I’ve been posting a lot of “soap box” topics lately and Chris and I had a discussion on DUIs today. We agreed that if the penalties were strict, people wouldn’t continue to do it. Last week a car hit a stopped train – all 5 people in the car died. Drug paraphernalia, including a crack pipe, was found in the wreckage. You should see the video – the truck was driving at high speeds without lights. They even cut across yards! The “good” part is they killed themselves – and no one else.
Here is the link on Orlando Sentinel.com
Then the other story was on Oprah about a flower girl and limo driver killed after a wedding by a drunk driver. The story is heart wrenching to read but it really makes you angry and you might agree on what Chris and I decided would be the best penalty for DUI cases. Read the article here (It is difficult to read – beware). The driver had FOURTEEN drinks that night before getting in his car. Unreal.
We decided that taking away your right to drive PERMANENTLY would make a difference. Do you think people would drink and drive knowing they could lose their right to drive in the US forever? Right now you get pulled over, pay a hefty fine, take a few classes and guess what – you are back at the bar drinking and driving home soon after.
Some statistics I found:
-Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrested in 1999 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of 1 for every 121 licensed drivers in the United States.
-In 2000, about 1,400 fatalities occurred in crashes involving 1,260 alcohol-impaired or intoxicated drivers who had at least one previous DUI or DWI conviction – about 8.5 percent of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
-About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol are repeat offenders. (Hmm – that would be a large chunk of drivers we could eliminate if they didn’t have a license ever again – of course we are assuming they wouldn’t drive without a license.)
-Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public an estimated $114.3 billion in 2000, including $51.1 billion in monetary costs and an estimated $63.2 billion in quality of life losses. People other than the drinking driver paid $71.6 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill, which is 63 percent of the total cost of these crashes.
You can view many more statistics at MADD.org