It always popular politically to boost jail time for drunk drivers.
But a Kansas House bill that would double sentences for some DUI offenders overlooks a critical component: Jail space.
County sheriffs lobbied hard against the bill, complaining that it would impose a costly burden on their already overflowing jails.
Why didn’t lawmakers listen to their valid concerns?
Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, who sponsored the original bill, told The Eagle editorial board Friday that the House version veered in a different direction. He called it “harsh” and expressed concern that the sentencing spikes would probably require “500 to 1,000 beds just in Sedgwick County alone.”
“It’s all stick and no carrot,” he said, adding that he’d like to see a more balanced bill that includes emphasis on treatment programs and other alternatives that would reduce the number of people driving drunk.
The Senate shouldn’t let this bill pass in its present form.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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