I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

DUI'S, And State Laws

As I was searching the news today, I noticed that Ty Pennington from "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" had been arrested this weekend on suspicion of drunk driving. What I found disturbing was the fact that drunk driving in this case is considered a misdemeanor.

As I was doing some research before blogging about this topic, I came across an even more disturbing bit of information. No state charges a drunk driver with a felony on the first offense unless an injury or death occurs. Of the 50 states, only 5 actually charge drunk drivers with a felony if it is the second drunk driving offense that the person has had. Only 39 states actually charge a drunk driver with a felony, but only after subsequent DUI offenses.

What kind of message is this really sending to drunk drivers? To me it says, you can drive drunk and you're going to only get a slap on the wrist. It's no wonder why there are more and more people driving drunk. If every state in this country actually took drunk driving seriously and imposed stiff punishments for even the first drunk driving offense, there would be fewer drunk drivers out there.

Ty Pennington says it's a "wake-up call." Yeah, what kind of "wake-up call" is it if the only realistic punishment you're going to face is a slap on the wrist? He'll probably get probation, a few hours of community service, a "chump change" fine, and have his license revoked for a little bit. Wow!! The reality is that he didn't injury anyone, but he put everyone's life in danger by getting behind the wheel drunk. Nobody ever learns!!

There are people that live in my state who are going on their 20th DUI offense, and the only punishment that they receive is less than a year in jail. It's really sickening!! How many more lives are going to have to be endangered? How many more innocent people are going to have to die before we say enough? Too many people are dying, and too little is being done to stop it. When are we going to wake up in this country? Hopefully, before it's too late!!

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