Did you know that almost ten percent of adults routinely commit a very serious felony offense with potential life-changing consequences? According to a 2008 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of people aged 16 and older reported driving within two hours of drinking alcohol sometime in the past year, leading the NHTSA to estimate that about 17.2 million people each year drive while drunk. The study did not look at drivers who may have been intoxicated or impaired by other substances, but those numbers would certainly increase the number of impaired drivers on the road, so that a ten percent statistic actually seems conservative.
By this time, you are aware of all of the potentially negative consequences, for others, if you drive while intoxicated. Intoxicated drivers are more likely to be in accidents and can cause serious injuries, even death, to other people on the roadway. Even though it is a common offense, it is a serious one, and our DUI laws have been written to protect people from a very real threat.
On the other hand, the sheer number of people who engage in this behavior on a yearly basis might challenge your idea of who the typical “drunk driver” is. Of course, those numbers include people who struggle with a history of drug or alcohol addiction and have a history of drunk driving offenses, but the numbers also include people who made isolated errors in judgment. Regardless of which category describes a person accused of DUI, the reality is that the modern criminal justice system is simply not set up to help with the problem. Addicts need rehabilitation in order to treat the underlying addiction, while society is not improved by jailing a productive member of society who made an isolated, serious error.
If you have been accused of DUI, you clearly are not alone. Attorney David Payne can help you navigate the criminal justice system and find the best resolution possible in your individual circumstances. To schedule a consultation, contact him during office hours at 28-258-0076, after hours at 828-393-3000, or visit him online at: www.drplawfirm.com.