Robert and Sharon Speak Out – For Tiffany

Repeat DUI Convictions Revoking Their “Drinking ”

This is an email I received.

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My dynamic 15 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver this last
October 5th. What happened to her is so unfair! It shouldn’t happen to
anybody else! Visit our homepage memorial to her at:

I am telling my story to everyone that is interested in getting drunk
drivers off the road. I would welcome feed-back.

Thank you for listening.

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Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 10:23:00 -0700 (MST)
X-Sender: rsnell@netrix.net
Mime-Version: 1.0
To: edwardo@well.com
From: rsnell@netrix.net (robert snell)
Subject: Drunk Drivers

I visited your web site and found a lot of useful information. Thank
you!

My daughter was killed by a drunk driver who had 3 prior DUI
convictions. I would like to stop drivers from driving drunk before they
kill someone. I have been tossing out the following proposal in all
directions. Rep. Leslie Lewis of Oregon liked it and has developed a bill
to be presented to the full House of Representatives this week. It will
then go to committee. I’m hoping other states will follow. See what you
think… (Sorry this is long)

Repeat DUI Convictions – Revoking Their “Drinking “Privileges”

There are age limits for both the privilege to drive, and for the
privilege to drink alcohol. Upon a DUI conviction, the privilege to drive
is sometimes revoked. INSTEAD SHOULDN’T IT BE THE PRIVILEGE TO DRINK THAT
SHOULD BE REVOKED?

PROPOSED LEGISLATION
Upon conviction of a (first?) DUI offense the offender’s driver’s
license is confiscated and destroyed. A new color-coded (maybe orange)
“limited” license, indicating the “restrict alcohol” status, is issued
for the usual fee from DMV. (The prohibition is also be put into the
magnetic stripe on the card.) With no further driving or drinking
violations, the license can be exchanged for an unlimited license after
(1) year’s time. (?) Alcohol abuse schooling, fines and other current
consequences to also remain. (with the exception of driver license
revocation).

Upon conviction of a (second?) DUI offense the offender’s driver’s
license is confiscated and destroyed and a “color-coded” limited license
is once again issued with the 2nd conviction noted on the magnetic stripe
or in DMV records. The limited license status is mandatory for (5) year’s
time. (Mandatory days in jail, fines, schooling, & other current
consequences also to remain)

Upon conviction of a (third?) DUI offense the limited license is
mandatory for (10) year’s time … in addition to the other current
consequences.

Upon conviction of a fourth DUI offense, current laws should remain
and move the offense to being a felony with prison time mandatory upon
conviction.

IN ADDITION:
Anyone (clerk/friend, etc.) selling/giving alcohol to a limited license
holder, is subject to a mandatory fine ($500?), with 30 day suspension of
their business/professional/drivers license, and absolute, prima-facie
civil liability for actions subsequent to drinking.”

“Rights” Have Conditions
Every person is accountable for their own “right to drink and/or
disperse alcohol” responsibly. Failure to treat this “right” responsibly
has consequences. The person’s “right” is to be taken away when the
failure to act responsibly endangers others.

Time to Mature
Time and life’s experiences can change a person. This law can address
that. Drinking priviliges can be withheld for as long as necessary. It
won’t hurt the person’s ability to provide for himself and his family.
But it can also be used to just give this person more time to mature.

HOW IT WORKS
EVERYONE “CARDED”
Currently a portion of the population is “carded” to ensure that they
canlegally drink. Under this proposal everyone would be “carded”.

BARS/RESTAURANTS
At the bar you’d lay your drivers license on the table/bar if wanting to
be served alcohol, to enable the server to verify that they can legally
serve you. (Or another DMV card .. in lieu of a driver’s license if the
person does not drive .. so that the Dept. of Motor Vehicles controls all
ID) A limited license would be colored and easily identifiable to the
server at a glance. Fewer minors would get served with everyone showing
their ID’s. After customers become accustomed to having their card ready
along with their money, service should not be slowed down to any large
degree. Non alcoholic drinks do not require “carding”. Limited license
holders can still go to bars and socialize. Bar owners are not required
to “turn them in” or “turn them away”….they only “turn them down”. (for
alcohol)

SUPERMARKETS
At the supermarket, or race track etc., sometimes one person gets the
drinks to take back to others. The people produce their drivers license’s
along with their money. The server/clerk is liable only for who they sell
alcohol to. The customers buying the alcohol takes on the liability for
who they supply the alcohol to.

MONTANA RESTRICTION
Out-of-state tourists or visitors would continue to be served as always.
If they aren’t in the state long enough to need a Montana license, they
are not a part of the larger problem. (Smaller more populated neighboring
states may have a problem here .. but Montana doesn’t.)

ENFORCEMENT
Enforcement is when a person with a “limited” license is observed
driving erratically .. and stopped for another DUI offense. The “source”
of the alcohol is a matter of legal concern. As for the DUI offender, he
is now faced with an additional DUI conviction which has more
consequences. (i.e. jail time, fines, and longer restrictions).

SAVE MONEY
Everything needed to legislate and enforce this is already in place and
being done under other laws .. i.e. for revoking licenses and restricting
alcohol to minors. There is no need for more police. No need for more
jails. Instead of costing money, this proposal would likely save “tons”
of money!

ABILITY TO ENFORCE STRICT FELONY CONVICTIONS
And then we can be strict with enforcing the felony DUI convictions!
Everyone is frustrated when a fourth DUI felony conviction cannot be
enforced due to not having enough prisons to house the huge number of
convictions. And a fourth DUI conviction should be a felony! We know that
a person is not caught every time they drive drunk. A person having four
convictions is a danger to himself and others and the law should not be
lenient.

WHY WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Revoking drivers licenses doesn’t stop them
ABC Prime Time did a sting operation in Buffalo, New York to show a
judge that revoking drivers licenses wasn’t stopping the offenders from
driving. They sent notices to 40 offenders telling them that they had won
a prize and only needed to pick it up at a specified location and time.
They put the location next to a bus station so that everyone could get
there using public transportation. All the recipients drove themselves to
the site and was arrested for driving without a drivers license. The
chances of being caught driving without a license was not enough to deter
any of the offenders, even when making a sober decision.

Drinking overrides better judgment
Jail time and revoking driver’s licenses rely on the punishment being an
incentive not to drive AFTER DRINKING. It doesn’t take into consideration
that the repeat offender has already proven that drinking alcohol
overrides his/her ability to make a rational decision about driving, no
matter how strict and certain is the punishment. The repeat offender has
proven that their “privilege to drink” is an ongoing danger to others.
Drinking should no longer be a “choice.”

Can’t enforce “no driving”
How do you enforce a revoked drivers license? What prevents the person
from driving in spite of the revoked license? There’s innovative products
on the market … Breathalyzers that won’t allow a car to operate,
devices that require a valid driver’s license for the car to operate, or
medication to make a person sick if they drink and all good ideas. But
they are expensive and/or hard to put into effect. There is the problem
of having enough for all the offenders. We need to reduce the NUMBER of
people reaching the point that these other devices or prison are
necessary.

Dispersing Alcohol Responsibly
The revoking of “drinking privileges” would stop the problem right at
the source .. preventing alcohol from becoming a factor a second time
through the “carding” done at the bars and stores .. with the “liability
of not doing it” as the incentive. I can’t visualize that many people
would willingly shoulder the liability of supplying alcohol to a repeat
DUI offender. A repeat conviction make them such a large risk.
(Convictions would indicate the person probably has driven drunk before,
as people aren’t caught every time.) It may not stop everybody, but it
will stop so many more than are stopped now.

WHY THIS WORKS BETTER IT’S A WIN/WIN PROPOSAL

Benefits to the Dept. of Corrections
Relief for our courts and prison systems
There are some 500 drunken drivers now facing felony charges under a
1995 Montana law. In Lake County alone, almost one third of felony
prosecutions are now for fourth-offense-drunken-driving violations.
Strict DUI laws are cut back for lack of room in the prisons to house the
number of felonies under the DUI laws. If DUI offenders are stopped from
drinking at their first or second conviction, perhaps we can stop
clogging the court & prison system with these people. Then prison
terms can be an enforceable and “certain” consequence of a fourth DUI
conviction.

Benefit to the innocent victims
Preventing lives from being endangered
And we need to take away the DUI offender’s “choice” to drink BEFORE
lives are lost.

Benefits to the State
Huge Savings
The present cost of prosecuting and incarcerating DUI offenders is
substantial. In order to enforce and prosecute the current strict laws,
we need more police and more prisons. Revoking DRINKING PRIVILEGES is not
an expensive OR time consuming solution. We don’t need more police or
more prisons. All the ingredients are already in place.

Benefits to the Bar/Servers
Fewer “judgement” calls
The bar/server benefits, as they are “at risk” for suits in fatal
accidents
for having served the drinks and letting the person leave drunk.
Much
better if the bar can “card” everyone and thus know who has DUI
convictions.
The bar is saved from making the judgment calls without knowing the
facts.
Law behind them in saying “no”

Current laws now make servers liable even though the definition of
intoxicated is a little subjective if they aren’t able to test the
customer. And they come off looking like the “bad guy” when they are
required to draw a random line in determining when a customer has had to
much. Denying someone service is easier to do if you have the law behind
you. And the only “bad guy” is the one that is ultimately responsible for
the color coding .. the drinking driver! Only loss is “liabilities.” Even
if the bar or store does lose a little business, it is only from the
people that are the biggest liabilities to them.

Benefits to the drinker & his family
Which is needed?

A person may need his driver’s license to get to work. A driver’s
license can only realistically be revoked for a short length of time.
Self-esteem, family responsibilities, and family economics all may suffer
without the ability to drive.

In contrast, the absence of alcohol in this person’s life would tend
to boost self esteem, family responsibilities and family economics over
time. And although there are reasons that a person may need to drive
there are no reasons that a person needs to drink alcohol. It is not a
privilege you need to return to the person.

SOME WILL FIND WAYS!
There will probably be some that will serve the DUI offender anyway,
just as there are some that will serve minors in spite of the law. That
is their option …. but they are taking a risk by doing so. And if the
repeat DUI offender wants to move to a more liberal state where he will
be allowed to drink, that is his or her option.

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My dynamic 15 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver this last
October 5th. What happened to her is so unfair! It shouldn’t happen to
anybody else! Visit our homepage memorial to her at:

I am telling my story to everyone that is interested in getting drunk
drivers off the road. I would welcome feed-back.

Thank you for listening.

Sharon Snell (Tiffany’s mom)
e-mail : rsnell@netrix.net

Go Gaget Go…………………….

DUI Attorneys


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