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Introduction

In most of the states in the U.S. there are passed laws that impose penalties on drivers who drive under the influence. This reflects the so-called zero tolerance on driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages. In most of the occurrences, individuals convicted of DUI are exposed to a variety of punishments and penalties as a result of drunk driving (DUI Laws and Information).

Incarceration

Incarceration is one of the definite possibilities of people convicted of drunk driving. First offenders may sometimes be able to avoid jail term but for individuals who successively repeat the offence, serving a jail term is almost inevitable. However, the length of the jail term entirely depends on a number of factors such as the previous convictions and the outcome of the offence. This implies that the presence of aggravating circumstances as a result of drunk driving can also determine the jail term.

Fines

Considered as the most common punishment typically associated in almost all the DUI occurrences, fines are most applicable to DUI first offenders. An individual convicted of DUI is likely to be fined at least $1000. In most courts, the individual is allowed to pay the fine in installments but is kept under probation until the full amount is paid.

Suspension of driver's license

In almost all the states in the U.S. the court has the jurisdiction of invoking the driver's license of DUI offenders. This is regardless the fact whether the person is ultimately convicted of the crime. In this, the suspension period depends on the prior successive convictions implying that the suspension is most likely to be longer for second DUI that it is for frits time offenders.

Alcohol counseling programs

Although this is not considered as punishment according to most courts, it is a key requirement for all DUI offenders to attend alcohol counseling programs. The extent of the program depends on the previous convictions. In some states, an individual is required to participate in alcohol outpatient treatment if he/she is convicted for more than two consecutive times for DUI

Probation

First time offenders of DUI are the most likely individuals to go through probation. This is a direct o opposition that is subject to consecutive and successive offenders. However at some instances, a first time offender may be subject to a jail term depending on the aggravating circumstance as a result of such an occurrence (DWI Offenders under Correctional Supervision, 1999)

Effects of drunk driving and the need for stricter DUI laws

There are various effects that occur as a result of driving under the influence. While lobbying for stricter DUI laws, we should be able to look at both sides of the outcome of drunk driving. Most individual who drive under the influence do not realize the consequences of their actions until it is too late. One of the most consequential occurrences of drunk driving is ultimately a driving accident (Traffic Safety Facts, 2003). Majority of people feel that drunk driving is a major threat to the public safety of innocent citizens in the country. According to recent research, drunk driving is the most frequently committed crime in the US killing someone every thirty minutes and injuring someone every two minutes. The introduction of stricter DUI laws would undoubtedly reduce the occurrences of DUI (Overview of the Alcohol-Crash Problem)

The need to introduce stricter DUI rules is to be able to instill moral discipline and a sense of responsibility in individuals. According to Ross, most people who commit the crime of DUI tend to commit the crime with the perception that they will eventually get away with it due to the lenient rules regarding the same (Confronting Drunk Driving, 1994). We must not forget that some of these individuals are fathers, husbands, mothers, wives as well as teenagers. The introduction of stricter DUI rules would go a long way in reducing the occurrences of DUI as people will tend to avoid serving a longer jail term or accruing heavy penalties as a result of driving under the influence.

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