March 21, 2023
Annapolis, US 52 F

OPINION: DUI Licence Plates

Like That Will Solve The Problem

Boy, if the other guy only had a yellow license plate.... (Note: this is a mock DUI drill presented by the town of Taylorville, IL)

One of the bills being considered by our illustrious legislators this year is to issue special bright yellow license plates for over 2000 strong habitual offenders.  Yes, you read that right, there are over 2000 drivers in Maryland right now who have had three or more convictions for drunken driving. In baseball, three strikes and you are out. In Maryland, we give you a new license plate!

Prince Georges County Delegate, Marvin E. Holmes Jr., has introduced HB 164 to do just that. There are a ton of reasons why this is a bad idea including:

  • what if a family member is driving that car
  • what is the stigma of passengers

But the real question is why the hell is someone who had been convicted of drunk driving three or more times still driving at all? Obviously they have proven to be a menace on the road. They may have injured, ma imed, or killed someone, and Delegate Holmes wants to give them a license plate?

The simple answer is to start enforcing our drunken driving laws.  Rather than giving people a slap on the wrist, what about some consequences? What did the $250 fine teach Maryland Delegate Herman L. Taylor II Taylor was found passed out in a 7-11 parking lot in his running car and got a $250 fine.  Or even the wife of our own Speaker of the House of Delegates, Michael Busch. His wife was caught driving under the influence on July 29, 2008 when she ran through a red light. She got lucky as well with a year probation and a $250 fine.  Or what about the lobbyist (you know the legislators’ best friend) with 7 (yes count them, 7) drunken driving convictions who was sentenced to probation and a 28 day treatment plan. They didn’t even slap his wrist at all!

Our judiciary needs to start taking their jobs seriously. Last month, there was a child killed by a twice convicted sexual predator. An Annapolis judge handed a convicted thief $20 and told him to go away. Prisoners have been absolved of murder because a judge felt they had a right to defend themselves with a hand-made knife.

The silly sentences are fine for the kid who stole a candy bar from the local Rite Aid, but when judges are presented with real criminals with real ramifications for their actions, they need to hand out real sentences. But no one is holding their breath for that day to come when the bench is often turned into a political payback machine.  Did anyone hear about the Senate President’s son who was recently given a ten year seat on the bench?

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