Why are drunks still allowed to drive?

Virginia's General Assembly, a group of legislators not known for ground-breaking initiatives, says it wants to do something about the spiraling number of drunk drivers on the Commonwealth's roads.

One of the more laughable proposals is to issue special license plates for those with DUI convictions.

Reports The Richmond Times Dispatch:

Could Virginia drivers convicted of three drunken-driving offenses be required to use special license plates?

Many legislative observers say the matter is unlikely to make it out of committee, but the measure by Del. Lionell Spruill, D-Chesapeake, is up for discussion today.

Spruill's measure would require plates saying the driver has had three DUIs -- an effort to shame the driver and warn the public.

Which begs the question: Why are people with three DUI convictions still on the road? Why haven't they lost their licenses for life?

Drunk driving is a personal issue for me. I'm a recovering alcoholic (sober 13 years, six months and 17 days) who lost loved ones to a stoned truck driver with a two DUI arrests. I'm neither objective nor compassionate of those who drink too much and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

I believe that a person convicted of driving under the influence should lose their license for at least five years. They should go to jail for at least 30 days. If the drunk driving involves a vehicle wreck where people are injured the penalty should be at least a year in jail and a 10-year loss of license. If the accident kills someone, at least 20 years in prison and a lifetime ban on driving.

A second conviction (not involving a wreck) should bring at least five years in jail and a lifetime ban with no second chances. You drive drunk once: You pay the price. You drive drunk twice. You don't drive again. Period.

Giving a drunk a special license plate after three DUI convictions is a joke. It doesn't shame the drunk. It shames a state that allows those who habitually drink and drive to remain on the road.

Virginia’s General Assembly, a group of legislators not known for ground-breaking initiatives, says it wants to do something about the spiraling number of drunk drivers on the Commonwealth’s roads.

One of the more laughable proposals is to issue special license plates for those with DUI convictions.

Reports The Richmond Times Dispatch:

Could Virginia drivers convicted of three drunken-driving offenses be required to use special license plates?

Many legislative observers say the matter is unlikely to make it out of committee, but the measure by Del. Lionell Spruill, D-Chesapeake, is up for discussion today.

Spruill’s measure would require plates saying the driver has had three DUIs — an effort to shame the driver and warn the public.

Which begs the question: Why are people with three DUI convictions still on the road? Why haven’t they lost their licenses for life?

Drunk driving is a personal issue for me. I’m a recovering alcoholic (sober 13 years, six months and 17 days) who lost loved ones to a stoned truck driver with a two DUI arrests. I’m neither objective nor compassionate of those who drink too much and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

I believe that a person convicted of driving under the influence should lose their license for at least five years. They should go to jail for at least 30 days. If the drunk driving involves a vehicle wreck where people are injured the penalty should be at least a year in jail and a 10-year loss of license. If the accident kills someone, at least 20 years in prison and a lifetime ban on driving.

A second conviction (not involving a wreck) should bring at least five years in jail and a lifetime ban with no second chances. You drive drunk once: You pay the price. You drive drunk twice. You don’t drive again. Period.

Giving a drunk a special license plate after three DUI convictions is a joke. It doesn’t shame the drunk. It shames a state that allows those who habitually drink and drive to remain on the road.

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11 Responses

  1. Because it’s a nasty job and somebody has to do it…!? 😐

    In all seriousness unless drunks for each level of offense aren’t locked up for some period time they’l just climb in a vehicle and tear off down the road again. What’s to stop them, an impotent court order, no license in the wallet, shaming plates etc….?!

    These sentencing guidelines are all predicated on simply no fatalities, serious injuries or property damage is involved.

    First offense: a mandatory 3 months in the county slammer.

    Second offense: a mandatory year in the county slammer
    (somewhat less than Doug’s reco) Note: County slammers in most jurisdictions are a “nasty” place to do time far less safe and sanitary than state or federal facilities. Scary, very sobering places indeed.

    Third offense: five years in the bighouse with no chance for parole…!

    If after five years they get out, climb in a vehicle and get caught offending again then they become “three time losers” and go to prison for life with no chance for parole. People of this category are incorribile losers and need to be removed from society.

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Bureaucracy at work, huh? Perhaps VA should also require to have child-abusers get special strollers to identify them as they push their children around.

  3. I subscribe to the notion that those who are responsible for driving while drunk should have consequences that place them more uncomfortable with their behavior, than those they’ve harmed, or could have harmed. I don’t believe the current system begins to do anything remotely close to that. Until there are “teeth” to these laws, and we can count on consequences, I believe that things will stay as they are now.

    It is a sad, avoidable truth.

  4. Our family were the victims of a multiple-offense DRUNK 16 years ago. Luckily no-one was killed, but we all suffered lasting results from broken bones to a closed skull brain injury. It was at least his third offense and that only counts those that weren’t bargained down.

    The drunk involved did not have his car registered under his own name because his insurance company had already dumped him. His relatives were stupid enough to supply him with an insured car.

    The DRUNK was under the impression that he was on another road about 30 miles from the actual location after he had liquefied himself on a golf course until about 11pm.

    As far as I am concerned, Doug has the correct idea, jail time is the least I would like to see. Drinking and Driving is a deliberate circumventing of the law and they know they are breaking the law. Book ‘Em!!! & Leave them there. No waiting at home in comfort while the lawyers gabble, sit in jail with other attempted murderers.

    I would personally prefer a hangin’ judge like Judge Bean, but he’s not here anymore.

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