Repeat DUI Offenders

By: Angelica Alvarez Email
By: Angelica Alvarez Email

Tallahassee - May 9, 2012 - 11:40pm

Mothers Against Drunk Driving say the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before their first arrest. After that arrest many still get behind the wheel impaired. Now the group is calling for stronger punishments for those repeat offenders.

The CEO of Bond Community Health Center in Tallahassee was arrested after Cinco de Mayo celebrations. This was a second DUI arrest for Junior Richards. His first was in Atlanta, Georgia.

This latest arrest makes him a repeat offender, but numbers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving show that there are people who are actually caught re-offending more than twice.

"The DUI law as it states, it's a strong law but dealing with all the case law, dealing with all the evidence presented, it really depends, it's kind of roll the dice and see what you get," says Kristen Allen with MADD.

The latest numbers from MADD are from 2010. They show that in Florida 108, 853 people were arrested for DUI three times. Another 13,054 were caught more than five times.

In Georgia, the numbers are down. The study shows 45, 598 were caught three times and another 5,782 were caught five times.

"We don't want to see people getting reduced down to reckless because it's not teaching that person that what they did, their behavior, it needs to change," says Allen.

MADD reports that this year more than 10,800 people will die in drunk driving crashes.

The Department of Motor Vehicles lists similar punishments for first time offenders in Florida and Georgia. Those include a find of up to $500, community service, probation time, up to six months jail time and losing your license for at least 180 days. For those arrested a second or third time the fines get bigger and jail time gets longer.

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  • by Kevin Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2012 at 05:30 PM
    Not saying drinking & driving is ok, not at all, but if everybody had to spend an extra $40 - $80 on a cab both ways or find someone willing to be the designated driver, almost every bar in the world would have to close.
  • by Anonymous on May 10, 2012 at 05:24 PM
    When a leader of MADD gets arrested for DUI they should get a triple the punishment
    • reply
      by Kate on May 11, 2012 at 06:33 AM in reply to
      Ahahahahaha! I agree!
  • by bama on May 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM
    If DUI is so bad why are they raising taxes on Cig. and not on beer. Is it beacuse the sen and leg drink more than they smoke
  • by ?????? on May 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM
    I don't think 1 timeers should loose there license but state office said it is MADD program Is MADD running the state of FL>
  • by TIME OUT Location: TALLAHASSEE on May 10, 2012 at 09:58 AM
    • reply
      by Kate on May 11, 2012 at 06:50 AM in reply to TIME OUT
      Why aren't bars considered entrapment? Especially with the officers lurking right outside the parking lot? Maybe some consumers aren't driving but the bars have to know many of them are the ones getting behind the wheel. With the limit so incredibly low, most leaving the bar would be "well qualified" for a DUI.
  • by im Location: Gadsden County on May 10, 2012 at 08:58 AM
    The past shows that elected judges cannot be trusted to administer to law in a fair and uniform manner. They lost their credibility a long time ago. Thats what lead up to the guidelines of today. Elected judges are as reliable as any other elected politician.
  • by Person Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2012 at 07:55 AM
    Is this the same Tallahassee that just had a young mother and two children die because of a drunk driver on a Monroe St. intersection and last year did'nt a drunk driver kill a child on North Monroe St. and I-10. The community wanted the head of the drunken drivers that killed those innocent people and wanted to know when they would arrest the driver, and all were angry with the police because a criminal investigation had to be done to make sure the drivers were charged properly? This gentleman is lucky he may only lose his job, could of mamed or killed someone, in fact any one of us could of been in his way and it could of been worse. Also you dont want a police govt. or having someone look over your shoulder but you want the establishment that served the alcohol to be punished? What happened to responsibility for your own actions? Just wondering.
    • reply
      by Jane on May 11, 2012 at 06:56 AM in reply to Person
      But he didn't kill or maim anyone. There are a wide range of levels of intoxicity. The legal limit is incredibly low. Many are pulled over for speeding which is the only way it is then discovered they had been drinking. Then, their whole lives are destroyed for the actions of one night, despite everything the person may do every other day of their life. These laws are not effective as deterrents either so we shouldn't exacerbate the punishment just to make a point. These are people's lives, too.
  • by George Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2012 at 07:09 AM
    they are correct...I drove drunk many times from 16 until alabama I was let go many times without a charge. Florida caught me, and I ran. Fleeing in Alabama is a misdemeanor unless you are in the act of committing a felony. I was so drunk I would not stop. I have paid the price...fines, community service...probation...not to mention suspension, tickets, etc. I am now a convicted felon, I can not get a job, because of background checks. In DUI school we explored how bad second DUI charges would be, and they are rough. Will Jr. get it rough since his first charge was in Atlanta? I wanted to call a cab, but my wife did not want to leave the car. In hindsight a tow bill would have been better. I destroyed my life, thankful that I did not kill anyone else
  • by Leona on May 10, 2012 at 07:07 AM
    MADD is an institution that is long past being useful. They started out with a good cause; but now they are nothing more than a powerful, vindictive lobbying force to push whatever their agenda is.
    • reply
      by truth on May 10, 2012 at 08:09 AM in reply to Leona
      their agenda is drunk driving thugs!!!
    • reply
      by JC on May 10, 2012 at 08:34 AM in reply to Leona
      Since their agenda appears to still be getting drunk drivers off the streets, Leona, I fail to see why you dislike them so much. Their work has reduced the numbers of people out there who apparently consider their right to drink more important than your right to be safe on the streets.
  • by Lee Location: Tallahassee on May 10, 2012 at 06:29 AM
    These numbers from MADD are about as correct as what we receive from Washington on unemployment, etc. It makes a person want to join DAMM. Drunks Against Mad Mothers!!!!!
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