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home : opinions : letters to the editor   June 24, 2016

1/11/2014 2:34:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Cracking down on DUI

A recent letter to the editor commented about the “NRA cartoons.” It also made mention of the DUI problems we face.

Some 20 years ago the nation of Sweden had enough of the DUI carnage and let the limit at 0.02 BAC. They also increased the penalties. First offense punishments can include up to 6 months in prison (hard labor), revoked license for between 3 and 12 years and a hefty fine. One account reported a fine of $12,000. More than 0.10 BAC or second offence punishments are up to 12 months in prison (more hard labor!), revoked license for between 12 months and three years, and larger fines. (In Norway, a second DUI conviction and the driving license is lost forever).

These tough laws have been in effect in Sweden for some twenty years. Tough laws work. In Sweden only some 3.3 percent of fatal traffic accidents involve DUI, in the United States, in 2010, some 31percent  of fatal traffic accidents involve DUI. That’s 10,228 people who died because of DUI.

If it works in Sweden, it can work here. Tough laws work!

Warren C. Cobb
La Salle

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014
Article comment by: jimshooes

Mr. Cobb,

Just because some other country's harsher laws and penalties seem to control a social problem in their country,does'nt mean that it is the best solution for those problems here in the US.

What prompted me to respond is your use of statistics.

First I want to point out that Sweden is a kingdom.The United States is not.

Second I want to remind you that the total population of Sweden is only
9.5 million people,and the land mass is just slightly larger than the state of California. So you can quickly see that comparing statistics with the US is an error on your part.
If you were to combine the total populations of all three countries you used in your example, it is still only 10% of the total population in the US, and I won't get into the median ages of the drivers in the respective countries etc. etc. etc.
But I will submit if you did "ALL" the research and the math you'd find that the instances of DUI here in the US are comparable as anywhere else even with Our lax DUI laws.(sarcasm intended)

What will reduce the problems we face here in the US with DUI fatalities? There are no simple answers.
But I doubt that harsher laws,larger fines, and longer jail time is an answer,because it just destroy's and bankrupts more families, and creates more criminals that can never be productive members of society.

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