IOKIYAR volume elebenty-four:
Here’s an interesting flashback into the recent political career of Minnesota state Rep. Tom Emmer, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor: He sponsored legislation last year to lower the legal penalties and procedural hurdles that face accused drunk drivers — all while he has had brushes with the law on this very subject in his own past.
As the Star Tribune and local blogs reported back in March 2009, Emmer sponsored legislation that would get rid of the state’s process of automatically revoking the licenses of people accused of driving while under the influence, or who refuse to take a sobriety test. The law Emmer tried to water down currently calls for a civil court process to have a license restored pending a final conviction. Instead, under Emmer’s bill, a license revocation would have only occurred after a conviction.
In fact, Emmer himself had received a ticket for DWI in 1981, when he was 20. And then again in 1991, when he was 30, he was charged with DWI and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving. “We all come to the Legislature with life experiences, but it has nothing to do with this bill,” Emmer said in 2009. “This is a good bill.”
A month after the Star Tribune article, Emmer also authored a legislative amendment, adopted by the state House, to seal information on DUI convictions after 10 years, for all new convictions going forward. Although the amendment passed the House, it was later dropped in the state House-Senate conference committee.
To be fair:
It should also be noted, as the local CBS affiliate pointed out, that this would not have applied to Emmer’s own past record. His past convictions would not have been sealed.
More here with links.
What kind of idiot thinks that it’s a good idea to soften DUI laws?
I’m fully aware that some of them, say in florida, can be quite harsh. I am also aware that they aren’t nearly as harsh as those in the UK— and frankly, it IS a different issue, somewhat, in the US, because in many places in the US public transport is just not available or available easily.
Even so. This is a terrible cause of death, it often affects (as in kills) innocent people, and there can’t be any question that this is an area where we can do MUCH better than we have done and are doing. Softening the laws is NOT the way to go.