Pink Plates For DUI Culprits?

GENERIC: Florida License Plate, DUI, Drunk Driving, Accident
A Republican senator wants a law to require bright pink license plates on vehicles driven by people with restricted driving privileges due to convictions for driving under the influence.

Sen. Mike Fasano, of New Port Richey, filed a bill earlier this month that requires the first three characters on the plate to read "DUI."

"Maybe it will embarrass people and keep them from drinking and driving," Fasano said. "Maybe they'll think twice."

The bill also says police "may stop any vehicle that bears a DUI plate without probable cause to check the driver."

Ohio and Michigan have similar laws in place. Other states have debated the issue, but failed to pass it due to privacy reasons.

"Pink plates would hold out individuals for punishment as well as ridicule. We are very opposed to it," said Larry Spalding, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida.

About 840,000 of Florida's 15 million licensed drivers have an active DUI sanction on their driving records, said Frank Penela, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokesman. A small percentage of those have limited driving privileges, such as permission to drive only to and from work, Penela said.

"It could take two years to get the support, but I think it's worth the effort," Fasano said. "If I can't get a House sponsor, then maybe I can get it passed in the Senate and attached to a larger transportation bill."