Across the U.S., each state is taking steps to reduce and eliminate the number of drunk drivers on the roads. But, even in states where there are strict consequences for first time drunk drivers, including a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement, there can be a struggle to find the time and resources to monitor those offenders. In Oklahoma, this struggle has given drunk drivers the ability to commit subsequent DUI offenses, even before they step into a courtroom. While there is an “administrative license revocation” policy in the state that temporarily suspends a person’s ability to legally drive, there is still too much of an opportunity to keep drinking and driving – and destroy lives in the process.
Oklahoma could introduce “DUI courts,” or build a database of pending/final DUI court cases that are easily accessed across the state, as a solution for monitoring accused and convicted drunk drivers. Oklahoma could also require car breathalyzers for anyone who is arrested for a DUI, until that day in court occurs; if there is a “will” to drink and drive while awaiting a court hearing, there will be a “way” to make that happen, unless there is a car breathalyzer installed, of course.
Each state has a full range of resources to decrease the number of drunk drivers on the roads, including DUI courts, better tracking through online and computer networks, and devices like car breathalyzers. However, since each of those takes time to implement, the best way to make sure there are no drunk drivers on the road is for each of us to stay sober, and make sure our friends, family and loved ones have a safe ride home if they have been drinking. Reducing drunk driving may be the “job” of legislators, law enforcement or judges, it all comes down to a personal commitment that each of us can make, and stand by, to keep our roads safe.