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Readers' forum: No DUI law is too strict

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  • Mathewkey
    Aug. 11, 2010 4:10 a.m.

    A DUI charge is very serious. Driving under the influence is a severe crime in every state. The consequences of a conviction are life-altering. If you don't seek professional DUI lawyers to protect your rights, You may face:
    Jail time
    Job loss
    Loss of driver's license
    Insurance coverage complications
    Impoundment of vehicle
    Ignition interlock device
    Probation
    Community service
    If you have been charged with a DUI you should seek legal help at once from DUI Lawyers

  • anon
    Jan. 27, 2010 1:51 a.m.

    i would like to see a more reasonable scaling of the punishment relative to the particular offense. there's a big difference between someone pulled over for expired tags who blew .08 on the money, and someone pulled over for swerving around and blew a .15, and yet their punishments are potentially the same, i suppose depending on the state and how much money they have for a good attorney.

  • Cassandra
    Jan. 25, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    What an obsurd and angry thing to say. I got a DUI 2 years ago at the age of 24 even though I never even drank, much less drink and drive. I did one day though and my life has been ruined ever since. I took the charge seriously and was willing to do whatever it took to redeem myself but, to this day, it is never enough. I live in Florida & new laws keep being passed to prevent me from obtaining my license. I have already paid over $10,000, I have no money left and now the state wants more (new insurance & interlock laws.) I went from being a productive member of society to living out of my car. My college dreams are on hold. People are sick of helping me. I didn't hurt anybody but myself, I will never understand why I am being treated as if I had hurt someone. I will never drink and drive again, I have nothing to call my own, I can't even drive my son to a park. Doesn't seem fair if you ask me.

  • J
    Dec. 8, 2009 1:47 a.m.

    Yes it can be too strict. These laws cause problems for people who do not commit any harm to themselves or others. BAC is a sad cry but not an accurate measurement of impairment, .08 is too low of a level, taking in other factors. Can we forget that while trying to find that 1 real drunk driver, we can destroy the lives of the other 99 who did not actually cause anyone any harm? If you look at our DUI laws they are clearly neo-prohibitionist in essence and that cannot be defined. In some states operating a vehicle is nothing more than being in a car with the engine on...I knew someone convicted of a DUI sitting in a car because he has his engine on to keep warm in the back seat! This is how crazy the system has become and making the laws stricter won't fix the underlying. These people need alcohol treatment as well as more case by case analysis and statues that do not grasp the individual cases but form a blanket of punishment for any the prosecutor's whim. Here come the MADDites yells and screams

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 25, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    I like the idea of having as many neighborhood pubs as there are LDS churches, that way people could just walk to the pub and would not have to drive.

  • John Barleycorn
    Nov. 24, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    The most severe penalty that can be handed out is the death penalty, and we see how well that prevents capital crimes from happening.

  • RE: Amomymous
    Nov. 24, 2009 12:26 p.m.

    Christians who drink grape juice instead of wine won't have that problem

  • Joe Banks
    Nov. 24, 2009 6:11 a.m.

    Isn't it ironic that the same culture which promotes alcohol use in entertainment and advertising and controls it's distribution through the state turns about and penalizes those who may have even one sip too much and is then ready to crucify those individuals?
    I've often thought it is silly that one must go through all the legal rigamarole to obtain medications which are at least or more dangerous than alcohol, yet to get booze all you need is a few bucks - no prescription or ID required.
    Thanks to MADD and other fanatic groups, the penalties for driving under the influence of ANY drugs or alcohol are far disproportionate to many offenses that which are equally odious.

  • Predatory
    Nov. 23, 2009 11:35 p.m.

    Much of the arrests that are made are people that are not placing others at risk, they are out having a few moderate drinks and get caught in the system. All of this while that terribly intoxicates are slipping through the cracks, placing others at risk. The current laws are not dealuing with the problems of intoxicated drivers, rather is a tool for revenue collections.
    If we truly want to deal with the problem, then their needs to be methods that provide transportation at a reasonable costs for those that choose the use the night life. Police sitting at bars looking for anyone driving tying up their time, rather than dealing with the seriously impaired is nothing more than a sin tax on people that have a few drinks at a night club. I go to dance at the clubs and have not drank for years as a recovered alcoholic, yet I am pulled over periodically for nothing mopre than being at a night club. That is not a reason to pull people over!

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    Will Christians be arrested after taking wine at the sacrament?

    You said no drunk driving law is to tough.

  • Tougher DUI laws?
    Nov. 23, 2009 5:41 p.m.

