Wednesday, February 27, 2008

DUI License Plates

You can tell that the Maryland General Assembly is in session. You can hear the laughter 50 miles away.

As reported on Channel 11 this morning in their usual absurd question, the Maryland General Assembly is going to consider legislation that would require repeat offenders to have a DUI license plate. Everyone but lawmakers knows that laws do not prevent people from doing things. If that was the case, no one would speed or have oral sex or take lions into movie theaters, and we know that's not the case.

Obvious problems with that law are that multiple people can use a vehicle. I drive my wife's van, she's drives my truck. When I started driving, I drove my parent's car. Who's the drunk driver?

Let's put this into perspective, let's assume Maryland Delegate Kumar Barve gets arrested for drunk driving 2 more times (he's already been arrested once). Would he then be required to have this new DUI license plate? Is that fair to Mrs. Barve to have to drive his car with the DUI plates? Everyone would think that she's the drunk driver and not our elected state delegate from Montgomery County.

Another point that I read is that if we start there, we are just going to start adding special license plates for other various offenses. Image if we add sex-offenders, which means State Delegate Robert McKee in Washington County would be required to have this plate. Or Democratic Senator candidate David Dickerson who was arrested for raping a 19-year old. What about verbal abusers? Mike Miller would get a special plate for that.

As you can see, this proposal is clearly a bad idea. If legislators want to do something serious about drunk driving, let's start convicting them and putting them in jail. If you spent several months in jail for drunk driving, I'm sure you'd be less inclined to do it again.

Crossposted at VoteNoMalley


bruce.godfrey said...

"laws don't prevent people from doing things."

Sir, the entire purpose of law is to prevent, by deterrence and subsequent restraint, actions that would otherwise occur in the absence of law. This is pretty basic. Really basic.

But your other points are well taken. Better to require a magnetic decal the size of a softball or greater, or a translucent plate cover, to be removed when a restricted driver parks. I would rather see this enforced as a probation term than as an administrative license plate matter.

lefty said...

Uh, for what remotely plausible reason would you include "oral sex" among a list of things that people ought not do?

Speeding, the lion thing, drinking and driving, sure, fine, OK. But oral sex?

I know you right-wingers are pretty uptight about sex, but this one takes the cake. Oral sex is GOOD. People like it. It makes them happy. Are you now against happy, too?

Good lord.

StatWatcher said...

Please note Kumar Barve was only arrested. Despite being obviously drunk, he will not be convicted.

Mark Newgent said...

Bruce you are right on a purely philosophical level. The purpose of law is to prevent, but in reality laws don't prevent crime.

Eludius is correct on a practical level that laws don't prevent people from doing things. They are merely state prohibitions against certain actions. Our drug laws don't really prevent drug lords from selling their product, now do they.

Jeez when is this debate supposed to happen!

AshiningCity said...

Oh, I don't think it is such a bad idea.

Of course it should hand in hand with strong sentencing but putting a little added shame isn't a bad thing.

Eludius said...

Lefty, you are obviously not familiar with my postings. My comments about oral sex were purely comical in nature. I figured if it was so ridiculous that you liberals would find the humor. I was obviously mistaken. :-)