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DUI recidivism rampant

By johnboy - 16 February 2011 25

More than one-third of the 18 motorists caught drink driving last week were recidivist offenders, with one driver, a 34-year-old male caught by police drink driving for the tenth time, with a positive reading of 0.072.

Out of the 18 people apprehended, half were on 0.00 licenses.

The highest result recorded was by a 26-year-old man, who returned a positive result of 0.167. He has two previous convictions, and is subject to a zero blood alcohol limit.

Although the total number of positive tests appears to be decreasing, Superintendent Mark Colbran of Traffic Operations is disappointed that almost 40% of the drink drivers caught last week were re-offenders.

“It is frustrating for all police officers that people are prepared to continue this dangerous behaviour even after being charged for the same offence in the past,” Superintendent Colbran said.

“These drink drivers show such disregard for the law, and it is appalling that they are willing to not only risk their own lives, but the lives of their passengers and other road users.”

“The message is simple, if you don’t drink and drive, the risk of being involved in a serious or fatal collision is dramatically reduced. But if you do break the road rules, ACT Policing will catch you.”

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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LSWCHP 6:32 pm 18 Feb 11

triffid said :

My contention remains that until we as a society demand that legislators take a new approach to driver training and licencing and get serious about it (as distinct from seeing it as an income stream) then we are consigned to forever be revisiting this sort of issue (or speeding or whatever) for the forseable future.

Triffid, you are spot on. It should be *much* harder to get a licence to drive, and a helluva lot easier to lose one. That dickhead kid with a 3 week old licence doing 155 (nearly the imperial ton, for old folks) in an 80 zone should lose his licence and his car.

Tooks 1:58 pm 17 Feb 11

Erg0 said :

Utah also has the highest percentage of Mormons, who aren’t allowed to drink.

True, supposedly 60% of their 2.8 million citizens are Mormons. I was more interested in their punishments for recidivist drink drivers.

Iowa has 27% of their fatalities as alcohol related:

1st Drunk Driving Conviction

* Jail – 48 Hours Minimum up to 1 Year
* Fine – From $625-$1,250
* License Suspension – 180 Days

Court May Also Order:

* Substance Abuse Evaluation
* Substance Abuse Treatment
* Substance Abuse Reality Program
* Attend Drinking Drivers Course
* Community Service

2nd Drunk Driving Conviction

* Jail – 7 Days Minimum up to 2 Years
* Fine – From $1,875-$6,250
* License Suspension – 2 Years

Court May Also Order:

* Vehicle Impoundment or Immobilization
* Substance Abuse Evaluation
* Substance Abuse Treatment
* Substance Abuse Reality Program
* Attend Drinking Drivers Course
* Community Service

3rd (and future) Drunk Driving Convictions

* Class “D” Felony
* Jail – 30 Days Minimum up to 5 Years
* Fine – From $3,125-$9,375
* License Suspension – 6 Years

I’m not saying this is the kind of punishment we need here, but maybe some of the options are worth considering.

triffid 1:25 pm 17 Feb 11

There’s an element in this, though, that spans further than the recidivist DUI offenders. That element is ‘attitude’ and it is something missing due to the broader misgivings of the parlous driver education that one endures in order to be permitted to operate a vehicle in this country (let alone jurisdiction).

If driving were taken as seriously and responsibly as it ought to be, then no one in their right mind would contemplate operating a vehicle while under the influence of anything (much less do so repeatedly to the extent that they become ‘regulars’ to the penalty regime). I can recall reseach long lost in my files suggesting the normal operation of a vehicle to be roughly comparable, in terms of skill execution, to about 75 per cent of that required to land a 747 at Hong Kong airport (the old one with the nasty approach).

Yet, most of us blithly hop into our ton and a half of origamied sheet metal and cavort around like it’s no more complex a feat than tying a shoe lace (I argue most folk ought to be restricted to velcro shoe closures, but that’s another story).

My contention remains that until we as a society demand that legislators take a new approach to driver training and licencing and get serious about it (as distinct from seeing it as an income stream) then we are consigned to forever be revisiting this sort of issue (or speeding or whatever) for the forseable future.

Erg0 11:06 am 17 Feb 11

Utah also has the highest percentage of Mormons, who aren’t allowed to drink.

Tooks 10:38 am 17 Feb 11

The USA must be doing something right, as alcohol-related fatalities have decreased significantly since 1982.

1982: 26,173 fatalities – which was 60% of total fatalities
1992: 18,290 fatalities – 47% of total
2002: 17,524 fatalities – 41% of total
2008: 13,846 fatalities – 37% of total

Obviously vehicle safety has improved significantly in that period of time, but some of their policies must be working too.

Utah has the lowest percentage of alcohol related fatalities (20%). There punishments are:

1st Drunk Driving Conviction
* Jail – 48 Hours Minimum, or
* Work Service Program – 48 Hours Minimum, or
* Home Confinement
* Fine – $700 Minimum
* License Suspension – 120 Days

Other Possibilities
* Home Confinement Through The Use of Electronic Monitoring
* Participate in Alcohol / Drug Screening
* Participate in Alcohol / Drug Assessment
* Participate in Substance Abuse Education
* Participate in Substance Abuse Treatment

2nd Drunk Driving Conviction
* Jail – 240 Hours Minimum, or
* Work Service Program – 240 Hours Minimum or
* Home Confinement
* Fine – $800 Minimum
* License Suspension – 2 Years
* Ignition Interlock Device – 3 Years (If Within 10 Years of Previous)

Other Possibilities
* Home Confinement Through The Use of Electronic Monitoring
* Supervised Probation
* Participate in Alcohol / Drug Screening
* Participate in Alcohol / Drug Assessment
* Participate in Substance Abuse Education
* Participate in Substance Abuse Treatment

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