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5th DUI could lead to very harsh punishment for accused man

Last week, a car plowed into a snow bank in Glocester, Rhode Island. The driver appeared to be alright, but when the police arrived at the scene they had a suspicion that the man was intoxicated. As it turned out, the man was. He refused a breath test -- something you shouldn't do -- and failed a field sobriety test. The police eventually took him in and his bail was set at a staggering $100,000.

Police also found out that this 48-year-old man had four prior driving under the influence offenses on his record, making this his fifth DUI arrest. For his last DUI, the man spent a year in jail, and he will certainly be facing similar prospects this time around.

We write about this piece not to pile more misery on someone who has dealt with plenty already, but to highlight the fact that immense punishment does not necessarily deter people from committing a criminal offense -- especially when addictive substances are involved.

This man has faced a bunch of penalties over the course of his life due to his many DUIs, and yet none of the consequences have deterred him from drinking. People who have trouble breaking from this cycle don't need more punishment -- they need therapy and counseling to help them better themselves. Consequences will only make it more difficult for the individual in question to turn his or her life around.

We need more nuance in our punishment for DUI offenders, not more penalties.

Source: Providence Journal, "Cranston man arrested and charged with 5th DUI," Patrick Anderson, Feb. 17, 2015

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