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CSP to drivers: Would you support ‘scarlet letter' plates for convicted drunk drivers?

Posted at 7:08 PM, Nov 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-05 18:24:33-05

DENVER – The Colorado State Patrol wants to know if you would support a specialized license plate to identify convicted drunk drivers behind the wheel.

The CSP Public Affairs Twitter account asked its more than 19,000 followers to sound off on the idea Friday, giving followers four choices to choose from.

Responses were mixed.

“In fact their driving privilege should be taken from them. Never drive if you continually stay drunk from dawn to dawn daily,” said Lorie Acosta.

Others, however, thought the measure was going too far.

“Blown away that a top law enforcement agency is advocating for permanent shaming in this manner,” said Geoffrey DeWeese. “Wrong on so many levels.”

A search for the use of these specialized car plates shows the state of Ohio has been using them since 1967 to identify DUI offenders.

The plates can only be removed and replaced with regular state plates once an offender’s license suspension period has ended, typically after six months to a year, according to a local newspaper.

Traffic safety statistics from the Colorado State Patrol show the state has not met its goal to reduce the number of fatal crashes and injuries caused by people driving under the influence so far in 2017.

State data shows that there has been an increase in DUI-related fatalities and/or injuries of 4.3 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Of the more than 350 people who voted in CSP’s weekend poll, 40 percent said they were in favor of the specialized plates, while only 20 percent said the measure was going “too far."