Punish drink-drivers

Today the BBC News Magazine has an article on the consequences for people who have been caught drink-driving, which is to be the theme of this year’s Christmas anti-drink drive advertising campaign.

I left a comment via the form, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, they didn’t publish it. So I’ll repeat it here instead (expanded slightly, but I’ll still keep it brief).

People who are convicted of drink-driving shouldn’t just “get their licence back”, as some commenters referred to it. They should have to retake the driving test: far more inconvenient and humiliating for them. And if they are ever convicted again, they should be banned from driving for life. A short spell in prison would be a good idea too. Just a few days – not enough to add to the current prison capacity issues, but a shock to the system that would make them think twice next time.

Drink-driving among the middle classes particularly troubles me. They see drink-driving as an issue for poorer people, the alcoholics who drive back from the pub every night. Around Christmas or a special event, they think, “just once isn’t going to hurt”. In fact, it is going to hurt the people who may have to spend every Christmas for the rest of their lives without their loved one.

Drinking alcohol is not a necessity, and driving is a privilege. Adults can make a choice whether to drink or not. But those who believe their pathetic alcohol-dependent social lives are more important than the lives of others are simply arrogant; no punishment is good enough for them.

And before anyone comments on this post, I’d suggest you read the comment at the bottom of the BBC article by M Lendrick of Oxford.

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