I appreciate your statistics and commentary, and what you say about this type of statute is true and produces many adverse results.
Once the human equation is removed, that is to say the possible evaluation of the accused, and the circumstances surrounding the arrest, the most hardened criminal will be treated the same as Casper Milktoast, a poor soul now 50 years old, no criminal history except a plea of the case warranting a finding of operating under the influence on a couple of occasions when he was a college student in 1975, and now faces his third (jail) offense.
He never had an accident and the latest arrest was the result of having one too many at a testimonial dinner, and blew a .09.
Mandatory sentencing in this case does not consider the circumstances, and the look-back itself is not relevant nor can the circumstances surrounding the prior convictions be considered by the judge.
This is not a three strike situation of a hardened criminal.
Defense counsel interviewed in the report of this change, all have stated that the 14 day in-hospital program available to second offender's has been extremely effective.
The mandatory sentencing of a third or more conviction also does not consider the suffering of a family resulting from the loss of income or job for over a year, nor the factor of rehabilitation.
I am not talking about the bad ass moron who gets crazy on two drinks, evokes police chases and kills people with his insane driving.
The many pay for the few once the population has grown and orgainizations like MADD, and other organizations push for stricter and stricter legislation.
On the other hand I do hope that my comments are not taken as a pat on the back for drunk-drivers.
The statute as drafted, IMHO, is regressive and smacks of Salem, MA in 1692, where the innocent pay for the crazy, and Quaker's were forced to take church property in a nominee trust to avoid religious persecution.
I would rather see a statute or regulation which permitted humanization of the case by the judge having the ability to assess each case and make exceptions within given parameters.
The bad guy would be culled out and old Casper Milktoast could be admitted say for 30 days in the Last Chance hospital. And after a certain length of time regain his sunrise to sunset driving privlege, without the taxpayers picking up the bill for jail time and welfare for wife and kids.
Just a thought.