Should we have special DUI licenses? |

Should we have special DUI licenses?

I am going to make you all Colorado State Representatives for the day and let you be part of making a law with me so you can see what it is like.OK. Everyone raise your right hand and repeat after me. I solemnly swear that …My good friend State Representative Mark Larson from Cortez brought a proposed bill to the interim Transportation Legislation Review Committee a couple of weeks ago that created a firestorm. A lot of yelling and screaming occurred on the panel, and I was no exception.In the simplest terms, the bill proposes putting a mark on the driver’s license of everyone who has had a conviction for DUI. It would probably be a red line across the face of the license that would be easily seen when the license was pulled out for identification in a store or for the police in a traffic stop. It would not be cause for any further action, but it would create notice that the person had been convicted of DUI.

I was reminded of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. For those of you who are less well-read, it was a book about 17th century Boston society where women who had committed adultery had to wear a red scarlet, gold embroidered patch of cloth in the shape of an “A” which had to be worn on the breast to indicate that they had committed the sin of adultery to all they met in the street. Talk about drastic. Talk about humiliatingI mentioned this to my son and he said that the entire town of Breckenridge would have them. Not a red A, but DUI licenses. Sorry about that.In Oregon, they have license plates that indicate that the driver has a DUI conviction. It probably means that when you see one you should duck. Maybe that is even more appropriate in Oregon. Duck. Oregon. Duck. Get it? Oh well. We could make everyone with a DUI conviction drive a bright red car. Then you could give them a wide berth. Or we could make them all drive in a special DUI conviction lane on the interstate. Wait a minute. That would be unfair. They would be able to speed and get places faster. No. Maybe we should make them sit in traffic with everyone else. Or, if my son is right, most of the drivers would be in the DUI lane anyway and that is where all the congestion would be. Yeah. Put them all there and all of us without convictions could be in the non-DUI lane and we could speed and then we could get speeding tickets and then?

We could widen the highway and create a special lane for speeders? When will this madness end?Anyway. What do you think? Should we have special licenses for people convicted of DUI? Would it accomplish anything? Should we include a time limit? Two DUI convictions in five years? Should we have special license plate for people with DUI convictions? Would that do any good?Recently, a man in Adams County killed someone in an automobile accident. He was drunk. He did not have a driver’s license. He had 12 DUI convictions. He had served time in prison for DUI. He did not own the car he was driving. No law would have prevented the death that occurred. He was convicted of murder following that accident and he was sentenced to life in prison for that death. What more could we have done? If we had put a breath test lock ignition on his car, he would have still driven. If he had a red license plate, he would have driven. If he had a marked driver’s license, he would have driven. Nothing would have prevented his killing someone that day.

We pass laws with the hope that sometimes someone might be prevented from committing a crime. We pass the law with the hope that someone might think that a life might be saved.God only knows what might happen.Let me know what you think.Lindstrom lives in Lakeview Meadows and represents Summit, Eagle and Lake counties. He writes a Monday column. He can be reached at, or visit his website at

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