Drunk Driving: How Much Is Enough?


No one should ever be able to receive 17 DUIs without suffering serious consequences, but that has been the case for a woman from Bedford County, Tennessee. She recently received her 17th arrest for DUI and her 16th arrest for driving on a suspended license, and yet she keeps being set free to make the same terrible decision again and again.

Sadly, this woman is nowhere near holding the record for most DUIs. The unofficial record holder made it to 30 before his death in 2008, but there are documented cases of individuals with more than 17, including:

  • A South Dakota man who accumulated 19 arrests from 1978 to 2013
  • A New Mexico man with 20 arrests
  • A man from Virginia with a full 25 arrests

It is clear from these numbers that the current DUI laws in many states are not working to sufficiently discourage this behavior. Each time a person drives under the influence, they put others at risk. It is safe to assume that a person who is arrested 25 times for drunk driving actually drove under the influence many mores times and was not caught. Any of those times that person could have caused a serious accident resulting in disability or death.

Most states have some amount of mandatory sentencing, but these sentences can be shockingly light. Some states require no jail time at all, or as little as 10 days of jail time, and licenses might be reinstated in just a month or two. A lack of suitable deterrents encourages people to continue to drive drunk.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, you know how often the justice system fails to hold people accountable. Oftentimes the only way a person is held responsible for their actions is through a civil suit. Please contact a qualified attorney to help you pursue justice.

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