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DWI: Its Dangers and Consequences
by: Michael Sanford

You've heard it all before. Don't drink and drive. Everyday, hundreds of people get into car accidents resulting from drunk driving. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a crime. DWI laws are strictly enforced various states. DWI penalties include loss of driving privileges, fines and possible jail time. Any amount of drinking will affect your judgment and coordination and will reduce your ability to safely operate a vehicle. The degree of impairment depends on five factors: 1.) the amount you drink; 2.) whether you've eaten before or while drinking; 3.) your body weight; 4.) length of time spent drinking and; 5.) your gender. There is no quick way to 'sober up', except to wait for your body to metabolize the alcohol. The average metabolism rate is about one drink per hour.

DWI can also result from taking drugs. Drug possession is a grave offense under the law and an accompanying DWI will mean more trouble for the offender. Most often DWI offenders take drugs to stay awake and operate the vehicle. However, these drugs can also cloud your judgment, such as estimating distance and speed, which puts your life and the pedestrians in danger.

Many people caught for DWI have tried to evade the police by convincing them that they are not intoxicated. Here are the top three DWI myths and the truth behind them:

Myth 1: "Alcohol on the breath" is a reliable sign of alcohol consumption and intoxication.

Fact: Alcohol is actually odorless.... it has no smell. What people perceive as alcohol on the breath is actually the odor of things commonly found in alcoholic beverages. The breath of a person who drinks a non-alcoholic beer will smell the same as that of a person who has consumed an alcoholic beer.

Myth 2: People who abstain from alcohol are "alcohol-free" and can't be arrested for DWI.

Fact: The human body produces its own supply of alcohol naturally on a continuous basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's called endogenous ethanol production. Therefore, we always have alcohol in our bodies and in some cases people produce enough to become legally intoxicated and arrested for DWI.

Myth 3: Breathalyzers and other breath testers used for DWI confirmation are accurate

Fact: There are many, many sources of error in breath testers.

Penalties on DWI offense are serious. You may even have to go jail with maximum time of seven years and have your driving license revoked. DWI is serious because you are not just endangering your life but also the lives of the people around you. Not only that, you stand to pay for any damages done on state and personal property because of your DWI offense.

Furthermore, if you cannot pay the said amount, it will mean additional jail time for you.

The worst DWI incident that can take place is a car accident that concerns a death on either of the parties. Such accident could result to a homicide case and may mean a prison sentence of 12 to 15, may even life depending on how many died due to your DWI recklessness.

So heed the advise given to your by anti-drunk driving organization. Do not grab the wheel and commit DWI when you've had more than a glass of alcohol to drink. If you must get home, hail a taxicab instead and leave your car with a friend. DWI can mean your death. Better be prepared than sorry in the end.

Get More vital law information that could save your life at the DWI and DUI resource center.

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