Some people in Minnesota are advocating for even stricter alcohol laws, claiming that new laws will help cut down on the number of accidents linked to drunk driving. During 2016, over 1 million people were arrested nationwide and charged with driving under the influence. Some claim that the number of drunk driving arrests represent only a small percentage of the total number of people who actually drive while intoxicated every year.
In every state of the country, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration for drivers is .08. The Centers for Disease Control says that this regulation has improved road safety but attribute 29 car accident deaths daily to drunk driving. A number of states are stepping up enforcement of a number of laws pertaining to alcohol and driving. These include the use of sobriety checkpoints and harsher enforcement of laws requiring bars and stores to only serve alcohol to those aged 21 or older. In addition, some advocates are urging states to raise taxes on alcohol purchases. States that increase alcohol enforcement and penalties can reportedly reduce the number of drunk drivers and related crashes.
Economists argue that overall alcohol consumption goes down when alcohol becomes more expensive and that this leads to fewer DWI arrests and related accidents. Tax increases are a major way in which states reduce the availability of alcohol along with imposing more laws on where and when alcohol can be sold.
When states step up law enforcement and increase patrols and checkpoints, drivers may be more likely to face arrests and charges for drunk driving. These changes can often be accompanied by increased penalties such as costly fines, the loss of one’s license or even jail time. Drivers may want to protect their future by working with a criminal defense attorney to challenge DWI charges and fight to avoid a conviction.