Not enough to simply increase penalties
Recently, there has been talk of what to do in Washington to diminish the number of DUIs [“Anti-DUI work group: Yes to random checkpoints, no to alcohol bans ,” Online, Dec. 4].
A recent Times article written by Brian M. Rosenthal included a report that said the way Washington should reduce DUIs is through “increasing penalties and establishing random sobriety checkpoints.” Although this may deter some, I believe this is not the most effective option. Fear of punishment may help to stop people before they consume alcohol. But once the alcohol affects the brain, the intoxicated person can easily forget or at least not care about the punishments of a DUI or the sobriety checkpoints.
I would like Washington to consider passing legislation requiring an ignition interlock device in the cars of first-time DUI offenders. This would force those at-risk drivers to breathe into a breath analyzer in order to start their cars. The No. 1 company, Smart Start, has prevented over seven million cars from starting, as written on their website.
The Legislature should consider this option as a way of saving lives.
— Andrew Ramsay, Seattle