Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Permanent License Suspension for 3rd California DUI conviction, say attorneys whose clients must drive & support their families

Overzealous MADD people and one state representative unsuccessfully tried to pass an illogical law proposing that a driver suffering 3 California DUI convictions to have their driver’s license taken away permanently.

Just because someone has multiple DUI convictions in California does not mean they should have his or her licenses taken away forever! People do have to work for a living and support their families.

The reactionary bill, AB 1443, known as “Melody’s Law,” was named after 9-year-old Melody Osheroff of Novato who was hit and killed a year ago by a motorcyclist who had 12 prior convictions for DUI or reckless driving. Legislators do know that there are very harsh, existing prison sentences for those drivers killing people already.

But California DUI criminal defense lawyers are told the bill was shot down before the state Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. The bill justifiably died on a 3-0 vote.

The committee, chaired by state Sen. Mark Leno, whose district stretches from the southern half of Sonoma County to San Francisco, apparently discussed a more different version of the California DUI bill that essentially gives judges discretion to revoke a license for 10 years.

A few, not the wiser majority, California legislators often blindly fight for a stronger policy towards DUI crimes in general.

The Legislature has already increased use of a California DUI prior from 7 to 10 years old, sufficiently penalizing even the worst repeat offenders by introducing harsher and harsher California DUI penalties which drunk driving criminal defense attorneys try to avoid: license suspension, jail, impound, forfeiture, alcohol programs, ignition interlock devices, etc.