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  1. #1
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    Crist to sign bike lane bill -- with an extra item

    http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/state/g...n-bicycle-bill

    Apparently it's not just about bikes. It's also about giving people with revoked licenses, from 4 DUI's, a chance to get it back.

    The bike lane thing is one issue, but the part about DUI's seems worse. It feels loosely like chanting "give us Barabbas!"

    Not living in Florida (or ever planning on visiting that state for various reasons) this is distant to me. I imagine Florida cyclists are pretty miffed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Because everybody deserves a second, third, fourth and even a fifth chance.
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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    And why shouldn't I be able to enjoy a stiff drink while driving in the bike lane?

    Seriously, this is one reason I don't live in Florida. Not that I'm expecting a mass exodus to make the state compete for sane people to live there or anything ... but it really doesn't sound like a good place for a cyclist to live.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Peripheral Visionary spock's Avatar
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    "The bill mandates bicyclists to use designated bike lanes except for specified expectations which include when bike lane surface conditions are unsafe."

    I think that's pretty reasonable. If the bike lane is obstructed in any way, you won't get a ticket.

    "The bill also allows drivers with four DUI convictions to petition for a license after 10 years. Currently, their license is permanently revoked."

    That's 10 freakin' years of wait. I would like to think that after 10 years one would get it into their head that another DUI is just not worth it.

    It's getting better in Florida tho'. Traffic deaths in Florida hit record low
    Last edited by spock; 06-22-10 at 01:27 PM.

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    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    That ten years to amnesty provision might not be bad if being caught driving unlicensed or for public intox resets the clock to zero. That would, I think, provide motivation for the many alcoholics who also happen to be reasonable and responsible people. A lifetime driving ban only encourages unlicensed driving.
    Last edited by gcottay; 06-23-10 at 08:01 AM. Reason: apparent reader confusion
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    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Florida

    now there's a real reason to organize a giant CM ride there!


  7. #7
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spock View Post
    "The bill mandates bicyclists to use designated bike lanes except for specified expectations which include when bike lane surface conditions are unsafe."

    I think that's pretty reasonable. If the bike lane is obstructed in any way, you won't get a ticket.
    There a few problems with that though. Such as the off duty cop who pulled me over a couple of years back when I was riding home. When I tried to explain to him that we cyclists do have the right to take the lane he tried to tell me that we didn't. As well as threatening to seize my bike on the spot. And this was a cop who was suppose to be a traffic homicide cop. Also as we have seen in some recent court cases there are plenty of LEO's out there who take the position that if THEY perceive something to be unsafe that it most also therefore be illegal, and even if it isn't illegal if they perceive it to be unsafe and even after being instructed in a court of law that it is both safe and legal that they would continue to write a citation for it.

    Which can also lead to the LEO thinking that in their opinion that a bike lane is safe to use even though those of us who ride on a regular basis know better. As an example, not more than a 1/2-mile or so from my home there is a divided road with a bike lane. On the westbound side there is a curve going from the North-South road, that more cars than not when making that turn enter the bike lane. For that reason I do not, and will not ride in the bike lane, and the irony is that I on my bike give the bike lane a wider berth than do motorists. Once leaving that curve, there is usually broken glass in the much of the bike lane. Now even though I ride on Specialized Armadillo tires, I again will not ride in that section of the bike lane. But to someone in a car I am sure that that bike lane looks like it is perfectly "safe" to use.

    The Eastbound bike lane isn't much better. It is right along side the on street parking. And there are usually at least one car parked there if not more as well as quite often a big rig or two. When there are cars in the marked on street parking, again I do and will not ride in the bike lane. And again I am sure to motorists that it looks as if it is a completely "safe" bike lane to ride in.

    Quote Originally Posted by spock View Post
    "The bill also allows drivers with four DUI convictions to petition for a license after 10 years. Currently, their license is permanently revoked."

    That's 10 freakin' years of wait. I would like to think that after 10 years one would get it into their head that another DUI is just not worth it.

    It's getting better in Florida tho'. Traffic deaths in Florida hit record low
    Their license should be permanently revoked after their first DUI conviction with absolutely NO chance of ever getting it back. As just because it is their first time getting caught driving while under the influence of anything it is more likely than not, not their first time driving while under the influence of anything. They may have been "slightly buzzed" and let off with a warning, or they may have totally gotten away with it. And each time that they've gotten away with it encouraged them to continue doing so.

