Skip to comments.DUI bill dies, no doubt from embarrassment
Posted on 02/18/2008 6:15:04 PM PST by elkfersupper
Finally, common sense prevails in dealing with the state's laws on driving under the influence of liquor and drugs.
A bill steeped in election-year, get-tough-on-crime grandstanding has quietly gone to the burial ground for bad bills in the state Legislature. It failed to make it out of the Senate Transportation Committee before Tuesday's deadline.
Senate Bill 6402 would have required people convicted of a DUI infraction to put fluorescent-yellow license plates on their cars for one year after having their driving privileges restored.
Who knows why overreaching bills even get a hearing in Olympia, as this one did last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Maybe it's in the spirit of Shylock's demands for debt repayment of a pound of flesh in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."
(Actually, some opponents preferred a "Scarlet Letter" analogy, a reference to another literary classic -- Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel in which the heroine must wear the letter "A" as punishment for adultery.)
The gaudy plates would theoretically warn the motoring public and law enforcement that someone convicted of DUI is on the road, even though that person already has jumped through the hoops demanded by tough state laws and has had driving privileges restored.
That embarrassment factor seems like piling on when DUI offenders can already face jail time, even if for a day, higher insurance rates, mandatory counseling and suspended or restricted driving privileges.
And once those privileges are restored, the state Department of Licensing requires a person to drive only a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. That certainly would seem a more effective approach in dealing with post-DUI driving considerations than a license plate that glows in the dark.
You know this legislation overreached when even Mothers Against Drunk Driving declined to support it. They also prefer measures such as interlocks and sobriety checkpoints.
If lawmakers want to ratchet up DUI enforcement, they should have approved the checkpoints that were requested of them by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
This short 60-day session in Olympia has too many pressing issues to waste valuable time on feel-good legislation.
There's a joke in Olympia during sessions that no bill is really dead until the Legislature has adjourned for good. Even then, it's a good idea to allow 24 hours to make sure they don't come back.
This is one bad example of government excess that should stay buried.
* Members of the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board are Michael Shepard, Sarah Jenkins and Bill Lee.
These yellow tags are sort of an equivalent.
And an example of the hysteria surrounding this subject.
Look - there's a disgusting drunk who causes accidents and kills people!
Drunk driving causes less deaths then people on cell phones.
Wow. Public shaming works. Who’da thought it?
And yet, the vast majority of DUIs involve neither accidents nor deaths. Many don't even involve "drunkenness," at least not how most adults understand it.
“Drunk driving causes less deaths then people on cell phones.”
What are the statistics that back up your claim?
This was proposed in Virginia and thank goodness it’s dead.
“Wow. Public shaming works. Whoda thought it?”
Wow, time to go back to the scarlet A?
I’m agaiost the yellow plates, but I don’t believe this one unless you can pull up some real proof.
I’d be in favor of that. But then, I’m someone who managed to stay non-pregnant before marriage, so I guess I’m biased.
Where does it stop?
Look - there's a guy who talks on his phone while driving and kills people = blue license plate.
Look - there's a chick who puts on her makeup while driving and kills people = lavender license plate.
Look - there's a guy who yells at his kids while driving and kills people = red license plate.
And look, there's the wife of the guy who was drunk but stuck by him while he dried out because she believes in the sanctity of marriage and now has to drive a car with yellow license plates around even though she didn't do anything wrong.
“Id be in favor of that. But then, Im someone who managed to stay non-pregnant before marriage, so I guess Im biased.”
Well, congratulations, so has everybody in my family and their spouses (although every single one I know of made love with the future spouse before marriage; well, maybe not my parents, although I can’t say for sure). What exactly does that have to do with with the scarlet A — adultery?
Okay, so technically I’d put an F on fornicators, not an A. But “The Scarlet F,” you must admit, has far less cachet.
Drunk driving is listed way down the list for causes of accidents. Driver inattention is the number one reason. Everyone is on a cell phone these days.
You can got to the California Motor Vehicle site. I believe they have information on it their.
Hey, a couple months ago, Fraudoire was getting all hot about starting “random” drunk driving checkpoint things.
That bright idea crashed and burned good! The legislature wouldn’t even consider it...
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