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DUI penalties should be even tougherPosted Friday, February 1, 2008, at 8:39 AM
Gov. Phil Bredesen wants DUI suspects' licenses suspended immediately upon arrest, a laudable move that may be questionable considering one has to be first proven guilty.
Republicans are submitting bills proposing mandated ignition interlocks for DUI offenders and increasing penalties for refusing breathalyzer tests (a very common occurance, as I see several times a week in police reports)
I've shot enough photos of DUI-caused accidents to develop strong feelings about the issue. Add to the mix the fact I was struck in the rear by a drunk shortly after I got my driver's license, permanently damaging the car I drove through most of my high school years (nearly, but not quite totalled...it was never the same after "repair"), and those feelings become even stronger.
I'd suggest even more severe penalties for the guilty: A five-year driving ban for one offense, lifetime ban and a heavy, lifetime income tax -- that's right, an income tax -- for the second offense. Consider the costs caused by DUI cases and it's clear the guilty should pay.
Too harsh? Ask someone who's lost a loved one or has seen themselves or someone else permanently disabled due to alcohol abuse.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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