Washington State Says “No” to DUI Scarlet Letter

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on February 15th, 2008

I posted yesterday about the Washington State legislature recently refusing to cave in to the Governor and others interested in resurrecting DUI roadblocks found to be illegal by the state supreme court.  In today’s news, that same legislature again balked at further insanities in the "War on Drunk Driving". 

Bill Proposes Yellow License Plates for DUI Drivers

Olympia, WA.  Feb. 12 — Sen. Mike Carrell wants everyone on the road to know who’s been caught driving drunk.

He’s sponsoring a bill that would require people convicted of drunken driving to put fluorescent-yellow license plates on their cars for one year — once their driving privileges have been restored…

Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and Oregon have similar requirements for DUI offenders.

A few days later:

DUI Bill Dies, No Doubt From Embarrassment

Olympia, WA.  Feb. 15 — Finally, common sense prevails in dealing with the state’s laws on driving under the influence of liquor and drugs.

A bill steeped in election-year, get-tough-on-crime grandstanding has quietly gone to the burial ground for bad bills in the state Legislature. It failed to make it out of the Senate Transportation Committee before Tuesday’s deadline…

The gaudy plates would theoretically warn the motoring public and law enforcement that someone convicted of DUI is on the road, even though that person already has jumped through the hoops demanded by tough state laws and has had driving privileges restored.

That embarrassment factor seems like piling on when DUI offenders can already face jail time, even if for a day, higher insurance rates, mandatory counseling and suspended or restricted driving privileges.  

Wouldn’t it be nice if all politicians had such common sense and respect for their citizens? 

  • jim

    yes, penaltys for dui are one thing.. piling ontop is another.

    however, in my case, the State refuses to even trial me in hopes of having penaltys set against me…. instead of piling ontop, the state here in nj is piling on me, without due process, the taking away of the last 30 months of my life, 13 court appearances, and no trial.

    this intentional reckless act by the State, causing me much physcological and physical stess, anxiety, and depression, is also wrong.

    what i have suffered over the past 30 months, for a low level first offense dui, with no other circumstances, is wrong, and this type of punishment is not included in the statute.

    when all is said and done, i am going to sue the state of nuj for 10 million dollars.

    wait and see

  • jim

    understand one basic point, the nj supreme court, on jan 10, 2006, ordered all alcotest dui cases to proceed to trial, and sentences for defendants found guilty stayed until state v chun is decided.

    i have a right under this order to have a trial and clear my name a long long time ago.

    i have been forced to make 13 court appearances over 30 months time, each time i felt, because of the nj supreme court order, i was facing a trial.
    and each time i was sent home because the State refuses to initiate a trial in front of the bench.

    i also put in a speedy trial motion , finally, in august of 2007, but i feel strongly the nj supreme court order covered me and all my rights to due process.

    i have now written over 2000 single sdpaced printable pages on my case/dui/ and the alcotest.

    i have been a prisoner of this depression as a direct result of the State’s refusal to obey the nj supreme court order.

    the state will be unable to point the finger at anyone, …100 percent of the burden is on the state to proceed to trial.

    i cant work, i dont go out, i sit in my residence, writing and writing, everyday in blogs , about the situation.

    my mind is entirely consumed by the pending prosecution… and this is a penalty not imposed by statute…. in fact, the nj supreme court saw this as a possibility, and put on top of all my rights, to make it clear, ordered the cases to proceed to trial on jan 10, 2006!!!!!!!

    now, ithis is not only piling ontop
    of a possible conviction, it is piling ontop without due process even, to such an extent, the last 30 months of my life have been taken from me, and i am forced to suffer.

    on my next court appearance, i am going to demand to read a 3-4 page statement onto the record concerning what i have suffered and the state’s contempt of the court order, my rights under the court order, and speedy trial case law, ands the us constitution to due process and speedy trial…. i am going to get it on record, in my own words, reading it myself onto the record.

    my attorney will have to back me up as well.

  • jim

    Mr. Taylor, do you understand what i am talking about?

    In reading a lot of your posts on here, i get the general feeling that you believe in the law and that the law must be followed.

    do you understand, that when i lose my case, which i probably will, i am going to appeal to the nj law division, based on the chun order , and speedy trial case law.

    i am going to force the law division to take a stance, either nj supreme court orders mean somerrhing and carry weight, or they do not.

    i think it should be a no brainer that i win.

    if i wind up somehow winning my case, or getting a dismissal, i am still going to file a complaint with the nj supreme court advisory comittee, and force them to take a stance on wheather or not the court order needed to be followed, or if it could have been disregarded as it has by the State.

    it is a no brainer i win this as well i think.

    then i am going to file my law suit against the State of NJ and the prosecutor, and seek not only damages based on lost wages and suffering, but also punitive damages.

    i needed to move to florida 2 years ago, for my life and carreer, insterad i am forced to stay in nj, being called into court every 8-10 weeks over 30 months time, so far, making the move and getting on with my life impossible, economically unfeasable.

    but its not just that…. it is the depression, stress and anxiety i have suffered all this time, in disgrace of the dui arrest, and in spite of the nj supreme court order, ordering my case to proceeed to trial, a chance to clear my name and move on with my life, due process, the state has choosen to remain in contempt of the nj supreme court order.

    do you understand in terms of the overall feeling you try to present in your posts mr. taylor?

  • jim

    neither me nor either of my defense attorneys has or had any burden to proceed to trial.

    100 percent of the burden is on the State.

    However, the Court, the judge, in my case, on the municipal level, does have the resposibility to shepherd the case,…. and the court has totally dropped the ball here, ordering me into court 13 times, and not following up when i appear on anything at all, in the slightest aspect even.

    i am going to read a 3-4 page letter i am going to write, to the court, on the record, … i have nothing to lose and everything to gain, including getting my life back eventualy.

    i can not go on like this, i feel like i am being treated as a person with no rights at all.

    so when you talk about this scarlet letter for convicted dui offenders, i sit back and whince.

    at least they had due process, i cant get it here in nj.

    in fact, due process, in all actuality to defendants rights, are almost completely gone in nj.

    the prosecutor in my case, on 2 ocassions, even told the gallery of defendants, that anyone approaching the bench to argue to the judge would be shot!

    i kid you not .

    the court is old bridge township municipal court,nj, the prosecutor is lane miller, the judge is judge webber.

  • standup

    One thing I like about the “Scarlet letter DUI plates” is that its easy to identify someone who knows EXACTLY how out of control those goose-stepping fanatics from MADD have gotten. I would tell them about this site and RIDL.us
    When and if those plates come to Florida, I’ll be armed with stacks of RIDL brochures,and Thank-you cards for MADD for helping us increase our ranks.
    If I hadn’t seen the plate, I would not have known to make contact with the person.