Viewpoint: September 14, 2012

It could soon be more difficult for drunk drivers to keep getting behind the wheel on Louisiana roads. Currently, in some cases, repeat DWI offenders are charged only as first offenders. The state legislature is looking to change that in a move strongly backed by law enforcement and prosecutors.

A state board has recently been revived to create a statewide computer system that would keep track of DWI convictions. Police officers would be able to see if a suspect has any previous DWI convictions in any parish before making an arrest.

The goal is to cut down on the number of repeat offenders in Louisiana. In a state that saw nearly 300 alcohol related traffic deaths last year, we believe a DWI tracking system is essential. If the 2011 rate continues, at least 5 people in Louisiana will die because of alcohol related crashes every week. This system needs to be implemented as soon as possible.