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Problem - deaths by drunk drivers continue to increase:
Lawmakers torn as DUI deaths riseMy solution: it's quite simple - immediate roadside execution if you blow a legal DUI administered by a police officer.
Lawmakers are torn between tougher penalties, enhanced treatment or greater use of alternative measures, such as ignition interlocks that won't allow drivers to start their engines with alcohol on their breath.
One new law that goes into effect Jan. 1 will authorize the vehicles of repeat drunken drivers with blood-alcohol levels of 0.10 percent - the legal limit is 0.08 percent - to be seized at the time of arrest and impounded for up to 15 days.
State Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, got legislation passed authorizing a Sacramento County pilot program in which vehicles of suspected repeat offenders can be impounded for up to 30 days and their drivers referred to an alcohol treatment program.
More than two dozen drunken-driving bills have been introduced since 2003, but a majority have been killed in committee or shelved by their authors for lack of support, including:
Assemblyman Russ Bogh, R-Cherry Valley, said liberal Democrats block most legislation aimed at cracking down on drunken drivers.
- Assembly Bill 187, to increase the maximum base fine for drunken driving by 50 percent - to $1,500 rather than $1,000.
- AB 753, to provide a one-year driver's license suspension to minors who violate the state's alcohol laws.
- AB 1026, to cut in half the legal alcohol limit, to 0.04 percent, if a motorist has a prior drunken driving conviction.
"I believe that if people don't fear the consequences, they'll continue their criminal behavior," Bogh said. "And drunken drivers kill people."
Bogh's AB 4, which he called "three strikes and you're out" for drunken drivers, did not reach the Assembly floor this year. AB 4 would have permanently revoked the driver's license of anyone convicted of drunken driving three or more times.
Bogh unsuccessfully proposed in 2003 that vehicles be seized and destroyed when their drivers are drunk and commit murder, manslaughter or are repeat offenders whose records include an alcohol-involved fatality.
But Assemblyman Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat who chairs the Assembly Public Safety Committee, said increasing fines, boosting jail terms and permanently revoking licenses don't address the underlying problem.
"When you take away someone's driver's license for a lifetime, you take away their incentive to ever deal with their alcoholism," Leno said. "I think the approach needs to be one of illness. These are not rational acts. Clearly, alcoholism is the problem."
Nothing sobers up a potential drunk driver like the notion of getting a .45-caliber slug inserted into their cranium at high velocity.
I'm not kidding - better to kill/execute ONE person along Interstate 5 than to allow him/her to take out someone permenantly while they're on their way to the store to get some milk. After reporting on the first dozen or so road-side executions, you'll see that DUI rate plummet severely.
It's either this or sentence the drunk driver to a life-time of being sodomized by angry gorrillas.