A more severe penalty for DUI offenders

This week, a tragic story came to a close. A Ross County judge sentenced Bradley Barker to 8 years in prison for killing Tim Humphrey on Ohio’s Rt. 138. Barker ran over Humphrey while he was repairing his vehicle on the side of the road. What makes this story even more sad is that Barker had four previous D.U.I.s, and was still able to get his license back. The victim’s mom asked a good question during her statement to the judge before sentencing:

“Let’s give someone a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance, a fifth chance. Would there have been a sixth chance if he hadn’t killed my son?”

According to the BMV, 4 D.U.I.s or more would have gotten him jail time and possible license revocation, so there probably would not be a sixth chance. But why wait so long? Driving while drunk is a serious offense and the punishment should be treated as such. First, instead of giving a driver 4 or more chances, give them only three chances. On the first offense, everything would stay the same except the length of time that a license is suspended would be a year, with the possibility of that time being reduced if the offender abstains from alcohol for six months. On a second offense, jail time would increase to three months, fines would range from $2,500 to $5,000, and a license would be suspended for two years. If for some reason there is a third time, the drivers license would be revoked, and the offender would get twelve months in jail, along with a $10,000 fine.

If someone is killed because of the driver being inebriated, charge them with second-degree murder. Any adult that is not mentally disabled should know that driving while drunk is dangerous and can be harmful to those innocents around them, and should be punished with a sentence as serious as the crime.

These efforts may/may not deter these idiots, but anytime we can make things a little harder for them is worthwhile.

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