Grant Griffiths’ post about pending legislation upping the Driver’s License Suspensions in Kansas for DUI got me thinking:

Under the proposal, a first-time DUI offender would receive twice the standard license suspension if his BAC was .16 or greater. Three offenses at the higher level would result in permanent revocation of driving privileges.

Here in the capital of Austin, Texas (where we call it DWI), the legislature meets every two years, and this subject come up every session. Increasing the DL suspensions for DWI convictions is a popular political maneuver, for legislators that want to be known as “tough on crime”.

Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that probably increases rather than decreases “crime”. Driving has become a necessary part of life these days. And most of my DWI clients are, by far, first time offenders. Considering all the counseling, fines and community service a first time DWI offender receives, why subject them to arrest for Driving While License Suspended?

Grant also mentions that these license suspensions apply in Kansas, even if the defendant is never convicted of the offense. The same is true in Texas.

License revocations should be limited to repeat DWI offenders.  And “DWI offender” should mean those actually convicted of the offense.