A current supporter of the neo-prohibition movement publicly advocates the death penalty for DWI offenders. He clearly advocates increased penalties.
Death Penalty for DWI Offenders
The DEATH PENALTY for drunks that kill innocent people will probably NOT be a deterrent, BUT, given a few years, we can kill enough drunks, that it might be half way safe to drive on the roads again.
There were more deaths last year in Virginia from DRUNK DRIVERS …. These DRUNKS are a menace and don’t care who they kill! Lets put as many of them to death (legally) as we can, to get them off the highways.
It’s time to start killing (legally) the people who are killing us while driving a vehicle on the highways. DEATH TO DRUNKS!1 (Emphases in original)
During Prohibition (1920-1933) some activists made similarly harsh suggestions. Prohibitionists often advocated strong measures against those who did not comply with the law.
One suggested that the government distribute poisoned alcohol beverages through bootleggers (sellers of illegal alcohol). She acknowledged that several hundred thousand Americans would die as a result. However, she thought the cost well worth the enforcement of Prohibition.
Others suggested that those who drank should be:
- Hung by the tongue beneath an airplane and flown over the country.
- Exiled to concentration camps in the Aleutian Islands
- Excluded from any and all churches.
- Forbidden to marry.
- Placed in bottle-shaped cages in public squares.
- Forced to swallow two ounces of caster oil
- Executed, as well as their progeny to the fourth generation.2
Many stressed education to bring about voluntary compliance. But Wheeler insisted on strict and vigorous enforcement. Also “he desired the most severe penalties, the most aggressive policies even to calling out the Army and navy, the most relentless prosecution.”1
The Prohibition Bureau added poisons to industrial alcohol to prevent its us as a beverage. Wheeler opposed the use of nonpoisonous additives such as soap or other noxious but harmless substances. He argued that “the government is under no obligation to furnish people with alcohol that is drinkable when the Constitution prohibits it. The person who drinks this industrial alcohol…is a deliberate suicide.”3
Prohibition agents were widely criticized for using excessive force. And it was against both persons and property. One of the most violent may have been agent William Harvey Thompson. Thompson’s career illustrates one of the many problems – unprofessional enforcement – that led to increasing opposition to Prohibition.
Prohibitionists and neo-prohibitionists are often characterized by hatred and hostility toward those they oppose.
References: Death Penalty for DWI Offenders
- Jump, M. Virginia FINALLY toughens up on DRUNKS! But not enough. HamptonRoads.com/.
- Aaron, P. and Musto, D. Temperance and Prohibition in America. In: Moore, M., and Gerstein, D. (Eds.) Alcohol and Public Policy. Washington: Nat Acad Press, 1981, p. 159.
- Asbury, H. The Great Illusion. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1950, p. 279.