In his book, “One for the Road,” author Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD, discusses how Americans love to drink and love to drive, and identifies these two separate inclinations as the most logical explanation to the problem of drunk driving in the U.S. Thus, despite stricter laws, harsher punishments and heavier fines, millions of Americans continue to drive while under the influence.


In 2012, an estimated 10,322 fatal accidents, all due to alcohol- impaired driving, were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This huge turnout in drunk-driving fatalities may actually still be considered quite a relief since there are more than one million drivers who get arrested every year due to alcohol-impaired driving.


The present blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers in all U.S. states is 0.08%. Any driver, who will be pulled over by police officers and register a 0.08% or higher BAC, can be charged with driving while under the influence (DWI) offense, a major traffic violation. Punishment for violators include costly fines, jail term and, possibly, suspension of license, carrying of an SR-22 certificate, mandatory attendance in a DUI training class, community service, and/or installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. For drivers below the age of 21, however, a much stricter rule is imposed: the “No Tolerance” policy. This “No Tolerance” policy mandates that no traces of alcohol should be found in teens' blood system while they are driving. Drunk-driving among teens is actually the leading cause of death among their age group).


The law considers drunk-driving as a grave act of negligence, much more so if someone gets injured or killed. Alcohol, as consistently proven through various studies, impairs a person. It affects a person's mental and physical coordination, making him/her less able to think clearly and react during emergency situations.


According to a Westchester drinking and driving lawyer, though violators, especially repeat violators, of the anti-drunk-driving law deserve to be punished, many are charged wrongfully, as a result of traffic enforcers' overzealousness in implementing the law. Being charged with DWI, more so convicted of the offense, can have destructive results in one's personal, social and professional life. Having a highly-skilled legal representative may be necessary for one charged to save himself/herself from possible conviction.