DWI is crap

Let me preface this by saying that driving while intoxicated is deplorable. My contentions below are in no way intended to excuse reckless behavior. Additionally, to those of you who have lost someone close to you, victimized by an intoxicated driver, you have my deepest condolences, I assure you.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is crap. It’s a piling-on offense designed to line the coffers of the city/county because of its political expedience. If a person is driving while intoxicated, the person should be arrested for reckless driving. There doesn’t need to be some other additional “crime” tacked on. If someone is driving recklessly, shouldn’t that be the severely punished offence, rather than the correlated behavior?

Consider the hugely disparate penalties for these offences, one of which is the actual problem, and one of which correlates with the problem. Frankly, I’d be a lot more worried about someone who is sober and is nevertheless operating his vehicle in willful disregard of the safety of persons or property. (For comparison, murder and manslaughter are both killing someone, but murder means you did it on purpose or planned it out so it’s the more severely punished crime.)

In Ohio, reckless driving is called “Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.”

From myohiodefenselawyer.com (LAWL):

This offense is typically charged as a minor misdemeanor which means that the maximum penalty is a fine of $150. However, if this isn’t [the] first offense and [the driver has] been convicted of another traffic offense within the past year, [he or she could] be charged with a 4th degree misdemeanor and face a potential sentence of up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $250. If this is [the] third offense in the past year [the driver] may face 3rd degree misdemeanor charges and a potential 60 day jail sentence and up to $500 fine.

What about DWI?

In Ohio, DWI is called “Operating a Vehicle Under Influence (OVI).”

How you are sentenced for your DUI in Ohio depends on many factors. The OVI laws in Ohio are very complicated and are always being changed.

If this is a first DUI/OVI offense you will face:

  • 3-180 days in jail (This means you will serve at least 3 days in jail)
  • $200-$1,000 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension of 6 months to 3 years

DWI is a cash grab that disproportionately vilifies citizens. Find someone to hate, then exploit it for political and financial gain!

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