When it comes to drunk driving in South Carolina, few people would disagree that it is a preventable offense. The simplest preventative method is that drivers should not get behind the wheel when intoxicated. Similarly, whenever possible, family and friends should intervene to stop them rather than assume the person will make it home alright. Even so, both of these tactics are often easier said than done.
According to the CDC, sobriety checkpoints are just one of the many ways law enforcement helps to reduce drunk driving incidents and the repercussions of engaging in this activity. These checkpoints give officers of the law the right to stop drivers and check for impairment. If they suspect a driver is intoxicated, they may decide to administer a test.
Depending on applicable state laws, when a person has faced multiple or even just one drunk driving charge, they may receive ignition interlocks. This prevents the car from starting if a device detects a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.02%. The CDC believes that making it mandatory to have these devices installed from the very first offense has the greatest impact.
The organization also believes in the power of education. From mass media campaigns to school-based instructional programs. Both of these programs help to educate people of all ages on the dangers of driving under the influence. However, the CDC admits that it needs more evidence to determine how effective this is.
Forbes points out that another solution proposed by several states is to reduce the legal BAC to just 0.05%. As alcohol affects people differently, and some people are already too impaired to drive at a lower BAC, this may help to keep the roads safer. However, it may also first help to criminalize more drunk drivers who had one drink too many, including women whose drinks might have been tampered with without their knowledge.
Neither of these sources sufficiently tackled another important preventative measure: substance abuse programs. Several studies have shown that habitual heavy drinkers may be more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking than other drivers, so any program tackling drunk driving should also consider the use and abuse of the substances involved.