New Bill Fights to Ban DUI Offenders from Buying Alcohol
Have you ever wondered why there are so many repeat offenders for DUI charges? It seems like every time a news report comes out, the offender is on their third or fourth DUI. Are the penalties and probation sentences just not that strict? Well one state is trying to this situation. Senator Patrick Anderson of the state of Oklahoma is proposing a bill that would ban DUI offenders from buying alcohol. This bill would require DUI offenders to carry an id card, similar to their driver’s license or even on their driver’s license that states they are â€œalcohol restrictedâ€. In theory, this would prohibit these offenders from buying or consuming alcohol for a certain amount of time deemed by the court system.
Just like every new bill that is approved, you will have people all for it and others that will rip it apart. While this bill would definitely make it harder for an offender to purchase alcohol, it would not stop them completely. They will find someone to purchase the alcohol for them, just like underage drinkers do. Defense Attorney David Slane explains that he sees a lot of problems with this new bill. Slane states some minor issues that could easily be addressed, â€œThe law does not have a catch all provision that would allow for circumstances if itâ€™s in the food.â€ Slane continues on, â€œIn cases were people have religious right to take communion where there may be alcohol in the wine, does it allow for that?â€
Slane who is very apparently against this bill continues, â€œKeep in mind the consumption of alcohol has never been illegal unless you were underage,â€ The District Attorney continues, â€œand in this case they are saying we want the court to enforce something thatâ€™s almost unenforceable.â€ Other attorneys are calling this bill archaic and stems from the idea of the scarlet letter. Basically labeling and branding DUI offenders for life, never giving them a chance to overcome the label.
This was not the intention of the new bill. This bill would allow courts to order a person convicted of a DUI to refrain from the consumption alcohol for a period of time determined by the judge. It would also make it a felony to sell or provide alcohol to these â€œalcohol restrictedâ€ offenders. Those who â€œknowingly sell, deliver, or supply alcohol on any level to a person who has been ordered to stop drinking could be fined up to $1,000 or one year in prison.
Defense attorney, Richard Roth admits this bill would be very difficult to enforce. On the other hand, he admits that something needs to be done to deter people from drunk driving. This could be a step in the right direction. Senator Anderson admits he developed this idea after learning about a similar law in Alaska. The Oklahoma State Senate will begin discussion on this controversial bill in February.