The Scarlet…Vest?

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on November 22nd, 2005

The latest from the front lines of the War on Drunk Driving:

Knoxville (WLV-TV), November 22 - Come January first, Tennessee will have its own "scarlet letter." A big orange vest aimed at discouraging people from driving drunk. They call these Shame Laws — making the punishment so embarrassing, you won't even think about committing the crime….

They already face jail time and fines, but apparently that hasn't been enough to stop some 1,200 people from driving drunk in Knox County last year. So next year, first timers also will have to spend three 8-hour days picking up litter while wearing vests [with "I Am a Drunk Driver" in large letters] telling the rest of us exactly what they've done.

In the time of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Puritan Salem, drunks were publicly displayed in stocks and women suspected of adultery were forced to wear a scarlet "A". The good old days….

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