The road accidents due to drunken driving have raised an alarm on the increasing figures across Unites States. The rules have changed a lot within a year, and have never been stiffer as those are today. Many states have passed the laws to get the drunken driving under control. This has made it mandatory for the young drivers to be aware of what the law states.
Here is a summary of the traffic laws which were recently implemented in relation to driving drunk:
- The legal drinking age in all states is now 21 years.
- Administrative License Revocation Law: This enables the traffic officer in charge to take the driver’s license in custody, if he refuses to take a breath test, or fails in that. Two thirds of the states have already passed this law.
- The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is now 0.08 units across the country. It was earlier 0.10 units in most of the states.
- Zero Tolerance Law: There is now absolutely no alcohol consumption permitted for the drivers less than 21 years of age. After many years of debate over the age, all the states have now passed this law.
Along with this, the penalties for the accusations are higher than ever. The punishments are stiffer and there are all the possible efforts being put forth to tackle the problem.
Each state has a different set of laws to govern the cases under drunken driving. There are different penalty limits and the different term durations in case the accused is sentenced to jail. On a high level, the penalties can be summarized in the following few points:
- Habitual Violators Law is passed in many states for the repeated offenders under DUI cases. According to this, repeatedly accused for the DUI offense can take away many of the civil rights from the offender. This includes the voting rights, owning a weapon or even holding the driving license for the stipulated number of years.
- The certified counsellors in a majority of the states can subject the alcohol offender to the counselling program or a medical treatment. Based on the repetition of the offense, the DUI counselling frequency is decided. This may range from 3 to 4 meetings in total or may even extend to 90 counselling in a 90 days period.
- The offender bears the cost of the time and the meetings during such counselling. If the medical treatment is given, that is also to be borne by the offender.
- The insurance companies levy a very high coverage fees based on the offense points on the license. Even the first time drunken driving offense can be really costly in terms of getting the insurance coverage.
Most of the states have an additional surcharge on the licenses registered under the serious accidents. The drunken driving case if results in a traffic accident, can lead to the serious money troubles. Along with the heavy attorney fees/ the court fees, the counselling charges and the fines, the damages can be real nightmares for the offenders. The high Insurance coverage is an addition to the already crippled monetary status.