In 1947, California became the first state in the nation to have a sex offender registration program. One Pennsylvania lawmaker is proposing a DUI offender registry that would work much the same way. The proposal, sponsored in Pennsylvania by State Representative Thomas Caltagirone, would create a registry for those with five or more DUI convictions in a twenty-year span. Opinion is split regarding the idea in Pennsylvania, but other states will certainly be looking at the idea of registering DUI offenders in the years to come. Right now, if you’re charged with DUI in Orange County, you don’t have to “register” with anyone, but you do need to obtain legal counsel at once and contact an experienced Orange County DWI defense attorney.

The proposed registry would include the name, date of birth, residence, and employment address of an offender. It would also list the date and location of each DWI conviction, and it would count boating under the influence convictions as DUI convictions. The idea is based on Ohio’s Habitual Offender Registry, which was established in 2008. Opinion is mixed regarding the effectiveness of the registry idea. Some believe a DWI registry acts as a deterrent; others say that chronic DUI offenders just don’t care. One thing, however, is sure. Where there’s a registry, there’s a registration fee, so cash-strapped states may see registries as another way to obtain revenue from DWI offenders.

In California, penalties are already harsh for DUI convictions. Obviously, the best strategy is to avoid drinking and driving entirely. If you anticipate driving in southern California, don’t drink, and if you drink, call a cab or find some other way to avoid driving. If you face a DWIcharge in Orange County – whether it’s a first offense or a subsequent DUI charge – obtain the legal counsel you need and contact an experienced Orange County DWI defense attorney as quickly as possible.