As far as DUI (and a lot of other ways of being either criminally negligent or willfully homicidal with an automobile) is concerned:
That is a case of gross criminal negligence in the operation of a dangerous machine around other innocent people. It should be dealt with just as severely but no more severely then if some drunken fool took a loaded gun outside and started jumping around firing it up into the air at an angle and one of those bullets coming back down hit and killed someone.
It's not first or even second degree murder, rather a form of criminally negligent homicide. All I ask as a reasonable person is that the individual in question not get off light because they chose to be criminally negligent with an automobile dangerous machine rather then be criminally negligent with a gun dangerous machine.
Now on the other hand if a drunk driver gets angry at a cyclist for daring to ride on the road and makes a choice out of anger to run that cyclist down and he might not have done such if he hadn't had a few beers in him the ******** his judgment. Well he made a choice to have those beers that ******** his judgment and then he made a second choice to commit deliberate homicide, together the two choices work together to be the same as if he had made only one choice while stone sober to do the same thing. Either way that is second degree murder, AKA = hot blooded murder. Was not a pre-meditated act but rather one taken at the spur of the moment in anger. He should not get off easy just because he chose to use an automobile to commit that hot blooded murder rather then a gun and he should not get off easy because he was partially drunk at the time, he made the choice to get drunk so its all on him as his choice just the same.
Now, in the worst case scenario, lets say there is an automobile driver who really hates cyclists and hates them so much he wants to kill one or more of them, but he doesn't have quite what it takes to actually do it sober. So he goes and drinks himself up a few bottles of "liquid courage" and then goes out and runs down a cyclist or two. Thats known as first degree murder, the premeditated form of murder, AKA = cold blooded murder. He should be dealt with just the same as if he had committed the same offense with a gun, he shouldn't get off light because he chose to do the dirty dead with an automobile instead of a gun and the fact he had to get drunk before he could drum up the courage to actually go through with it has nothing to do with it except for being part of a demonstration of premeditation.
That is a balanced logical approach to the whole thing, its not off the deep end to far to one side or the other. Yes, many automobile drivers will claim that is way too harsh, this is only because they have gotten used to and conditioned to a culture of leniency when it comes to such offenses committed with automobiles as the weapon of choice rather then guns or something else.
In the specific case the OP has brought up the first level namely "gross criminal negligence in the operation of a dangerous machine in public around other innocent people directly resulting in a fatality" there is already plenty to show that at least is the case; so that is the level of charge you start with. And then you investigate the incident further to see if there is any evidence pointing to either of the two more serious offenses and if such evidence is found then you up the level of the charge. But you at least get them on the lower charge that can be proved.
And, yes, I most certainly agree that prohibition of being allowed to continue to operate such a dangerous machine around other innocent people on the public roadways should certainly be at the top of the list for those who through due process are convicted of such offenses.
It would be helpful to the people here if they used their temporary emotion to actually learn about impaired driving, its' legal structure, obstacles and current status. Then they would be able to turn their upset into long term effective action. As it is most of what has been posted demonstrates a lack of knowledge.
If this group wants impaired driving to cease they can achieve that with diligent and persistent work. The situation now is better than it used to be. But, there is more to do. Keep the flame burning.
I think if a person is drunk or some other illegal behavior while driving than 40 years sounds about right to me too, personally I think life in prison is a better option since I consider this murder as well.
Distracted driving I do not think someone should be given jail time for that because this would result in a witch hunt, so and so killed someone while driving because they were tuning their radio so spend 40 years in jail; or so and so killed someone because their child threw up thus they were distracted so mom spends 40 years in jail. HOWEVER, and I've said this before here and gotten flak for it, cell phones should automatically be turned off at anything above 15 mph and not allowed to come back on until below 15 or above 225. We can't put someone in jail for distracted driving which includes cell phone use because the world allows us to have these things but that doesn't mean cell phone should be used while driving so since cell phones are abundant they should be automatically shut down above a certain speed such as 15 mph.
NO--cell phone use while driving is at least as deliberatly a negligent act as driving chemically impaired. You get in the car drunk or planning to take and make phone calls--you are making a deliberate decision to do something that you KNOW is likely to have deadly results. Unless you are a stone ****ing idiot, you have to realize there is no moral difference between these acts while driving and going into, say, a crowded supermarket with a firearm and squeezing off random rounds and then saying "Oh, I just wanted to shoot my gun, I didn't mean to kill anyone."
Originally Posted by rekmeyata
distracted driving is not a murder, are going to sentence the mom to life in prison because her child in the back seat distracted her? And your example of a person going into a store shooting a gun is just plain ignorant and immature in the thinking process; you can't possibly be older than 13.
Originally Posted by Feldman
AGAIN, and AGAIN, all cell phones need to shut off once the built in GPS recognizes the phone is moving faster than 15 mph.