As I have written before, I am yet to meet a person who thinks it’s a good idea to have a few drinks and drive around. Furthermore, barring addiction, it’s tough to come up with a logical explanation as for why such behavior would ever be repeated. We know that some form of punishment is necessary for people who break the law &, specifically, put other people at-risk. Additionally, we would all agree that punishment, when properly assessed, can be a strong deterrent for unfavorable behavior. Finally, the thought of someone being hurt or injured pursuant to the actions of a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs is nothing short of a travesty. .
That being said, watching/reading the Today Show’s “investigative” report detailing how large numbers of DUI drivers “reoffend” made me a little uneasy. https://www.today.com/health/some-drunken-drivers-keep-returning-road-despite-repeat-offenses-t9526
While it’s true there are drunk drivers who reoffend, and it’s hard to grasp how/why one would have the opportunity to replicate this type of behavior, accurate studies and statistics need to be used to assess the severity of the alleged problem. According to the article above, “The FBI says that everyday almost 300,000 people drive drunk, yet only 4000 are caught by police.” The FBI says that, huh? Well, it must be accurate then, and I am sure our Federal Bureau of Investigation can explain how they came up with these numbers. Further, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a person was killed by a drunk-driver “once every 52 minutes” in 2013. It would be interesting to know if NHTSA calculated how many people, in fact, traveled on our roads in 2013, and how “1 every 52 minutes” compares with the number of people killed by additional causes imposed at the hands of others. “50-75 percent of reoffenders will drive drunk again” and “two out of three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.” Really… Then there’s my personal favorite, “An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before HIS first arrest.” Again, curious how MADD, NHTSA, the FBI, and the Center For Disease Control came up with these numbers. Further, is it possible that the self-serving interests of these agencies just might skew the so-called findings? The notion that a few rare states should strengthen their DUI laws for reoffenders undoubtedly makes sense, but the use of inaccurate, unsupported data only weakens the argument.
The “Demonization of DUI” is alive and well in our country. Unlike Colorado, Washington State has some of the toughest DUI laws in the U.S. If you or someone you knew has been arrested for DUI, it is imperative that an extremely knowledgeable, extensively trained, and highly respected lawyer is retained. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Washington State, contact Veitch Ault & Associates immediately (425) 307-5515 to make sure one is given the best chance to defend themselves.