Car insurance companies frown upon drunk drivers and enforce serious penalties to those who have been charged with drunk driving, or other alcohol-related driving offenses. Convictions for such offenses will cause many insurance carriers to raise the rates significantly or cancel an insured, either during mid-term or at the end of insurance term.
Because an improperly maintained motor vehicle threatens a grave risk of serious bodily harm or death, the maintenance of a vehicle is of the utmost importance to the driving public. The responsibility for minimizing that risk or compensating for the failure to do so properly rests with the person who owns and operates the vehicle. Accordingly, state vehicle codes usually declare that it is unlawful for any person to drive a vehicle unless it is in such safe mechanical condition that its operation on the highway will not endanger the driver, a passenger, or any other person on the highway. Thus, these codes impose a duty upon the operator to see to it that the vehicle is properly equipped as to maintain control and pose no menace to other traffic on the highway.
It is not uncommon for a state motor vehicle code to incorporate an individual chapter addressing the “rules of the road.” One such rule is the prohibition against impeding the flow of traffic.
All states and the District of Columbia have drunk driving statutes. Every statute contains a legal definition of intoxication, but the legal definition does vary between the states. In order for someone to be convicted of driving while under the influence (DUI), the prosecution must prove that the defendant was so affected by the consumption of alcohol that the defendant’s faculties were impaired. It is not always necessary to show that the defendant’s driving ability was impaired.
In its report, Drowsy Driving and Automobile Crashes, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NCSDR/NHTSA Expert Panel on Driver Fatigue and Sleepiness, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conservatively estimated that 100,000 police-reported crashes were the direct result of driver fatigue each year, resulting in an estimated 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $ 12.5 billion in monetary losses.