Problem Solution Essay

Submitted By tkosieracki
Words: 1301
Pages: 6

Tracy Kosieracki
Problem Solution: Drunk Driving

When an intoxicated person makes the decision to get behind the wheel of a car, that person endangers not only themselves, but everyone else on the road as well. One poor choice could very well impact the driver, the victims, all their loved ones, and possibly even witnesses to the accident. According to MADD, two out of every three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime. In 2013, 290,000 of those people were injured. 10,076 of them were killed. Unfortunately, pledging to never drink and drive does not necessarily make you safe. You put your life in complete stranger’s hands each and every time you get into your car. Being the safest driver in the world means nothing if the person traveling behind you is intoxicated. While the fight against drunk driving may seem like a never ending battle, there are some things we can do to decrease the loss of lives. Enforcing stricter punishments, providing free public transportation, and mandatory ignition interlocks in all new cars are a few ideas to help keep our roads and loved ones safe. One often talked about solution to the drunk driving issue is enforcing stricter punishments. Currently in Illinois, a first time offender would be slapped with a Class A misdemeanor and lose their driving privileges for one year. However, the driver is eligible for ‘Driving Relief’. ‘Driving Relief’ is a program that allows a person convicted of a DUI to continue driving, on one condition; a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) would be installed in their car through the Secretary of State’s office. Those devices allow the offender to drive anywhere, at any time, as long as he/she is driving that vehicle. The BAIID will alert the Secretary of State’s office if the driver attempts to drive under the influence or tampers with the device. I don’t believe someone convicted of such a serious crime should get the option to continue to drive. They should lose that freedom on their first offense to truly teach them a lesson. It isn’t until the offender’s fourth conviction that he/she would be convicted of a Class 2 felony and loses their driving privileges for life. Why should we give someone four chances to gamble with others’ lives? According to MADD, an average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest. In addition, 50-75 percent of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive on a suspended license. Yet Illinois is waiting, not just until the fourth time the commit the crime, but the fourth time they are actually caught. This Class 2 felony and fourth offense doesn’t even guarantee jail time. A person can be sentenced to probation and 480 hours of community service. The consequences will have to be much worse to strike enough fear in the public to make them think twice before getting behind the wheel while impaired. Automatic jail time, loss of all driving privileges without a ‘Driving Relief’ option, and a permanent public record are more suitable punishments to fit the crime. Those are the types of consequences people should be thinking about when deciding between a cab ride or a court date. However, enforcing the strictest laws and harshest punishments won’t always work when a person’s judgement is impaired. The reason these consequences won’t solve the drunk driving problem is because if a person believes they have the ability to make it home safely, they will attempt to do so, even if they are over the legal limit. They truly believe they are being safe, when in fact they are a danger to themselves and everyone else around them. If the fear of jail time and lost driving privileges won’t work, perhaps offering cheaper, or even free, transportation will do the trick. Several bars across the country already offer free transportation. They pick you up from your house, bring you to the bar, drive you home when you’re ready and it doesn’t cost the