    It's true -- no current DUI law is too strict. But they all punish and attempt to incentivize the wrong people.

    Tougher punishments are like rearranging the chairs on the listing deck of the Titanic. No drunk ever worries much about the punishment BEFORE he drives drunk. It's only AFTER the fact that the punishment looms large.

    By then, innocent victims have been maimed or killed and are left, largely alone, to face a life of disability and want.

    What is needed are changes to the law that provide incentives to enablers and promoters to PREVENT DUI, not just knee-jerk changes that more severely punish the poor mopes that are too feeble-minded or weak-kneed to resist "hospitality industry" enticements.

    Frankly, that industry has more resources, personnel, and multi-jurisdictional experience -- and is thus in a better position to know what works -- than most of us.

    Venal and corrupt as they are, industry executives are not stupid. Given proper incentives, like liberalized dram shop laws, they will implement procedures and safeguards that will PREVENT, not just PUNISH carnage.

  • Charles
    Nov. 23, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    I find it ironic that the same people who say "comprehensive sex ed" is needed don't think that drinking and driving is bad and stricter laws aren't needed and won't do anything if implemented.

    I think we all know that "comprehensive sex ed" won't stop anyone who wants to have sex no matter what.

    Drink - don't drive...have you heard the "I was just buzzed" commercials on the radio? They are spot on!

    You want to drink -- do it in your home.

  • To gjc
    Nov. 23, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    You are wrong. This is a liberal/conservative one. That's not to say that only one side is against drunk driving, but it is true that if the penalty were left up to the liberals the punishments would be very weak and we'd have more drunk driving. If it were left 100% up to the conservatives, there would be higher fines, stricter punishment, more jail time, less offenders, and less fatalities because the drunks couldn't drive while they were in jail. Anyone who disagrees with that is nuts.

  • Re Doug G
    Nov. 23, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    You are wrong. We don't ban cars because of drunks and we don't ban guns because of careless gun owners. We should have the same penalty for drunk drivers as we have for people who leave guns where children can get them. Anyone who makes a conscious decision to put other people's lives at risk, should be stopped with everything we can use to stop them.

  • Roland Kayser
    Nov. 23, 2009 3:15 p.m.

    To Robert: I have never been to Norway, but I have been to many other European countries. I find that there are neighborhood pubs all over town. Walking home after a night of drinking is probably Much easier there than here. Also, public transporatation is much better in Europe.
    I doubt that most posters on this site would think that vastly increasing the amount of neighborhood pubs would be a good way to curb drunken driving.

  • Paul
    Nov. 23, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    Can anyone come up with a reason to keep allowing drunk driving? One DUI - could be a big mistake. But, two DUIs? Three DUIs? Ten DUIs? At what point does Society take the hint that the driver needs to be stopped? The penalty definitely needs to increase dramatically after each successive act.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Nov. 23, 2009 2:59 p.m.

    One possibility would be to have a sensor in a car that made it so someone with alcohol on their breath could not start the viehcle. Not a fool-proof system, but it would reduce drunken driving.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Nov. 23, 2009 2:54 p.m.

    People in Utah can be fairly detached about this, for there are not many deaths from Drunk Drivers there. Here in Michigan we have many deaths. Just a few months ago four teenages who were stpped at a light were killed by some drunk lady who ran her van into them. The only reason I know about this is because it made headlines becaue more than one person died.
    Claims that drunk driving is not a major issue are based on downright stupid assumptions. It is not just ability to control your driving, but also judgement that is reduced by drunk driving. Drunk drivers do downright stupid things.
    However, we should also raise the driving age to at least 18. 16 and 17 year olds do not have the full mental capacity to be good drivers, and should be kept off the roads for all peoples goods.

  • gjc
    Nov. 23, 2009 2:37 p.m.

    This isn't a liberal/conservative issue. Don't try to make it one!

    Simple rule. The first time and every time a driver get convicted of DUI; the car is now owned by the state. Sell it and lets make some money. If you can't control you drining enough to act responsibly, loose the car! If you don't have a car, you can't drive drunk. After the second, if not the first conviction, you should spend some REAL time in jail, oh and loose the car too. Pretty soon, you can't drive drunk as you have no car available to drive!

    However, if one gets tipsy, and/or you decide you shouldn't drive, take a nap in you car, and a cop arrests you for DUI, that seems a little unfair. It IS the law ,at least in NM where we have a huge DUI problem. Why should you be arrested/convected of DUI if you weren't driving. I have never done that, but it does seem wrong.

