Penalties For Teens That Drink and Drive1 Essay

This essay has a total of 1274 words and 7 pages.

Penalties For Teens That Drink and Drive1




Penalties For Teens That Drink and Drive
About four years ago, I was on my way home from Fayetteville, when I saw a truck spin into
oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle. The man in the truck immediately went straight
through his front windshield. The next day, as I was reading the newspaper, I realized
that the man driving the truck was drunk. Therefore, I continued to read on and
discovered that there were also two innocent passengers in the car that was involved. All
three were pronounced dead at the scene.

Without a doubt alcohol is the most popular drug in America. Alcohol is generally thought
of as socially acceptable and relatively harmless. The laws for under aged drinking and
driving that already exist should be enforced to ensure the safety of innocent drivers and
passengers.

Alcoholic beverages are easy for teens to obtain. Since it is legal for adults,
twenty-one years of age and older to drink alcohol, it can be purchased at the corner
store. Almost every teen has an older sibling, friend or someone on the street to can
purchase alcohol for them. Another way teens obtain is by a fake identification card.
Most clerks only ask because a security camera is watching them (Root).

Surveys show that the average teenager, seventeen and older, spends four hundred and
seventy-five dollars on liquor, "mostly beer a year; that is more than books, soda,
coffee, juice and milk combined" (M.A.D.D.). Today, almost ten million current drinkers
are under twenty-one (Root).

After consuming alcohol teenage bodies undergo chemical changes. Sometimes alcohol can
cause devastating effects. These effects can result in drowsiness, unconsciousness and
possibly death depending on the amount of alcohol one consumes. Alcohol has an effect on
everyone who drinks. There are many factors that affect the rate of intoxication and the
metabolism of alcohol. No two people process alcohol at the same rate. The presence of
food in the stomach decreases the rate of absorption. Fasting (not eating) increases
stomach emptying, thus increasing the rate of absorption. Alcohol mixed with water or
fruit juice is absorbed slower, while alcohol mixed with a carbonated beverage is absorbed
faster (Newman, 76).

However, the effects are different for each person depending on things like height,
weight, age and sex. Some physical effects that can occur from drinking are blurred vision
and hearing, slower reaction time, and general clumsiness (M.A.D.D.). Because alcohol
does slower your reaction time driving an automobile is risky. On the chart below, the
BAC is estimated for a normal healthy teenager.

Blood Alcohol Level Affect On Body
0.02 Slight mood changes
0.06 Lowered inhibition, impaired judgement, decreased rational decision-making abilities.
0.08 Legally drunk, deterioration of reaction time and control.
0.15 Impaired balance, movement, and coordination. Difficulty standing, walking, talking.
0.20 Decreased pain and sensation. Erratic emotions.
0.30 Diminished reflexes. Semi-consciousness.
0.40 Loss of consciousness. Very limited reflexes. Anesthetic effects.
0.50 Death.

BAC refers to either Blood Alcohol Concentration, as grams per deciliter or Breath Alcohol
Concentration, as grams per two hundred and ten liters of breath.

Death has been documented to occur at levels as low as 0.35. Also, the absence of symptoms
does not guarantee safe or low blood alcohol levels. With regular drinking a person
develops a tolerance to alcohol that will reduce the outward appearance of high blood
alcohol levels.

The popular thought is that drinking makes the driver feel confident. The driver believes
that they are in control, even a little high, and they might get behind the wheel and go
for a drive. One can not always determine the extent of their ability to drive. This
causes great danger behind the wheel of an automobile.
Continues for 4 more pages >>




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