Driving under the influence of alcohol has been in the news a lot this week, particularly with the horrible deaths of Becca, Macie and Garrison Bingham and the death of five members of a family in Santa Fe caused by a drunk driver in Santa Fe, Dana J. Papst, who formerly resided in Colorado. Now comes the news that a Denver County Court Judge, Johnny Barajas, has been charged with DUI after an accident in which no one was injured. I don’t know Judge Barajas, but I commend his statement issued in response to the charges:

The judge told Denver’s 7 that he takes full responsibility for his conduct and is relieved that no one was hurt in the accident….The judge said he will enter an alcohol treatment program.

Drinking and driving is serious business. Driving while drunk or impaired by alchohol should be against the law and punished according to the danger and injuries caused. I often think that if people realized the cost of a DUI arrest, now estimated to be $20,000, a figure that includes increased insurance costs and legal fees, that there would be greater deterrence. “Just Say No” has never worked, with either drugs or alcohol. Hitting people in their pocketbooks is far more effective .