Russell l. Odegard, Minot, Letter: Ideas for a good bill on drunken driving
Drunken driving is an evil that can be curtailed if the North Dakota Legislature would do its job. The following should be incorporated into a bill: - The car of the driver should be impounded with an arrest for drunken driving if the driver has ...
Drunken driving is an evil that can be curtailed if the North Dakota Legislature would do its job. The following should be incorporated into a bill:
- The car of the driver should be impounded with an arrest for drunken driving if the driver has two convictions for drunken driving in the past 10 years. (This should include pleading guilty to a drunken-driving charge.)
- If the driver is convicted or pleads guilty to this charge of drunken driving, the car should be sold by the governmental agency and the proceeds should be kept by this agency. The car used by this driver in any future drunken-driving arrests should be impounded and sold, the proceeds being retained by this governmental agency.
Arguments against impounding the car follow:
- This would put undue hardships on the drunken driver's family. Answer: We should be more concerned about the individuals who may be killed or severely injured by the drunken driver.
- Lending agencies do not want to lose money borrowed to purchase the vehicle. Answer: It would be their responsibility to check the driver's record before they lend money to buy a vehicle. They become a partner in liability when they lend money to anyone with a drunken-driver record.
- They may be driving someone else's vehicle and it is not fair for them to lose their vehicle. Answer: A relative, friend or anyone else would be reluctant to lend their vehicle to one with a drunken driver's record. At least they would be relatively sure that they would not drink and drive.
In the early 1990s I encouraged some legislators to pass a similar bill. This was passed, but it was watered down to five convictions. As far as I know, no one was ever prosecuted per this bill. There is a question of constitutionality. I believe that victims have more rights than perpetrators.
I encourage everyone to talk to their legislators and encourage them to support passage of a bill similar to the one proposed.
Russell l. Odegard, Minot, Letter: Ideas for a good bill on drunken driving 20071013