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Thread: S/O DUI Mandatory treatment/jail time

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    #1

    S/O DUI Mandatory treatment/jail time

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    In addition to the driving drunk, etc. threads that we've had the last few days, a couple of stories in the Albuquerque media (like this one) have gotten me thinking.

    One of the comments posted to that story recommends that the driver get mandatory alcohol treatment.

    New Mexico is notorious for drivers receiving multiple DUIs and still being on the road (Gordon House is one of the stories that received much press.)

    What are the most appropriate responses for habitual DUI offenders? Does 'mandatory' treatment really work? What is different about laws/punishment that some states have significantly better results?

    Edited to Add: Here is a table comparing the DUI laws across the states. The idea of forfeiture/seizure of the vehicle is one I hadn't considered.
    Last edited by Sunbeam; 03-08-2009 at 03:14 PM.
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    i think after your first DUI you need t have your license suspended and if you are caught again you need to be put in jail for 30 days jmo. i have had relatives with revoked licenses that have been driving drunk repeatedly afterwards and just get a "remember your license is suspended" speech by several cops. this was in FL.
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    My father was a habitual drunk driver and the mandatory treatment the jail times did nothing to stop him. Some people it might but there will be some that will continue no matter what unless they make the decision themselves to seek treatment and to maintain a sober life.
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    In Washington, repeat offenders are treated harshly.
    Half the charges I deal with are drivers with suspended licenses. Not having a license Does not keep people from driving. After a DUI, if a person is caught driving without a license twice, there is 10 days mandatory minimum sentencing. Each time after that increase. 2nd time, 90 days, each time after that 180 days.
    Driving without a license does not make a driver more dangerous than if he HAD a license.
    The new law in washington, and many other states are adopting this: After a conviction of DUI, the person is required to get a new drivers license. It is called an IIL. They are required to have an ignition interlock installed on any car they drive. Drunk drivers are more dangerous than unlicensed drivers.
    In Washington, on any charge involving alcohol or drugs, I have never seen a judge NOT require mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment.
    In Washington, the mandatory minimum sentences for dui goes up each time. On the fifth in 10 years it becomes chargable as a felony.
    1st oiffense in 7: 1 day.
    2nd: 30 days, plus 60 days home detention (electronic home monitoring)
    3rd and 4th offense: 90 days with 120 EHM.

    This does not include the thousands of dollars it will cost in penelty's, probation, treatment, insurance, etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by guynavywife View Post
    In Washington, repeat offenders are treated harshly.
    Half the charges I deal with are drivers with suspended licenses. Not having a license Does not keep people from driving. After a DUI, if a person is caught driving without a license twice, there is 10 days mandatory minimum sentencing. Each time after that increase. 2nd time, 90 days, each time after that 180 days.
    Driving without a license does not make a driver more dangerous than if he HAD a license.
    The new law in washington, and many other states are adopting this: After a conviction of DUI, the person is required to get a new drivers license. It is called an IIL. They are required to have an ignition interlock installed on any car they drive. Drunk drivers are more dangerous than unlicensed drivers.
    In Washington, on any charge involving alcohol or drugs, I have never seen a judge NOT require mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment.
    In Washington, the mandatory minimum sentences for dui goes up each time. On the fifth in 10 years it becomes chargable as a felony.
    1st oiffense in 7: 1 day.
    2nd: 30 days, plus 60 days home detention (electronic home monitoring)
    3rd and 4th offense: 90 days with 120 EHM.

    This does not include the thousands of dollars it will cost in penelty's, probation, treatment, insurance, etc
    I have other questions, but does the ignition interlock work as a deterrent? I think I've read that some people do funky things to try and outsmart it . . . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny87740 View Post
    I have other questions, but does the ignition interlock work as a deterrent? I think I've read that some people do funky things to try and outsmart it . . . .
    It works as a deterrent. However, like everything else, it can be tampered with. However, that carries jail time too.

