Vice Squad
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Ohio's Attempt to Stigmatize Drunk Drivers

It's not like drunk drivers otherwise get good press or anything, but it is hard to know if the person in the car next to you has recently been convicted of drunk driving. The state of Ohio helps to make such inferences easier by requiring "yellow [license] plates with red lettering for drivers with two DUI convictions in a six-month span or those who record high blood-alcohol levels." But motorists, even those who seemingly fit the criteria, are finding ways to avoid the Scarlet Lettering. One way is to plead no contest to a charge that doesn't require that you admit your high blood-alcohol reading. A second way is to try to postpone sentencing until after the 6-month license suspension has already elapsed, as (somehow) this means you can avoid the color coded plates. Ohio legislators are looking at ways to limit such dodges, according to the linked article.

In related news, DUI Blog has a recent interesting post about the evolution and likely future of DUI laws in the US.

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