Just for the record, public
drunkenness is already illegal in most places in the US.
Here again, though, you have a "law on the books" that is rarely enforced (except on TV in shows about the old West where the sheriff is always throwing the town drunk in jail to sleep it off or on shows like the old "Andy Griffith" show).
Originally Posted by ducati
I think the question you need to ask is: Why is drunk driving so much more prevelant in the U.S. than in many other developed nations?
A number of reasons:
1) The US has a Puritannical Protestant tradition. Alcohol is considered sinful in many religious traditions here. "Demon rum." The US even had Prohibition. Alcohol therefore has "the lure of the forbidden."
2) Automobiles and driving are seen as basic parts of one's freedom in the US, not simply as modes of transportation. You don't just drive on Route 66, you "get your kicks" by driving on Route 66. Restrictions on driving and speed are seen as intolerable ("I Can't Drive 55").
3) The laws concerning businesses (bars, restaurants) overserving alcohol are rarely enforced.
4) The laws concerning drunken driving are often complex and, from one point of view, full of loopholes. Because serious penalties attach to a drunken driving conviction, some of the best lawyers in the country specialize in defending people against drunk driving convictions. Many prosecutors find it is often harder to get a drunk driving conviction than to get a conviction for murder.
5) Many drunken drivers are government officials. They often get "sweetheart deals" from prosecutors. Indeed, many government officials and members of boards and commissions are drunks and come to meetings drunk. If I had my way, all public government meetings would be televised.
6) The US has a poorly developed public transportation system. So drunks drive home from the bar rather than take the bus, train, trolley or subway.
7) Businesses (and the government) often profit heavily from alcohol sales, and thus are against measures that might curb such sales (even if they would cut down on drunk driving). Many restaurants derive most of their profits from alcohol sales, not from selling food. My local government built a football stadium with taxpayer money. Forty (40) percent of the revenues from that stadium come from alcohol sales there. The local government also has the responsibility of enforcing the laws against public drunkenness, drunk driving, etc. How effectively do you think these laws will be enforced against the patrons of its own sports stadium?
There are probably many more reasons, but these just occur to me off the top of my head.