How Many Strikes Until You’re Out?

hulk steroidsSo Rafael Palmiero failed a drug test. Maybe he's guilty of steroid use. Maybe he's not. It doesn't really matter. Even if he is, I'm sure he'll only get a slap on the wrist from the league. Heck, Darryl Strawberry got more chances than cats have lives. On the other hand, Pete Rose was caught gambling once and will never be eligible for the Hall of Fame. The league is basically saying, "You can do all the drugs you like; we'll forgive you. However, if we catch you gambling on baseball, may God have mercy on your wretched soul."

I think MLB's policies toward drug use – steroid, narcotic, whatever – should be made tougher. I'd be tempted to suggest a zero-tolerance policy, but I'm a big fan of second chances, so I'd be happy with a 1-warning policy. The first time a player's caught, in addition to whatever punishment the league imposes, he should be told that the next offense will result in being banned from the league.

This brings to mind a far more serious problem – multiple DUI convictions. Take this woman for example. She's been convicted of DUI charges nine times before and is only facing prison time (and finally having her license revoked for life) now because she injured another driver. What the heck?! Thirteen charges and ten convictions and she's only now losing her license for life and spending a measly eight years in prison?! People get worse sentences for tax evasion!

In my not-so-humble and rather fed-up opinion, I think the federal government should force states to enact tougher DUI laws. Since Congress can't constitutionally make nation-wide traffic laws, they "encourage" states to make the changes they want by threatening to withhold road maintenance funds. They could easily apply that technique to pushing for tougher DUI laws.

What sort of laws would I want? Just look at my above baseball drug policies to know. I think drunk or drugged drivers should get a warning and appropriate punishments for the first offense. If there's a second offense, the driver's license should be revoked for at least twenty years, if not for life. If, however, the first offense resulted in a death, there would be no second chance and the license would be revoked for life. If driver is convicted of DUI while driving with a license suspended because of a prior DUI conviction, the license should be revoked for life and the driver should serve some jail time. I could go on and explain other particular scenarios, but I think you get the picture.

Drunk and drugged drivers get treated too nicely in this country. If we don't stop slapping them on the wrists, they won't stop driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. I'm all about forgiveness and second chances, but just because I forgive you, doesn't mean I trust you behind the wheel of an automobile.

Comments 5

  1. John wrote:

    On the baseball thing, the ten day suspension he recieved is ridiculous. By taking steroids, he has recieved an unfair advantage, ten days from now he’ll still have that unfair advantage.

    He should at least be out for the rest of the season.

    Posted 04 Aug 2005 at 6:09 pm
  2. Funky Dung wrote:

    $162,000 would hurt you or me big time, but considering the his contract and the endorsement deals he likely has, it’s peanuts.

    Posted 06 Aug 2005 at 10:46 pm
  3. Funky Dung wrote:

    BTW, why in heaven’s name should people even get so many chances? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Everyone mistakes and thus everyone deserves a second chance (except in certain circumstances). What defensible reason could there possibly be for more than two chances?!?

    Posted 06 Aug 2005 at 10:49 pm
  4. Rob wrote:

    The ARD program actually works pretty well. Most people don’t go beyond their first offenses. It scares the bejeebers out of them.

    The problem is, if you make the penalties too stiff for the second timers, it becomes increasingly cost-effective for the perp to fight tooth and nail and try every trick in the book to get off. The lawyer ads disgust me.

    Anyone who gets a second should lose the license for a year, and 28 days in an alcohol program may be more effective than jail.

    I was going to suggest a lifetime alcohol-interlock with the ignition, but why not just put them on every car?

    Posted 04 Aug 2005 at 3:13 pm
  5. Adam Graham wrote:

    A Ten day suspension is $162,000 loss. Hardly a slap on the wrist. I think there’s a pretty good policy and its working in Major League Baseball.

    First offense: 10 games
    Second offense: 30 games
    Third Offense: 60 games
    Fourth Offense: Full Season
    Fifth Offense: Commissioner’s distrection.

    Now if Raffy gets caugh again or we start seeing guys with a lot of third offenses then it might be time to tighten up, but the policy’s working.

    Posted 06 Aug 2005 at 10:36 pm

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