A Different Approach

When it comes to picking up offenders for driving under the influence, doing the crime doesn't always mean doing the time.

"Frankly, the jails are so crowded that the DUI's are the last to be able to go to prison on third offense, or even on the second. A lot of people are getting home confinement because of the overcrowding of the jails. So, we have to look at the problem and solve another issue, which is the underlying problem," explains Ginny Conley, Wood County Persecutor.

Offenders can have their licenses suspended. But that doesn't always keep them off the roads.

"Some people, even after they do a small amount of jail time, they have a job and they don't have their license back, and we find them driving on suspended or revoked (licenses)," says Charlie Johnson, Chief Deputy.

Both Johnson and Conley believe a more pro-active stance has to be taken, getting to the root of the problem. They say it's as much a matter of rehabilitation as it is incarceration.

"Most DUI's are related to people having drinking problems, whether they are alcoholics or just unable to control their drinking. If we don't put tools in place to control that, they're going to continue to drink and drive," Conley adds.

Lowering the legal limit won't necessarily increase arrests. Police say they can already make arrests at .05 and up. .08 is simply evidence that can be used in the courts.

The legislature has failed to pass bills lowering the legal blood alcohol limit.


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