Well, in my opinion, this idea is not for the benefit of the community, but for the benefit of lawyers.
Short and the other lawyers make their money defending these people and if they are not in court he has no business. Three months’ disqualification does not deter anyone, as we can see from the court reports. The same people are in court being represented by lawyers and having their cases deferred and put off forever because they don’t turn up for their hearing, or the lawyer hasn't had time to read the notes on the case.
Twelve months’ disqualification is the best deterrent and zero tolerance is what is needed here to make an impact on our regular offenders.
Rudi Guilliani imposed zero tolerance on offenders in New York, starting with the small things like graffiti and breaking windows, and when the people realised he was hard-hitting and serious about the little crimes, then the big crimes reduced considerably.
When Guilliani went into office there were on average 1500 murders every year in New York City. After the implementation of his zero tolerance policy, this number reduced to less than half. If we want to get drunks off our road, giving them a slap on the wrist with three months’ loss of licence is not enough to persuade them to change.
Taking drunks off the road for 12 months might lead to reducing our domestic violence statistics which in this small country are as alarming as the murder rate in New York City.
Living in Rarotonga, the loss of licence is still not enough because apart from bothering your family to get you to work, there is a bus system and you can ride a bike to work because the island is only 32km right around. So you only have to maximum ride of 16km which is not far. And apart from getting you fit and healthy and maybe acquiring a better attitude because of it, this ride would be completely achievable by all offenders.
So let's not harp on about how hard lengthy licence disqualifications are on the offenders’ friends and family. If they don't like it tell them to tell the offender to catch the bus or take a hike on their bike.
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