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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 13, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Gov. Inslee and lawmakers work to make DUI laws more severe

Alert drivers when DUI offender is nearby

Solution to stop drunken drivers before they leave someone dead [“Governor, lawmakers working on changes to state DUI laws,” NWWednesday, April 10]:

• Change the “privilege” of driving to allow persons convicted of DUI to be stopped at any time and given a sobriety test.

• Require those persons to carry wireless-identification devices at all times when driving or riding in motor vehicles.

• Make the wireless reader available as a plug-in to smartphones so everyone knows when a person who has been convicted of a DUI is nearby.

• Don’t water down the enforcement details to make steps one through three impotent.

David Smead, Seattle

Make first offense felony; it’s worth the money

So “getting aggressive” about DUI means giving people three opportunities to kill others via drunken driving instead of five (five DUIs is the current felony level)? [“Governor, lawmakers working on changes to state DUI laws,” NWWednesday, April 10]. How about making the first offense a felony? How about zero tolerance?

My dad was on his way to work when he was hit head-on by a drunken driver while stopped at an intersection. He was injured, but survived.

In the 20 years since, he has seen three of his children get married, welcomed five grandchildren and enjoyed family birthdays, reunions, school band concerts, Veteran’s Day assemblies and countless other ordinary and extraordinary moments with loved ones. We were lucky.

Making the first DUI a felony would put teeth into state DUI laws. We’d have to build more prisons to hold offenders, but maybe, just maybe, when people see that the state means business, they’ll choose not to risk driving under the influence.

So, Gov. Inslee and friends — tax me, please. I’m more than happy to pay the price to get these selfish fools off the roads, because the cost of wrist-slapping DUI laws is already too high, and no amount of money can bring back a life taken by a drunken driver.

Beth Shepard, Kent

Comments | More in alcohol, DUI

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