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Letter: Stiffer penalties needed for those who drive while intoxicated

To the editor,

We have had a great deal of commentary in the media following the tragic mass murder in Connecticut. Twenty-eight people killed in a short period of time as the result of one person having access to a military weapon designed for military purposes. But, shifting gears for a moment, how many people are murdered every year on our highways by drunk drivers? While it is difficult to identify a potential mass killer armed with guns, it is easy to identify a potential road killer armed with an automobile; the breathalyzer test.

We would take the guns away from a potential killer, so why not take away the cars from a drunk driver? In some countries, a first-time offender is tied up and has his backside beaten into a bloody pulp. We don't do this, but our DWI penalties are far too lenient. I advocate the following:

First offense: All vehicles owned by the driver are impounded for one year, license is suspended, and driver serves a one month sentence in jail. If the driver doesn't own the car, it is nevertheless impounded.

Second offense: All vehicles owned by the driver are sold to help pay for his incarceration, which will be a mandatory two years in prison.

With tougher DWI penalties we might be able to convince people to not drink and drive.

Ron Eggert

Hastings

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