The Insanity of DUI Laws

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on February 18th, 2007

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"…

Elevenfold Increase in Number Imprisoned for DUI

Columbus, Ohio. AP – Yearly incarcerations for drunken driving convictions have increased elevenfold in the past decade, the state prisons department reported.

Judges sentenced 465 drunken drivers to prison last year, up from 38 in 1997, when the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction began tracking DUI offenders. Tougher enforcement and increased penalties in state law contributed to the trend. Also, Ohio dropped the legal blood alcohol limit to 0.08 in 2003, from 0.10, putting more drivers in violation…

The following summary of DUI-related traffic fatalities for the same decade, compiled by the National Highway Traffic Administration, is from MADD's website:

1997 16,711
1998 16,673
1999 16,572
2000 17,380
2001 17,400
2002 17,524
2003 17,105
2004 16,919
2005 16,885
2006 (not yet available)

In the past decade, Ohio (as most states) has increased the number of citizens sent to prison by 1100%. During that same period of time, there has been no reduction in traffic fatalities. (Arguably, the DUI-related fatality figures would have increased, as factors such as seat belts, air bags and improved vehicle construction have lowered fatalities in traffic accidents.)

Is it possibly time to consider an alternative approach?

  • Scott Braden

    I have been in a 12 step program off and on for 13 years. I had never been arrested for a DUI which I should have been many times. In 2001 I was finally arrested, but only for possession. But had I not have been arrested, I may never have come back to a 12 step program. Now with over 6 years of sobriety, we have a proposal into the MADD Organization to do a concert fundraiser in Redondo Beach, CA in July. We believe in what MADD is doing. Look at the increase in population, what would have happened had not all the other dui’s convicted people been on the street. If MADD helps to save 1 life, then it is well worth it.
    I witnessed a drunk driver wreck on the 10 freeway transition to the south bound 405 freeway last year. I ended up following him while on the phone with the CHP, then LAPD, Then Culver City PD, then having to flag down an officer from Culver City to pull the guy over.
    1 month later I get a call from the prosecutor asking if I would be willing to testify, I said of course. 15 minutes later she calls me back and said due to my willingness to testify, he plead guilty.
    So seems like you are saying we should do nothing. We should just let the drunks drive without stiffer penalties. Had I have been arrested long ago, I may have came back to the 12 step program long ago, or at least think twice about driving drunk or with drugs in my system.
    What about underage drinking? Are we supposed to do nothing about that. I would really like you to see our concert here in July.
    You tell me that the 4 very talented young people we have up performing don’t deserve to live without the worry of a drunk driver killing them.
    Driving while intoxicated is no accident, its insane.
    Scott Braden

  • charles

    But I have not been?
    Although,  I have not been is correct.
    learn the English..  AEIOU…

  • charles

    Never start a sentance with But.   T' s- h's and A's – c's  is ok,, 
    But If i had not been. fails … 
    I had never been arrested for dui..?
    I was never arrested for Dui.. Short and concise..