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  1. #1
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Driving is a right, not a priviledge

    http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/conte...y_hearing.html


    Vehicular homicide suspect allowed to drive

    By MIKE WIGGINS The Daily Sentinel

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    A judge ruled Thursday that a Fruita man charged with killing a woman in a drunken-driving accident a year ago can drive his vehicle, lifting a restriction normally imposed in vehicular homicide cases.

    Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley told 24-year-old Jade Huskey he can drive to and from work and classes at Mesa State College but must pay for the installation of an interlock device in his truck. The device, which Huskey must blow into each time he drives, will detect whether there is any alcohol in his system. If there is, his truck will not start because the device is connected to the ignition system.

    The ruling came after defense attorney Gordon Gallagher filed a motion asking Gurley to modify Huskey’s bond conditions.

    Chief Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret objected to allowing Huskey to drive, saying bond conditions exist to protect the community and that a no-driving condition is standard in vehicular homicide cases. She said Huskey’s blood-alcohol level was 0.26 at the time of the accident, more than three times the legal limit for drivers in Colorado, and that he was driving more than 100 mph when the accident happened.

    Gallagher, though, said no-driving conditions should be considered on a case-by-case basis. He noted Huskey has no prior criminal history, has been cooperative with police and is reporting to the Mesa County Criminal Justice Services Department for alcohol tests.

    “These are serious allegations, but they are only allegations at this point,” Gurley said.

    Huskey is charged with killing 35-year-old Molly Gomez of Grand Junction in a car accident west of the city on Feb. 25, 2006. Colorado State Patrol investigators initially believed Gomez was driving the vehicle, but after further investigation concluded Huskey was driving.

    According to court records, the position of the driver’s seat and damage to the steering wheel were consistent with someone Huskey’s height and weight driving the vehicle, not Gomez.

    Investigators also said they found red or pink fibers imbedded in the steering wheel that were consistent with the color of the shirt Huskey was wearing the night of the accident.

    Surveillance video from a Fruita liquor store Huskey and Gomez visited shortly before the accident showed Huskey getting out of and into the driver’s seat of the car, according to court records.

    Huskey told investigators immediately after the accident he didn’t even remember being in the vehicle at the time of the accident but admitted he had drunk too much alcohol, according to court records.

    Huskey, who has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and single counts of criminally negligent homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, will return to court March 20.

    He is free from the Mesa County Jail on $50,000 bond.

    Mike Wiggins can be reached via e-mail at mwiggins@gjds. com.
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  2. #2
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    I sometimes wonder what would make someone even want to drive again after having taken a life so carelessly.

  3. #3
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what this article has to do with bicycling, other than the conclusion you've drawn from it and used as the thread subject, but that statement, driving being a right not a privilege, puts a question into my mind.

    When you say driving is right, not a privilege, do you include driving a bike in that? We often talk about cyclists having a right to the road, and after all, we aren't required to have a license to use our vehicles on it, as motorists are. So does that mean that cyclists have an unfettered right to the road (legally speaking) but to motorists, it's only a privilege? That would mean our right is superior to theirs! That's kind of an interesting thought...

    Or is it a a privilege to both cyclists and motorists, albeit an unregulated and largely unenforced one?
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    When you say driving is right, not a privilege, do you include driving a bike in that? We often talk about cyclists having a right to the road, and after all, we aren't required to have a license to use our vehicles on it, as motorists are. So does that mean that cyclists have an unfettered right to the road (legally speaking) but to motorists, it's only a privilege? That would mean our right is superior to theirs! That's kind of an interesting thought...

    Or is it a a privilege to both cyclists and motorists, albeit an unregulated and largely unenforced one?
    I say that every US citizen has an absolute right to use the road (or the sidewalk or bike path, MUP, whatever) if they are provided as a public feature of a community. It is the operation of a motor vehicle (one that falls within classifications requiring licensing by state dot's) that is a privilege.

    So, everyone has a right to the use of the road - you can walk on it, ride a bike on it, cross it, stomp on it, or, if you are a licensed driver, you may also operate a motorized vehicle upon it.

    I think the thread title was intended as a sort of cute eye-catcher.

