Would a Scarlet Car Tag for Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Work? | Law Firm Newswire

Would a Scarlet Car Tag for Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Work?

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 1, 2016 – Mississippi wants their proposed Scarlet Letter Tag bill to ride herd on repeat drunk driving offenders. A second-time DUI offender would be issued a yellow license plate and scarlet red tags, and have to live with the shame of being publicly labelled for one year.

Despite research done in other states with laws similar to the proposed Scarlet Letter Tag bill that show such punishment does not significantly reduce DUI deaths, Mississippi may push the bill through to gauge the number of repeat offenders on the road.

Lawmaker Gary Chism indicated his reasoning behind the proposed bill, saying: “If you [haven’t] learned your lesson after the first one, then we need to step in and do something to get your attention . . . Maybe if all your neighbors know, and the Highway Patrol know, they won't be as likely to get out there weaving on the roads again."

As the debate rages on, those in favor of the humiliation of yellow plates with red tags suggest that everyone knows the law with regard to not drinking and driving, but they choose to ignore and should be held accountable in some fashion. Perhaps a colourful wakeup call is appropriate.

Those who think humiliation is not the route to follow, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), say the second-time offender plates and tags are over-criminalization and may cause offenders to lose their jobs.

“No one has yet to address the one question that seems to be at the core of this issue, and that is: if you are on your second drunk driving offense there is a good likelihood you are a problem drinker. Conventional legal ramifications have obviously not stopped the offender and yellow plates with red tags likely won’t stop a determined drinker. So, what’s the solution?” said Austin plaintiff’s DWI attorney, Bobby Lee of Lee, Gober & Reyna. That is the conundrum inherent in dealing with repeat drunk driving offenders.

Would such a law work in Texas? “I have my doubts it would, because the problem remains the same here as it does in any other state with a drunk driving issue. If people want to drink and not stop in spite of all the laws out there, they are going to keep doing it. Drinking and driving is a human problem,” Lee said.

Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
Phone: 512.478.8080

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