About 25,000 Louisiana drivers are arrested each year for
driving while intoxicated, The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported. With
that in mind, the state’s Senate has approved a bill that would make it easier
to recognize drunken drivers.
Senators voted 33-2 to advance a bill that would require
multiple offenders to attach special orange license plates with the letters “DWI” to their vehicles. The bill has been sent to the House for consideration.
The bill would require the orange plates be placed on
vehicles registered and primarily driven by offenders for five years. The
plates would cost $25 a year, in addition to regular license fees.
A provision added to the bill would include a fine if DWI
drivers are caught driving another vehicle without the license plate.
Anyone not following the rule would face up to six months in
prison and/or a $500 fine.
Opponents say the requirement would lead to unfair scrutiny
and labeling of individuals. Supporters say it is needed to help the public to
know that the driver could be dangerous.
The bill – SB47 – is in the House Criminal Justice
Similar provisions are in place in other states.
Georgia and Minnesota use a special combination of numbers
or letters to identify motorists convicted of driving while intoxicated, while Ohio makes yellow plates with red numbers mandatory, The Associated Press reported.
In addition, Michigan uses paper tags to identify repeat
offenders, while Oregon and Washington put a zebra sticker over the plate of
Other states have debated similar rules this year, including
California, Florida and Maryland.