The current punishment for drunken driving in Washington is a gross misdemeanor with a punishment ranging from a large fine and a small amount of jail time (1-120 days depending on the blood alcohol content and previous violations). But we must ask ourselves, Is this a strict enough punishment for a crime that endangers everyone else on the road? Students at Kennewick High School don't think so.
Wouldn't a punishment that deters drunken driving just by knowing the ensuing punishment possibly prevent it from happening? If every time someone stole, we cut off his or her hand, wouldn't that deter others from stealing? I am not suggesting that we should cut off people's tongues for drinking or something of that sort, but a stiffer punishment would be a good step toward stopping the crime.
After weeks of pondering on the idea, I think it would be appropriate if after the 2nd DUI that the violator would be charged with a felony. That is the correct punishment for such a serious crime that threaten the lives of hundreds of people that drunken drivers drive past while under the influence. Allow life to thrive, do not drink and drive.
DANIEL IZAGUIRRE, Kennewick