    So, no I do not want anyone who has had even one conviction for DUI driving ever again. I mean it is a simple law, if you've been drinking, don't drive.
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    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Haven't we been through all of this?

    On the DUI point - believe it or not, people change. Alcoholics change. Not all, but many do. The restrictions placed on the licenses that people get back after a revocation are very severe (interlock systems, prove of rehabilitation, and the like), and I think they are appropriate. It's better to have a license with restricitons, so a person can be monitored, than for him to be driving without a license, which is what happens. I had a fellow in court today who just got released from 36 month in prison for driving with a suspended license. Is that really the best use of tax dollars?

  9. #9
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    On the DUI point - believe it or not, people change. Alcoholics change. Not all, but many do.
    This.

    No comment on whether or not the existing laws are fine. I can't really say for sure as I'm not even all that sure what Colorado's laws are.
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  10. #10
    Powerful-Ugly Creature Greyryder's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that Crist had already signed this.

    I've long been convinced that HB 971 is just a string of bad ideas. I hadn't heard that the DUI license restoration had a waiting time of ten years. The term "petition" makes it sounds like it would still be up for review. One would hope that convictions for driving without a license would factor against it.

    The problem with the provision for the cyclist to judge the bike lane unsafe, is that many police officers in Florida don't understand the existing exceptions to their FRAP law. Under this law cyclists will be ticketed for not riding in unsafe bike lanes, and have to explain to a judge why they were out in traffic with the "grown up vehicles."
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Burton
    When some wild eyed eight foot tall maniac grabs you by the throat and taps the back of your favorite head head against the barroom wall, and he looks crooked in the eye, and he ask you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

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    Oh boy!
    I'm so excited to see what is going to happen at Friday's Critical Mass.
    I enjoy attending them and there are always cops threatening the cyclists.

    Not to mention that there is bike lanes through a good portion of the ride.
    So I wonder if the cops are going to actually do anything or just continue throwing around empty threats.

    This should be fun!

  12. #12
    Senior Member rustybrown's Avatar
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    At least they might start cleaning the debris that has been in the bike lanes for years, now.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    Haven't we been through all of this?

    On the DUI point - believe it or not, people change. Alcoholics change. Not all, but many do.
    How many, how often and for how long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    The restrictions placed on the licenses that people get back after a revocation are very severe (interlock systems, prove of rehabilitation, and the like), and I think they are appropriate. It's better to have a license with restrictions, so a person can be monitored, than for him to be driving without a license, which is what happens. I had a fellow in court today who just got released from 36 month in prison for driving with a suspended license. Is that really the best use of tax dollars?
    As an officer of the court how many people come through your courtroom who'd been arrested for driving without or on a suspended license?

    And I'm sorry, but driving without or on a suspended license isn't as bad as a person who has one or more DUI's. Also how many times had the guy who had been released been arrested/ticketed for driving without or on a suspended license? And were there any other charges against him besides the driving without or on a suspended license?

    And given that one car can kill more people at the same time vs. a man with a gun. Like I said, I don't want someone who has had even one DUI behind the wheel of a car. Even with an ignition interlock system. As what's to stop them from having someone who is sober from breathing into it, or filling up balloons and using them to "breath" into the interlock???
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyryder View Post
    I was under the impression that Crist had already signed this.

    I've long been convinced that HB 971 is just a string of bad ideas. I hadn't heard that the DUI license restoration had a waiting time of ten years. The term "petition" makes it sounds like it would still be up for review. One would hope that convictions for driving without a license would factor against it.

    The problem with the provision for the cyclist to judge the bike lane unsafe, is that many police officers in Florida don't understand the existing exceptions to their FRAP law. Under this law cyclists will be ticketed for not riding in unsafe bike lanes, and have to explain to a judge why they were out in traffic with the "grown up vehicles."
    Grey Ryder,

    I can verify that. As I've said before the off duty traffic homicide cop that pulled me over a couple of years ago clearly either didn't know or care about the exceptions to the preexisting exceptions to the FRAP portion of the law. And also unfortunately as I'm sure I don't need to say most people (and that includes the LEO's) interpret FRAP to mean that cyclists have to either ride in the gutter pan, or hug the curb instead of actually riding in the lane.

    As well as how many are going to know that if we are traveling at the posted speed limit that we are not required to either ride in a bike lane or to ride as FRAP?
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  15. #15
    Senior Member 12bar's Avatar
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    As I understand it part of the new DUI law states IF the individuals request for reinstatement is granted they are required to install an alcohol interlock device in their vehicle as well as pay about $80.00 per month for the service so in spirit it's not all bad. Don't get me wrong I believe it's a very bad idea but in all honesty does not having a license really stop anyone from driving, I don't think so just look around.
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  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    Because everybody deserves a second, third, fourth and even a fifth chance.
    That is just plain lunacy. A second chance I understand, perhaps a third... but beyond that... you're OUT! Sheesh...

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spock View Post
    "The bill mandates bicyclists to use designated bike lanes except for specified expectations which include when bike lane surface conditions are unsafe."

    I think that's pretty reasonable. If the bike lane is obstructed in any way, you won't get a ticket.

    "The bill also allows drivers with four DUI convictions to petition for a license after 10 years. Currently, their license is permanently revoked."

    That's 10 freakin' years of wait. I would like to think that after 10 years one would get it into their head that another DUI is just not worth it.

    It's getting better in Florida tho'. Traffic deaths in Florida hit record low
    I would think after a second DUI they would get in their head that they are screwed up! Sorry... 10 years is not long enough. There should be no "reset" for folks with this sort of record.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12bar View Post
    As I understand it part of the new DUI law states IF the individuals request for reinstatement is granted they are required to install an alcohol interlock device in their vehicle as well as pay about $80.00 per month for the service so in spirit it's not all bad. Don't get me wrong I believe it's a very bad idea but in all honesty does not having a license really stop anyone from driving, I don't think so just look around.
    If that device works they should be installing it after one DUI. At 4 you should probably be exiled (obvious humor, humor is obvious).

  19. #19
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Their license should be permanently revoked after their first DUI conviction with absolutely NO chance of ever getting it back.
    Highly disagree.

    The world is not all black and white, and it's very easy for people to make statements like this without putting themselves in those shoes or just thinking a little bit.

    First of all, I very much agree with the sentiment of Kerlenbach that people DO change, and people DO deserve a second chance. Hell, I know one. He was a kid, he made a mistake, and he got popped for it. He has seriously paid for it, both financially and otherwise. He's sorry, he regretted it, and he would never even think of doing it again. I don't think a person like that deserves to have their driving privileges completely revoked for life, especially in a country where in some places. it can be very difficult to even survive without a car. He caused no damage (yes, he certainly could have), and he repaid his debt to society, as far as I'm concerned (and the law).

    Secondly, what if you were wrongly convicted? It does happen you know. Or if there was just an open container in the car? You think someone who is stone cold sober but with a passenger who had a beer in the backseat should have his license pulled for life? What about someone who just went to sleep in their car while drunk? People have been convicted in that case too, you know. In zero tolerance places cold medicine can set you over. How would you feel if you were convicted in a case like this and could never drive again? What, you just hope the appeal works out?

    No, no, this is far too militant, and thankfully our society as a whole realizes that. We have a serious problem with drunk driving, but the laws are not really the problem. It's a cultural, and logistical one.

    What, do you want a law like El Salvador's?
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Highly disagree.

    The world is not all black and white, and it's very easy for people to make statements like this without putting themselves in those shoes or just thinking a little bit.
    This is true, the world is not black and white.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    First of all, I very much agree with the sentiment of Kerlenbach that people DO change, and people DO deserve a second chance. Hell, I know one. He was a kid, he made a mistake, and he got popped for it. He has seriously paid for it, both financially and otherwise. He's sorry, he regretted it, and he would never even think of doing it again. I don't think a person like that deserves to have their driving privileges completely revoked for life, especially in a country where in some places. it can be very difficult to even survive without a car. He caused no damage (yes, he certainly could have), and he repaid his debt to society, as far as I'm concerned (and the law).
    My question still stands, how many people change and how often do they change, and for how long do they change? And as has been said before just because it is a person's first DUI conviction that doesn't mean that it is the first time that they've driven drunk. It is a safe to presume that they have driven before while drunk. Again, yes some change, but really what percentage actually do change?

