Is Drunk Driving a Serious Offence? Essay

802 Words4 Pages
Is Drunk Driving a serious offence? Husak argues that under its current definition, drink driving is not a serious offence. Whilst Steinbock argues that drink driving is a serious offence. Husak gives numerous reasons to doubt that drink driving is a serious offence, the one of which is fair notice. He argues that sever punishment is unwarranted, unless the defendant is aware that he is engaging in an act that that the state has defined as criminal. Another reason argued by Husak, to doubt that drink driving is a serious offence is the fact that it is performed frequently. Husak gives two reasons for this argument: Practicality and Principle. Husak argues that it is not practical for the state to imprison every single person who drinks and drives. There is simply not enough prison cells. Husak also argues on this point, based on principle, that criminal punishment is designed to stigmatize, but it is impossible to stigmatize against behavior that is practiced widely. Sigma, Husak argues, is supposed to presuppose deviance, not normalcy. The majority cannot be deserving of stigma. A further reason for one to doubt that drunk driving is a serious offence is that Per se laws establish an arbitrary point, below which there is no liability at all. Husak’s main point here is that tiny increments should not be used to distinguish more serious offences from non-offences. Instead tiny increments should be used only to distinguish between more serious offences from less serious offences, or not so serious offences from less serious offences i.e. If a person can drink at age twenty-one it shouldn’t be a serious offence to drink at twenty. Whilst Husak believes that drunk driving is not an especially serious offence, he also argues that imprisonment should be reserved for those people whom commit serious offences. He concludes that drunk drivers should

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