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.
why is this an issue... take the license away... period...
let the cabbies drive them around.
I hate MADD!!!
You said cell phones caused more deaths, not more accidents.
Did you ever actually read The Scarlet Letter? There were a few lessons in there that you apparently missed. Hint: It wasn't a "good example of local governance and enforcement" guide.
It’s amazing the number of Prohibitionsists that survived the 1920’s.
I do like your "bust 'em back to minor status" idea, but I expect that enforcement would be costly -- worth it, but costly.
But only as long as they're doing so. The impairment disappears instantly when the phone or make-up are put away, whereas the drunk is drunk for the whole trip.
Could it be that too many politicians would have to tag their cars also??
Lol, you chickenshit.
Oh, I definitely agree, no doubt. It points to impairment if being done if and when it causes an accident. And a drunk driver can drive all the way to his/her destination and not have an accident, even if only by the defensive driving of others, but is still seriously impaired the whole distance.
Yes, and that's because we know that "alcohol related" is not necessarily "drunk" and not necessarily "driver".
If it were actually applied that way, it would be nice.
Total deaths = 40,000+.
"Alcohol related" (not necessarily alcohol caused), 16,654.
There's your statistic.
Let the cabbies drive who around?
They wouldn’t fear this title if it didn’t work. As to administrative costs, just add them to the DUI penalties in the first place. I’ve always been in favor of crushing their cars after the second offense and leaving them in the car when its crushed after the third. (This would make financing your car a little more expensive and be ecologically responsible at the same time /sarc/)
I’ve never had a problem with drinking or driving, its when they come together that I have a real problem.