3 DUIs and You're Out

A judge could revoke a drunk drivers license after three offenses

If Assemblyman Jerry Hill gets his way, it's 3 DUIs and you're out.

Hill is introducing legislation that would empower Judges to revoke a drunk driver's license after three offenses, taking them permanently off the road.

The "three strikes" bill would also allow the DMV to consider a defendants entire history of drunk driving in a suspension case. Currently, it only counts convictions from the past 10 years and can only revoke a license if the driver has injured or killed someone.

"Why should we wait for an accident to happen?" Hill said in an interview with the MercuryNews.com. "I don't want to see a loved one of mine — or anyone else, for that matter — harmed or injured by a drunken driver."

Hill told the MercuryNews he introduced the legislation after reading stories of repeat offenders who were still driving. In one case, a driver was able to get his license back after his eighth DUI conviction only to get a ninth.

Critics charge the bill will only lead to more unlicensed driving.

"(The bill) is a waste of effort," Joshua Dale, executive director of the California DUI Lawyers Association, told the MercuryNews. "All it is going to do is increase the amount of unlicensed, uninsured accidents. It's not logical, it's not scientific — it's just reaction."

If Legislature approves the bill and it's signed by the governor, it would take effect January 2011.

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