I have posted here, here, and here about possible consequences of a D.U.I. conviction – but this is really getting out of control. A city council person in Huntington Beach, CA has sponsored legislation to post the mug shot of anyone arrested for DUI more than once in Huntington Beach. The council person was quoted as saying, "If it takes shaming people to save lives, I am willing to do it." In Washington, there is a push to pass a law that publicly identifies DUI offenders by requiring them to purchase and display on their vehicles license plates that end in an upper case Z. These are known as whiskey plates, and originated in Minnesota, whose legislature passed a law requiring DUI offenders to purchase and display on their vehicle(s) a license plate that begins with an uppercase W (thus the name). Minnesota's whiskey plates are easily distinguished from their standard license plates. The problem with these so-called collateral consequences for a DUI offender is that they do not punish just the offender, but they potentially punish the offender's family as well. To those who support these types of collateral consequences, imagine that you are arrested for DUI, your license is suspended and you have to get rides or take public transportation for the duration of your suspension. However, life goes on for your family and you now have to put a whiskey plate on every vehicle that you own. So, if your child takes your car to school, it looks like he or she has the DUI under their belt. If you and your spouse own two cars then your spouse gets a whiskey plate and wears your scarlet letter. As always, if you or a loved one is facing a DUI/DWI charge in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, Holly Springs, or Fuquay Varina feel free to contact us with your questions.
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