Maryland needs tougher DWI/DUI laws if we are going to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents. Two things come to mind.
First, tougher laws. The Drunk Driving Elimination Act rejected by the Maryland legislature this Spring would have been huge. The bill would have required all DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock. The bill lost after heavy pressure from the Alcohol Beverage Institute. Honestly, I cannot figure out why they would not line up against drivers who do not use alcohol responsibly – DWIs and the number of dead people that result are not exactly a PR boon for the sellers of alcohol. I’m sure there is a self-serving wisdom to it. Or something. But I can’t figure it out.
Another law would have removed the right of repeat DWI offenders to refuse a breathalyzer. Personally, I think that repeat offenders should absolutely be able to refuse a breathalyzer test. But, ah, you lose your license for 5 years if you do.
Second, why can’t we increase the fines? I realize if we ruin the lives of defendants, we run the risk of making their problems worse. How about $100 a month for 60 months for a first time conviction? The state of Maryland needs money. We need less drunk drivers killing our people. Isn’t there a good marriage out there somewhere?