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Good news, tragic news and offensive news on our roads

What will it take to stop repeat drunken drivers?

The good news is that fatalities from drunken drivers was down in 2019 to their lowest point since officials began keeping numbers.

The tragic news is that five people died in crashes caused by drunken driving this past year in Lycoming County, while 50 people died in the local district of the state Department of Transportation. The district includes eight other counties besides Lycoming.

Overall, those numbers are 67 fewer than the previous year.

The offensive news is that some people continue to get behind the wheel of a vehicle even though they are unfit to drive.

Even more offensive are those who don’t stop, even after racking up multiple drunken driving charges, even after paying thousands of dollars in fines and performing countless hours of community service, even after spending time in jail. Witness the motorist who had already been charged at least eight times when he recently crashed, while allegedly drunk again, into a Lairdsville couple’s bedroom. Fortunately, the couple was not home. Nobody died. This time.

Most of the time, those who think they can drink and drive and then get caught find themselves facing penalties stiff enough to cause them to think long and hard before they risk driving drunk again. But what about these repeat offenders who just don’t get it or perhaps they just don’t care — what should society do about them?

We don’t have all of the answers, just some very real concerns about the threat — the danger — they pose on the road.

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