The term first-time offender leaves a wrong impression.
I have talked with people who have admitted to driving under the influence (DUI or DWI) on hundreds of occasions before having been "caught". These people should be referred to as first-time arrestees.
If our legal punishments were tough on the so-called first-time offender, we would not have so many repeat offenders on our streets. Thousands of deaths and non-fatal injuries would be prevented each year if we knew we could not get away with alcohol-impaired driving.
What would happen in our communities if we sentenced other first-time murderers (those who use methods other than impaired driving, such as guns and knives, to kill or injure others) to receive the kind of slapped-wrist justice that we give to those who maim and kill when they choose to drive under the influence of a drug like alcoholwithout regard to the endangerment to themselves or to others?
Vehicle manufacturers need to install breathalizers that prevent ignitions from working when any alcohol is detected. We need to have a law that mandates installation of these devices into all vehicles (including motorcycles, boats, and planes).
Some people may be too relaxed (off guard) to drive safely after having had only one or two drinksjust like taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications may cause drowsiness. You wont know that you are one of those people until its too late. Dont chance a crash. Dont risk injuring or killing someone.
How have these Zero Tolerance For DUI web pages affected you? Here are some letters from our readers.