Under an amended version of Republican Ray Haynes’ bill, the bright red plate with white lettering would kick in after a second DUI conviction – and only if in at least one of the two cases the driver’s blood alcohol content was at double the legal limit or higher. Haynes says a steady increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths prompted the measure. He calls drunk drivers traffic hazards.
“If there is some embarrassment that attaches to having the red plate I think that’s a beneficial byproduct, but that’s not the purpose of the plate. The bottom line is the purpose of the plate is to identify traffic hazards early and remove them as quickly as possible.”
Opponents include the ACLU and public defenders. They maintain the red plates would invite harassment and vandalism – and that family members who also use the car would be unfairly targeted.
Haynes’ bill died in the Assembly earlier this year. He’s now trying to push the amended version through the Senate.