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What is so infuriating about the 4 DWI case is that something almost identical happened about 10 years ago, when a MD woman with 3 DWIs killed someone (not a cyclist). Lots of hand wringing, a lowering of the BAC limit, but no real enforcement.

In many other countries, they do random breath tests, but in the USA you rarely get caught unless you were very over the limit or caused an accident. Thus, anything other than a single DWI is a sign of a serious problem, not "oops, I had an extra glass of wine with dinner."

I really do not understand how, in good conscience, we can allow this people like this to continue to drive. Ever. It should be at least a one month ban for a single DWI (even 3 mo), 6 mo to a year for a second DWI, and life time ban after that.

I mentioned this before in a previous thread -- I would trade off jail time and fines in many of these cases if sentences included severe first-offense driving restrictions. No better rehab for a dangerous driver than having to assume the car-free lifestyle. And taking away driving privileges doesn't have the collateral damage on somebody (obviously not these Chicago morons) who might have made a one-time mistake in judgment or conduct, like a prison stint does.

Finally, follow the lead of European countries that have instituted strict liability laws that put a higher duty of care on those who could harm vulnerable road users. Put the burden of proof on the driver who says that bicyclist "just came out of nowhere" to demonstrate it.

What about Ohio's yellow license plate program for repeat DUI/DWI offenders? I don't have confidence in the judicial system's ability to track and punish these habitual offenders. So let's make them wear the scarlet letter--so to speak--when they drive.

I'm not so keen on the Ohio idea: when someone drives drunk, I am really not focused on the color of their license plate when they are about to smash me to bits.

"In many other countries, they do random breath tests, but in the USA you rarely get caught"

I dont know if you remember, but a few months ago, someone released a list of "drunkest cities in america". The methodology was crap, because the number 1 factor was DUI.

The #1 city was Fresno, CA. That's because every thrusday, friday, and saturday, the cops set up random road blocks around the city. They arrest 20 drivers or so a week. Meanwhile, otherville usa can report 0 DUIs because they do no enforcement.

I think intentionality figures into it - if you intentionally hit a cyclist (or really, another car or pedestrian) or do something that is willfully and recklessly negligent - drinking and driving, going 100 in a 35, etc - that should definitely be jailtime and loss of driving privileges. And it is a privilege, not a right.

People are say "wah, my gas taxes pay for the roads, my taxes pay for the roads" - so do mine. If you can't drive any more, your gas taxes won't be used for the roads anymore, will they? My taxes also pay for tanks and F-22s, but I can't drive those, either.

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