Letters to the Editor

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DUI: We’ve made it easier to buy hard liquor

Letter by Earl D. Erickson, Tacoma on April 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm | No Comments »
April 1, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: “More must be done to stop repeat drunk drivers” (editorial, 3-29).

Any legislation or stiffer regulation on drunk driving meets the same argument as gun control. The problem with passing stricter penalties is the Legislature and lobbying.

There are plenty of legislators who like their alcoholic drinks as much as the NRA likes its guns. No presiding judge or legislators want to increase their own chances of receiving a DUI. They penalize the lawbreakers in a public courtroom, but they also realize it could affect them as well.

Let’s face it, it took many years to reduce a 0.10 legal limit to 0.08 for driving drunk. And now we have less restriction on purchasing booze in grocery stores, rather than regulating it in state-controlled liquor stores. And to compound the problem, now we have legalized marijuana in the deadly mix of driving drunk and stoned. What are we thinking?

I admit to an embarrassing fact: I have had 13 DUI charges spanning 31 years (1972-2003). I was convicted 10 of those 13 times with one deferred prosecution. Eleven of those were here in Washington state; two were in another state that I ran from and never appeared in court. Those two were in 1983.

Now I am a recovering alcoholic with nearly 10 years of sobriety. It took my 13th DUI for me to finally do something about my drinking. My penalty was severe enough for me to wake me up and make me a better person today.

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