Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Montana U.S.A.
Bikes: Too many to list, some I built myself including the frame. I "do" ~ Human-Only-Pedal-Powered-Cycles, Human-Electric-Hybrid-Cycles, Human-IC-Hybrid-Cycles, and one Human-IC-Electric-3way-Hybrid-Cycle
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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.