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!


  1. dui it not about how much you drink it about getting behind the wheel when i you anyone been drinking tht no no

  2. Thanks for posting your comment. However, your comment reveals a basic misunderstanding about the law in Illinois and DUI in general. You are not correct - drinking and driving is simply not illegal. The amount of drinking is absolutely what it is about. Drinking to the point that your ability to make sound judgments or control your vehicle is DUI.

  3. I agree with you totally. The ads are offensive at best. I don't think we need the goverment acting like 8th graders and calling people names. Yes it is dangerous, yes it is a stupid thing to do but so is talking on your cell while driving (if not more). Wonder what slogan they'll come up for that. BTW never been arrested for DUI........

  4. Stateseal on the bottleNovember 30, 2010 at 4:38 AM

    I don't condone DUI, but if we need to look at who is the real culprit we must look at the historical record in regards to the consumption of alcohol in our society. If we go back to prohibition we know that alcoholic beverages are bad for us, there is absolutely no doubt. Why should the state allow us to consume something that’s harmful to our health? We all losers, but the attack is targeted at the lowest common dominator, the end consumer. It’s not about our health, but it’s about the $$, if you really think about it. That is what it is all about!! If the police were posted out in front of a bar the proprietor would complain. The police don’t need any probable cause to stop a motorist, is what I heard one judge say in court. Friday or the weekend, holidays at night a driver is subjected to being stopped on a fishing expedition by the police, just ask Congressman Danny Davis. Congressman Davis was stopped on the Westside of Chicago and the police had to end up apologizing for the stop.


Please post your comment here: all comments will be moderated - be civil and reasonable, and even if we don't agree, your comment will be posted.