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Drink driving

From Academic Kids

Drink driving or drinking and driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol (ethanol) or other drugs, to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. It is illegal in most jurisdictions.

The specific criminal offence may be called driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), driving under the influence [of alcohol or other drugs] (DUI), or drunk in charge [of a vehicle]. Such laws may also apply to boating, or piloting aircraft.

Guilt may be established by subjective tests of the driver's impairment, or measurement of his blood alcohol content (BAC). This is expressed in terms of milligrams of alcohol per millilitres of blood, or as a percentage. (10 mg/100 ml = 0.01 g/100 g = 0.01 %).

United States

Main article : Drunk driving (United States)

The most common BAC limit for drivers is 0.08%. Some states also include a lesser charge — often known as driving while impaired — at a BAC of around 0.05%. In many states, drivers under the drinking age of 21 have committed a drink driving offence if they have any alcohol in their blood.

The limit for aircraft pilots is 0.04%.

Europe

Philosophical perspectives

An overview of the philosophical approach to DUI, especially with respect to ethical and pedagogical concerns, is James B. Gould's "A Sobering Topic: Discussing Drunk Driving in Introductory Ethics" in 'Teaching Philosophy' 21:4 (December 1998), 339-360.

Gould's central point is that drunk driving offers an ethical case that, for most people, is clear-cut in the fundamentals, familiar from everyday life, and extraordinarily complicated in the details. In other word, it's ideal for philosophical analysis at the introductory level.

He cites the few articles by academic philosophers that he could find:

  • Douglas N. Husak, "Is Drunk Driving a Serious Offense?" 'Philosophy and Public Affairs' 23 (1994).
  • Bonnie Steinbock, "Drunk Driving." 'Philosophy and Public Affairs' 14 (1985).
  • James D. Stuart, "Deterrence, Desert and Drunk Driving," 'Public Affairs Quarterly' 3 (1989).
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