March 10, 2012

THE SUCCESS OF INCREMENTAL PROHIBITION:

Disabling drunken drivers (Chicago Tribune, March 11, 2012)

In the United States, some 10,000 people die in such accidents each year. It's the equivalent of a 9/11 attack every four months.

In recent decades, efforts to curb drunken driving have grown -- raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21, stepping up police enforcement, lowering permissible blood-alcohol levels and stiffening penalties.

Social norms have also evolved. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, founded by a woman whose daughter was killed by a chronic offender, have fostered greater awareness and intolerance of a practice that used to be joked about.

But changes like these can prevent only so many episodes of driving under the influence. Some people just refuse to reform, and as long as they have free access to four wheels, they remain a menace.

So 15 states use another remedy. They force everyone convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock before they can regain driving privileges. More than 20 other states mandate these devices only for the most serious offenders.

Make it prophylactic, not just punishment..

Posted by at March 10, 2012 5:23 PM
  

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