Monday, May 01, 2006


Dear Indigna,

California Assemblyman Ray Haynes (R-Temecula) proposes that those convicted of drunk driving be forced to sport a special “scarlet” license plate on their car for the rest of their lives. Now, I’m all for public humiliation, but wouldn’t this law result in some poor dumb teenager having to show up at his date’s house with “drunk driver” branded on his dad’s car?

Also, I understand that some states have tossed breathalyzer test evidence at DUI trials because the Intoxilyzer's manufacturer “refused to reveal the source code for its machine because it was a trade secret,” thus denying the defendants the ability to challenge the “accuracy” of the results. My brother wants me to ask you, “Aza pub(hic)lic servish, c’d y’ lisht dem shtaa’s fer ush?”

Miami, FL

Dear Whatever,

The information your brother seeks should be widely available on the Internet, but exercise caution as I’m afraid if we overuse the tactic it will be made illegal unless the local politicians like a wee drop themselves. And remember, since only those convicted must bear the scarlet letters, simply make sure all your bacchanalian road trips are in states that buy the “source code” defense. BTW, if you have teenagers, never underestimate the disciplinary value of a car with red plates.


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