Drunk driving is a serious issue that does not seem to get the same outrage as similar issues. Drunk driving accidents are preventable, but people do not seem as focused on trying to stop them as they are with other issues, such as gun control. Why is this?
The Fix reports that in the 1980s, DUIs were a huge concern. Society pushed for stronger regulations and harsher punishments. While some laws changed and the number of deaths associated with alcohol-related accidents went down, the problem is far from over. Every day people die due to drunk drivers, but it seems we have become numb to the problem.
One of the leading reasons is that most people do not see drunk driving as a huge issue. Unless it affects you personally, you may not give it a second thought. Most often, people do not place a negative stigma on drunk driving unless there is a serious injury or death involved. The courts seem to have the same approach, giving people light sentences for a DUI conviction and allowing even repeat offenders to walk away without serious jail time. In addition, lobbyists from the alcohol and restaurant industries work hard to prevent tougher legislation that could negatively impact their profits.
Part of the issue is that drinking is legal and seen as a fun activity. You may have a beer or two after work to unwind or on the weekends at a party. It is not inherently bad on its own. It is only when you get behind the wheel after drinking that it becomes a problem. Until everyone starts taking more responsibility and paying attention to the effects of drunk driving, it is not likely we will see much outrage.