    The problem is the way we treat alcoholism. The first affect of alcohol on the system is to lower a persons judgment.
    Yes many people who are required to have this can jump into another car and drive that.
    There is no perfectly effective system to prevent drivers from driving drunk.
    MADD has been lobbying congress to require auto manufacturers to install Ignition interlock devices on every car they make. They want a Zero alcohol policy.
    I disagree with that completely.
    Is it a problem when a driver is drunk? yes. But there are many other distractions that get people killed. We an not micromanage laws to address every single issue.

    Unless you are in a city with good public transportation, public funding for treatment, etc a drunk driving CHARGE (not even a conviction) ruins a lot of families and lives. On a first offense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWnavywife View Post
    My father was a habitual drunk driver and the mandatory treatment the jail times did nothing to stop him. Some people it might but there will be some that will continue no matter what unless they make the decision themselves to seek treatment and to maintain a sober life.
    So, other than punishment, is there anything you think would bring someone to the point of sobriety?

    I mean, some of the people I've read about are completely in denial even after they've killed someone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny87740 View Post
    So, other than punishment, is there anything you think would bring someone to the point of sobriety?

    I mean, some of the people I've read about are completely in denial even after they've killed someone.
    This is the criminal justice dillema. Alcoholism is a disease. Drunk driving is an common effect of that disease. Relapsing is an expected part of cure period.
    Do you throw alcoholics in jail for life to protect society?

    A lot of it has to do with funding. Here in Yakima, treatment is not available in jail. So you have someone sit in jail for 6 months or a year, with no help for the underlying program. Some Prisons have alcohol and drug treatment.
    If we are claiming to want to treat these people with the idea of preventing them from repeating, we are obligated as a society to TREAT them. But sadly, it is easier for a mother to get in front of the legislature and cry about her child who got killed by a drunk driver, then for an alcoholic to get in front of the legislature and ask for money for convicts in jail.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by guynavywife View Post
    This is the criminal justice dillema. Alcoholism is a disease. Drunk driving is an common effect of that disease. Relapsing is an expected part of cure period.
    Do you throw alcoholics in jail for life to protect society?
    I think that's part of what I am struggling with. I feel differently about someone who is penitent and really wants to fix things than someone who is still in denial. A habitual offender who kills really torques me.

    Quote Originally Posted by guynavywife View Post
    A lot of it has to do with funding. Here in Yakima, treatment is not available in jail. So you have someone sit in jail for 6 months or a year, with no help for the underlying program. Some Prisons have alcohol and drug treatment.
    If we are claiming to want to treat these people with the idea of preventing them from repeating, we are obligated as a society to TREAT them. But sadly, it is easier for a mother to get in front of the legislature and cry about her child who got killed by a drunk driver, then for an alcoholic to get in front of the legislature and ask for money for convicts in jail.
    Very true.

    And yet, if we listened more to the alcoholics, we'd never have the mother's loss.

    So then, part of the problem is society's skewed priorities and another part is that we still struggle to understand disorders like alcoholism.
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    My brother has been an alcoholic since high school pretty much. He had multiple DUIs and despite the fact that he was found unconscious in the gutter and had to have his stomach pumped at one point, he never stopped. Finally his probation officer caught him drinking a beer in his house and he had to serve about 6 months worth of weekends in jail and had to get one of those breathalyzer things installed by his phone.

    He's better now. A lot better. Because of the breathalyzer he pretty much had to be sober and about a year after he realized how extremely stupid he had been and he's been trying to change. He finally has a good stable job and his relationship with my family has pretty much been totally fixed.

    The problem is, I don't think that the AA classes he had to go to helped him out at all. He had been going to them for years for various incidents and he never listened. He only realized the truth in what they were saying when he was literally forced to stop drinking.

    I think that some methods of deterrent are effective and some are not, depending on the person. For some people, seeing the effect on their family could be enough to stop them, for some the jail time might stop them, but for some they need to just quit cold turkey which I know is hard to do. I don't have any ideas on how we can fix the system, I'm just glad that my brother was able to stop before he hurt more people and I hope that someone finds a way to help more people stop.
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