Neo-Prohibitionism Comes To North Dakota, DUI Offenders Will Be Prohibited From Drinking
This is absurd:
You get a DUI you can be stopped from driving but not from drinking until now…
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says North Dakota has a real problem with repeat DUI offenders.
Today he announces a program that will keep tabs on repeat drunk drivers.
Donnell Preskey has the story…
Starting January first if you’re arrested for DUI and it’s your second one or more you’ll be visiting your sheriffs department often
A new program called 24/7 sobriety is starting in the 12 counties in the south-central part of the state
Repeat DUI offenders will be ordered to go to the sheriffs department twice a day once in the morning then again in the evening to blow into this..
(Wayne Stenehjem / ND Attorney General) “If fail to show up for testing- warrant for arrest and be arrested. If any trace of alcohol in their system, they will be escorted immediately to jail, not in a week, not in a month, now.” If you drink you sit in jail
Stenehjem says the immediate consequences make the difference
I’ve got a big, big problem with this.
For one thing, Stenehjem is being rather alarmist about DUI’s in North Dakota. Yes, DUI arrests in the state are up. But that’s because of increased enforcement, not increased incidents of people driving drunk. Despite cops in North Dakota spending more and more tax dollars and law enforcement resources on drunk driving, nothing has changed in terms of public safety. Alcohol-related injuries and fatalities in traffic accidents have remained constant since 2002.
Put simply, Stenehjem and our DUI policies aren’t making North Dakota safer. They’re just putting more people in jail while simultaneously using up more tax dollars.
Now Stenehjem wants to take his authoritarian DUI enforcement up another level to the point of actually requiring DUI offenders to report to the local court house routinely to ensure that they haven’t been drinking. Which is absurd given that it isn’t illegal for someone guilty of a DUI to drink. Not to mention that this will mean an incredible increase in DUI enforcement costs, not to mention a burden on DUI offenders.
I’m more concerned about the former than the latter as DUI offenders got themselves into the mess through their own irresponsibility, but does someone want to explain to me how it will be feasible for a DUI offender who lives 40 miles from his local court house to report for twice-a-day alcohol screenings?
I wish people like Stenehjem would spend a little less time on ridiculous expansions of government power like this and a little more time focusing on policies that would actually increase public safety. After all, the problem is not so much people drinking as it’s people drinking and driving. Perhaps instead of spending money on absurdly invasive new enforcement tactics, we should just offer the drunks a free ride home.
That’s not a perfect solution, I’ll admit, but I’d be willing to wager that it would be a whole lot more effective than throwing ever more people in jail and making them show up for mandated breathalyzer tests.