Monday, May 09, 2005

Crime & Punishment

Soon, due to the Governor's signature, there will be higher fines, and more jail time for anyone caught for DUI. Yes, DUI is a problem for the country. However, increasing fines and jail times, do not actually deter the person who is going to get caught.
For instance, even now, no one is saying that "Well, since the punishment is going up, I better hurry up and get my DUI now, before the punishment is too great.
The reality is, that it is the probability of being caught, rather than the punsihment that determines whether or not someone is going to do any crime. Right now, you are more likely to get caught for having a DUI than the kid that breaks into your car and steals your stereo. The reason for this is that the officers can cruise around in their steel boxes equipped with the latest in communications technology, which will allow them to instantly check on the ownership of your car.
By running your plates, they can begin to look for the most insignificant reason to stop you and begin their DUI processing.
Should you be stopped, don't think for a minute that the Constitution is going to help you. In California v. Schmerber, the US Supreme Court basically said that you do not have the right to an attorney before taking any tests, or answering questions. DUI laws were the original source for todays anti-terrorism laws.
In order to prottect society, and to deter drunken drivers, let's put less money into jails and more into patrols. This will do more to protect the greater whole of society than any punishment. For most people stopped for DUI, the blue lights in the rear view mirror will always do more than any fines or jail time.

1 comment:

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