Hundreds of offenders on roads
Nearly 1,000 drivers with five or more drunken-driving convictions are still on Massachusetts roads — legally, with licenses in their wallets, even after Melanie’s Law made lifetime revocation mandatory — according to state data obtained by the Herald that has lawmakers howling for reform.
Registry of Motor Vehicles data indicates an astonishing 947 drivers have five or more OUI convictions that predated the 2006 law, and still have active licenses — a frightening figure that averages nearly three chronic offenders for every town in the state.Five or more convictions, and they still have valid MA licenses. Now, granted, these are events that happened before the law was enacted, so I'd wager that's why their licenses are still valid, but still. It shouldn't take a second law to revoke someone's driver's license after their FIFTH OUI conviction. Personally, it ought to be gone after the second conviction (on the third offense). It can happen to (just about) anyone once. Twice requires work. And three times is someone with a problem.
But here we are talking about hundreds and hundreds of people with five or more convictions. That's not five or more arrests, where maybe the breathalyzer exonerated them, or it was pleaded down in cort. That's five or more times that they were arrested, tried, and convicted in a MA court of law of driving under the influence. And they still have valid licenses.
I think, perhaps, that instead of calling the 2006 law "Melanie's Law", they ought to have called it the "until you kill someone" law - because that's really what this is. Letting someone continue to have the privilege of driving on the public roadways after they have shown a shocking disregard for the law and public safety is mind-bogglingly stupid. Can you imagine the outcry if someone convicted of five separate violent felonies was still eligible to own a gun?
Call me cynical, but I'm thinking that the only reason the state of Massachusetts doesn't start really cracking down on drunk drivers is that there's too much money involved. Each drunk driving arrest means thousands of dollars of fines, plus court costs, lawyer's fees, etc. - and what are most politicians before they become politicians? That's right, lawyers. If there was a serious and concerted effort to stop people from driving drunk, all those fees, fines, and court costs go away.
Maybe we should put a new 15 round magazine in the car of anyone caught driving while drunk so they actually go to jail???
That is all.