- Politics and Social Issues
DUI Can Cost You Thousands of Dollars
Many will believe the strict DUI laws in the United States are worthwhile as they may believe that these are saving lives. But in reality they have the potential to do more harm than good. Now don't get me wrong. I don't believe that there should be no laws at all. I just believe that being too strict can actually target the wrong people. Read on.
Problem with Quotas
Either you believe in quotas for police or you don't. I know of several cops who have personally told me that they have them. So the premise of this argument is that quotas do exist.
In New York State, the legal limit for drunk driving was at one time 0.10. Today, it has been reduced to 0.08. Now if you apply the quota, i.e., that police must catch a certain amount (their quota) of people that are over the legal limit of 0.08, then when their quotas are up, they will stop looking for drunk drivers. From 0.08 to 0.10 is not altogether a significant difference.
But if during their quota time, they capture ten people between .08 and .10, and say ten is their quota, then the police are not going to be looking for the people that are over 0.10. Now here's the crux of the argument: do you think the reduction in the limit has any effect on the people that would normally be over the 0.10 limit? If you said no then you are correct and it is the reason why moving from 0.10 to 0.08 actually makes it possible for not capturing the most dangerous drivers, i.e., the ones that are seriously drunk. Prior to the reduction, the police would still be on the hook for ten people over the 0.10 limit as they would have let the people between 0.08 to 0.10 go.
The State Doesn't Care About Saving Lives
It would be nice to believe that our politicians have our safety as their priority and that may even be the political motivation on how they sometimes behave to get votes, but the truth of the matter is, they don't care one iota about saving lives when it comes to DUI. The harsh truth is DUI is a serious money maker for the government. Even a first offense can cost a defendant upwards of $10,000 or more. This is great money for the state and is not something they are going to give up on any time soon.
And that brings us back to the reduction in the legal limit. It gives the state many more people to collect on. All-in-all, even before the reduction, people were more responsible with respect to drinking than they were twenty years ago. That means it's not well known how many people were really over the 0.10 limit to begin with. We rely on government statistics that the government controls. But the fact that there are now more people that will get caught it is easy for the state to say that they are putting more people in jail for DUI. But again, are the putting the most dangerous and serious offenders away?
Like It Or Not, It's Our Reality!
Whether you agree with these arguments or not is not the point. The true point is that this is our reality and we have to deal with it. If you are over the legal limit you are going to jail and your fines are going to be hefty. The state is maintaining a zero tolerance for this. And as big a money maker as this is, you can expect them to lower the legal limit even more in the future. There is already talk about this in New York state. It is something that you should be aware of the next time your are out and you are the driver.