    Personally, I feel that the DUI issue would be greatly diminished if all autos were equipped with interlock devices. We no longer allow drivers to start cars while they are in gear. If you have a manual transmission, you can no longer use the starter to make the car lurch forward - you have to hold the clutch down in order to operate the starter (I am old enough to remember when that was not so).

    Many recent makes of cars with automatic trannys will not allow you to operate the starter without first depressing the brake pedal (this to overcome allegations that cars were at fault in some accidents where vehicles ran into buildings, etc). All these setups represent forms of ignition interlock.

    What would be so terrible about equipping every vehicle with an alcohol-sensitive interlock system?

    If all cars had them, the cost of the system would come down greatly, and the savings in lives and misery would be great. Of course, the courts would look deserted, and an entire industry would go the way of the typewriter - but we could introduce gambling or legalized prostitution to make up for the lost revenue.

    Caruso

  5. #5
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    I'm not sure what this article has to do with bicycling
    Come on John, you've been around long enough. This is A&S, where the zealots who defend the actions of the cyclists in this news article.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapc....ap/index.html

    Heck, Helmet Head could probably work the angle that the premature detonation would not have occurred had the cyclists been asserting thier right to the lane.


    Fromt the article
    “These are serious allegations, but they are only allegations at this point,” Gurley said.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi
    ...
    What would be so terrible about equipping every vehicle with an alcohol-sensitive interlock system?

    If all cars had them, the cost of the system would come down greatly, and the savings in lives and misery would be great. Of course, the courts would look deserted, and an entire industry would go the way of the typewriter - but we could introduce gambling or legalized prostitution to make up for the lost revenue.

    Caruso
    The biggest problem I can forsee is that the technology is not neary ready yet. There are breathalizers, but these can be subject to failure from a false reading, and I can tell you now what a popular high school/college practical joke would be if there were an interlock based on a breathalizer. (Think along the lines of injecting a dollup of high proof alcohol into the mouthpiece.) There is also the issue with calibration of the breathelizer.

    A better sensor, but one which is nowhere close to being ready from a technological standpoint, is one which monitors some aspect of the driver's body which is linked to reaction times. Perhaps there could be a camera trained on the driver's eyes, and a simple test which is to follow a running line of lights across the dashboard and the camera measures how well the driver's eyes track the lights. This would guard against overly tired drivers, and drivers under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.

    Good ideas, if they can be made transparent, but I don't think the technology is ready yet.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis
    “These are serious allegations, but they are only allegations at this point,” Gurley said.

    Huskey is charged with killing 35-year-old Molly Gomez of Grand Junction in a car accident west of the city on Feb. 25, 2006. Colorado State Patrol investigators initially believed Gomez was driving the vehicle, but after further investigation concluded Huskey was driving.

    According to court records, the position of the driver’s seat and damage to the steering wheel were consistent with someone Huskey’s height and weight driving the vehicle, not Gomez.

    Investigators also said they found red or pink fibers imbedded in the steering wheel that were consistent with the color of the shirt Huskey was wearing the night of the accident.

    Surveillance video from a Fruita liquor store Huskey and Gomez visited shortly before the accident showed Huskey getting out of and into the driver’s seat of the car, according to court records.
    He haven't been convicted yet so have no problem with this ruling, and some of the evidence is kinda shakey... it's his car so the seat adjustments and fiber could be easily explained. Only damning evidence is the surveillance video , who knows what other physical evidence they have.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Rights & privileges

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    We often talk about cyclists having a right to the road, and after all, we aren't required to have a license to use our vehicles on it, as motorists are. So does that mean that cyclists have an unfettered right to the road (legally speaking) but to motorists, it's only a privilege?
    Assuming that you're serious: Traveling the public ways is every person's right, but doing so while operating a device that poses an extraordinary danger to others (such as a heavy motor vehicle) is a privilege that can be revoked (as a HMV driver who hit a cyclist found out in court here).
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  9. #9
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    We just lost a family friend--who was driving her car, I don't even think she owned a bike--to a repeat-offender DUI. I do believe that ANYTHING which would crack and break the American car-transportation culture would be a good thing. If local, state, and federal governments lack the spine to control homicidal drivers, than blessed be any event or people who cause our access to cheap oil to come to a screeching halt.

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