Drunk drivers are punished harshly under most state laws. In the minds of many people accidents caused by drunk drivers are even more inexcusable than an accident caused by a sober driver. Reckless driving in and of itself is irresponsible in that people that engage in this type of behavior do not take other drivers on the roadways or their well being into consideration. Multiply that by 100 when talking about drunk drivers. A drunk driver has no regard for other drivers and proves that by making the decision to proceed to drive while intoxicated.
As mentioned previously, each state has enacted laws that make drunk driving illegal and punishable by incarceration if the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident support that. Driving while under the influence and driving while intoxicated basically mean the same thing and many states use them interchangeably even though there may be subtle differences from a legal perspective. Depending on the state, DUI is considered to be the lesser charge in states that do make a distinction between the two.
Driving under the influence is the terminology that is used in Pennsylvania. A person that is stopped by the police for suspicion of driving under the influence may be required to take a field sobriety test. This test usually includes movements that will indicate whether or not someone is in fact driving while drunk.
Along with the field test, someone stopped for drunk driving may be required to blow into a machine that will calculate his or her blood alcohol content. In Pennsylvania, if that level is at or above 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit, then legally they are driving while impaired. Pennsylvania does make a distinction between general impairment and higher levels of impairment.