Drunk driving constitutes the most commonly committed crime in the United States. State laws, most of which define this crime as “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) or “driving under the influence” (DUI), have progressively become more unforgiving over the past 20 years. Several groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), have fought with considerable success to modify drunk driving laws.
All states have amended their statutes so that a person is considered under the influence or intoxicated when the person’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is above .08 percent. Moreover, sentences for drunk driving have become progressive harsher, as state legislatures have sought to deter the practice of drunk driving. Although sentences and penalties vary among different states and different courts, a person convicted of driving drunk may face any of the following:
- A fine of $1000 or more
- Revocation or suspension of the offender’s driver’s license
- Impoundment of the offender’s car or the installation of special locks on the offender’s car
- Special classes regarding drunk driving or alcoholism
- Mandatory jail sentence