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Aug 04

How Many Strikes Until You're Out?

hulk steroidsSo Rafael Palmiero failed a drug test. Maybe he's guilty of steroid use. Maybe he's not. It doesn't really matter. Even if he is, I'm sure he'll only get a slap on the wrist from the league. Heck, Darryl Strawberry got more chances than cats have lives. On the other hand, Pete Rose was caught gambling once and will never be eligible for the Hall of Fame. The league is basically saying, "You can do all the drugs you like; we'll forgive you. However, if we catch you gambling on baseball, may God have mercy on your wretched soul."

I think MLB's policies toward drug use – steroid, narcotic, whatever – should be made tougher. I'd be tempted to suggest a zero-tolerance policy, but I'm a big fan of second chances, so I'd be happy with a 1-warning policy. The first time a player's caught, in addition to whatever punishment the league imposes, he should be told that the next offense will result in being banned from the league.

This brings to mind a far more serious problem – multiple DUI convictions. Take this woman for example. She's been convicted of DUI charges nine times before and is only facing prison time (and finally having her license revoked for life) now because she injured another driver. What the heck?! Thirteen charges and ten convictions and she's only now losing her license for life and spending a measly eight years in prison?! People get worse sentences for tax evasion!

In my not-so-humble and rather fed-up opinion, I think the federal government should force states to enact tougher DUI laws. Since Congress can't constitutionally make nation-wide traffic laws, they "encourage" states to make the changes they want by threatening to withhold road maintenance funds. They could easily apply that technique to pushing for tougher DUI laws.

What sort of laws would I want? Just look at my above baseball drug policies to know. I think drunk or drugged drivers should get a warning and appropriate punishments for the first offense. If there's a second offense, the driver's license should be revoked for at least twenty years, if not for life. If, however, the first offense resulted in a death, there would be no second chance and the license would be revoked for life. If driver is convicted of DUI while driving with a license suspended because of a prior DUI conviction, the license should be revoked for life and the driver should serve some jail time. I could go on and explain other particular scenarios, but I think you get the picture.

Drunk and drugged drivers get treated too nicely in this country. If we don't stop slapping them on the wrists, they won't stop driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I'm all about forgiveness and second chances, but just because I forgive you, doesn't mean I trust you behind the wheel of an automobile.

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