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.