The state of Ohio requires that individuals convicted of a DUI must use a specific color license plate. Other states should follow this example for the following reasons. A DUI is a serious offense, as it puts the lives of the driver, the passengers, and other innocent bystanders at risk. This colored license plate would not only serve as a punishment for the individual convicted, but it would also serve as a precaution to other drivers on the road. Additionally, the unique license plate would serve as a deterrent for citizens who may be tempted to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Though critics may say that this is an unfair punishment for these individuals, I do not see the punishment as too severe or unusual in comparison to other punishments that are widely accepted by society. For example, individuals convicted of sex crimes are required to be a part of a sex offender registry for the safety of others. These requirements are very similar and equally beneficial to citizens in state. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the individual must be convicted of the DUI; they are not simply accused or indicted. This is an important distinction to prevent the abridgment of an innocent person's rights.
Drivers can never be too aware of the stupidity of others. I personally think that it should cost a substantial amount more than other license plates and that driving without it results in the termination of ones licenses. People die at the hands of these people and others have a right to know.
Yes, this type of overt identification makes people stop and consider the dangers of impaired driving. It means society will not tolerate impaired driving. The number of road casualties due to impaired driving is high. Organizations such as MADD have been urging motorists to use caution on the road for years - so this is a form of validation. People will opt for cab rides and other alternate means of transportation to get home after drinking. Most people would not want everyone to know they have been convicted of DUI, so people may think twice before getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. Even first time offenders may get jail time. Of course, each state would have to pass its own bill - in some states this may be easier than others.
I believe the state of Ohio is onto something good in giving those convicted of DUI different color license plates. Why not make the average driver aware of the previous conviction so he can be even more of a defensive driver around the offender? It may also serve to make those convicted better drivers.