Note the “Hole in the Card” of my license. It’s just for an example, really.
I got the opportunity to go to Austin last week for a legislative day. Veterinarians and lots of other groups were there to say hi to their representatives and voice their opinions. I took a little extra time and passed out my ideas to some select committees. They are looking at adding the CHL status on the driver’s license. I’m all for that, and if you look at the other posts on the red handgun symbol, those are all feasible.
The Hole in the Card is an easy addition. I ran this idea past a bunch of folks about a year ago and it was pretty well received. Some were enthusiastic. Some were squirming a bit like the sinners sweating in church. Basically, if you’ve been legally irresponsible in your life, we’re going to treat you like you were under 21. We’re going to punch a single hole in your driver’s license, and require proof of identification for all purchases of alcohol, tobacco products, and lottery tickets.
DUI? You get that hole in your card by having an alcohol incident (PI, DUI, Domestic Violence). If we card everyone, regardless of how old they look, it will stop some of the abuse. We’re looking for the folks with a problem. I’d punch a hole immediately on arrest, before release, and as soon as you see the judge, I’ll either replace it for free or it stays. I don’t want you put out on personal recognizance waiting for your trial date, and still being able to buy alcohol in between.
Not paying child support? You get a hole in your card. You’re a deadbeat. That’s bad enough, but if you’re blowing your money on alcohol, tobacco, or lottery tickets, then you aren’t giving it to your kids. They’re hurting and someone is having to pick up your responsibilities. If you are paying child support like you’re supposed to, no hole would be punched.
Welfare abuse? The bonus of this program is IF they want to tackle welfare abuse, it would work. If someone wants to remain on the welfare system, as compassionate and giving as we are as a country, it’s not right that the recipients of our charity use those funds to buy cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets. With a single hole punched in the Texas driver’s license, the holder of the license will be restricted to purchases as if they were under 21. The day someone is no longer needing state assistance, I would give them a new Texas Driver’s License or ID card for no charge. There’s lots of folks that don’t do drugs, alcohol, smoke, or play the lottery, so placing a hole in their card wouldn’t change their life.
If you are an alcoholic, and really want to commit in your AA program to becoming free, voluntarily punch a hole in your card. If your name was Josh Hamilton, famous Texas baseball player, and you had a hole punched in your card, the bar couldn’t have served you alcohol to help you fall off the wagon into the headlines. Whimsically, as a parent, if you’re 22 year old son or daughter still living at home was taking your funds to “buy gas” while looking for a job, but instead was buying lottery tickets or beer — punch a hole in their card. You could throw them out but tough love is still love.
If the state agency punches the card for you, then it’s registered in the system. If you do it on your own, Alcoholics Anonymous, or self imposed, it’s a personal commitment to turning your life around. This proposal would require the creation of a new Texas law, but would be implemented within our existing computer records at minimal cost. The department of Health and Human Services can be one office to punch a hole, as well as law enforcement before a driver’s license is returned to an individual. A hole punch from Staples costs a dollar but anyone can borrow mine at any time.
We are going to make it mandatory, regardless of apparent age, that proof of identification be presented for all the purchases requiring age verification. And this would be ONE way of people to STOP the enabling of their friends and family.
Hole in the card? – No sale.
No license (or Texas ID)? No problem. No sale.