I would like to begin by saying that I am not against drinking specifically or alcohol in general. I am just opposed to drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a car. If you are old enough to drink, you are old enough to except the responsibility involved.
The following are my thoughts on punishments for those who are caught driving under the influence. It offers punishments that are designed to influence people to not drink and drive and does not include anything concerning when an accident is involved. It also does not discuss damages, injuries or deaths that result from DUI. I would like to see these be the law in every state.
On the first offense, the person convicted of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated would be given a fine of $500, given a suspended jail sentence of 15 days and be required to perform 30 days of community service picking up litter from the highways while wearing an orange vest with the letters ‘DUI’ prominently stenciled on the back.
On the second offense, the fine would double to $1000, the jail sentence would become mandatory and the community service would be for 6 months. The individual would also be notified by the court, both verbally and in writing, of the penalties for a 3rd offense.
In the event of a third offense, the fine would become $2500, the jail sentence would be up to a year and the vehicle would be seized and become the property of the state or local department of law enforcement, which will either make the vehicle one of their own or sell it at auction.
If the seized vehicle should be owned by a party other than the driver, the owner would be responsible for paying all towing and storage fees, but would be allowed to retrieve the vehicle. Hopefully, this would make people aware of their responsibilities when they give the keys to their vehicle to someone while allowing them to keep their vehicle.
Occurrences could be removed under this plan. After five years of safe driving with no repeated DUI offenses, an occurrence could be removed from the record unless the offense resulted in a traffic accident that was deemed alcohol related. Those would remain on the record for a period of 10 years and those incidents that resulted in death or injury would be permanent occurrences on the record.
It is obvious that in many cases, fines, suspended licenses, jail terms and other minor penalties have not stopped people from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Perhaps it would be taken a bit more serious if they no longer have a vehicle to drive!