19 February 2013
A Fair Punishment
On the morning of April 21st, 2009, my biology teacher gave me, and the rest of the class, some terrible news. She told us that my high school classmate and friend, Major Washington, had been killed in a car accident the previous night. I later learned that Major, and his mother Sylvia Porter, had been hit by a drunk driver on their way to return a movie. The man behind the wheel was driving with a suspended license, and his blood-alcohol level was at .18, which is three times the legal limit. This was not his first drunk driving offense. Suspending someone’s license on their first drunk driving offense is not a strong enough punishment. I believe that this tragedy could have been avoided if this man was in a place where he could not drink, and in a place where he could not get behind the wheel of a car. In order to avoid tragedies like this one, drunk drivers should be imprisoned on their first offense for one year.
The opposition may argue that prison is meant for criminals only. Sending someone to prison, after they made one mistake, is wrong. A first time offender of driving while under the influence does not belong in prison. Prison is a place for those who have been charged with a serious criminal offense. This is true to a certain extent. However, drunk driving is a dangerous and deadly behavior no what offense it is. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests the stiffer penalties for first-time high-BAC (blood alcohol content) offenders should be comparable to those applied to repeat offenders (NCSL 8). These penalties include longer license suspension terms, longer prison sentences, higher fines, installation of an ignition interlock, and treatment for alcohol abuse (NCSL 8). The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recognizes the seriousness of impaired driving. Drivers with high blood alcohol content are at a greater...