Drug Addiction DUI
The stories are in newspapers every day. Somebody is stopped for DUI and we discover they have been stopped four times before. Or, they are heavily intoxicated, get into an automobile accident and kill somebody. It happens repeatedly because nobody ever thinks something terrible is going to happen to them. Of course when we think of DUI, we think in terms of someone having too much to drink, and to be sure that is a common occurrence, but DUI is so much broader than that. In my community we have had two tragic events in the past three years, not involving alcohol, but one with prescription medication and another with marijuana.
It's ALL impaired driving
DUI, driving under the influence, or OWI, operating while intoxicated are the same thing, but in some states DUI is a lesser offense. Here’s what DWI Lawyers.com has to offer:
“DUI – Driving Under the Influence
OWI – Operating While Impaired
DWI – Driving While Intoxicated
The biggest difference between DUI and DWI is only in what the letters stand for. In some states, the drunk driving laws differentiate between a DUI and a DWI, where the DUI is a lesser charge. In these states, a DUI usually signifies a lesser degree of intoxication, which is determined by a person’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest. Other terms beside these two are also employed, such as OUI and OWI, replacing the D for driving with an O for operating”
Drug addiction DUI Causes HUGE PROBLEMS!
DUI/OWI is a major social problem in America, and where this writer lives, Wisconsin, it is epidemic. Proud Americans don’t like people telling them they can drink and drive, or can’t use their drug of choice because it intoxicates. In the cases I mentioned, one driver who killed a family in a high-speed, rear-end car crash at a red light, was jacked up on prescription pain medication he was addicted to following a surgery 15 years ago. He was on his way to a local pharmacy to fill one of several prescriptions he had all over the area.
Making matters worse in the eyes of the public, the man was a very wealthy and prominent surgeon. Despite the fact that three people were dead, he fought hard to slip the charges, but was convicted and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. The other case was a young man who was heavily intoxicated on marijuana and despite having no injuries at all after his accident, he claimed no knowledge of the accident. The reasoning, of course, was that he felt he was not responsible because he didn’t know where he was or what he was doing. The defense did not work.
Each state is on it's own
Every state has its own laws. In Wisconsin it is difficult to pass any meaningful legislation because lawmakers are scared to death of the “Tavern League” which has a lobbyist in Madison keeping the legislature in line. You see, Wisconsin has literally thousands of small, “ma and pa” taverns around the state. In Milwaukee, it is not at all uncommon for these little places to be on all four corners of a residential intersection.
People drink in their neighborhood tavern, at the
sports events, at church picnics, at their children’s graduations,
and virtually nothing happens without alcohol. All over the country
people are getting prescriptions for pain medications, using far more
than they actually need, or they are given psychotropic drugs for any
number of issues, and who knows what those may do? There are many causes for drug addiction DUI and drug combinations are certainly one of the big ones.
People don't take responsibility
DUI/OWI isn’t going away as long as people don’t think. Regardless of a state’s particular view on the subject, people need to realize that they are responsible for their own behavior and if that behavior causes them to get drunk, or high, and they choose to drive, they are putting their community in jeopardy. But we minimize our lack of judgment and our bad choices are, well, a bad choice. When we get into trouble, there are lawyers out there to help us through the legal process, which means in reality “please get me off.”
We read about people dying in accidents and we want justice for them, but if we are the ones who do the killing we want mercy. We can split hairs on the law all day, but the bottom line is drug addiction DUI or OWI is serious and should not be treated lightly, no matter how cleaver a lawyer is or how merciful the judge.
Treatment does work
Now we get to an important topic for drug addiction DUI — treatment. Our sense of justice demands that people get locked up, but in the vast majority of DUI/OWI cases, treatment is a far better option and less costly. It’s expensive to lock a person up for a year or two, so the cost of incarceration needs to be weighed. Treatment has a better chance of rendering a productive citizen. In some states, drug courts are operating and the judicial system is part of the solution, rather than merely perpetuating the problem. It’s a terrific idea.
Bottom line-- think before you drive a car.
You may never get into an accident, but when you are impaired, the risk of serious injury and death are ever present. DUI or OWI, it doesn’t matter. It’s a bad idea either way.