There is more we can do to prevent drunken driving
Drunken drivers who take a life face up to 20 years in prison, yet the penalty for being caught drinking and driving the first time is a misdemeanor. A second drunken-driving conviction within seven years is also a misdemeanor but can be charged as a gross misdemeanor and carry with it up to 10 days in jail. Now it is also a misdemeanor.
A third conviction for driving under the influence is a felony and carries with it a mandatory year in jail.
It almost seems false advertising to let someone think they can get away with drunken driving twice with a slap on the wrist and then drop the bomb on them for the third.
Better to be firm from the start. That means less tolerance for drinking and driving from the start.
Nevada’s new .08 blood alcohol content is a step forward, but most of the problem doesn’t lie with drivers who are on the line.
Perhaps tying the penalty for drunken driving to the blood alcohol content would be a better plan. A drunken driver with three times the legal blood alcohol content is far more likely to kill someone than a driver with just over the legal limit.
If you drink, drink responsibly.
– Editorial first appeared in the Nevada Appeal on Dec. 30.