Cash cow or money train?

24 Aug

This not a rant. 

I don’t want mothers against drunk driving to come and picket my house or burn me an effigy.  A friend of mine just got a DUI.  Personally, I am happy he got the DUI as it would be a sober reminder to drink responsibly.  He has never been in an alcohol related crash or arrest but I guess God is tapping him on the shoulder.  However, the punishment being meted out is really over the top. He shelled out $4000 for a lawyer, another $1000 court county fees, $750 state fees, he got his license revoked for 6 months, and that’s just for New York!  In his home resident state, he got his license suspended for up 120 days and has to pay $210 reinstatement fee, go to a DUI class, and possibly have a blow lock installed on his car and more!  For a first time offender!  If there is a reason to not drink and drive, it won’t be because of safety, it would because of all the money you pay if you get caught. In California, DUIs earns the state about $400m a year. ( In their defense, they really need the money).

keeprightAfter leaving a party or a bar, I am more afraid of being pulled over than crashing my car into a family of five.  Yep, DUI laws have really messed up my priority.  I am all for suspended licenses and fines but lately, these cases are getting to be horror stories.  A DUI court cost is far more that a felony drug possession.  In fact, if you are suspected of DUI, your rights are pretty much out the window, until your court date, when they decide what punishment to met out.  I am happy there are DUI laws, but I feel they are beginning to be more for revenue than public education about the dangers of drinking and driving.  We, as law abiding citizens need to be more proactive in reducing DUIs.  We should:

  • Hire a really big bouncer at every establishment that serves alcohol – including your house.  If necessary, have him tackle your husband/boyfriend if he as much as brushes past the car to get more ice for the party.
  • Turn in your car keys to the bar tender when you enter an establishment that serves alcohol. If it gets stolen, you’re shit out of luck.
  • Mandatory installation of breath machines at the exit of every bar/establishment.  If you blow above the legal limits, you get a cab or you don’t get your keys back.
  • Keep a squad of cops outside every bar.  That’ll teach those party animals.
  • Lobby for public transportation.  There should be a bus stop before every bar/establishment.  Cabs are too expensive.  How will you pay for your drinks?
  • Lobby for taxes from alcohol sales to go to DUI education.  That way, if you get caught, you don’t have to pay for the class yourself.  All the beer you drank last night already paid for it.
  • We need to lobby to make the Macarena dance the official sobriety test.  If you miss two moves in a row, you’re it.
  • Don’t even think of arguing ‘probable cause’ when you get caught driving.  Whip out your cell and call (not your lawyer), your bank to make sure checks for your bail, fines, fees, lawyer’s fees and others will not bounce.
  • If you will get pulled over, make sure you were applying your make-up, texting, eating lunch, painting your toe nails, dog-tired and sleepy from your double shift…anything but being under the influence.

 We have to make this happen.  And fast.  If DUIs go down, then revenue from these arrests go down as well.  Amen.

/This is not a rant

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