READER REPORT:

Tougher laws for drunk crime?

MARTIN BUCK
Last updated 11:00 27/12/2013

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Picture a typical Saturday night: late night drunken youths with nothing better to do have embarked on a destructive rampage for fun.

You have the combination of unformed brain functions disabled by drink, so the collective social responsibility of a 3-year-old.

Even if the police manage to finger the felons, how is responsibility assessed?

It seems that the courts to date have given a discount on accountability, deeming drunken antics to be less blameworthy than stone-cold sober actions. The reason? Everybody does it, sometimes it gets out of hand, and it could be our kids, so go soft on them. We were all young once.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Children at school should be taught that they are indeed accountable for their own actions, and punished if they misbehave. 

The decision to imbibe alcohol in irresponsible quantities is something that is done deliberately and knowingly. This does not excuse any illegal activities afterward, it compounds them.

For this reason, any unlawful act resulting in damage to persons or property should result in a sentence greater than if the malefactor was not intoxicated. How else is anyone to learn that drunkenness is a bad thing? If you deliberately put yourself into a state where you might endanger yourself or others, the law should mandate a prison sentence followed by alcohol addiction treatment.

Perhaps the bar lined with high test spirits would not be so attractive if the consequences of indulging were more serious to your future. What employer wants to hire someone who ends up in jail due to drink?

Never mind the disgusting mess that drunks cause in our city and town centres all over the country.

Who should pay for all the alcohol treatment needed? A special tax on all alcohol products would take care of that. 


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