I had a recent DWI case that was going to plead for various reasons. My client had no record and was a hard working young woman in her 20’s. Being a good citizen this young lady did everything the cops asked. She performed field sobriety tests and took a breath test when asked.
IWTS rule- In a DWI stop the cops are not there to help you. They want to arrest you. You do not have to assist them in your conviction.
The plea bargain was for 15 months probation. She now faces alcohol education classes, a Victim Impact panel, thousands in fees to renew her license, community service, fines, court costs, probation fees, drug tests and a breath test machine in her car.
This young lady had no criminal history. Not as much as a traffic ticket. It was a tough on DWI DA in a county that worships at the MADD altar.
If tougher DWI laws do not improve safety then there is no reason to keep punishing our fellow Texans. We are ruining lives with these convictions.
Most Americans have driven under the influence at some point in their lives. Since some horrible tragic accidents are caused by DWI we have decided to treat every DWI defendants as if they killed someone.
The punishment does not fit the crime. We have made DWI a money grab for the state and a moral crusade for law enforcement.
DWI is not a moral failure. It does not make you a bad person. DWI happens.
George W Bush, Dick Cheney, the guy from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and Mel Gibson have all driven drunk. How many Victim Impact Panels and Alcohol Education classes should Dick Cheney have been put through? George W. did not have to spend any time in the county jail and he became President.
We need to change our approach to DWI enforcement. Hopefully this study will convince the public that MADD should be ignored. Enforcement has reached its limits. Tougher laws will not work.
Thanks to the Defense Perspective for inspiring this post.