  • To Clark
    Nov. 23, 2009 1:30 p.m.

    It WOULD be wonderful -- and we CAN have a specific law that would, if not guarantee no more DUIs, at least greatly reduce the carnage it produces.

    We just have to incentivize the industry to reduce, rather than sustain the carnage. If it costs THEM -- instead of just the innocent victims -- whenever drunk drivers hurt someone, we can be supremely confident THEY will find ways to reduce the slaughter.

    Liability laws today immunize the "hospitality industry" from responsibility for the carnage enabled and promoted by that industry. It's because the politicians are in the pockets of that industry.

    If we made a big enough show of support, the politicians could be shamed into representing US, instead of their major contributors.

    Liberalizing dram shop laws would require only a 10-words-or-less change to two or three Utah laws.

    There would be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth by the industry, to be sure, but in the end they, like many, many. many of their victims, would be left without a leg to stand on.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 12:49 p.m.

    Death to texting while driving as well!!!

  • To poster at 11:36
    Nov. 23, 2009 12:36 p.m.

    I'm glad you feel that way too. You are certainly in the minute minority as far as your party is concerned.

  • Clark
    Nov. 23, 2009 12:23 p.m.

    OOPS! I meant to say "won't stop." Sorry.

  • Clark
    Nov. 23, 2009 12:21 p.m.

    It would be wonderful if we had specific laws in place that would guarantee no more DUIs would occur. It would be heaven if we could all leave our homes, knowing for sure we will all get to where we are going safe, but that's not possible.

    The fact is, all the DUI laws in the world would stop certain people from getting blasted with booze, then getting behind the wheel of a car.

    If you were to commit premediated murder and get caught, there's a pretty good chance you will either spend the rest of your life in prison, or you will face the death penalty. Laws don't get much stricter than that. But nevertheless, murders are still committed every day.

  • To Anon | 10:19
    Nov. 23, 2009 12:07 p.m.

    There IS an answer to the problem!

    The answer is to incentivize the enablers and promoters. Let the free-market, entrepenueurial juices flow!

    Enablers like bar owners could insist drinking patrons show proof of a taxi or non-drinking buddy ride home. Distributors could enforce the rule by refusing to sell to high-risk establishments. Distillers and brewers could divert a tiny percentage of their billions in blood money profits to a fund used to police the rules and rehab the drunks.

    Or, better yet -- let THEM, the enablers and promoters, come up with their own foolproof, yet cost-effective ways of protecting the innocent from the carnage that enriches them.

    They're smarter about this than I am, being much closer to the problem.

    At any rate -- the solution is clear and simple. It only requires us liberalize dram shop laws to incentivize the industry to do the right thing.

    It would also be politically easy if it weren't for the dirty money injected into politics by the "hospitality industry."

  • Robert
    Nov. 23, 2009 11:39 a.m.

    In Norway, anyone caught driving with any alcohol in the blood receives a six month jail sentence and revocation of their driver's license for life.

    To many people this may seem over the top, but Norwegians live with it and find other ways to get around when they have drunk alcohol. They take a bus, a taxi, or just walk. And the low number of highway deaths in that country is proof of the wisdom of the laws.

    There is no reason why we can't impose the same restrictions.

  • Oh Please
    Nov. 23, 2009 11:36 a.m.

    I am a liberal and I am in favor of the strictest possible DUI penalties. One violation, no license -- ever. You will pay a ruinous fine, you will never be insured, and you will never drive again. And if we catch you, you will really wish we hadn't.

  • perhaps
    Nov. 23, 2009 11:35 a.m.

    While I agree that even one drunken driving accident is to many may I suggest that prevention is a far better way to reduce this risk then the threat of punishment if they get caught.

  • Naruto
    Nov. 23, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    Stricter laws do not equal less drunken drivers. Better public transportation would be a much better solution to the problem. If people have more options of getting around, especially at night, that would help to reduce the problem.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    Having DUI laws does not stop drunks from getting behind the wheel of whatever vehicle they can find keys to. There is an answer to the problem since people will NEVER quit the alchol. Taking away a license does not work either. But now we have impaired individuals driving while trying to either text or dial cell phones. What the answer is, I'm not sure anyone knows. Until it is found, more people will suffer the consequences of bad decisions on the part of drivers who made them.

  • @ 8:57
    Nov. 23, 2009 9:35 a.m.