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    Secondly, what if you were wrongly convicted? It does happen you know. Or if there was just an open container in the car? You think someone who is stone cold sober but with a passenger who had a beer in the backseat should have his license pulled for life? What about someone who just went to sleep in their car while drunk? People have been convicted in that case too, you know. In zero tolerance places cold medicine can set you over. How would you feel if you were convicted in a case like this and could never drive again? What, you just hope the appeal works out?
    That's what the appeals process is for. The law says if I am not mistaken that there is to be NO open container within reach of the driver. If his BAC shows even a trace amount of alcohol or if there is an open container where he can have access to it, why should he get off scott free? Yes even if one just "fell" asleep in their car while drunk particularly if they have the key in the ignition as it shows their intent to drive while drunk. If on the other hand they are laying down in the back of the car asleep that might be different.

    And if I am not mistaken, these days cough medicine/syrup now carries a warning label, warning that using it might impair their ability to operate various types of equipment, to include motor vehicles.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    No, no, this is far too militant, and thankfully our society as a whole realizes that. We have a serious problem with drunk driving, but the laws are not really the problem. It's a cultural, and logistical one.
    Exactly, for way too long drunk driving was treated not a very serious problem. Sadly, now that it is being treated as the serious problem that it is we as a nation still have to deal with too many people viewing it as not being a big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
    What, do you want a law like El Salvador's?
    I've posted that list myself once or twice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    I've posted that list myself once or twice.
    As a joke, or do you actually believe it's true?

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    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
    As a joke, or do you actually believe it's true?
    To be honest given that there is at least one other country that lists execution as the penalty for a second offense I have to think that there is at least some truth to the penalties in that list.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    DC - I don't know what percentage of alcoholics change, and the number really is beside the point.Here's why. In the law, and in life for that matter, you don't deal with percentages, you deal with individuals. I learned that the hard way. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003, and in 2005 it spread to my liver, making it stage 4. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 colon cancer is about 30%. I finished chemo on July 19, 2006, meaning that, statistically, I had a 30% chance of living until July 19, 2011. But, I have learned, survival is not a game of percentages. For an individual it is binary - the answer is either yes or no. I am cancer-free, meaning that for me, I would say my chances of making it to 7/19/11 are around 100%, not 30%

    It works the same in court - the likelihood whether an individual will or will not reoffend can be expressed statistically, but for a particular person the answer is binary. That's why each person must be treated as an individual, and why painting everyone with the same brush is not justice. Treating everyone the same is called "wholesale judging." It's a whole lot easier than retail judging, but a lot less fair.

    I am not a criminal court judge, but I can tell you that the crime of driving with a suspended license is by more than a factor of 2, the most frequently charged crime in this county and probably throughout Florida. Drivers licenses get suspended all the time (I deal with child support DL suspensions almost daily) for good reasons and bad. To raise revenue, the state has greatly bumped up traffic fines, meaning more and more people get suspensions for failing to pay fines. Too often a small fine results in a cascading failure to pay, resulting in a very long suspension.

    So, letting a repeat DUI offender petition to get his license back after a 10-year revocation is fair.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    DC - I don't know what percentage of alcoholics change, and the number really is beside the point.Here's why. In the law, and in life for that matter, you don't deal with percentages, you deal with individuals.
    True, but you also know that those statistics and percentages are a good guide for who is and which crimes are likely to be repeat offenders/repeated. And as such that they cannot be totally ignored either. The LBS that I go used to rent space in a strip mall next door to a small restaurant/bar and grill type of place. And we'd be sitting back in the workshop listening to the people next door (I don't know if they knew if we could hear them or not or how clearly we could hear them) and laugh at them because they would go on at length about how "Just because I drink X-number of cases of beer/booze a day and I am on my Y-DUI that doesn't mean that I'm an alcoholic." Just listening to them talk I think that it is safe to presume that if they had were given a Breathalyzer test, or had their blood drawn for a BAC that they would be well over the legal limit. And I am sure that you know full well as an officer of the court that just because it is a person's first arrest and/or conviction for DUI that more likely than not that it isn't the first time that they've been driving while under the influence of whatever substance.

