A 42-year-old man from Minnesota was arrested on drunk driving charges recently. When the police tested him for his blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they found that the man was nearly four times over the legal limit of 0.08. His BAC was 0.31. The man’s arrest also marks his fifth DUI arrest.
The 42-year-old will be hit with some very serious penalties. His driver’s license has been revoked for three years and he has to maintain absolute sobriety for three years. He has to install an ignition interlock on his vehicle. He has to undergo an alcohol evaluation and assessment, and submit to random urine testing. As if that isn’t enough, he also will spend a year in jail, be subjected to two years of probation, and have to pay a fine that exceeds $4,000.
While five DUIs certainly warrant such punishments, you can’t help but think that these consequences won’t do anything to help this individual get over his clear alcohol dependency. If punishment didn’t work the previous four times, why would these extensive consequences work the fifth time around?
As we wrote recently, extensive punishment for DUI offenders is nothing new. In fact, it’s the norm. Whether it truly is effective at convincing people not to drive under the influence of alcohol is a notion that is in the eye of the beholder. Some will see these punishments as effective deterrents of driving under the influence; others will see them failing to adequately address the issue.
What cannot be denied, however, is that people like this — those who have many DUIs on their record — need more than just punishment. And maybe getting these people the alternative to punishment that they clearly need is a better answer than outright jail time and fines.
Source: Superior Telegram, “Minnesota man sentenced for 5th drunk driving offense,” March 10, 2015