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Article published April 17, 2013
Set up DUI database
Phil Kriley Renfrew
This past Friday, my wife and I were witnesses to a police chase through the streets of Butler. My congratulations and thanks to the police officers involved, as they risked their lives to catch this man. The suspect was speeding, ran several red lights and stop signs, made a number of illegal (and dangerous) passes, and finally holed up in his own basement, where a state police trooper was injured as troopers subdued and arrested him (as reported in Sunday’s Butler Eagle). This man has had several previous DUI convictions, and was driving while his license was suspended. Obviously, this person has no regard for the law or the lives of others. His actions and decisions obviously were irrational. So, it occurred to me that no one in his right mind would do the things this man did. His problem is not drinking and driving, but drinking — period. Once he’s under the influence, all rational thought seems to go out the window. So, why not have a statewide database of DUI offenders that can be quickly checked whenever a person orders a drink at a bar, or a 6-pack at the store, or a case at the distributorship, or a bottle at the state store? Then deny any purchase of any amount of alcohol to persons found to be on the list. I think that would be a real help in keeping irresponsible drinkers off the road. And, since a lot more people are killed by drunk drivers than by guns, this would be an instant background check that actually could do some good.