Ken Schram: Innovative DUI penalty might save lives

To begin with, let's stop calling it "an accident."

When a drunk gets behind the wheel of a car that crashes into another car, or mows down a pedestrian, or runs over a bicyclist, that is not "an accident."

The drunk chooses to disregard the law and common sense by consuming too much alcohol and deciding it's still OK to drive.

For whatever reasons, Washington state lawmakers generally wring their hands over imposing more severe penalties against people who drink and drive.

Not Rep. Roger Goodman.

After learning about the death of Steve Lacey, Goodman began formulating an idea for a new law.

Steve Lacey was killed earlier this year by a man who reportedly was driving with a blood alcohol level that was more than three times the legal limit.

Steve Lacey left behind a wife and two young children.

In the next legislative session, Goodman will introduce a bill that would require convicted drunk drivers to pay child support if they cause the death of a person with young children.

I hope it becomes law.

Maybe it will give people one more reason to pause before they get behind the wheel of a car when they've been drinking.

Maybe it will be one more way to try and prevent something that is nowhere near "an accident."


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