Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DUI Loser?

IDOT is funding a major new DUI enforcement initiative in Illinois to the tune of $1.8 million dollars of taxpayer funds. Of that, $1 million is going to pay for stepped up police enforcement, and $800,000 is now being used for an ad campaign.

Why not spend all of that money on enforcement? Because the ISP has decided to play "nahny-nahny-boo-boo" and spend $800,000 on name calling. Those who are arrested for DUI are now branded "losers" in a new TV ad, which you can view by clicking here.

Putting aside the question of whether spending public funds on some juvenile tactic to exert yet more pressure on "potential" offenders, let's take a look at some of those "losers":

George Bush - Sitting President of the United States
Mel Gibson - actor/director
Kiefer Sutherland - actor
Bill Mitchell - U.S. Congressional Representative from Illinois
Vivica A. Fox - actress
Rip Torn - actor
Mike McGavick - former CEO of Safeco, and onetime candidate for U.S. Senate
Mickey Rourke - actor
Paris Hilton

The truth is that the list goes on forever, and I'm sure the reader can think of a few I've left out. Quite aside from these "losers" are many of my current and former clients who are (and continue to be) lawyers, doctors, research scientists, engineers, teachers, fathers, mothers, and just plain good people. The fact that someone is arrested for DUI hardly makes them a loser, especially given ever looser definitions of what exactly is a DUI.

Are some people arrested for DUI losers? Sure are - and you can probably name a few off the top of your head who are famous for it. But when will the powers that be decide they want to treat DUI in a way that makes sense? Just about nobody goes out to have a good time and to commit the crime of DUI. Part of the reason DUI is so scary is the impairment of the driver's JUDGEMENT, right? So the more that person drinks, the more their ability to judge their situation accurately is affected, right? And when making decisions, the alcohol will impair their ability to make a good decision, right? When you really think about it, the problem of DUI becomes a great deal more complex than calling someone a "loser", doesn't it?

Tattooing people with "loser" because they've been arrested is silly and sophomoric, but under those circumstances, the Illinois DUI law firm of Fagan, Fagan & Davis and our colleagues will be glad to be known as the tattoo removal service!