Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to Strengthen the Economy and Decrease DUI's

Want to decrease DUI's? Who says MADD, Mothers' Against Drunk Driving, has the right answers through stiffer penalties for DUI's, Interlock Ignition Devices, and being thankful that the erosion of Constitutional rights became acceptable under the guise of fighting terrorism through the Patriot Act?

Yesterday's New York Times suggests a much simpler way to decrease DUI's. It turns out that the easiest way to curb drinking and driving is to tax the living daylights out of alcohol. Apparently, alcohol consumption decreases significantly, even among heavy/problem drinkers, when the beverages are significantly taxed.

Somehow I doubt MADD, the insurance cabal, Mayor Daley, Gov. Blagojevich,and law enforcement agencies will join in lobbying for this increased tax. I DO believe that the Chicago City Council and the Illinois State Legislature should seriously consider all legitimate ways (i.e. no attempted sales of U.S. Senate seats) of raising revenue.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for safer roads and punishing wrong doing, but I do not believe raising revenues through significant DUI court fees and fines, as well as financing new businesses (all of the Interlock Ignition Device companies are privately held) is the way to do it. DUI attorneys and criminal defense lawyers have enough on their hands without having to take on the insurance industry, law enforcement, and local government. It is going to be up to you, as one of your duties as a citizen, to start asking your legislators tough questions and weighing in on the bills they pass each session (hint, bills in the Illinois legislature are under consideration now). It has been my experience that no one ever thinks about the ongoing erosion of their rights until they or someone they love bears the brunt of all of these so-called new revenue streams through DUI arrests, not convictions.

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