Which would you prefer?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2011

For the past 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of conducting Driver Improvement and Substance Abuse classes for people convicted of Driving While Intoxicated. It never fails — at every session, one or two people complain about the court’s decision, fines, community service and sometimes a few days in jail.

It’s at this time that I tell them about the laws in other countries many years ago, according to the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association. The following were published in one of Ann Landers’ columns:

Australia: The names of convicted drunk drivers are published in the local newspapers under the heading: “Drunk and in Jail.”

South Africa: A drunk driver is given a 10-year prison term, a fine of $10,000 or both, depending on the circumstances.

Turkey: Drunk drivers are taken 20 miles out of town by the police and forced to walk back under escort.

Malaysia: The drunk driver is jailed. If he is married, his wife is jailed, too.

Norway: Three weeks in jail at hard labor and the drunk driver loses his license for one year. A second offense within five years and the driving license is revoked permanently.

Finland and Sweden: Automatic jail sentence for one year at hard labor.

England: One year in jail, one year suspension of driver’s license and a fine of $250.

Russia: Driver’s license is revoked for life.

France: One year in jail, the loss of license for three years and a fine of $1,000.

Bulgaria: A second conviction of drunk driving is the last. The punishment is execution.

El Salvador: Drunk drivers (first offense) are executed by a firing squad.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: hkeller@comcast.net.