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What should be done to keep repeat DUI offenders off road?

Staff Report • Feb 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM

What’s the best way of keeping repeat DUI offenders from driving drunk again? It seems no matter how tough state lawmakers make the penalties for drunken driving, some people are determined to do it again and again.

It’s not uncommon to pick up the Press on any given morning and read of someone in the Upstate with a long history of drunken driving being arrested and charged again with DUI. It’s not even extraordinary to learn that a driver with as many as six prior DUI convictions has been involved in another alcohol-related offense.

These incidents serve as a sobering reminder of why changes are needed to the state’s DUI laws. Specifically, state lawmakers must do more to address the problem of offenders who repeatedly put themselves and anyone they meet on the road in jeopardy.

But how? That’s the question that has vexed law enforcement officials, lawmakers and concerned citizens for years. One thing to do to address the problem is to increase funding for intensive substance abuse programs for DUI offenders. Such funding, however, often falls victim to state budget cuts.

Another (which has been implemented by Tennessee in recent years) is to require the vehicles of repeat DUI offenders be equipped with ignition locks.

Still, more is needed. What do think should be done to keep repeat DUI offenders off the street?

You can Sound off on this topic by sending your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or to mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification purposes. We will print your responses on the Editorial and Commentary pages in the coming weeks.

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