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DUI bill dies, no doubt from embarrassment
Yakima Herald,com ^ | 2/15/08 | Yakima Herald Editorial Board (at link)

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.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: dui; dwi; madd
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To: SamAdams76
With the laws on DUI these days, I even hold my breath in when I just pass a tavern or bar!!!
51 posted on 02/19/2008 9:13:08 AM PST by JDoutrider (No 2nd Amendment... Know Tyranny)
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To: elkfersupper

why is this an issue... take the license away... period...

forever.

let the cabbies drive them around.

teeman


52 posted on 02/19/2008 9:15:02 AM PST by teeman8r
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To: elkfersupper

I hate MADD!!!


53 posted on 02/19/2008 9:18:22 AM PST by DungeonMaster (WELL I SPEAK LOUD, AND I CARRY A BIGGER STICK, AND I USE IT TOO!)
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To: Diggity
Cause of accident does not equal cause of fatal accidents.

You said cell phones caused more deaths, not more accidents.

54 posted on 02/19/2008 9:27:42 AM PST by allmendream ("A Lyger is pretty much my favorite animal."NapoleonD)
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To: Xenalyte
I’d be in favor of that.

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.

55 posted on 02/19/2008 9:44:16 AM PST by Teacher317 (Eta kuram na smekh)
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To: SamAdams76

It’s amazing the number of Prohibitionsists that survived the 1920’s.


56 posted on 02/19/2008 9:46:31 AM PST by Teacher317 (Eta kuram na smekh)
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To: Ramius
I was never in favor of the "DUI Tag", because it taints everyone who drives that particular vehicle. I can only imagine myself as a teenager -- mortified at having to drive my parent's yellow-tagged car. I would rather have walked...

I do like your "bust 'em back to minor status" idea, but I expect that enforcement would be costly -- worth it, but costly.

57 posted on 02/19/2008 9:53:01 AM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: fortunecookie; elkfersupper
Does someone texting while driving or applying makeup while driving experience similar impairment? Yes.

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.

58 posted on 02/19/2008 9:55:57 AM PST by Sloth (If you took an oath to support & defend the U.S. Constitution, can you vote for its domestic enemy?)
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To: elkfersupper

Could it be that too many politicians would have to tag their cars also??


59 posted on 02/19/2008 10:11:01 AM PST by Nailbiter
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To: TXnMA

Lol, you chickenshit.


60 posted on 02/19/2008 11:17:09 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Sloth

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.


61 posted on 02/19/2008 3:09:32 PM PST by fortunecookie (Communism/socialism has failed millions, it wasn't right for them - and it isn't right for US.)
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To: TXnMA; Diggity
...and you guys have the gall to defend that?

Yes, and that's because we know that "alcohol related" is not necessarily "drunk" and not necessarily "driver".

Wake up.

62 posted on 02/19/2008 7:02:48 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: fortunecookie

If it were actually applied that way, it would be nice.


63 posted on 02/19/2008 7:04:17 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: SamAdams76

Wise words.


64 posted on 02/19/2008 7:05:29 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: fortunecookie
A minority? I'd like to see data on that

Total deaths = 40,000+.

"Alcohol related" (not necessarily alcohol caused), 16,654.

There's your statistic.

65 posted on 02/19/2008 7:08:32 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: teeman8r
let the cabbies drive them around.

Let the cabbies drive who around?

66 posted on 02/19/2008 7:11:45 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: Sloth
whereas the drunk is drunk for the whole trip.

Define "drunk".

67 posted on 02/19/2008 7:12:57 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: Xenalyte

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.


68 posted on 02/19/2008 7:15:06 PM PST by Steamburg (Your wallet speaks the only language most politicians understand.)
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