Despite drunk driving campaigns and a series of laws relating to DWIs, repeat drunk driving offenders remain common.
James Fisher has been arrested 12 times since 1991 for driving while intoxicated. Fisher’s last arrest took place just after his release from prison for serving time for a 2009 DUI conviction. There are hundreds of cases like this every year. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 37 percent of the 5,400 individuals arrested for DUI in 2012 were repeat offenders.
Many states have extremely strict DWI laws and steep fines, but they have not stopped some people from driving while intoxicated, even with prior convictions. Even offenders who have served time frequently return to drinking when they get out of jail, and they drive whether or not they have a legal license to do so. At his most recent arrest, Fisher was driving unlicensed and uninsured, and his vehicle was not legally registered.
So new solutions are being studied. They include mandated ignition interlock devices for offenders that prevent them from operating their vehicle while drunk. But “more” devices will not necessarily solve the issue for repeat offenders, already familiar with alcohol treatment modalities and their evasion.
As such, many states have started approaching the root of the problem: addiction. Delaware has a DUI Court ready to swing into operation, with a mandate to compel offenders into treatment. Similar court programs in Colorado and Wisconsin have had success with changing an individual’s behavior by requiring accountability, intensive supervision and long-term treatment.
If you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who handles DWI/DUI plaintiff cases. He or she can ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve.