Should All Extreme DUIs Go to DUI School?

by: Mike Miller

Do you think there should be stronger penalties for those convicted of extreme DUI? For our purposes, extreme DUI will be defined as having a blood-alcohol concentration of .16 or higher, or receiving three or more DUI violations over a lifetime.

Rhode Island State Police caught a Massachusetts man driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 4½ times the legal limit (.08). As reported in

The seriously drunk man, 43-year-old Thomas J. Eaton, was arrested for DUI and driving on a suspended license.

Police gave Eaton two breath tests. The first reading was 0.362 percent, and the second came back as 0.356 percent. That is scary that he would get behind the wheel that intoxicated. He definitely should be mandated a good alcohol class.

If you thought Eaton’s act egregious, what about James Carmine Merrill, a-39-year-old New Yorker arrested after he was seen passed out behind the steering wheel of a blue Ford Escape.

Does he get any credit that he was not driving at the time? Merrill was so drunk he couldn’t figure out how to work the windows of his vehicle, and of course the car reeked of booze.

He had trouble answering simple questions, was unsteady on his feet and his pants were disheveled and his belt was undone — there was also a large wet area near the driver’s side door, having peed in his pants. His BAC was .221.

What makes Merrill’s case so egregious? This was his third DUI in 12 months! He needs an DUI School STAT.