After the tragic shootings in Oregon, Connecticut and Colorado, an outcry has emanated from many calling for tougher gun laws.
While these shootings are true tragedies, a much larger tragedy plays out daily - innocent people killed by drunken drivers. Each year, drunken drivers kill approximately 13,000 people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 10,400 firearm homicides in our country. Reviewing the statistics, we find that the majority of these gun-related deaths were criminal-on-criminal violence, not innocent people killed as is the case of a death by a drunken driver.
Our families have a far, far greater chance of being killed by a drunken driver than we do have of being killed by a person like the shooters.
However, DUI-related deaths are a much different thing. One-third of DUI killers are repeat offenders. Seventy-five percent of drivers who lose their license due to a DUI continue to drive anyway.
Hawaii's drunken-driving fatality rate is double its homicide rate and continues to lead the country in DUI-related deaths. We need stronger laws to keep these people away from us and our families. Maybe we should stiffen the penalties for DUI and enforce the mandated ignition interlock for anyone convicted of drunken driving. This device would immobilize the car of anyone who blew positive.
We probably can't control crazies with guns but we can surely reduce the risk of a death at the hand of a drunken driver.