Louisiana Considers Adding "Drug Offender" to Driver's Licenses

Don't legislators have anything better to do? In Louisiana, a House Committee has approved a bill to have drug offenders issued special drivers' licenses that say, in big orange letters at the bottom, "Drug Offender."

The House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee unanimously approved House Bill 139 by Rep. Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, after increasing the fee assessed on offenders from $10 to $25 to cover the cost of issuing a special license with "DRUG OFFENDER" in bright orange on the bottom. Similar licenses with "SEX OFFENDER" already are issued to people convicted of certain sex crimes.

Hardy said the main goal of his legislation is to "give the officer who would stop that person a heads-up who he's dealing with, to let him know that person has been involved in criminal activity and might be armed."

People are required to show drivers' licenses for everything from writing a check to getting on a plane to entering a federal courthouse. This is nothing but a shaming punishment. It's bad policy and offensive.

If it's really just for police, why not merely require drug offenders to keep a copy of their conviction paper in their glovebox, like they do their vehicle registration and proof of insurance, to hand over with their license during a traffic stop?

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    I wonder if (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 04:04:48 PM EST
    this is going to apply to prescription abusing folks like Rush or it this just the old reliable "punch the hippy" strategy?

    speaking of Rush (none / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 04:09:48 PM EST
    (although kind of off-topic here - sorry)

    I saw a billboard on my way home last night that said "Rush moved" and got really excited thinking he'd finally gone to Costa Rica or wherever.  Then I kept driving and saw the rest of the billboard.  He moved to another radio station...


    Sounds like a modern-day equivalent to ... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by cymro on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 04:12:40 PM EST
    ... a scarlet letter.

    now THATs (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 04:16:02 PM EST
    an idea.  if they are going to do this I think it fair to consider "adulterers".  that is illegal in many states.

    and they might consider "tax cheat".  and "parking violater".

    perhaps "militia member" or "gun nut" too.


    Have to think up (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by MKS on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 04:57:47 PM EST
    all appropriate categories.....

    But you missed the obivous one, Captain....Since this is Louisianna we need to honor Mr. Vitter.....A category of "John" or "I love diapers".....or "prostitution client"....


    That is exactly what (none / 0) (#7)
    by kenosharick on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 05:14:05 PM EST
    came to my mind. Of course, in that case a hefty portion of the legislature would be required to wear the "A"

    Seems like it would be fair play (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 05:26:40 PM EST
    to emblazon the driver's licenses of legislators who vote for such a law with "MAJOR A$$HOLE," doesn't it?

    The hidden reason (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Yes2Truth on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 07:14:21 PM EST

    The goal of law enforcement and all of the special interests who benefit from narcotics laws is to
    get more people into the system.

    This law will further that goal by giving police another excuse to stop people and find or "find" something on them or in their vehicle which can be used to justify arresting them.

    It's too late, folks.  The special interests who profit from narcotics laws will never surrender the gold mine that's aka War On Drug Users.

    So-called liberals might push for lesser prison sentences, lower bail, and other tinkerings, but
    if they are part of the special interest group mentioned above, they will never demand the end
    of drug prohibition.

    Legalizing freedom would come at too high a price for everyone in that particular special interest
    group...which also certainly includes drug cartels.  It isn't just law enforcement and related groups (you know, bail bondsmen etc.), it's also CIA and right-wing political careers!

    Now ... if SHAME ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by nyrias on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 06:13:26 PM EST
    is a more effective deterrent than prison, i do not see why we should not use it?

    It solves the prison overpopulation problem too.

    How effective is shame these days, and for whom? (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by Erehwon on Wed Apr 07, 2010 at 06:24:58 PM EST
    Consider Vitter and Ensign on the one hand, and Spitzer and Massa on the other.

    Don't know how effective ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by nyrias on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 03:49:21 PM EST
    but shouldn't we try and find out.

    Certainly shame is a lot cheaper than prison and it cost no physical discomfort to the convicted.


    But what is the shame... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 05:40:37 PM EST
    in "drug offender"?  All that means is you refused to let others to decide what is best for you...in fact I'd call it a badge of honor.

    The only shame lies with the clowns ordering the stamping.


    Nothing .. (none / 0) (#17)
    by nyrias on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 06:15:06 PM EST
    my comments are general applying to the use of shame .. not that i am supporting drug laws.

    I support drug legalization.

    But shame can be used for other crimes, theft, robbery, violent sex crimes .....


    BINGO! (none / 0) (#18)
    by Yes2Truth on Fri Apr 09, 2010 at 08:35:42 AM EST

    Why anyone who believes in freedom would support
    criminalizing the act of smoking, ingesting, snorting, eating, or otherwise consuming whatever
    they want to...is beyond me.

    Liberals opposed to freedom and liberty.  Wow.


    Sorry Sarah... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:37:11 AM EST
    but my vocab can only describe these legislators as total retards.

    Can we stamp "Two-Bit Tyrant" on their papers?

    Drug Offender?? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 09:55:35 AM EST
    Might be armed? WTF? Seems like if that's what they're worried about it would make more sense to put TEA BAGGER on driver's licenses.

    The thrashing of a mortally wounded animal (none / 0) (#14)
    by SeeEmDee on Thu Apr 08, 2010 at 01:24:48 PM EST
    Drug prohibition's costly expenses (and excesses) are something the American taxpayer can no longer afford to fund, as the money's needed for things like Unemployment to keep people going.

    But the DrugWarriors, realizing their meal tickets will soon be sized up for a budgetary ax, are pulling out all the stops in trying to keep their sacred cow from being slaughtered. This is just symptomatic of their increasing hysteria.

    Sort of like a wounded animal trying to get one last shot at what has killed it. But ultimately what killed it is the p*ss poor economy.

    It's time to put this dangerous, rights-and-lives-destroying animal out of our misery...before it harms any more people in its' death-throes'.