You do a service to our community by publishing the daily list of arrests for drunk driving, or DWI, in Baton Rouge. I am amazed at how many third- and fourth-time repeaters there are, suggesting that efforts to make drunk driving unattractive are failing. Surely one DWI is forgivable, and maybe even a second could occur to the same person though inadvertence. But a third or a fourth suggests a committed alcoholic. Some of these people drive without a license, which presumably was taken away as punishment; clearly that did not work.

I propose that some way can be found to subject, to a vote, the idea of more severe punishments to see if our population agrees with the idea. I suggest, for first offense: a very significant fine. For a second offense, modest jail time and an even more costly fine. For a third, a substantial jail time and a very large fine. For a fourth — this person is a serious alcoholic and must not drive — confiscate the car, as well as a hefty fine.

These are significant penalties, but these people kill themselves, others and even whole families. They must get help to stop their drinking and driving.


LSU Boyd professor and institute director emeritus

Baton Rouge