Drunk drivers

Dear Editor:The latest horror story in the news is about not just one but two major wrong way driving accidents within hours of each other over the weekend, one here in California and the other out of state. Both were suspected DUI drivers and at least one of the driver's had a previous record for the same crime of driving under the influence. All totaled, 11 people were killed and an entire family was wiped out in seconds. We are bombarded with PSAs with great frequency from the media and law enforcement against drunk driving. I question the effectiveness of this strategy and would go further to suggest that these methods are creating an air of apathy in some people. The attitude of indifference to these PSA's may be due to the regularity of them so that they become so ordinary that they garner little interest among the people they are meant to educate. Though it is not to say that law enforcement efforts at lowering the numbers of drunk driving incidents are not effective. It is to say, however, that we could do better, and we must. The explanation may be that some people can never be cautioned enough because it is their nature, their hubris and disregard for danger that makes them unlikely to ever care until it is too late. And certainly when one is inebriated one has no sense of danger. In the case of the accident in Pomona, that driver was an alleged repeat offender. And I would be willing to bet that most DUI accidents that end in death and or injury have drivers who are just that. If this is true, then it is clear to me that the law must be adjusted to deal with the unimpressionable. We are using the wrong psychology with these offenders. They cannot be intimidated by the facts, no matter how scary we make it with the testimonials of epic human tragedy. A first-time offender should have their license revoked and as a further penalty, their car impounded and sold at auction. We must as a community encourage our lawmakers to enact legislation that prevents these crimes from happening in the first place rather than the usual waiting to punish after the fact. Greta Campbell Downey

********** Published: Feb. 13, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 44