Drinking and driving is one of the more difficult problems for our society to solve. Organizations such as MADD, DUI, and many other groups have gone to great lengths to educate people of all ages on this situation. Unfortunately, in many cases their struggle has not been effective enough. While 80% of drivers have heard of blood alcohol level from an informative paper or commercial, only 20% know what their state's limit is. (www.madd.org) Essentially, this means that the message is not sinking into the minds of people. It is a common problem for a media campaign not to be effectual, but one as important as this shouldn't have become so cliché. An example of when drinking and driving arises simply when a person doesn't acknowledge that he/she isn't fit to drive, and no one else argues with them. Generally, when sober, people know that it is wrong to drink and drive, but it boils down to the fact that at the time when this important decision is being made, a person's judgement is impaired.
This problem is all too common among young people. Although people attempt to drill the message "don't drink and drive" into young minds everywhere as early as kindergarten, it doesn't seem to be enough. A child needs to get this message early and often. This is unfortunately not always so. Today, only one in every three parents has given their children a clear "no use" message about alcohol. (www.madd.org) Contrary to popular belief and hope, the problem is not just going away. Alcohol use still remains the number one problem among young people. (www.netmediapro.com/add) To some degree, this is as much the responsibility of the parents as it is the children's. Many parents have simply thrown in the towel and have tried to compromise with their children, saying it's all right to drink as long as they don't drive. They don't seem to understand that you can't make a good decision when you have a BAC is .10%. People are learning now that it is not always the "other guy" whose kid dies in an alcohol-related driving accident. Also, these accidents are not limited to those who get drunk.
Drunk drivers also kill those in other vehicles. These tragedies are often overlooked. However the problem has become so severe that one in two hundred eighty babies born today will die because of the actions of a drunk driver.(www.madd.org) Although this may not sound like a very large percentage, it means that three and a half out of every thousand babies born will die. Currently, many associations are trying a plethora of tactics to stop alcohol-related accidents, and this is one the many angles they are using to gain the sympathy of the public.
Showing numbers alone will not stop this problem. Laws and the enforcement of them are what are required to curb this problem. The majority of the American public agrees that the use of sobriety checkpoints should be used more that they are being used now. (www.madd.org) This statistic includes drinkers, who the majority of also support sobriety checkpoints. The laws now are not effective enough. The fact that the legal drinking age is 21 has not stopped teenagers from drinking. It is likely that nothing will. The best hope of stopping someone drunk from driving is either to personally see that they are taken home, or to take away their keys. These are actions that most party hosts would not take.
As much as the implied consent law and the penalties for drinking and driving are deterring some drivers from DWI, it hasn't done enough. Drinking and driving is still the most frequently committed crime in America other than jaywalking. Media campaigns aren't effective. As a person who is assaulted by anti-drinking and driving media from every angle, I can personally say it isn't working. Drinking and driving has become almost trivial in the eyes of the average American. The problem won't be solved easily, as a person's decision-making ability is impaired when the decision that might end their life, the lives of their passengers, and the lives of the occupants of another other car, is made. Sobriety checkpoints are only one example of what we can do is to try to stop drinking and driving