Driving is a Privilege, Not a Right
I had multiple, successive mind-blown moments reading through a story from last March that just popped up on my Facebook feed.
First: A woman in Florida, driving to meet her boyfriend, decides she wants to make sure she’s ready for their tryst by touching up her bikini line. So, doing what any normal, reasonable person would do, she has her ex-husband, sitting in the passenger seat, reach over and take the wheel to steer so she can shave her genitals as she drives down the road. In what I’m sure was a totally unexpected result, she ends up rear-ending someone.
Second: The resulting charges include reckless driving, driving with no insurance, leaving the scene of a wreck with injuries, and driving with a revoked license. It turns out that last charge is a result of a conviction the day before of a DUI with a prior and driving with a suspended license. Her license had been suspended for five years, and the car she was driving at the time of the shaving-induced crash was supposed to have been impounded.
Third: The “with a prior” part of the “DUI with a prior” conviction apparently comes from one or more earlier incidents, including failing to stop and remain at a crash involving an injury, a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license, and a felony hit-and-run.
But what really got me was this fourth bit, from the end of that last link (the added emphasis is mine):
When she starts driving again, Barnes must have a breathalyzer ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle she drives.
When she starts driving again‽ Hopefully this language is just a holdover from the conviction when her license was suspended for five years. I find it absolutely mindboggling that there would be any way this woman would ever be legally allowed to drive again. This twit has repeatedly shown that she cannot be trusted behind the wheel of a car, why in the world should she ever have the chance to regain a driver’s license?
We as a society are far too lenient when it comes to giving people the legal ability to drive. I’m strongly of the opinion that DUIs should be a single-strike offense: you drive drunk, you lose your license, and that’s it. No suspensions, no slaps on the wrist, no car-mounted breathalyzers. Once someone’s proven that they cannot be trusted to drive responsibly, that they’re more concerned about their own personal world than other people’s safety and lives, then that’s it for them. Get rides, take public transportation, buy a bicycle, or walk more than the twenty steps from the couch to the fridge. But driving is out. Period.