Many people believe that the only way that a criminal learns from his or her mistakes or transgressions is by being severely punished. Laws need to be tougher and the options available to judges need to be expansive so that people who have been accused of committing a crime may suffer the horrible consequences for their actions. So this line of thinking continues, as a result of these consequences the person will learn his or her lesson and never commit a crime again.
But that isn’t what happens in every case, and there are some studies out there that insist prison and jail time have a minimal effect (if any at all) on a person’s potential recidivism.
We bring all of this up in light of an article that talks about how penalties for drunk driving should be strengthened so that people who do drink and drive feel the swift hand of justice. It appears the article is aimed at drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents, but in essence the article is clamoring for enhanced penalties for drunk driving in general.
Though on its surface this may seem like the logical move, the fact is that drunk driving penalties already punish people severely. They could, and probably will, lose their license — and the likelihood that their car has been impounded is pretty high as well. They need to pay all sorts of penalties and fees relating to their license and car, as well as money for court appearances, costs and alcohol education classes.
These are just a few of the financial consequences that can afflict someone accused of a DUI, let alone the prospect of jail time and the potential that they can’t find a job or a place to live due to their drunk driving arrest.