Comment of the Day

Reader: DUIs are a Cash Grab

In a recent post, we noted that a felony DUI bill signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper earlier this week was opposed by the ACLU of Colorado.

The organization contends that increased emphasis on treatment, more checkpoints intended to identify drunk drivers before they can harm anyone and targeted investigations aimed at bars with a record of allowing customers to drink excessively and then climb behind the wheel would keep highways safer than tougher penalties.

The topic spurred a lively conversation among our readers.

Here's an exchange by someone who feels that current policies are more about collecting cash than crash prevention and a response from a law enforcer with an interesting point of view.

Tracy Strode writes:
Said it before and will say it again, DUIs exist as a cash-grab. Nobody making or enforcing the law actually cares whether the people getting DUI's drive drunk again and again and again, as long as they pay their fines! I was almost killed by a drunk driver who had had 6 prior DUI's. He paid all his fines and the courts got tons of money out of him, but didn't stop him from driving drunk even for a day.
Nick Fra writes:
As a police officer, the most likely way for me to save a life is by getting a DUI off the road. Those of us out there doing DUI enforcement care deeply about it. Unfortunately we don't get to decide the punishment.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts. For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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