Should some Californians lose ‘license to drink’?

By Beau Kilmer, The San Diego Union-Tribune

With traffic deaths climbing in the state, Californians should be thrilled that policymakers in Sacramento are discussing how to reduce impaired driving. This topic may be of special interest to San Diego County, where DUI arrests over the July Fourth weekend were up nearly 25 percent compared to last year.

In California, many efforts to reduce repeat drunken driving focus on the driving — such as restricting when (and if) offenders can drive, increasing penalties for subsequent DUI convictions and requiring offenders in some counties to install an interlock ignition device that prevents an automobile from starting if the driver has been drinking.

California also requires DUI offenders to attend education programs and its judges can order convicted drunken drivers to undergo drunken diverse treatment. A few counties even have designated court dockets that focus on getting DUI offenders into treatment and monitoring their progress.

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