Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Illegal Hunters Forfeit Guns, Vehicles; Why Not Treat Repeat OWI Offenders The Same Way?

Here's a nifty little index that lists some hunting violations across the country in recent years, and among them you will find states that confiscate weapons and even snowmobiles (Alaska) as part of the offender's punishment.

The federal government also confiscates firearms for some illegal hunting. Shoot a Bald Eagle, and you lose your gun, for example.

So there is ample precedent for property seizure should Wisconsin legislators decide to finally strengthen state OWI laws.

Let's make a first OWI a misdemeanor instead of a ticket, and move a second OWI from misdemeanor to felony - - and add mandatory vehicle seizure for a repeat offender, too.

I think having to watch your vehicle confiscated, sold or compacted before your eyes would be a stiff inducement to help put a repeat offender into serious rehab, and serve as a definite deterrent to others still disinterested in driving while sober.

And let the state auction off the seized vehicles to finance better law enforcement against drunk driving, from new equipment to overtime for sobriety checkpoints near known, problem taverns or on holidays.

1 comment:

Jason Haas said...

Eight years ago, a drunk driver got behind the wheel of a Chevy Tahoe. He got up to a very high speed, and did not slow down as he approached a red light at a busy intersection, and the giant SUV slammed into a small car that was stopped at the light.

That unlucky person was me.

The force of the collision smashed my head through the windshield, shredding my left eye. He hit me so hard that I crushed my car's steering wheel with my chest, bruising my lungs, lacerating my liver and spleen.

I was in the hospital for six weeks, and in outpatient rehab for the following twelve.

The fact that this happened in Savannah, Georgia doesn't matter a bit. It could have been anywhere. It happens here, as we know. It happens in Georgia, and everywhere else there are cars and alcohol.

It needs to change, NOW.