Drinking Driving

Driving while intoxicated (drunk driving, drunk driving, drunk driving, drunk driving) is driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol level that exceeds the permissible limits under state law.

Drinking Driving

It is a serious offense in most countries of the world. The punishment differs from country to country, in some countries it may also depend on the degree of exceeding the blood alcohol norm, length of service or the driver’s age, and even the type of vehicle that you drive (for example, a drunk bus driver will be punished much more severely than drunk driver of a simple passenger car). Also, the punishment is much more severe if there are victims as a result of drunk driving. Punishment may consist of a fine combined with imprisonment.

In many countries, driving a boat, airplane, horseback riding and biking is also prohibited when intoxicated.

The first driver in the world to be fined for drunk driving is London taxi driver George Smith on September 10, 1897. He was fined 25 shillings.

In the United States, 1,467,300 detentions were made in 1996 for drinking driving.

In 1997, 513,200 drivers in the United States ended up in prison cells. Each state determines its maximum allowable rate for drivers over 21 years of age, under 21 years of age and drivers of commercial transport. For drivers over the age of 21, a standard of 0.8 ppm is set in all states. Some states prohibit drivers under the age of 21 years and drivers of commercial transport the presence of alcohol in general, and some allow the norm, usually significantly lower than for drivers over 21 years of age. The test is carried out with a breathalyzer, a blood or urine test. The officer may delay the driver even if the alcohol content does not exceed the norm, but the driver has obvious signs of intoxication or cannot adequately drive.

The punishment differs from state to state, but in all states the first or second detention still considers the crime (misdemeanor) relatively easy and is usually punished with a fine or imprisonment for up to 10 days, then the third and the next are already considered serious and may entail imprisonment for several months or even years, often with the confiscation of the car and subsequent ban on registration, as well as prolonged deprivation of rights. The list of punishments is quite diverse, it can be (in different combinations): a fine, compulsory courses, deprivation of rights, a ban on driving with any alcohol content (both for a term and for life), imprisonment (may be replaced by house arrest or community service). The punishment increases markedly if there are minor children in the car, the concentration of alcohol is significantly higher than the norm or there are victims.

For example, a driver in the blood of which is found to be drunk in New York State is:

  • 0.8 ppm and higher;
  • 0.2 ppm and higher for drivers under the age of 21;
  • 0.4 ppm for commercial vehicle drivers.

If the driver refuses the test for alcohol content, then he or she looses the driving license for 1 year and gets a $500 penalty for the first time and $750 for the second time.

The first arrest in a drunken state: a fine from $500 to $1,000 and / or up to 1 year in prison, a driver’s license can be taken for a period of 6 months.

The second arrest in a drunken state within 10 years: a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and a minimum of 10 days in prison plus 60 days of community service. By decision of the judge, the prison term may be extended for any period up to 7 years. They are deprived of their rights for a period of 1 year, and after restoring the rights to the car, a lock is installed at the expense of the driver.

For the third arrest in a drunken state, you will have to pay a fine ranging from $2,000 and $10,000, a minimum of 10 days in prison, by court order – up to 7 years. Rights are deprived for a period of 1 year.


Alcohol is the main cause of severe traffic accidents. According to statistics, the share of drunk drivers is from 4 to 14% per year, while the share of fatalities in accidents involving a drunk driver is from 8.5 to 15%. According to NHTSA, in 2018, 21% of men and 14% of women who had a fatal accident were drunk by 0.8 ‰ or more, and drunk in the United States give about a third of road deaths.

Many countries seek to reduce accidents by tightening penalties and encouraging drivers to give up alcohol before traveling.

Blood alcohol measurement

Modern tests measure the amount of alcohol in the blood for a certain amount of blood. In Europe, it is usually measured in mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

There are many groups of activists in the states (for example, Moms Against Drunk Driving) that work with lawmakers to tighten existing rules for drivers. And, as statistics show, such changes are in effect, because over the past 10 years, the number of fatal accidents caused by drunken driving has decreased by 20%, from 13,041 in 2007 to 10,497 in 2016 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) .

Category: Cars

Tags: drinking, driving