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There should be stronger penalties for drinking and driving

Updated on October 14, 2015

DUI penalties for drunk driving does not stop some drunk drivers from driving drunk

By Joe Sellers

I am tired of seeing drunk drivers get a slap on the wrist and end up right back on the streets . This is an injustice and a slap in the face to the families who have been affected by some idiot who knew the dangers of getting behind the wheel after a night out drinking.

Every day people are killed by someone who knew they should not get behind the wheel but did it anyway. It is always the same thing that is said over and over again. (I'm okay to drive) even though they can't walk a straight line to their vehicle. Over 19,000 people die every year and over 250,000 people are seriously injured in accidents involving alcohol.

In the US there is an accident involving a drunk driver every 2 minutes and that is unacceptable. The laws have to be changed and we need harsher penalties in place for anyone who gets a DUI. There are even people out there who have as many as 4 to 5 DUI arrests and are still allowed to drive a vehicle. There are stories on the news all the time talking about some accident where a family was killed by a person that already had several DUI arrests in the past. Driving is not part of our rights it is a privilege and when it is abused like anything else it should be taken away.

It is one thing to have a couple of beers or shots but when someone drinks for hours and is way over the legal limit gets behind the wheel of a vehicle should not be given a slap on the wrist. If it happens a second time your licenses should be suspended permanently and if you get caught again you spend a long time in jail.

The DUI laws have gotten better in some states but it is still not good enough. People with multiple offenses who are intoxicated get behind the wheel of a car and kills a person only has to serve anywhere from 3 to 7 years in jail and get this, in some states in can be as little as 1 to3 years for a vehicular manslaughter. What about the families affected by the drunk driver? 1 to 3 years compared many years of pain is not enough time for a repeat offender. Then in court they try to say that they are sorry and did not mean to hurt anyone and the judges let them off easy.

If you are double the legal limit you should be put in jail for at least 10 years. If you get in an accident where someone was seriously hurt, you should get at least 20 years and if someone dies and you are a repeat offender then you should get life without parole.

If you work in a bar and you know that this person is too drunk to drive and you do nothing you are just as guilty as that person. Even if you are in the bar as a customer you still need to step up and do something. If you don't agree with what I am saying then you are an idiot and have never been affected by a drunk driver. It is everyone's responsibility to step up and do whatever they can to stop that person. Now I am not saying you should fight with that person or cause yourself to get hurt but you should call the police and let them know.

Let me put it like this for the ones who don't agree with me. Say I was shooting pool in a bar and I noticed this man that was really drunk and getting ready to leave the bar. I just sat there playing my game as he stumbled out of the bar drunk and I watched him get in his truck and drive off and did not say anything.

Now your kids or whoever it may be was walking on the sidewalk and this man ran off the road seriously injuring or killing them. Then after the accident I walked over and told you or the cop that I saw this guy at the bar I was just at down the street. I saw him inside barely able to walk and watched him stumble to his truck.

How would you feel knowing that this did not have to happen and could have been easily avoided if I would have called the cops? I could have stalled the guy by asking for directions or even buying him another drink, or whatever I could think of at that time.

You still think you’d feel the same way then. Your family member would still be safe if all I did was call the cops. Think about all the times you have been out at a bar or club and saw someone who was too drunk to stand up and watched them get into their vehicle and you did nothing. You may even have laughed at him and said to yourself that this person is too drunk to drive and went on with your night like nothing happened.

Whatever happened to that person, did they make it home or did they get into an accident and kill someone you will never know. Just picture how you would feel to lose someone you love to a drunk driver. Would you want your loved ones to be in a car when a drunk driver is out on the street? I don't think so. You may even prevent someone from being killed.

We are losing too many people to drunk drivers and we need to do something now. Families fall apart when their loved ones die in an accident like that. Then there are some parents/kids/spouses that never get over the death of their loved one. If you have lost someone close to you then you know the anger and hurt that it causes. A lot of the time the drunk drivers are the ones who end up unhurt and able to walk away from the crash.

If you are out drinking make sure you have a designated driver that can take you home. Before you get in the car and drive off just picture what you could do to a family while driving drunk and think about that little baby or young child you could kill when you get behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Think of your child of family member and imagine how you would feel if they were killed because of a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Remember it is all of our responsibility to speak up. You never know the first time you step up and stop someone you could save the life of another person. It is better for them to be in jail then let them take an innocent life.

In some states they even have a number you can call for a tow truck to take you and your vehicle home free of charge during the holidays and Super Bowl Weekend. Just take a few minutes to call them to find out what is offered in your state. It is called tow to go offered by AAA.

Even if you don’t live in one of the states you can also take a cab home and get your vehicle later. It is not worth the damage you could cause to yourself or another person for something that can easily be avoided.

