Proposal would stiffen penalty for drunk driving

Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 6:15pm

UPDATED: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 6:30pm

If you have a few too many drinks at a bar and decide to get behind the wheel of your car, you may soon face a much stiffer penalty. There is a proposal in the works by Louisiana legislator Danny Anderson that would force first time drunk drivers to spend ten days behind bars.

"This will be a deterrant where drunken drivers coming across people will understand the problem. Right now, I don't think that the majority of the population in Louisiana understand the ramifications of drinking and driving and the problems that it poses for the victims," says Mothers against Drunk Driving spokesperson Valerie Cox.

The ramifications are that more than 300 people just two years ago were killed by drunk drivers here in Louisiana. Right now, first time offenders can have their prison sentences suspended and receive no jail time at all. Some in the bar and service industry believe this proposal will make a difference.

"I think it will because for the most part, most people are very conscientious of not getting behind the wheel while they're driving. And I think this will more put that into effect in some people's minds," says Buffalo Wild Wings manager Danny Anderson.

Some opponents of the bill though believe the penalty for first time offenders is too harsh because it could cost people their jobs, but both Anderson and Cox agree it's worth it if it saves lives.

"The possiblity of you killing somebody is much, much worse than you losing a job," says Anderson.

"Until people realize the complications and the issues of drinking and driving, there's going to be problems all around and if we can have them serve that ten days then M.A.D.D. is standing behind it." says Cox

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