JIm Brown: Why are Louisiana Drivers the Worst in the United States

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

WHY ARE LOUISIANA DRIVERS THE WORST IN THE UNITED STATES?

For the fourth year in a row, Louisiana is number one. That’s right! Once again, the Bayou State has been named as the home of the worst drivers in America.

One of the major causes of such ranking is Louisiana’s tolerance for drunk drivers. Louisiana has always been a “free and easy” state when it comes to drinking and driving. Visitors are dumbfounded when they see drive through Daiquiri shops across the state. And the results shouldn’t be surprising. Fifty-three per cent of all serious injuries and highway deaths involve a drunk driver. So why hasn’t there been more outrage and should there tougher laws on the books?

Actually, Louisiana has some of the toughest DWI laws in the country. For a third offence DWI there is no discretion for judges. An offender with three convictions faces a mandatory sentence of two years in jail. And get this – the party convicted is supposed to have their car seized and sold out from under them. Have a mortgage? Tough luck. Should have thought about that before you went drinking and got behind the wheel.

In 1996, as insurance commissioner, I wrote the current law. But have you ever known of a third offender DWI having his or her car taken off the road and sold — or the offender actually serving two years jail time with no suspended sentence? These are rare occurrences, unless someone else is killed in a collision with the drunk driver. Continue Reading………………

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