Increase penalties for drunken driving

Published 2:10 pm Saturday, May 8, 2010

I have recently been taking driver’s training classes. One topic we have hit pretty hard is driving while intoxicated. We all know it is bad and shouldn’t do it. Even with this prior knowledge, people still find a need to do it.

In Minnesota, 240 people die each year because of drunken driving incidents, according to the Minnesota Driving School booklet. So let us take a reality check and realize how many people do it anyway, even though they know it is endangering many people’s lives. Sometimes it is the drunks who lose their lives, but many times it ends up to be the innocent, sober driver on the road next to them.

I believe the punishments for driving while under the influence are not strong enough. For a first offense currently you would get a revocation of your license for 90 days and 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. These fines and days can vary depending on the number of offenses.

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Take a look around. Have you ever seen black-and-white license plates on the back of a car? Do you know what they mean? They are people who have had their license plates impounded since they got caught more than once. Is this saying their punishment was not bad enough?

I want this law changed for the millions of children, mothers and citizens in this community that suffer every day because of drunken driving incidents. I believe for a first offense you should get your license revoked for a whole year, a fine of $3,000/or a jailing time of 180 days. This should teach you that you have done wrong. If you get caught again you are done driving forever and your license is taken way. You are also jailed for one whole year. You obviously can’t handle the responsibility of the road.

If you decide to drink, arrange a ride ahead of time. I am writing to you today for the safety of our community and for the wellness and longevity of all of our lives.

Ashley Tewes

Albert Lea High School

English class

Albert Lea