Horrendous safety issues are obvious and well documented anytime people drive under the influence of alcohol and it has long been illegal. However, at no point does anyone ever plan to drive drunk. No one first meets the day saying, “I plan to risk my life, health and freedom and maybe kill people today by driving drunk and stupid.”
Regardless, law does not change behavior. Education, personal commitment, individual acceptance of personal responsibility (rather than victim-hood) change behavior.
Under the bill, the defendant would be required to pay all the costs associated with the forfeiture including the wrecker and storage. After paying off all the expenses, any leftover funds from the sale of a forfeited vehicle would be deposited in the Drug Abuse Education and Treatment Revolving Funds for use in the treatment and drug testing of indigent substance abusing offenders participating in the Oklahoma Drug Court Act or for substance abuse prevention.
Locally loyal, intelligent, productive and innovative Oklahoma youth are already moving to other states if they have ever had trouble with the law to avoid a second such brush with penalties that could forever destroy their reputation and limit their ability to build successful careers.
Sen. Coats also shows foolishness in this effort noting that the real problem are repeat offenders not, as his bill targets, first time offenders. His press release said, “According to a 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report released in November, there are an estimated two million drunk drivers with three or more convictions in the U.S., including 400,000 drunk drivers with five or more convictions. Coates pointed out that Johnson had a previous arrest on his record for drunk driving without a license or insurance, but was back behind the wheel that night once again after drinking and again without a license or insurance.”