Are The Punishments for DUI Harsh Enough?
Texas is one of the leading states in the U.S. for alcohol-related traffic accidents. According to the Department of Public Safety, 98,349 arrests were made in Texas alone for drunk driving and a number this large makes you question whether or not the punishment for DUI offenses are hard enough on violators. My own personal opinion is that far too much leniency is given towards alcohol-based offenses. And it doesn’t help that when doing a search on Google, hundreds of DUI lawyers pop up ready and willing to help clear violators of the offense.
Please tell me how in the world this helps to stop the number of drunk drivers in the nation? To me it would appear that these lawyers are just making it easier to go out and continue to commit the offense again. It’s like taking a piece of candy away from a child, and then minutes later feeling badly about it and giving it right back. There are no lessons to be learned when offenders get a slap on their wrists.
Using Texas as a basis, there are three levels of punishment when it comes to DUI. The first offense for someone driving under the influence is a civil punishment of up to $2,000 fine, 72 hours to 180 days in jail, and a driver’s license suspension from 180 days to 2 years. The only difference for the second offense is that it has a fine of up to $4,000 and 30 days to 1 year in jail. The amount for the fine and time in jail rise again for the third offense. My question is: why do we need to have three offenses?
With so many alcohol related accidents occurring in Texas and all over the U.S., it’s obvious that the current system for punishment is not harsh enough. It seems as though even within the current consequences there are a number of unknowns. For example, what variables are used to determine how many hours or days the offender will spend in jail? It seems as though by providing a range, the government is saying that some DUI offenses are worse than others, but what factors are used to make that decision? Maybe it’s the number of deaths caused by the accident. Or maybe it has something to do with the blood alcohol concentration of the driver at the time of the infliction. There are so many questions, with little to no answers.
One thing is certain though. The future of drunk driving rests in your hands. If someone you know has an alcohol substance abuse problem, it’s crucial to seek out help. Just as the famous quote says:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
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