When will it be OK to drink and drive? A look at the future of the road
Posted by Matt Gourley, contributor Matt GOURLEY, contributor The future of road drinking and driving has already been put on hold.
This week, a new report from the National Association of State Highway Patrols (NASSHP) will be released that sets out how the states can improve safety for those driving under the influence of alcohol.
The report was commissioned by the American Association of Police Organizations (AAPO) and is aimed at helping states and localities work with state and local governments to better protect drivers who are impaired.
“We need to be prepared for what’s to come,” NASSHP President and CEO Tom Kelly told The Huffington Post UK.
“The fact that we have this new data now will provide the data needed to understand how the public will respond.”
States will be able to collect data on impaired driving, which is currently defined as a “driver who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more”.
The report also says that states should adopt new measures to improve the safety of those behind the wheel, including the establishment of roadside sobriety checkpoints and alcohol-testing stations.
As a general rule, states will need to work with their local police departments to create a plan to better enforce the new law.
“States will need flexibility and time to prepare, implement and implement any changes required,” the report states.
But what exactly does this mean for drivers who want to drink responsibly?
“A DUI conviction is one of the most devastating consequences that can occur to an individual,” Kelly said.
“It can leave them with the inability to get a job, lose their housing or even find themselves in prison.”
While some states are already working on these measures, others are working on how to make the process easier.
“While the states are trying to develop new strategies to improve their public drinking and driver safety, it is not easy,” said Kelly.
“Some states, such as Louisiana and Tennessee, are trying their best to change the way they enforce their drunk driving laws.
However, these strategies will only work if the states work with the local law enforcement agencies.”
The NASSHPP’s report recommends that states develop roadside sobripet laws and implement the checkpoints and roadside sobrotests that already exist in many states.
This will ensure that the majority of people who are arrested for driving under 0.10% alcohol by weight are actually arrested for impaired driving.
The states should also make it easier for those who are behind the wheels to pay for the legal fees associated with a DUI conviction.
States can also work to develop the technology and processes that will allow police officers to spot a driver who has been drinking and then to initiate an immediate sobriopy, a process that could take a while.
The NassHPP also recommends that all states work to ensure that DUI laws and checkpoints are consistent across the country, including on the interstate, in urban areas and within cities.
These recommendations will also make police officers aware of what to do when they spot a drunk driver, as well as how to intervene when a driver has been under the effects of alcohol for more than a day.
“When it comes to DUI laws, we all need to get together to discuss what we can do to make these laws better and make sure we have a safe environment to drive,” Kelly told HuffPost UK.
“[T]he sooner we get to the point where we can put in place a statewide DUI law, the better.”
For more on alcohol and road safety, watch: A look back at the past week: