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Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014

Warning signal or violating rights?

Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009, at 3:17 PM

How would you feel about anyone who has been convicted at least three times for DUI being required to have yellow reflective tape on the front and rear bumpers of their vehicle with the wording DUI Offender?

Or perhaps those drivers with even worse records being required to have red reflective tape with the wording Danderous Driver?

Would this be violating the rights of those required to display such tapes more than violating the rights of safe drivers who are their victims?

Showing comments in chronological order
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I'd be all for it!!!

As for the argument of violating someone's rights, I don't see it. If you can't do the time....

BTW-Danderous drivers??? Sounds like a shampoo commercial! LOL j/k

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 4:13 PM

Sounds fine by me, but what if other members of the household have to share the vehicle? Maybe we could just use California's 3 strikes rule...3 DUI/DWI convictions and your license is PERMANENTLY suspended? Like Mike says, "If you can't do the time...."

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 5:29 PM

I agree with shawna.jones. Three strikes and no more ride.

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 6:03 PM


Tattoing the driver wouldn't work,would it?

We may have to put up with these problem drivers until we have automated vehicles or more public transportation.

The ability to drive oneself has become a necessity (and,therefore,a right) for many people.

As I have stated elsewhere,walkable communities,public transport and alternatives to the traditional automobile such as bikes and neighborhood electric vehicles would eliminate a lot of the troubles dangerous drivers cause.

If they couldn't claim that they were dependent on their car to get around or had vehicles that wouldn't go fast or carry a large number of people,maybe,they could commute to work or school,buy groceries,etc. without simulating a NASCAR rally or bumper car ride.

Does ANY vehicle other than a police car,fire truck,ambulance or military vehicle need to have the speed built in to the average car?

If we need horsepower on the road,may I suggest we convert to mules and buggies?

There'd be less dependence on fossil fuels plus a mule will balk if asked to do something stupid and he can get his passengers home unaided.

We already allow jackasses on the highway.

If we added jennets and subtracted self-destructive humans,our streets might be a bit safer.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 6:14 PM

If they have 3 dui's they shouldn't be driving anyway.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:06 PM

Jason Lee Mears, 33, DUI (fourth offense), Charles Michael Reed, 40, DUI (fourth offense),

From todays paper.

Is it just me, or are others fed up with a system that allows these people to continually put our families at risk. When are our laws going to require that these people do hard time in a state facility after their second offense. Upon a third offense the car being driven should be confiscated by the state and auctioned off and the proceeds go to a victims fund for people that have lost loved ones or have been injured by a drunk driver. I don't care who's car they were driving unless it was stolen. This sickens me, having lost friends to drunk drivers. IT'S TIME TO STOP THIS NOW.

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:42 PM

quantumcat, how funny you are to make light of a situation that takes the lives of scores of innocent people each year. The ability to drive is in no way a right. If you are a habitual offender, you give up the PRIVALIDGE to drive. It is not a right to endanger others nor is it a right to own a car. You have to have the means to acquire and sustain the drivability of a vehicle. If they are arrested more than once then they should be required to use public transportation and if that is not available to them then they may hire a cab. If this is the consequence to driving after drinking then they may think twice before they pop another top.

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:53 PM

quantumcat, after rereading you piece I get you point. sorry for the above accusation

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:55 PM

your piece and your point, I got in a hurry.

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 8:56 PM

Sorry but this shouldn't happen. There are a ton of situations where a 2nd, or 3rd DUI is not really a Drinking while driving offense.

For example, If someone is driving under a suspended license after been convicted as a DUI offender then that is considered a 2nd DUI. There are quite a few states that do that.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 9:25 PM

Drunks usually don't keep a car for very long so other options should be open as well.

Everyone makes mistakes, but to get to a third conviction a person has to be a hard core alcoholic.

I know it will never happen here, but, I would be in favor of Caning, or other forms of rather severe punishment.

Many other countries use this type of punishment and have much lower crime rates as a result.

I won't post a link, but if you enter "Malaysia Caning Judicial Corporal Punishment" into a Yahoo search, you can watch a convicted drug dealer receive a caning.(NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH)

I'd bet there aren't many repeat offenders.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 9:44 PM

To think, they used to HANG people just for rustling cattle or stealing someone's horse. Let someone wipe out a whole mini-van full of kids because he/she couldn't be bothered to call a "cab," and maybe they'll get a five year sentence. And what's to stop them from doing it again once they've served their time?



This man caused a head-on collision that resulted in someone's death while he was under the influence of drugs [DUI]; he was sentenced to two years in prison [for "essentially" killing someone]; and then charged with drunk driving [DUI] less than a year after his release from prison and sentenced again to two years in prison (thankfully he hadn't killed someone with this latest DUI, but what about the next time...).

Meanwhile, someone's family has been ripped apart forever...death has no parole or release date. Lives are destroyed in a split second, and it will continue until we hold people accountable for their actions. "If you booze you lose" should apply permanently for repeat offenders. Driving is NOT a right, it is a privilege. You abuse that privilege, then you forfeit any claims to it.

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 10:05 PM

"For example, If someone is driving under a suspended license after been convicted as a DUI offender then that is considered a 2nd DUI. There are quite a few states that do that."

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 9:25 PM


Obviously if they are driving on a suspended license they have no regard for the law, and no adherence of their earned punishment. It may seem harsh and unfair to strip someone of their driving privileges after three or four DUI convictions, but how fair is it to their victims to allow them to continue to drive?

Think about it...

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 10:14 PM

A mistake is when you forget to carry the two, or you forget to put detergent in the wash. Getting behind the wheel of a one ton battering ram after drinking, when everyone in this country knows that it is against the law is inexcusable. I have made mistakes in my life. However I have never gotten behind the wheel of a car after drinking, and yes I have a drink from time to time. If you drive on a suspended license, that stems from a DUI and it counts as a DUI then tuff %h*^!

-- Posted by docudrama on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 11:40 PM

What ever happened to pulling the tags of the DUI offenders car? Shouldn't someone have a drivers license before they are allowed to purchase tags.

Wouldnt that keep a lot of this problem down? If someone else allows a person with a suspended license to drive their car they should be charged with the same crime as the person caught. If it is DUI then the owner of the car gets the same charge...if it is speeding the owner of the car gets the same.

There has to be someway to keep these people off the roads.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 11:55 PM

As far as I am concerned, a first offense should be the last offense, if you are caught drinking and driving, no car, no nothing. I don't feel any pity for them, they can walk or ride a bike. People have to start taking responsibility for the choices they make.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 12:37 AM

"If someone else allows a person with a suspended license to drive their car they should be charged with the same crime as the person caught. If it is DUI then the owner of the car gets the same charge...if it is speeding the owner of the car gets the same."

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 11:55 PM

Sounds good in theory, but not very feasible. For instance, if my husband/son/daughter/brother/mom/dad/roommate/etc.has a suspended license for a DUI and drove my car because I carelessly left me keys hanging on the key rack, how fair would it be to charge me? Or even if I gave my husband the keys because he threatened me if I didn't, should I be charged? Or if I loan my son the car to pick up milk at the store and he speeds...you see my point.

I say we strip their driving privileges [repeat offenders], and if they drive anyway, then mandatory 2-5 years jail time everytime they are convicted and/or $10,000-$25,000 fine. That will at least make them think twice.

I know it seems harsh but I'm not talking about a one-time mistake, I'm talking about the "idiot" that can't figure out after three DUI arrests that he's doing something wrong, something that could kill him/herself and others.

Of course, as long as we have bar owners who refuse to monitor their customer's drinking and driving habits, and slovenly watch as their customers get into their cars and drive away "three sheets in the wind," then what can you do? Start holding bar owners, and maybe even bartenders accountable too.

And of course there's the law enforcement agency. What do cops think all those cars parked in front of the bar are there for, decoration? I know they can't babysit bars, but maybe random sweeps at various hours/days patroling in watch for "suspicious" driving. Yes it means extra man hours and more pay going out, but think of the money coming back in from the arrests/fines/court costs...it's a wash.

Of course if you're really worried about the costs for extra patrol, we could just do like Clint Eastwood and "Hang 'Em High." What's it cost for rope these days, $4? (I'm just kidding, honest).

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 3:42 AM

Carelessly leaving your keys somewhere around someone who you KNOW has a suspended license? Yes you are just as responible as the person who took your car. As far as giving your son the keys to your car to pick up milk: should you be charged if he is picked up speeding, no you shouldn't be charged, unless of course he too has a suspended license: then if you handed him the keys then by all means YES it is as much your fault as it is his.

The key word there is "suspended" license or even "revoked" license.

As far as your husband threatening you, if you do in fact feel safer giving him the keys to your car then at least make everyone else on the road feel just as safe. Pick up the phone and tell the police what happened, that he is on the road in your car. I believe the phrase for that would be "stolen Car."

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 9:33 AM


So in other words, I would be responsible for the actions of someone else if I left my car keys hanging on a key rack in my home and a family member WITH A BRAIN AND MIND OF HIS OWN took the car and chose to drive on a suspended license, or drove with a license but decided to speed? Seriously?

It would be one thing if I knowingly allowed or even perpetuated the action by handing the "unlicensed" driver the keys, but your making an all-inclusive statement. And as for the teenage son picking up milk from the grocery store scenerio, I'm talking about a licensed legal driver who decides to speed. You're saying in your initial comment that we punish the parent for it too. What ever happened to accountability of one's OWN actions?

That's like saying I'm responsible for my child shop lifting because I decide to bring him/her with me to the grocery store, or for my brother--who I know has a bad temper and yet I gave him a softball bat last Christmas--when he bashes someone's head in with it. There are way too many variables to your proposal...again, it's not feasible.

Please note: all of the situtations I've presented above are fictional and do not apply to any actions of members of my own family (no, my brother didn't bash in someone's head, or my husband threaten me, etc.), but these scenerios do present in reality.

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:23 AM

public flogging would take care of alot of this problem. :) they are already sloshed.. how bad can it hurt? Just Kidding... Really these folks need some kind of warning for others..

but they don't need to be out on the road at all.

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:28 AM

"As far as your husband threatening you, if you do in fact feel safer giving him the keys to your car then at least make everyone else on the road feel just as safe. Pick up the phone and tell the police what happened, that he is on the road in your car. I believe the phrase for that would be "stolen Car."

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 9:33 AM"


You can by THANKFUL you never suffered a situtation of domestic violence, because to make a statement like yours, then you've obviously never felt that fear. There is a reason woman who are beaten and battered by their spouses do not press charges for the abuse. It is one of the most terrifying, paralyzing, and submissive situations one can ever live through.

Try going to sleep at night knowing that you could die tomorrow at the hands of someone who claims to love you, then tell me it's realistic to think that a "threatened" woman would report that her husband stole her car. I'm not condoning the action, but your statement steps into a lot of gray area. Trust me, that [abused] woman is probably praying her husband gets arrested, or as is often the case--dies in a car crash--because she wants a reprieve from the suffering. But should we punish her for being too scared to make that call?

FYI, my former spouse of 12 years broke my nose twice, dislocated my jaw, gave me no less than four concessions, fired a pistol at my head, and more...I feared the man and there was no way I would have reported him stealing our car, knowing that he would "bail" out of jail and come find me. I am a two-time college graduate with enough intelligence to know right from wrong, but you have no idea what it's like to be under someone's thumb like that.

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:46 AM

Here again we were talking about people with suspended license not a valid license driver..never anywhere in any of my statements did I say you were responsible for everyone's actions. So I will repeat one more time: If you are so careless to leave your keys somewhere that YOU KNOW there is someone who has a SUSENDED license then YES you are just as responsible as the person who has your car. If they stole your keys from you then that is theft and should be reported as such so the police can pick them up before they kill someone in YOUR car.

Please also be aware the law already states if someone is driving your car and they have an accident You or Your insurance are responsible for any and all damages..so why not take it one step further and be responsible before the accident happens.

Reality is the only way to keep people from driving on suspended or revoked licenses is for the people around them to stop enabling them.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:46 AM

Why not just do like in the old West and hang 'em all...rope only costs about $4 these days, right?

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 12:26 PM

And yes, people need to stop enabling others...in a lot more situations than just these...but the "Liberal" in me can't help but think that the "less-guilty" will suffer more than the guilty in your proposed solution. Our system is just flawed that way.

(No I'm not a Liberal, but I'm not a Concervative either...I'm a Realist)

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 12:32 PM

Why not make them wear a sign in front of Wal-Mart that states they were arrested for DUI as part of the punishment? A good embarrassment always does some good.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 2:31 PM

You can by THANKFUL you never suffered a situtation of domestic violence, because to make a statement like yours, then you've obviously never felt that fear. There is a reason woman who are beaten and battered by their spouses do not press charges for the abuse. It is one of the most terrifying, paralyzing, and submissive situations one can ever live through.

Posted by shawna.jones on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 11:46 AM

That really just goes to show you that you have no idea anything about me or what I have been through.

One can either choose to live in that situation or pick them self up and get out of it; the excuse of you are to afraid is just that, an excuse.

How would I know such a thing? I have been there I lived with an abusive drunk for a few years before I finally realized he would never change. I will not go into what I went through at the hands of this man because quite frankly I have put it behind me. Was I afraid of him? of course I was! I was 18 years old and he was 10 years older than I was but I was most certainly more afraid of staying than I was of leaving. The abuse or the harassment didn't stop for years after I divorced him but finally he got tired of paying to be bailed out of jail.

As far as the innocent being punished just like the guilty if you allow someone to drive your car without a license or while drinking, then there is nothing innocent about you. Proof of that comes when the driver has an accident and you are sued for damages or even charged with the death of someone who was truly innocent..

I am very sorry you went through what you did in fact I am very sorry any woman or man has to go through an abusive relationship.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 2:36 PM

If a person uses their concealed weapon while intoxicated how many do overs do they get???

No, its not research...its rhetorical.

-- Posted by big daddy rabbit on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 8:47 PM

Too bad I wasn't as strong as you, and you're right, I should not have presumed. You should meet some of the "broken" woman I've counseled with at "Woman's Refuge." Maybe we should all be more like Jesus and forgive one another instead of stoning one another the first chance we get.

I've had two surgeries to repair physical damage that I suffered at that man's hands. My last CT scan also showed a fracture in the front of my skull that never healed correctly, but the mental damage will always remain no matter what I do. You know why I didn't leave...because he threatened to break in my home if I left him and shoot me full of herion so he could take our kids by claiming I was a drug addict. How twisted is that? He used my kids against me because he knew it was my weak point. That is just the tip of the iceberg. He heard voices in the toilet, he killed animals--the guy was whacked...you're damn straight I was scared--and I was young. I have a 158 IQ and came from a good, middle-class family...I have no explaination as to why I married the loser in the first place, except that I was 16 at the time and rebelling from my "validictorian" lifestyle.

Obviously I become very Liberal minded when it comes to protecting the "weak," and women/men in these positions are weak. If we are going to start punishing everyone for being weak, someone better build another 1 Billion jail cells to house them all...the prisons are already over-crowded as it is. I agree with everyone else, public humiliation and thrashing/floggings saves money and is proven effective in third-world countries. Heck, we already have a dictatorship forming in Washington, so maybe that's coming.

And to get back on topic, my husband and I shared a car in both our names, and he never asked for the keys, he took them anytime he felt like it...I never gave my keys to anyone. I guess I should turn myself in though for not calling to report that he was most likely driving at any given time under the influence of "crank." But what good would that do? The cops once pulled him over with [hypodermic] needles containing traces of dope, an open container, [marijuana] roaches in his ash tray, and a loaded shot gun in his car--and he O.R'd in court the next morning...and drove again that afternoon. He never served jail time beyond a few days for any of his crimes...and it's a long list. So who's really at fault in all this...our judicial system.

BTW, I'm a lot stronger now than I was then. I understand where you're coming from dianatn, and I hope you can see my side too. I think some of it was miscommunicated in what each of us was reading/trying to say. I think all DUI offenders should be punished harshly...too bad our judges don't agree.

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 12:05 AM


It is getting late and I should have been in bed hours ago but quickly I am going to say I do see where you are coming from but when your children are old enough to get into a car and drive you will understand where I am coming from.

It is a continuous worry about your child being on the road not because you are afraid of what he/she is doing but what the drunks with no drivers license are doing. I have laid awake many nights waiting to hear the key in the door just to know they were home safely.

I too have been around and helped many woman who were in abusive relationships many of whom choose to be in these relationships. I have physically got them away from the abuse only for them to return to the man who was beating her.. Shawna that's not weak. Do you realize how many women right here in Shelbyville get up and work everyday while they have a man laying at home drinking her check away? Why does she stay? It isn't about money nor is it about fear, it is about self worth. These women feel like they can not do any better. I have never meet one woman who stayed with her abuser out of fear from him it is always they don't want to be alone. Nine out of Ten women who leave their abusive partner will return to him within 6 months or less. If they were truly afraid they would never consider such a thing when they were given the opportunity to live a safe and productive life. So yes I still say they are guilty.. guilty of enabling these men to be drunks and drive on our roads with our children. As long as we as a society consider these women victims that is exactly all they will ever be because that is the way they begin to see themselves.

I do also agree our laws are sickening when it comes to drunk drivers and drivers with no license and people who are on the road pilled up. They get a slap on the hand and that little card that says DL taken away.. Whoopee.

Nothing is done until some one is killed and that is the sad shame of the laws in the United States.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 3:04 AM

If a person under the influence is very impaired,he or she may not know that getting behind the wheel and driving is a bad idea.

We have jokes about folks sitting in the back seat and reporting that someone stole their steering wheel.

But,intoxication can make someone that incapable of rational thought yet still allow them to operate a vehicle.

Take away that person's car and they might very well drive off with someone else's wheels.

When they sober up,they may have no memory of what they did.

The more realistic and responsible addict removes himself from any possibility of getting his hands on a working vehicle.

He isolates himself,sees that the cars are disabled,etc. even as he swears to himself that he will not touch that first drink,pill,etc.

We may get vehicles that refuse to operate for people who are incapable of thinking clearly.

The drunk,doped,senescent,fatigued,frantic or otherwise mentally damaged wouldn't be able to start the car and,if the person were already driving,the car would get off the road,lock the doors and summon assistance.

Murphy's law might assure that some nice,normal people would run afoul of a glitch that leaves them grounded.

But,what's worse?

Having a KITT wannabee prevent a healthy,sane driver from getting where he needs to be-or having a driver unable or unwilling to control his actions properly damage property and lives because he was out loose on the highway in his death machine?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 5:14 AM

quantumcat brings up a very good point. We talk about drunk drivers/dope heads, but what about the "over-tired" drivers who are falling asleep at the wheel? Just like driving drunk or drugged, drowsy driving causes you to make mistakes behind the wheel--mistakes that can injure or kill the driver, passengers, or total strangers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsiness or fatigue is the principal cause of up to 100,000 police-reported passenger vehicle crashes every year, killing at least 1,500 people and injuring 71,000. Many more fatigue-related crashes go unreported. And less than 1 percent of all sleep-related crashes involve truck drivers, who are prohibited, by federal regulation, from driving more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period.

So what about the people who continue to drive "just a little longer?" I'm sure all of us would have to admit to being guilty of driving drowsy at some point in our lives.

And here's the worst culprit of all--texting while driving. According to the New York Times, Car & Driver magazine recently conducted a road test comparing reaction times while driving drunk to reaction times while texting and driving. And guess what...TEXTING WHILE DRIVING WAS FOUND TO BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN DRIVING DRUNK.



dianatn I have teenage drivers--my children are age 22 (pregnant with my first grandchild), age 19 (factory worker), age 18 (MTSU student), age 14 (student at Central), and ages 9 and 3 (both homeschooled). But in all honesty I fear more for their safety because of the fact that teenagers/young drivers are prone to drive less careful/more reckless, text or talk on cell phones while driving, or even driving while intoxicated (lets not kid ourselves, many teenagers do it).

I made all of my children wait to get their driver's license--for their safety as well as the safety of others. My oldest child was 19 when she got her license. My [currently] 19 year old son still does not have his license (I scared him too bad about the dangers of driving...he's never even taken the driver's test), and in my youngest son's case (now 18), I made an exception and allowed him to take the driver's test five months before his 18th birthday so he could drive me around and get some practice in before starting at MTSU.

Teenage drivers account for thousands of "road injuries and deaths" every year. I may not have had control over my ex-husband to keep him off the road (BTW, just for your info he never caused any accident or injured anyone), but I've done my part to keep others safe by keeping my teenagers out from behind a wheel until they were old enough and experienced enough to drive safely. Those who allow their 15 or 16 year old children to drive a car/truck without adult supervision in the car are putting the rest of us at risk also. I don't care how "responsible" you think your child is...they are just that, a child...and lack the experience needed to operate a machine capable of killing.

oh, and quantumcat...I think the KITT car theory is awesome. They have actually developed a car that senses when a driver is falling asleep at the wheel and it wakes them with an alarm...pretty cool stuff (althought the alarm would probably startle me out of sleep so bad that I wrecked from the jump, lol).

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 2:00 PM

So far in 2009 there have been 9528 Deaths caused by drunk drivers in the United States. This number is only the deaths not accidents caused by drunk drivers. In 2007 alcohol related fatalities were 15,387 which is 37% of all fatalities.

How many deaths have texting while driving caused this year?

If given the choice between riding in the car with a drunk/impaired driver and a 16-17 year old sober driver, I think I will take my chances with the teenager. But Hey that's just my choice.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 2:52 PM

Texting while driving (which is driving without watching the road unless you text with braille) and drunk driving are BOTH dangerous and both illegal. I don't want either one on the road with me, but they're both out there regardless. We need to adopt and enforce harsher punishments.

And if you really wanted to open a big can of worms, you could inclusively add the other dangers on the road...like putting on make-up while driving, driving while breastfeeding (yes, some women do it), driving while reading mail (that one happens too), driving while arguing with screaming kids or a spouse, driving while reading a map or entering GPS coordinates...

The point is anything that impairs your thinking or removes your eyes from the road is dangerous...and that extends well beyond just drinking and driving.

(BTW, I have NEVER driven after drinking. Of course, I only drink 3-4 times a year...New Years, my birthday, my husband's birthday, and my anniversary). But even if I was an avid drinker I would never drive after drinking, even just one glass. Too much can go wrong.

Admittedly, in my 20 years of driving I have had two speeding tickets, and received a parking ticket at the court house (for parking while attending traffic school, lol). But I think if each of us were honest, I wouldn't be the only one guilty of speeding a time or two. It's inexcusable, but happens nonetheless sometimes when we aren't even aware of it.

-- Posted by shawna.jones on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 6:43 PM

"How many deaths have texting while driving caused this year?"

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 2:52 PM

Harvard researchers estimate about one in every 20 U.S. traffic accidents involve a driver talking on a cell phone...that does not even include the number of accidents attributed to texting on cell phones (studies are currently ongoing for texting).

Here is a direct quote from an article on the Injury Board:

"Various studies have shown that driving while using a cell phone can be as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. Estimates of the number of U.S. traffic deaths caused by cell phone talking while driving are generally in the 2,000 - 3,000 range with one hundred times as many injuries. Yes that is SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND accidents caused by cell phones. NOW, add in text messaging!"

My point, texting and talking while driving can be equally as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. And several recent studies and experiments have proven impairement to be much worse, and reaction times muc slower in drivers who are texting than those who had "one too many." So imagine how great the death toll really is...




-- Posted by shawna.jones on Fri, Sep 25, 2009, at 6:55 PM

First Offense: 30 days in jail, $$2,500.00 fine, loss of license for two years, confiscate automobile. Add one year of jail time and $2,500.00 fine for each subsequent offense, plus one additional year of license revocation. Fifteen years to life if convicted of causing a fatal accident. Income garnished at 50% to pay any and all restitution. My point is that we should make the punishment for DUI so freaking horrible that only a total idiot would risk getting one.

There is absolutely NO justifiable reason for people like Shelby Tyson or David Meritt to EVER have their hands on a steering wheel again. Both should already be rotting in a cell somewhere.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sat, Sep 26, 2009, at 7:13 PM

In many cases DUI offenders were driving on a revoked licence. Revoking their licence is a must, however, most drunks don't pay attention or care if they have a licence. Maybe putting a sticker on the car is a good idea. If I were a DUI offender and shared a car, and had a sticker on my car, I would catch more grief from my wife and children than I would the police. Maybe placing a picture of the offender on the sticker would help. I fully agree that more than one DUI needs tougher sentencing. I am in favor of whatever gets their attention and corrects the problem. What we have now is not working.

-- Posted by chs61 on Sat, Sep 26, 2009, at 8:34 PM

"Maybe placing a picture of the offender on the sticker would help."

-- Posted by chs61 on Sat, Sep 26, 2009, at 8:34 PM


-- Posted by shawna.jones on Sun, Sep 27, 2009, at 12:10 PM

Again,NEV'S,walkable communities and public transportation would eliminate a lot of the need for traditional cars.

If we can get to work,shop,etc. on foot,by bike or in a vehicle that won't go over 35-45 mph,that might cut down some of the danger.

Even now,we can get to school and places of worship by bus and the Senior Van can take people to medical appointments.

Carpools and shuttles could arrange to stop at specific areas to take people to the major employers (hospital,plants,etc.).

Cities can add subways and skyways to the mix but we could look into having streetcars on our resurrected railroad tracks.

If we could remove the folks who don't need to be on the road,give the rest of us alternatives to the car dependent society,offer our elders,handicapped and children greater access to the community,and spend less money to support four-wheeled dependents,then the cost of making these changes might be more than offset by added safety and convenience.

This task could include the private,public and charitable sectors with each profitting by the improved quality of our lives.

I have no problem with applying disincentives and punishments to reckless driving but a "carrot" approach (that makes individual automobile operation a less common and popular option ) would offer more benefits and,perhaps,remove bad drivers more than the "stick" of grounding and public humiliation.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 10:38 PM

I think the sticker idea is perfect, and even better with the suggestion of their picture as the sticker, so other drivers know EXACTLY who is the DUI driver in the car and who shouldn't be driving. But you know that someone will eventually just peel it off.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Tue, Sep 29, 2009, at 8:42 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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