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Should there be harsher penalties for drunken drivers with a higher blood-alcohol content?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 21, 2006

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Photo of Lori Fritzel

“No. I think if it’s over the legal limit you should get the same penalty as everyone else regardless of how high it is.”

Photo of Marcus Wilkinson

“I suppose. If you’re really smashed it’s worse than someone who has had a couple and thinks they’re OK. They would be a lot more likely to get in an accident than someone who’s just a little tipsy.”

Photo of Liz Winke

“No. Everyone should be charged the same, because people have different tolerances whether they have a high blood-alcohol content or not.”

Photo of Zach Straus

“No. Driving drunk is driving drunk. I would actually be in favor of lowering the legal limit. I think driving while impaired is ridiculous.”

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sunflower_sue 11 years, 6 months ago

I fully agree w/ RI's spousal unit. She is never wrong! Well, OK, maybe once...

jonas 11 years, 6 months ago

Usually, being too far over the limit has its own set of punishments and drawbacks already.

I_dew 11 years, 6 months ago

Accordingly, harming someone â¡ harming someone; simple battery would receive the same punishment as 1st degree murder. Interesting:

Ceallach 11 years, 6 months ago

Yes. Our legal system is based on level of crime equals severity of punishment. Why should alcohol abuse be any different? Whether or all we all do or have done it is irrelevant, it's still illegal.

ms_canada 11 years, 6 months ago

TOB has it right. I guess it would depend if driving with a BAC of .16 was habitual with the person or not. Perhaps it was a one time mistake in perception. But how is the cop or the judge to know that. Perhaps it was a first time or even one time event. I say just throw the book at him and suspend his license for a couple of months. That should learn him. So there.

acg 11 years, 6 months ago

I think it should be on a scale, also. I know if I have a few glasses of wine at dinner I would probably blow over the legal limit but be completely fine. Now if I go out and drink a 5th of Jack, and know that I'm drunk and still drive, that's a much worse offense. I also think that .08 is a little too black and white. Some people have a higher tolerance for liquor. What about functional alcoholics? My grandfather was one. I'm sure probably woke up in the morning at .08.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 6 months ago

Based on the low number of posts today, I'm guessing everyone else is having the same issue loading the page. Is that correct?

Ceallach 11 years, 6 months ago

How many people who are cited for alcohol can truthfully say it was the first time they ever drove after drinking? My guess is, very, very few. The fact that we made it home safely was due more to the grace of God than to our ability to drive while impaired by alcohol. Have you ever (while sober) met anyone who thought they were as affected by the alcohol they had consumed, as you absolutly knew they were? That's part of the problem. It's not just our driving that's impaired, it's our ability to determine if we should be driving. Sgt is right, planning ahead is an easy solution.

Although I have never been a heavy drinker. I'll admit that I am extremely grateful I did not hurt or kill someone during the times I drove irresponsibly.

Ceallach 11 years, 6 months ago

Yes, sgt. I thought I just had too many applications open :)

jhawk4evr 11 years, 5 months ago

I believe that a DUI conviction should a "one size fits all" approach.

That is, 1st conviction: vehicle impoundment for 30 days, 2nd conviction: impoundment for 3 months. 3rd conviction: permanent loss of tags/registraion.

Oh my, but what will happen to an enabler if their vehcile is taken away? They'll get over it, but they'll also learn that lending your vehicle out can come back and bite them.

Teapot9 11 years, 6 months ago

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Drving drunk is stupid for people that cannot do it and those people should be arrested. I also firmly believe that drunk driving is blown out of proportion there are some people that can do it and not be idiots but unfortunately theres the morons that ruin it for the rest of us. Granted, there may have been times I should have left my car where it was that night BUT I made it home safely. We all must remember that .08 for the average person 2 beers in an hour. Raise the legal limit and cops should start giving people rides home and not forcing them to pay ludacris fines.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 6 months ago

"cops should start giving people rides home and not forcing them to pay ludacris fines."

Wait, what does a rapper have to do with drunk driving? (Oops, that might be a stupid question now that I think about it.)

acg, wouldn't a scale be too cumbersome to enforce? The police shouldn't be expected to judge to capabilities of specific people at different BAC, and I certainly don't want to leave that up to the people who were drinking. I suspect it's probably best for everyone if it's left at a hard limit.

Honestly, in all this, I have a hard time understanding why it's a problem to plan not to drive if you're going to drink much at all.

promitida 11 years, 6 months ago

TeaPot your name should be more like crackpot. Everything you said was ridiculous. Drunk driving is never safe, and it's idiots like you who think you're more capable than others, that kill people.

Michael Birch 11 years, 6 months ago

Just to let everyone know! I'm will be going before the

state legislature to see if those idiots will enact a law

that I am proposing. No, I don't think we need my law

but I want to see if I can get it passed just so I can

say "Gee, did I do that!"

reginafliangie 11 years, 6 months ago

Teapot: are you really saying we need to tie up the officers times by giving irresponsible people rides? There are taxi's, use them. At the time the bars are closing is the busiest time of the night for officers, they are dealing with weapons (from Last Call), people beating each other up, auto burglarys, etc. It should'nt be their job to get you home. You should plan ahead. I think a high fine and maybe a lesson learned will save somebodies life down the line. Take responsibility for your actions.

Kontum1972 11 years, 6 months ago



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