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Kay Jund, Lisbon, N.D., Published November 12 2012

Letter: North Dakota attitude about DUI penalties embarrasses all of us

Once again a DUI-related car accident has made the news in our area. Thank God there were no deaths this time, “only” severe injuries. The young woman driving the car which caused the fiery accident had alcohol in her blood. She has two prior DUIs in North Dakota, plus fleeing and driving under suspension.

I wonder if she had a state’s attorney who pleaded her first (and second?) DUIs and got them reduced to reckless driving? Whether she did or not makes no difference. This was the third time (we know of) that she drank and drove. I wonder what kind of slap on the wrist she will get this time? I hope the judge and states attorney will give her a sentence that will make her stop and realize what an idiotic, inhuman choice it would be for her to get into a vehicle and drive after drinking a fourth time.

I hope when the North Dakota Legislature meets next year, it will have the courage to make changes in our pathetic DUI laws – changes to give the law some teeth. My next hope is that there will be more states attorneys and judges with the courage to do their jobs and not be so concerned about how their constituents are going to vote in the next election.

The North Dakota mentality toward drinking and driving is incomprehensible to me. I grew up in North Dakota and have lived here most of my life except for a few years in Minnesota. I used to be offended when people jokingly remarked that I had shown the good sense to move to a civilized state where the people aren’t so backward in their thinking. However, after living back in North Dakota for four years, I’m beginning to wonder if they weren’t right; at least the great majority of people in Minnesota (and other states) don’t treat drunken driving by shrugging their shoulders and saying, “What can we do? It’s our culture.” This attitude should make us all embarrassed when we tell others we’re from North Dakota.