Alcoholic Beverage and Alcohol Essay

Submitted By aa223346
Words: 3844
Pages: 16

The Public Health Problem Drinking and driving has been identified as one of the most important contributors of motor vehicle fatalities and remains a problem among licensed drivers. These fatal cases are caused by excessive and irresponsible drinking. Various research and studies over the years have found that alcohol consumption in moderate levels can be good for health. For example, one glass of red wine a day can improve cardiovascular health. However, when taken in excessive amounts, alcohol has the capability of harming the body, and driving while intoxicated can be a dangerous situation. US law states that driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or more is illegal and increases the chances of getting into a drunk driving accident. BAC level is the amount of alcohol is in a person’s body measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood (Fell and Voas, 2006). According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), on an average of 90 seconds, a person is involved in a drunk driving accident. When people drink alcohol, it alters the brain’s communication paths and impairs people’s judgment; increasing the likelihood of a crash (WHO, 2007). All injuries and deaths caused by drunk driving are preventable.
Our general population are all male and female alcohol consumers in the United States, who have a drivers license. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35% of those people are responsible for the alcohol related accidents (CDC, 2013). In 2011, the highest percentage of drunk drivers was for drivers ages 21 to 24, with 32%, followed by ages 25 to 34, with 30% and 35 to 44, with 24%. (NHTSA, 2013). Young adults seem to have the highest prevalence of alcohol consumption than any other age group. They also tend to drink more heavily, experience more negative consequences, and engage in more harmful activities, such as drinking and driving. The most important health consequence for drunk driving is death. Passengers, cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers could potentially lose their lives because of the drunk driver’s deplorable choices. In 2009, a total of 10,839 persons died in crashes, in which at least one driver had BAC level more than 0.08%; this result was similar in 2010 (CDC, 2013). In 2011, 9,878 people lost their lives due of drunk driving (NHTSA, 2013). Among these fatalities, 66% were drivers, 27% were motor vehicle occupants, and 7% were non-occupants (NHTSA, 2011). In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes (MADD, 2013). All of these deaths could have been prevented if only they had made the choice to not drive or to choose a designated driver. Fortunately, many arrests have been made for those to go against the law. In 2011, the estimated number of arrests made for driving under the influence in the US were 1,215,077 (FBI, 2011). This means that one out of every 121 licensed drivers were arrested for drunk driving (CDC, 2013). Alcoholism affects more people than any other disease, such as diabetes, lung cancer, breast cancer and heart attacks (New York Times, 2013). Drinking over a long period of time can also result in heart damage, causing problems such as cardiomyopathy, which is the heart weakening to the point of eventually failing, resulting in death, arrhythmias, which causes irregular heartbeat, a stroke and high blood pressure (NIAAA, 2013). The liver also takes a huge toll in being damaged for excessive drinking and it results in a fatty liver, fibrosis, and alcoholic hepatitis. In the US, paying a DUI ticket, court costs and attorney fees is just the beginning of a person’s financial obligation. In the state of California, the penalties may vary depending on the circumstance. For first time offenders, jail time can be at least 4 days to 6 months, with fines and penalties varying between $1400 and $1800 (Drivinglaws.org, 2013). For under-aged drivers, the cost tends to be greater. Drunk driving costs the United…