    "The liberals would have us believe that nothing is ever anyone's fault"

    Strawman much? I could just as easily say that conservatives believe that women should wear burkas anytime they are in public. Its OK, I understand that as a conservative with the simple minded there is no way to define yourself without logical fallacies. (wow that is fun)

  • Why?
    Nov. 23, 2009 9:24 a.m.

    To Common, Anon:

    Why is it that I am expected to meekly and happily run the risk that you'll drink, then drive? Why should I pay for your "right to party?"

    Would it be OK for me to walk through your living room twirling my hogleg pistol? I susptect you'd object, and rightly so. Why should you be required to pay for my "right to twirl?"

    You shouldn't.

    And I shouldn't be required to shoulder the entire burden of you drinking irresponsibly and driving when you're impaired.

    That's why, even though I'm just as committed to my hogleg twirling as you are to your drinking, I don't object to restrictions on twirling, and I fully expect to pay the consequences of my negligence. I'm sure we both expect hogleg twirling promoters to ante up their fair share, as well.

    So, unless you suggest partying occupies some favored, protected position in our society, you should have the same expectations for your hobby as I do for mine.

  • It's not their fault
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    It's not the drunks fault they get drunk though. They are predisposed to getting drunk. They were born that way. The liberals would have us believe that nothing is ever anyone's fault(except Bush's) and that the rest of society should take an equal share of responsibility for someone else's dumb decisions in life.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:53 a.m.

    Rail against DUI! | 8:32 a.m. Nov. 23, 2009 said "It's an easy fix -- liberalize dram shop laws and apply them to brewers, distillers, and distributors".

    That is plain silly, not everyone who drinks will drive while drunk. That is akin to saying that because someone texts while driving we need to punish the cell phone companies.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:51 a.m.

    No law is too strict? Capital punishment?

  • Common Sense Calling
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    RE: Rail against DUI! | 8:32 a.m. Nov. 23, 2009

    "DUI is the readily predictable consequence of an unnecessary and indefensible vice."

    So when I have a drink, it's easy to predict that I'm going to get a DUI, even though I don't drink?


    "And, of course, they are aided and abetted in this pillaging of innocents by the best politicians "hospitality industry" money can buy."

    Why is there a shortage of liquor licenses if the politicians have been bought off by the "hospitality industry"?

    Are you really that paranoid, or have you just skipped your morning coffee and cigarette?

  • Rail against DUI!
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:32 a.m.

    Hear, hear!

    The big difference between DUI and ALL other activities cited by these smarmy defenders of drunks is this -- DUI is the readily predictable consequence of an unnecessary and indefensible vice.

    That puts it in a COMPLETELY separate category from those other offenses committed during the careless pursuit of necessary or desirable everyday activities.

    Innocent vitims of DUI are asked to involuntarily subsidize what selfish losers have come to regard as their "right to party."

    And, of course, they are aided and abetted in this pillaging of innocents by the best politicians "hospitality industry" money can buy.

    Sadly, because of that money, the carnage will continue until there is enough outrage to tackle the real problem -- the enablers and promoters in the "hospitality industry."

    If we properly incentivize these feckless, but intelligent businessmen, THEY will come up with ways to stop the slaughter of innocents.

    It's an easy fix -- liberalize dram shop laws and apply them to brewers, distillers, and distributors.

    But, it won't happen until politicians think more of their contituents than they do of their contributors.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:31 a.m.

    "If our laws were stricter, we would have much less drunken driving"

    This is simply not true and shows a lack of actual thought on the writers part.

  • uncannygunman
    Nov. 23, 2009 8:28 a.m.

    The average drinking driver wants exactly the same thing everybody else who drives does--to get where they're going safely and conveniently. The fact that they are SLIGHTLY worse at it than the average sober driver seems to drive our society nuts!

    There are plenty of bigger problems to worry about than making our draconian DUI laws even more unreasonable.

  • Doug G
    Nov. 23, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    One drunk driver is too many. One child finding dads' gun in the house is not. One distracted driver is not. Several cigarette smokers per day...not. However many die from secondhand smoke...it is not too many. We rail agains the drunk drivers, and we should, but they're not the only ones making poor decisions with fatal results.

  • Anonymous
    Nov. 23, 2009 6:51 a.m.

    Death to drunk drivers! No, death is too good! We need to torture them slowly and brutally, with medieval implements of pain, and then throw them out in the gutter. In the rain.

  • Roland Kayser
    Nov. 23, 2009 6:12 a.m.

    Should simple assault be prosecuted the same as first degree murder? There are vast differences in DUI circumstances.