Driving under the influence can be both a fatal and costly decision with extremely high ramifications. A DUI conviction already comes with many expensive fines, and DUI citations are about to become even more expensive. House Bill 8 and Senate Bill 1 are currently being debated, and both are aimed toward the therapy and conditioning of DUI drivers.
The major change that these bills propose would make guilty offenders forced to install an ignition interlock system in their vehicle. They also propose that offenders would get to a chance to take part in a DUI recovery program that is expensive, but would also take the DUI charge off their record for those who complete the diversion program successfully.
These programs could include the requirement of interlock technology that scans driver’s breath prior to the vehicle starting. Other portions of the diversion programs include entrance fees, supervision, and evaluation fees. While there is already a indigent fund set up for offenders without the funds to pay for the program, the intention is that the costly price tag of the programs will likely aid in the permanent change of behavior.
Interlock systems all perform the same basic task; they ensure that the vehicle wall loft start passes a breath test. The blood alcohol level of the driver must read an amount lower than .02%, otherwise the ignition will not activate. While the interlock system is not a fool-proof plan, it is measurably helpful when examining how to reduce the danger of DUI offenses.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is an organization that has pressured many states to put stricter enforcement in place for DUI arrests. MADD has to reported that interlock mechanisms lower fatality numbers by 15% and lower the rate of repeat offenders by 65%.
Beyond the criminal fees, drivers who have been convicted with DUI who have caused harm to another party will also need to pay for their court fees, any time the other party was unable to work because of the accident, hospital bills, final expenses if lives were lost, and other types of suffering, damage, or pain. The expenses that can transpire due to a DUI are insurmountable, and can realistically cost more than six figures. If a lawsuit is pursued, either a personal lawsuit may take place or the victim may decide to file a suit with the insurance company of the DUI driver.
Regardless of whether or not House Bill 8 and Senate Bill 1 pass, drivers who have been drinking must complete expensive therapy and programs that are court-ordered.
Additional implications such as increased guilt because of unnecessary endangerment of others will also undoubtedly punish the offender. Innocent victims and children lose their lives daily due to bad decisions someone made when they had a few drinks and thought that they were fine to drive.
Always think carefully when drinking before getting behind the wheel; saving time is never important if there are lives at risk.