Thank you for taking this time to read this very important hub. I am asking everyone that reads this to PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT or an experience that has had an effect on you or someone you know because of a person under the influence of alcohol.You can also rate it up if you agree or down if you don't agree.Thanks again and please be safe out there on the roads.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Or people could, just. Yknow. Not drink when they know they have to drive? personal responsibility. I'm sure it's not as simple. Or fast, or convenient, but let's see if that matters when a drunk driver, or more accurate, a hungover driver with a BAC but not enough to be a "drunk driver" runs your family member down. If you don't think that he shouldn't have been driving, your an idiot. Clear and simple..and with all the new services these days, personal transportation is easier than ever....and typically, people get pulled overror for a reason. And if they have a reason to pull you, and you have a BAC, yes, you deserve what happens....common sense and responsibility will help your life alot more than whining about how it's not fair to make it harder for you to get a drink's a law that COULD save lives, even if it's 1, isn't that enough to make a difference to you? Or is it just too much a hassle.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Drunk Driving will continue at an alarming rate and it is because of you. And it is also is about the revenue and the money it takes in. Some charities would like to see it continue why wouldn't they and where would they be if it did not? Ms. Evans is also a hub page writer and I lost my only grand-daughter to a drunk driver. My only hope is that you will not have to hear your loved ones final words to you, such as Megan said to my wife. "Grammy I Can Not Breathe!" Go here to see Ms, Evans hub page on Megan my only grand-daughter.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Better do a similar rant on cell phones and drivers. Just as bad if not worse.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      In Illinois, the DUI law is not about traffic safety it's about getting your money. In Illinois it doesn't matter if you are just a little over the legal amount or stone drunk the charge is the same, in most cases the cost is around $5,000.

      I've seen plenty of unsafe drivers who was sober at the time.

    • Joe Sellers profile imageAUTHOR

      Joe Sellers 

      7 years ago

      I want to Thank you all for leaving your stories and will keep you and your family's in my prayers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My sister Kim Armstrong was hit by a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol on November 14th, 2010. As she was slowing down to prepare to stop at a stop sign, the driver of the vehicle came over a hill traveling 100 mph and slammed into the back of her vehicle. Kim’s spinal cord was severed as a result of the accident and is severely damaged. The doctors told us, she is paralyzed from the chest down and will never be able to walk again due to where her injuries occurred. Kim is a single mother to 3 sons. Jeremy (24), Jamie (19) and has full custody of her youngest son Hunter (10).

      The driver was driving on a suspended DUI license and was on probation in Tennessee at the time of the accident. We’ve learned that he has been in 7 accidents within the last year and totaled out 6 vehicles. He has 2 DUIs and caught in Wal-Mart with a loaded hand gun while intoxicated! He also has been charged several times with aggravated assault! How can this guy still be out walking around is just unbelievable to me! He was never arrested and was cited with 2 tickets, one for driving on a suspended DUI license and for no car insurance.

      From what we’ve learned, the reason they didn’t arrest him after he got out of the MED was that if the hospital turned him over to the police, then the police would be responsible for paying his hospital bill.

      Please read the rest of this story on her blog at

      It just doesn't seem fair for victims and their families to have to go through this process. When we showed the private investigation report to the police department they couldn't believe this guy was not in jail either. What amazes me was we got all this information in 2 days and the police department is still trying to get criminal charges on this guy. And he is still out driving the roads popping pills and drinking. It will only be a matter of time before he kills someone or injure them like they did my sister. It’s sad – criminals have more rights than the victims!


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Our daughter was killed by a teenage driver (16) that had been drinking all night and he was still intoxicated at 9:00 am. the following morning. He hit a tree on her side and she was killed == he walked away...literally...left the scene. And, he is denying driving and is still not in prison and no trial yet. It is very disturbing that Molly's death was over 2 years ago and her life was taken because of him and he continues to lie.

    • profile image

      Bob Frankfurt 

      8 years ago

      DUI penalties are WAY too lenient. This probably reflects the fact that many of our legislators are drunks and are afraid of public backlash. DUI penalties should be a LOT stiffer. First offense: 30 days mandatory jail time; second offense, lose your license, lose your vehicle, and one year in jail. People who drive while drunk are way too dangerous and are getting away with murder!!!

    • profile image

      Tess Favazza 

      8 years ago

      What bothers me is that even after having two priors (DUI) and currently under probation, a guy drinks and drives and kills someone and one week later is out on bail ($2700! 10% of 27000 bond) and is able to celebrate his birthday with his family on the day we bury ours. When will there be tougher convictions for repeat offenders... I think the idea of interlock is great, but what is to stop them from doing this again?

    • profile image

      ashlynne k johnson 

      8 years ago

      I totally agree because i seen so many people get away or only be in jail for a year then go to perison for a month and i don't understand why they get so little time. when my uncle larry died from drunk driving the dude that killed him got a year and nothing else and i thank that's wrong.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      COMPLETELY agree with you! We're doing a show debating about Bar Breathalyzers and the legality of using them by the employees of bars. That is the real question. are there...and if not, should there be laws that the person who didn't report the person drunk before getting into their car (or taking the keys away) is liable? Didn't they "Aide and Abet" in a crime? I've been looking all over trying to find something on this when I stumbled upon your terrific blog! Thanks for the info!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i agree with you....ive lost several people to drunk drivers, one case in particular bothered me, because the judge dropped the DUI and gave the guy 6 months in the house of corrections for killing 2 people and after one month he went to "alcohol rehab"...he had already had a prior arrest record for erratic driving/driving to endanger....its rediculous what these people are getting away with these days...its so sickening

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I agree 100% with you on this. To many people die because of drunk drivers and something has to be done. If one of my kids or family member was killed by a drunk driver I don't know what I would do to that person. Great hub


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