Working at a news station I read numerous stories about DWI and DUI arrests and fatalities. Many of those same arrests come attached to the fatalities. So I have to ask a few questions.

Is the message of drunk or impaired driving not being disseminated enough? How much more can Mothers Against Drunk Driving do? Is the work of enforcement officers in vain?

I ask these questions because it seems like every week we read a story about someone being arrested for a third or fourth impaired driving offense. Are these people not being given stiff enough fines? Are judges too lenient? How is the system broken?

I think one of the most poignant messages about impaired driving is the billboard that pictured a young man being told by a police officer, 'you just blew $10,000' as he does a breathalyzer test. So if a young man is being told about a $10,000 fine why do we have so many multiple offenders? I don't know about you but a $10,000 hit to my bank account would be catastrophic! How do some people get nabbed multiple times and still get off? Can these people afford multiple $10,000 hits to their bank accounts to cover testing, court costs and fines or do they never face the $10,000 penalty?

We even read about multiple offenders who kill someone and get off with a light sentence. How is this possible? Judges are granted leeway in most cases but it seems to me a multiple offender should not be on the road, behind the wheel ever again without a safety interlock preventing drunk driving.

This opinion piece may seem like a rerun because I have written about the subject before but this morning I ran across a news story that just flabbergasted me. A State Trooper in East Feliciana Parish stopped James Earl Haynes and charged him with his seventh impaired driving offense! How is that possible? Was the driver a judge, friend or relative of a judge? Why wasn't this person behind bars? Does this person have to kill someone to put him away for a long time? Maybe he needs to kill a family member of a judge. What really infuriated me was the fact the driver was only 30 years old. Only 30 years old and seven impaired driving offenses makes no sense but the fact that he was arrested three times since 2011 by the same police officer must leave an officer scratching his head and considering a career change!

The officer has got to be thinking, 'what the heck am I doing this job for?'

How many people have to die before judges enforce the law? I think it's time we start examining more of these cases to determine if malfeasance in office charges should be brought against judges.

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