Will Harsher Penalties Create More Need for Online DUI Classes?

by: Mike Miller

As a counselor for both in-class and online alcohol classes and online DUI courses I often discuss the above-titled question with my students. What do you think? Would harsher penalties for DUI result in fewer people drinking and driving? What of the penalty were as severe as Saudi Arabia – get a DUI and you die?

The people in Washington State may find out the answer to this question soon. As reported in www.king5.com.

Drunk driving laws are changing in Washington state after two high-profile, deadly crashes involving suspected drunk drivers.

Governor Jay Inslee announced a new package of driving under the influence laws with bipartisan support.

I am not sure I completely agree with his premise that every accident and every death we see involving a DUI could have been prevented, nor do I believe DUI offenders are given a free pass.

Of the penalty changes, police would have to arrest and take the driver into custody after a first DUI offense. After a second offense, drivers would have to choose between treatment or a mandatory six months in jail.

Drivers convicted of a third DUI would get at least a one-year prison sentence. In addition, a three-time offender will be issues a new driver's license that would prevent them from buying alcohol for 10 years.

I am all in favor of harsher DUI laws, especially for repeat offenders. I would make any first-time offender take at least five mandatory DUI classes. Time will tell if these penalties make a change. Does anyone disagree that they are warranted?