Saturday, July 13, 2013

CANADA - Should convicted drunk drivers be labeled with special license plates?

Original Article

Well, if we have an online shaming hit-list for ex-sex offenders, then yeah, we should have an online registry and other shaming for all ex-felons. Of course we do not believe in any online registry for anybody, but if we do it for one, then we should do it for all.

Diigo Post Excerpt:
Prince Edward Island is considering a specialized license plate for convicted drunk drivers. Would you agree to this, or do you think this type of branding is unconstitutional?

Thomas Bink: I don't think it's a terrible idea. I mean, in B.C. they already have little labels for different drivers - If you've got a learner's permit, you get an L, and if you're a novice driver, you have to display an N. So why not have labels for all kinds of drivers, like for seniors, handicapped or convicted drunk drivers? Anything that helps educate other drivers upon approach is a good thing, I say. It's not to brand, belittle or never forgive convicted drunk drivers, but if I see a guy with a D label on his car driving erratically, I'm better alerted to cut a wide berth. And like learners and novices, after a certain amount of time without a conviction the label can be removed.

Matthew Coutts: My first instinct was to jump on board this idea. I consider drunk drivers a scourge, a gaggle of selfish ids willing to do what they want regardless of how it might affect the rest of us. Anything to identify and shame them - and there is an element of shame in this plan - I thought I'd be in favour of. But something about this doesn't sit right with me. For one, we are not really posting the scarlet letter on the driver. What if someone else - a spouse, perhaps - were to drive the car instead? Their character would be unfairly maligned. And as much as I like to cast a wide net on this topic, there are countless reasons and events that led these people to being in this situation. The public shaming aspect would unfairly paint them all with the same brush. No, I'm in favour of addressing this issue somehow, but not like this. The tool is too blunt for me.


Loneranger said...

Interesting how one person brings up the idea that it would stigmatise others in the family. this is intelligent thinking however if someone drives a car labeled drunk driver the worse that could happen is someone else might decide to stay away from your car. Not that they are going to hunt you down and burn your home. A small price to pay. On the other hand placing labels on people and publishing the information does stigmatise the family. Take sex offenders for example. Someone commits a sex crime in a family and they all have families it's published over and over and there is no way this only affects one person. So labeling someone we think might be a danger tends to be the norm. Why should we worry about how it affects anyone else as long as I might feel I have power over the situation. If they feel labels are good then why not make a standard method for doing so. I would want to know if my neighbor was a thief as then i could lock down my home more than I already do. We could make them register and a law that says they have committed a felony if they don't update information. Not such a bad idea really as maybe we can jail a few for not and that would keep them off the street. Thieves and drug offenders have the highest re offence rates of any criminals. One would think if they will steal or use drugs or both what else might they do? could they end up in your home and while there molest your children on the way out with your TV? I sure want to know who these people are. Can we put a sign in their yard so we have the best chance of knowing? this might be a real money maker for Canada and for the US as well. this will create jobs for the ones going around checking to see if the signs are still up as well as placing them. they can hire more people to check to see if they are in compliance as it's a felony if they are not and that creates more jobs down the line. Just think of it more jobs. However these jobs come with a price for the taxpayers. they produce a service that is possibly a benefit as it might reduce the crime rate. but at a high cost. after all they already have sex offenders to deal with and that one thing is about to bankrupt most of the states in the US. I would think any other country would find the same problems and expense if placed in this mind set.

Arden said...

I was one of the 1 in 200 that gets caught over the limit -was not driving but had care and control, and if you have ever had two 5-oz glasses of wine (not the 7-oz glasses public venues serve) and haven't waited approx. 4-6 hours before driving, chances are you shouldn't be criticizing anyone. 'We' are not all the same. I used to think those that are convicted are the true scum of the earth –I know now that anything can happen to anyone, I’m not a monster that doesn’t care about others’ safety, seldom consume anything let alone drive afterwards, and was shocked at how little it took to blow over the limit. A young man in court who beat someone to a pulp with a tire iron kept his job, license, has no scarlet letter on his plate to identify him as a criminal and make him fearful every time he leaves the house –I’m a middle-aged grandmother who lost over $20k so far not including future
income, cannot continue to volunteer in the community or adopt rescue dogs, and almost joined the thousands that take their own lives each year after a DUI. It’s a lot harder now to watch dozens of people who would blow over the limit leave establishments and drive, I accept everything that’s happened but in my case feel that if the law is meant to be restorative, allowing me to install the ignition interlock, pay a fine, attend classes but allowing me to continue to drive to work and back to support myself, and give back to the community would have been far more productive and
a better use of resources.