    And I am sorry but there are certain offense that the first time that a person gets caught committing that they should have to face series jail time/penalties. And Driving under the influence of any mind altering substance is one of those. As I am sure we all know how easy it is for a sober but distracted driver to "not see us" and end up hitting and killing us, and than to use one of the two "magic get out of jail free cards," i.e. "But officer I didn't see him/her," or "But officer they just 'swerved' into my lane and I didn't have time to avoid them." Throw alcohol or some other mind altering substance into the mix and you're really asking for trouble.

    I'm also sure that we all know that even with the Breathalyzer interlocks installed in a repeat offenders car that there is no way to insure that the repeat offender isn't going to go out drinking, get wasted and than get someone else who isn't wasted to blow into the interlock. So that they can drive home or to the next bar.

    The better way to have those Breathalyzer interlocks setup is as I think I've said before have them not only analyze the breath for alcohol but temperature and moisture content to insure that it came from a person's lungs, as well as DNA to insure that it came from the person who it is suppose to have come from and that they have to breath into it either every X-number of miles driven or every Y-number of minutes. As well as having either a video or web cam mounted so that it observes the person who is blowing in the Breathalyzer interlock.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    I learned that the hard way. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003, and in 2005 it spread to my liver, making it stage 4. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 colon cancer is about 30%. I finished chemo on July 19, 2006, meaning that, statistically, I had a 30% chance of living until July 19, 2011. But, I have learned, survival is not a game of percentages. For an individual it is binary - the answer is either yes or no. I am cancer-free, meaning that for me, I would say my chances of making it to 7/19/11 are around 100%, not 30%
    I hope that you do beat the odds, but again as an officer of the court you know that you can't totally ignore those numbers either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    It works the same in court - the likelihood whether an individual will or will not re-offend can be expressed statistically, but for a particular person the answer is binary. That's why each person must be treated as an individual, and why painting everyone with the same brush is not justice. Treating everyone the same is called "wholesale judging." It's a whole lot easier than retail judging, but a lot less fair.

    I am not a criminal court judge, but I can tell you that the crime of driving with a suspended license is by more than a factor of 2, the most frequently charged crime in this county and probably throughout Florida. Drivers licenses get suspended all the time (I deal with child support DL suspensions almost daily) for good reasons and bad. To raise revenue, the state has greatly bumped up traffic fines, meaning more and more people get suspensions for failing to pay fines. Too often a small fine results in a cascading failure to pay, resulting in a very long suspension.

    So, letting a repeat DUI offender petition to get his license back after a 10-year revocation is fair.
    Unless you happen to end up as a victim of this multiple repeat offender. How does the court explain to the little girl or boy that because even though the person who hit and killed their parents had had 4 DUI's and served their 10 year suspended license that they were able to petition to get an interlock installed on their car and get their license back?

    How is it fair to society to allow a person who has been convicted of DUI four times back on the road with an interlock and/or suspended license? As you've said you deal with numerous cases of people who continue to drive on suspended licenses. Even going so far as to ask whether or not putting them away in prison is a good use of a limited resource or not.

    How would you recommend that a person who has been arrested for AND convicted of numerous DUIs and/or driving on a suspended license be treated? I agree that putting them into the Federal system right away probably isn't a good use of a limited resource. But what about putting them into either the Country or State penal system? Starting out in the county system for the first offense for X-amount of days, and a second, third, etc. getting them longer stays until they finally "graduate" to the state lockup. Where again they spend X-amount of time, number of convictions in the State lockup before eventually graduating to the Federal lockup.

    And as we know there are still certain areas of the country where DUI (despite all of the media coverage) is treated as no big deal. Even after individuals have wrapped numerous cars around telephone poles and trees and whatnot.

    How many "second chances" should a person get before they "graduate" to killing someone because they were driving while drunk, stoned, or otherwise wasted?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spock View Post
    [I][B]It's getting better in Florida tho'. Traffic deaths in Florida hit record low
    Note: All of the fatalities involved at least one motor vehicle; some involved pedestrians or bicyclists
    While the numbers are not out yet on the web for 2009 traditionally Florida has had a very high pedestrian and bicyclists fatality rate so I'm still holding out for that detail before I'll say Florida is getting better.
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