"Don't drink and drive."
We hear this wise advice all the time, especially around the holidays. Yet, people still get behind the wheel in various states of intoxication--seemingly oblivious to the damage they may do themselves and others.
If our present deterrents are not enough to stop the problem, Hot Topics wonders, "What should be the penalty for drunk driving?"
"They should have their driver's licenses taken away for 2 to 3 years and be jailed for about a month."
Julie Mun, 17, senior, Cypress
"They should be sent to jail for about a week; also, suspend their driver's licenses for a year. The purpose would be to take them off the streets."
Sheryl Murakoshi, 16, junior, Cypress
"Severe fine and loss of driver's license."
Maura Bruen, 18, senior, Dana Hills
Chris Oprison, 18, senior, Dana Hills
"Mandatory suspension of driver's license for 6 months, and the offender should be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous."
Robin Baessler, 16, junior, Dana Hills
"Should at least be 8 years without parole in jail."
Monica Caudillo, 17, senior, Dana Hills
"Drunk drivers should be put to death. There is no excuse for drinking and driving."
Jennifer Jones, 17, senior, Esperanza
"A mandatory suspension of the driver's license for 3 years after the first offense. For those 3 years, their sole transportation must be buses or taxis."
Kim Kordik, 16, junior, Esperanza
"If the driver killed a person, he should give his life too. Although this would not replace the family's sorrow, it would cure their anger."
Jim Cox, 17, senior, Laguna Hills
"The offender should be forced to drink a mixture of alcoholic beverages until he becomes deathly sick. He should then be placed in a jail cell to think about his crime."
Marlo Naber, 17, senior, Lutheran
"If the driver killed someone, I think the driver should die as well. If he is just caught, he should lose all driving privileges."
Rachel Otte, 17, senior, Lutheran
"Without killing someone, a $35 fine. With killing someone, the death penalty."
Greg Boger, 16, sophomore, Mission Viejo
"If they killed someone, they should be sent to prison for life."
Karen Barbour, 16, sophomore, Mission Viejo
"They should be tied to a bed of nails and dragged behind a coach with four horses along the hairpin turns in San Francisco."
Hetal Dalal, 17, senior, Orange
"It depends entirely upon the situation--but if someone else is harmed, the driver should be jailed."
Shin Jisoo, 16, junior, Pacifica
"The penalty for drunk driving would be to take the driver's license away."
Elaine Espinosa, 18, senior, Southern California Christian
"The offender should go to jail for a long period of time and be forced to work in a hospital where drunk-driving accident victims are prevalent and shown what damage can be done."
Bobby Rangel, 17, senior, Southern California Christian
"The penalty for drunk driving should be 2 months of community service working with victims of drunk drivers and their families. Their driver's licenses should be revoked for a year, and they should serve a 2-month minimum, non-negotiable sentence in jail."
Kristin Nakazawa, 16, junior, Trabuco Hills
"They should take away their driver's licenses forever."
Daniela Brijova, 15, sophomore, Western
"On the first offense, 6 months' imprisonment and 2 years' loss of driver's license."
Jon Aspaas, 15, sophomore, Western
Next Week's Hot Topic: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
Hot Topic responses gathered by Chris Bergerud, Angela Conner, Rachel De Velder, Melanie Fowler, Crystal Fu, Stephanie Jeffers, Lynda Kim, Stacey Kimsey, Stephan Lee, Monica Neal, Heather Orey and Janet Stouder.