Oklahoma State Sen. Patrick Anderson is proposing a bill that would require DUI offenders to carry an identification card that declares they are “alcohol restricted,” prohibiting them from buying or consuming alcohol for a court-approved period of time.
The Republican’s bill would allow courts to order a person convicted of a DUI to abstain from drinking alcohol for a period of time determined by the judge. It would then make it a felony to sell or provide alcohol to “alcohol restricted” license holders. Those who “knowingly sell, deliver or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person who has been ordered to abstain” could face a fine of up to $1,000 or one year in prison, the bill says.
Defense Attorney David Slane told a local Fox affiliate that he sees a lot of problems with the bill.
“The law does not have a catch all provision that would allow for circumstances if it’s in the food,” he said. “In cases were people have religious right to take communion where there may be alcohol in the wine — does it allow for that?”
“Keep in mind the consumption of alcohol has never been illegal unless you were underage,” Mr. Slane added, “and in this case they are saying we want the court to enforce something that’s almost unenforceable.”
Charles Sifers, a DUI attorney, said the bill is archaic.
“I understand the whole concept of the scarlet letter, which is what this is; no different than pilgrim times,” he told a local NBC affiliate.
While admitting it would be difficult to enforce, defense attorney Richard Roth described the measure as a much-needed deterrent to stop repeat offenders from drunk-driving.
“This is a deterrent, and there must be something done,” he told Fox News.
Sen. Anderson said he came up with the idea after learning about a similar law in Alaska.
The Oklahoma State Senate will begin discussing the proposed legislation in February, the NBC affiliate reported.