Topic: drunk driving
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May 23, 2013 at 6:34 AM
Businesses should have Breathalyzers
If you and the Legislature really care about stopping the inebriated, why aren’t the ones who sell alcohol required to have Breathalyzers [“Just say yes to tougher DUI laws,” NWThursday, May 16]?
A person convicted of a DUI can be sentenced to have a Breathalyzer in their car, but why not make it easier for everyone? Is the law meant to protect the innocent or to make money for the state from tickets?
People stop for a drink after work and often do not know when they are over the limit. That is not an excuse, but they would be less likely to drive if they knew.
But a Breathalyzer might hurt businesses. We can’t hurt business.
Barbara Perry, Bellingham
May 19, 2013 at 6:35 AM
Something must be done
Olympia should say yes to implement tougher DUI laws. Lately the number of car crashes due to drunken driving has significantly increased. We are not just going to sit back and look at this situation worsening every day.
Something must be done, and now is the moment. I agree with Jerry Large when he says the new legislation should increase sentences for DUI convictions, make the offense a felony on the fourth conviction rather than the fifth, and require installing ignition-interlock devices before a person arrested for a repeat offense is released from jail. [“Just say yes to tougher DUI laws,” NWThursday, May 16.]
After being released from jail, the convicted person should not have the right to drive, regardless of the circumstances. He/she should have his/her driver’s license revoked for at least 10 years.
If we don’t make drastic changes, innocent people will continue to be killed every day because of buzzed people driving when they shouldn’t be.
By hardening the sentence and making the laws that prevent innocent people from being victims of drunken drivers, the number of drunken driving-related accidents will significantly decrease, especially by the drivers who had been previously convicted of DUI.
Natacha Maheshe, Seattle
May 17, 2013 at 8:35 PM
Implement tougher DUI laws
I am frustrated by the government’s insistence that lowering the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) levels will improve Washington roads and deter potential drunken drivers [“DUI bill clears a Senate hurdle; U.S. panel pushes tougher rule,” NWWednesday, May 15].
Because of the harm it can and often does cause, drunken driving is an unforgivable offense. We need more tangible, immediate penalties. I agree with Republican state Sen. Pam Roach that making drunken driving a felony after four convictions is an underwhelming change. In some countries, individuals who are convicted of a single DUI have their licenses revoked indefinitely.
Lowering the legal BAC will not alter the amount people believe they can drink before driving. Until there is a zero-tolerance policy, one or two drinks will still seem reasonable. Plus, as stated, arrests are currently made whenever there is “evidence of impairment,” even under .08 BAC.
The article twice referenced “repeat DUI offenders,” as their target audience. But are the repeat offenders actually blowing a BAC between .05 and .079? Or are they, as I suspect, far above the current limit? The article failed to address this key issue.
Mackenzie Engel, Seattle
May 14, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Is alcoholism a disease?
Using the “alcoholism is a disease” catch phrase when speaking about drunken driving is insulting and misleading [“Editorial: Proceed with caution on DUI legislation,” Opinion, May 13].
Alcoholism mixed with driving is a strange disease indeed. It kills other people rather than the sufferer.
Stephen Gins, Kenmore
May 2, 2013 at 8:04 AM
Schulte family’s resilience doesn’t go without notice
Thank you for Christine Clarridge’s amazing article [“Despair. Pain. Resolve.,” page one, May 1].This tragedy for the Schulte family has been so overwhelming in so many ways. You have given voice to their amazing resilience and deep strength. We cannot help but respond to Dan Schulte’s words with compassion and love. And what a witness to our sense of community — we share their feelings!
Rev. Marvin Eckfeldt, Kent
April 25, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Do not take away right to buy alcohol
Stripping DUI offenders of the right to buy alcohol will be even less effective than the laws banning kids from buying booze and cigarettes [“Editorial: Tighten DUI laws but don’t rush,” Opinion, April 24]. Carding is ridiculously easy to defeat and putting an interlock device on a car or an alcohol-detecting bracelet on a offender has to be foolproof or they’re useless.
I don’t normally agree with guest columnist John Carlson much but taking the car away from offenders has to be, at some point, part of the fix to stopping repeat-DUI offenders.
Maybe for a first offense, put a nonremovable boot on the car right in the driveway or parking spot for 30 days, or impound the car and then increase the penalty with each offense until taking the car away is the only option.
Don Curtis, Clinton
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