Monday, November 15, 2010

Does Suspending the Licenses of DWI Suspects Work?


I have heard the argument made that the only people restricted by gun control laws are the law-abiding citizens who would be the ones to use the weapons responsibly. Criminals are going to buy and carry guns regardless of what the state or federal government tells them. If you agree with this perspective, you may reach the same conclusion regarding the suspension of drivers' licenses during DWI arrests. Men and women who find it acceptable to disregard the law and get behind the wheel of a car after drinking may not let a detail like the lack of a license preventing them from driving.

For this reason and many others, some state legislators, attorneys, and judges are beginning to speak out about the law, passed in 2001, that suspends the licenses of DWI suspects who fail or refuse to take an alcohol breath test. The number of drunken driving arrests has remained about the same over the past decade, so there is some doubt as to the effectiveness of this law as a deterrent.

Investigations into what happens when a driver has his license suspended shows that many of these people are successfully applying for occupational licenses, which puts them back on the road with little in the way of practical restrictions. Instead of a decrease in drunken driving arrests, the state is facing an increase in administrative costs associated with these hearings and appeals.

Obviously, there needs to be consequences for someone who chooses to drive after consuming alcohol, thereby putting the lives of other motorists in danger. Do you believe this automatic suspension for refusing the breathalyzer is effective? Or, should our lawmakers look at other ways to discourage those who are intoxicated from starting their engines?

If you have lost your license following a DWI arrest, you need effective legal representation to defend your rights in the courtroom. If you believe your arrest was not justified, we can help get you back on the road. Please contact one of our criminal defense attorneys in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio and we will get to work helping you today.

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