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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 25, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Working to end drunken driving

Punishments and prevention must be intensified

Dan Schulte, right, along with his sister, Marilyn Schulte, address the media in April in Seattle, Wash. Their parents, Dennis and Judith Schulte, were killed last month after a drunk driver collided with them and Dan's wife, Karina, and their newborn baby son, Elias. Karina and Elias are undergoing treatment for their injuries. [John Lok, The Seattle Times.]

Dan Schulte, right, along with his sister, Marilyn Schulte, address the media in April in Seattle, Wash. Their parents, Dennis and Judith Schulte, were killed last month after a drunk driver collided with them and Dan’s wife, Karina, and their newborn baby son, Elias. Karina and Elias are undergoing treatment for their injuries. [John Lok, The Seattle Times.]

The Legislature didn’t pass tighter rule changes because of presumed cost increases. [“Guest column: Legislature must do more to end the mayhem caused by drunken drivers,” Opinion, July 21.]

It should have also looked at changes that would cover or reduce these costs. Tickets issued during emphasis patrols should be at least double. People get warned and speed anyway? The public shouldn’t have to pay for stupidity.

If a driver can’t walk the line to the police car, he is drunk, and should go directly to jail on a week’s stay that he or his friends pay for. The costs of the court are mostly avoided.

There should be no time off for celebrities, judges, police, or college athletes. There is really no excuse for repeat offenders: What part of “don’t drink and drive” isn’t understood?

Penalties should be significantly harsher: jail for first offenses, felony status for a second one, deportation for the third. We need a ”zero tolerance” policy for DUI offenders.

If the offender wants an ignition-interlock device, he can pay for it, not the public. We pay for too many peoples’ ignorance already.

Terry Slaton, Federal Way

Comments | More in Politics, Seattle, Transportation | Topics: drunken driving, dui, laws

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