A survey conducted by the Gallup group showed that American citizens are more concerned with drunk drivers on the road, than people driving under the influence of other substances. Overall, 97% of people who were surveyed cited alcohol as the number one concern they have for drivers on the road. While participants were not asked to rate substances based on how impaired a substance made a driver, they were instead asked what substance concerned them the most regarding other driver’s safety on the road.
The results of the survey show that despite a countrywide attack on drunk driving, including public service announcements, education and increased punishment for those who are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol, there is still great worry over the safety of the roads. It also shows that it is difficult to change behavior simply with laws and PSAs. There must be more ways to influence people to eliminate their drunk driving patterns.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other public groups have helped to make a significant push for more accountability for drunk drivers as well as more public awareness about the issue. Way too many people have lost their lives. This Gallup survey also revealed that teenagers agree with adults that alcohol is more dangerous to consume prior to getting behind the wheel than other drugs.
Experts do agree that while marijuana does not appear to pose as great a risk to other drivers as alcohol, this might change as more and more states begin to legalize marijuana. It is unclear how the amount of people who smoke marijuana and drive will change, but it is likely to increase. Additionally, people are more prone to mix alcohol and marijuana, which is much more dangerous than either substance by itself.
As part of a statewide DUI enforcement initiative in Arizona, police are cracking down on drunk drivers. According to data released after Labor Day, more people used designate drivers this year compared to last. One might assume that this means there were less DUI arrests made this year compared to last, but there were 16 percent more Labor Day DUIs this year. That’s 582 DUI arrests in total, while the average blood-alcohol content remained the same from last year at .145, according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety’s figures.
The DUI enforcement initiative is also aiming to penalize those who drive under the influence of drugs, not just alcohol. Arrests for suspected drug use while driving was up 21 percent from last Labor Day, which is a total of 103 people.
The amount of people under the age of 21 that were drinking this Labor Day weekend also grew from 2013. Police gave out almost twice as many citations to underage drinkers as they did last year.
In an effort to keep Arizona citizens safe, nearly 2,000 officers helped to police the streets of Arizona this Labor Day weekend. The long holiday can be a dangerous time when people are drinking during the day at barbecues or while watching football games. With so much alcohol-related activity, the risk of alcohol-related accidents or fatalities spikes. To control the risk, Arizona law enforcement officials established checkpoints on major roads and patrolled popular streets to deter people from driving under the influence and to arrest those who are driving drunk or on drugs.
The reports tallied up the number of arrests and citations Thursday through Monday. The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported the final results that confirmed the law enforcement officials were doing their job to keep dangerous drivers off the roads.
Law enforcement and public officials are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of those who commit crimes or otherwise break the law. A new way of detecting alcohol in people that may be behind the wheel is very promising to those who are tasked with keeping our streets safe from drunk drivers.
Currently most law enforcement agencies use a breathalyzer to detect blood alcohol level. If there is a suspicion that a person may be driving under the influence, the police officer can request that they submit to field sobriety tests. In addition to the breathalyzer, the person may be asked to walk in a straight line, touch their finger tip to the tip of their nose or recite the alphabet – these are all tests that are designed to detect if a person is under the influence of alcohol.
A new method of detection has arrived on the scene, in the form of a bracelet. The bracelet is intended for those who are on some sort of abstinence ruling. Perhaps they are not allowed to drink alcohol because of a court case. These bracelets can detect alcohol through the skin and alert the court that the person is violating the terms of their probation.
One county in Wisconsin received a grant to purchase these bracelets for offenders who have violated more than once. Offenders who are constantly violating the terms of their probation by consuming alcohol need something like the bracelet as a reminder that they cannot drink. For those who submit to urine analysis screens, they oftentimes talk themselves into drinking as soon as they take the test because the alcohol will not be detected. The bracelets will alert the courts immediately if the person violated their terms and even has a few sips of alcohol.
Alcohol abuse continues to be a major problem throughout the United States. For those that have committed crimes relating to alcohol it may be necessary for them to enroll in a treatment program.