure. Underage drinking usually results in severe consequences on the part of the individual. Individuals under the gage of 21 who are convicted of drunk driving usually have their licenses confiscated or suspended for a period specified by the laws of an area (Mendralla, & Grosshandler, 32).
Drinking and driving is also associated with the consumption of other drugs, which results in high levels of intoxication, which poses an eventual danger to the user, and driver as well as those in the drunk driver surroundings. Some drivers are usually involved in accidents due to the use of either medicinal drugs or illicit drugs, which could also be combined with alcohol consumption. There has been an increase in drug related accidents other than alcohol. Such accidents related to either illicit or medicinal result in fatal accidents or death. Some of the most common drugs used by drugged drivers are usually illicit such as marijuana. This impairs the reasoning, rational and cognitive processes of the brain of the user and river. Marijuana is the primary extensively abused illicit drug around the world because of the ease in attainment of the drug from the community (Knox, 23).
THC is a vital component of marijuana and serves as the main active agent when the drug is assimilated into the body of the user. It mainly affects the regions of the brain that are responsible for the control, and coordination of the body movements, the balance memory and judgment of an individual. All the identified brain functions are impaired together with the sense of touch and taste of the drug user. Hence, such drugs have a significant extent in the impairment of cognitive process and bodily functions of an individual (Knox, 25).
It is essential for governmental and related authorities to establish anti- drink and drive campaigns and policies, which could play a significant role in reduction, and curbing the surge of road related fatalities. Such policies could be enhanced by the presence of sobriety test on the road, in order to ensure that all motorists are compliant with the laws and regulations concerned with ensuring sobriety on the roads (Mendralla, & Grosshandler, 32).
Breathalyzers could be used in various strategic locations, to ensure that the motorists are inspected for contraventions on consumption of alcohol beyond the provided limits. In addition, the authorities could also assume new polices such as the limits of sale of alcohol to individuals with motor vehicles at the various social places. In addition, government authorities could also establish new prices for alcohol to ensure the limitation of alcohol consumption among people especially those with vehicles. As for underage consumption of alcohol, it is essential for authorities to ensure the presence of legal penalties associated with the sale of alcohol to young people who have not attained the age of consent for consumption of alcohol as well as the use of fake licenses to use motor vehicles (Mendralla, & Grosshandler, 32).
In essence, excessive consumption of alcohol poses considerable risks to the health and physical wellbeing of an individual. Drivers are usually at risk from the need to drive vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol consumption results in the reduction of cognitive abilities and functions of an individual. The driver lacks the ability to execute his or her driving skills as they are impaired by the alcohol in the body, which interferes with the rationality processes of the brain.
Aaseng, Nathan. Teens and Drunk Driving. San Diego, Calif: Lucent Books, 2000. Print.
Cefrey, Holly. Drinking and Driving. New York: Rosen Pub, 2009. Print.
Knox, Jean M. B. Drinking, Driving & Drugs. New York: Chelsea House, 1988. Print.
Mendralla, Valerie, & Janet Grosshandler. Drinking and Driving, Now What?. New York: Rosen Pub, 2012. Print.
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