Thursday, February 05, 2009
This has GOT to change.
So I'm reading today's Chicago Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com) and in the "Chicagoland" area I see an item about a man being sentenced to 8 years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to his SEVENTH drunk driving charge. I read further. Now I'm really aggravated. "Illinois state statutes require a mandatory prison sentence from 6 to 30 years for someone convicted of six or more driving under the influence charges." SIX OR MORE????????????? This man had a blood-alcohol content of .15 - about twice the level of what's considered "legal intoxication" in this state. SIX OR MORE????????????? Drunk drivers kill people. If you drive while drunk, there is a nearly-certain chance you'll have an accident. Don't tell me you "have control" and are "above average" in your ability to drive while impaired. So, I hit MSN Live Search with "Illinois + drunk driving + accident rate." You will not believe what came up first. Illinois DUI Lawyers. A listing suggesting that one "fight your Illinois DUI." And hey, it's a free call. In an article I found at www.dui.com (written in 2005) it states that there are about 17,000 alcohol-related deaths per year. And it's been hard to keep that issue in the public eye. There's something to be said for good, old-fashioned letter-writing campaigns. Start with your local newspaper. Hit your state representatives. Do something toward making a change. Because the change we need is this: It should not take SIX OR MORE convictions for DUI to result in jail time. Most drunks are hard-core. They don't care if they don't have a license. They're addicts. ADDICTS. They crave alcohol. All they want are the keys to the car. So they can fulfill their craving. If you could ask them, I bet over 90% of them would say with an astoundingly clear conscience that they are "perfectly fine" driving because "they know where they're going" when they're drunk. Uh-huh. If the public has anything to say about it, where you're going is jail.