Penalties such as fines, license suspensions, and even jail time have grown more serious for drunk drivers in recent years. However, some critics believe these penalties are still not harsh enough and it should be more difficult for someone to drive once they have received a DUI conviction.
Editorial says drunk driving penalties in Florida are not sufficient
The author noted that driving is considered a privilege, not a right by all governments within the United States. Recent statistics related to DUI offenders tend to show that most drunk drivers will become repeat offenders. About two thirds of all drivers who killed someone had more than double the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstream at the time of the crash.
The situation involving intoxicated drivers on the road seems to be getting worse. Last year, about one out of every three deadly traffic accidents involved a drunk driver and about ten thousand Americans died because of intoxicated drivers. Over the last ten years, more and more people who die in motor vehicle crashes have had drugs in their body at the time of the accident. MADD has also reported that on any given day, there are still over two million drivers on the roads in the U.S. who have had three or more DUI convictions. These people still have driving privileges.
The reforms that MADD and others have spearheaded are responsible for a 50% decrease in drunk driving deaths since 1980, but drunk driving fatalities have remained about the same for the last ten years or so. The opioid crisis that has hit most major cities throughout the country in recent years may also be creating more impaired drivers. Some states have created restrictions on opiate prescriptions to help curb this problem. All of this information suggests that impaired drivers create a huge public health risk and cause lots of economic loss.
Interlock devices are installed on the cars of some drunk drivers in Florida but not all
One of the reforms mentioned was requiring ignition interlock devices for all drivers convicted of a DUI, even after their first offense. Some states already mandate this condition, but Florida does not. The interlock device requires a breath sample before the car will start. If any alcohol presence is detected, the vehicle cannot be driven. This allows people to still work and make necessary trips as long as they refrain from drinking.
Drunk driving penalties are serious in every single state in the U.S. While some states may be slightly more lenient than others, conditions such as a license suspension, heavy fines, and probation are normally part of a conviction or plea deal for all DUI charges. Defendants with multiple drunk driving convictions will often face jail time or the possibility of a permanent driver’s license revocation. People who are employed in fields that require driving or flying may also face permanent career consequences from a DUI conviction on their record.
Learn more about DUI convictions from a local lawyer