Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Going the wrong way

Drunks keep driving the wrong way on the LIE and the Parkways. There is a campaign to resolve the situation by making it harder for drunks to get on the highway going the wrong way. The spend-more-money solution is for unspecified (but probably costly road modifications and undefined engineering solutions. But in what may be a first a DOT spokesman didn’t go for the tax increase and said, “…roads are perfectly safe if you are alert, sober and follow the rules of the road.” True enough, but we are all at risk from people who are not alert, sober and follow the rules. So what to do?

A common thread of all these incidents is that the drunks are really whacked - at least twice the legal (.08) limit – and some have been on drugs on top of that.. Many of these people also have prior DWIs and suspended licenses. The problem is that when these people do get before a judge, jail time has been an exception. (Killing someone has recently be getting more time but 3-4 years for killing someone has not historically unusual.).

How about:
DWI gets jail time for the first offense and you have to pay to have a breathalyzer installed on your car.
Getting caught subverting the breathalyzer (driving a different car, etc) gets a more jail time.
Multiple offenses gets more jail time, impounded car, more fines,etc.
Killing someone while driving drunk is murder and is punished accordingly.
Raise the limit for DWI. (.08 is two beers with dinner)

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