I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. Is it right to put someone in prison for the rest of his life after pulling him over with 0.10 blood-alcohol content? Even if it’s the 16th time it has happened?
Readers of this blog know that I am critical of our DUI laws. I want more enforcement and I want penalties that result in the loss of driving privileges, but lower fines. I believe the financial costs to the defendant of a DUI are too high right now (they run in the thousands of dollars even for a first-time DUI) because they put people in truly desperate situations. But I think a loss of driving privileges for a significant amount of time is warranted, and I think after two or possibly three DUIs that loss should be forever.
But prison? Forever? Obviously you have to enforce a situation where a person just plain refuses to stop driving no matter what the court says, but this seems excessive to me, even draconian. What about three years or so after each offense? The person in the video above has a drinking problem, obviously. Wouldn’t it be cheaper and safer for everyone to find a way to get that person into a lifestyle where driving is not necessary and he can drink himself to death without risking the lives of others? Do we need to punish him for the rest of his life in a prison cell?