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Where's the justice?

Old 08-14-08, 07:17 AM
  #1  
Steele-Bike
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Where's the justice?

A little over a year ago my 40 year old neighbor was arrested for 3rd offense drunk driving, hit and run, open container and assault on a police officer. The disappointing thing is that this guy is the general manager of a local distribution warehouse and the father of two young children. This all stems from an incident on a local highway where someone called to report a swerving driver. When the police caught up with him, he had already hit a motorcyclist, left the scene and was pulling into a parking lot 5 miles from the accident scene. As two officers approached him he began to scuffle with them, resulting in hospital visits for the officers.

The result for all of this? He was fined $6000, spent a couple days in county jail and is already back on the road with a drivers license. Is that really the best the judicial system could do? The road where he hit the motorcyclist is a narrow, hilly road that I often cycle on. A cyclist cannot protect themselves from a guy like this. Drunk people don't see reflectors, hi-viz vests and blinky lights only confuse them. At least I ride with a mirror, so maybe I would have a chance.
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Old 08-14-08, 08:04 AM
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In Texas, he would have been looking at a felony for just the DWI charge alone, if the first two had already resulted in convictions. If the motorcyclist had broken bones or worse, that would have been yet another felony.
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Old 08-14-08, 11:23 AM
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No we aren't hard enough on drunk drivers. It is pathetic, it should be one strike.
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Old 08-14-08, 06:27 PM
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Let down his tyres.
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Old 08-14-08, 06:38 PM
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You're right, that is just pathetic. I don't even want to get started on drunk drivers. I only get angry. The penalties for DWI, are just not strict enough. Don't judges even complain about seeing the same offenders in their court rooms, again and again?
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Old 08-14-08, 06:41 PM
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This is not typical for Iowa courts.

If he is still driving drunk, report him. Repeat as needed.
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Old 08-14-08, 09:19 PM
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I thought Iowa law was pretty vicious on 3rd time drunks, like, prison time.
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Old 08-14-08, 11:10 PM
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What if he was drunk AND texting at the same time? Is that "Double Drunk"? Two strikes for the first offense?
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Old 08-15-08, 11:12 AM
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Awful. He's a felon, isn't he? Why is he not in jail? Why isn't his car immobilized? Is he at least on probation, so that he's got to report to somebody, give PBTs and urine drops, and attend counseling and treatment to deal with the "disease" of alcohol abuse?
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Old 08-15-08, 11:39 AM
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I believe Fed law, which state have to match to keep their Fedral road funding, states that third time DUI is a felony.

We need to wake up to just how bad a problem DUI really is. I live in S. Louisiana, where DUI seems to be a way of life for some. But finally, judges are starting to toughen up.

I think is you injure someone while DUI, it should be just like if you injure some during a bank robbery or other felony. Beat that driver with the book, don't just throw it.
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Old 08-15-08, 12:11 PM
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We need Uncle Fester's law in this country...

"SHOOT EM IN THE BACK!"
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Old 08-16-08, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Steele-Bike View Post
This all stems from an incident on a local highway where someone called to report a swerving driver.
Just a reminder for you all. A swerving driver and a cell phone, that's all you need. You don't even have to say that you're riding a bike. You don't have to show up in court to testify. And what does the driver get? "He was fined $6000, spent a couple days in county jail..." Jeeze people, don't get mad, Dial 911!
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Old 08-16-08, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
What if he was drunk AND texting at the same time? Is that "Double Drunk"? Two strikes for the first offense?
Yea, let's not miss the chance to indict all cell phone users to amplify this bad apple.
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Old 08-16-08, 12:24 AM
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Exactly. I've done that several times. If you've got a cell phone camera, snap it. Maybe the plate number will show up. Direction, speed, behavior observed, description, license number. All it takes.

I'm rather of the opinion that a drunk driving conviction should result in loss of driver's license for 5 years, mandatory alcohol education and monitoring for 1 year, and a 1 week's pay fine. A second conviction should result in permanent loss of license. A third conviction - well I don't know. Jail seems stupid. Probably a mandatory rehab program and permanent monitoring at the culprit's expense.

All jail does is make for angry, resentful, criminalized drunks!
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Old 08-30-08, 12:41 PM
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Update:
I have noticed my neighbor hasn't been home in a few weeks, so I checked the online court records. It turns out he was charged in two different counties as the wreck was in one county and the scuffle with police was in another. Evidently, the charges in the arresting county were 2nd offense OWI, open container, interference with official acts and 2 counts of assault on a peace officer. It was a 2nd offense OWI because his 3rd OWI was more than 10 years ago, so it doesn't count. As a plea deal all charges were dismissed (including the OWI) except for the assault charges, which he was sentenced to 6 months in jail. So, it looks like he won't be around for the winter, and hopefully he spends some time thinking about not drinking and driving again.
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Old 08-30-08, 03:44 PM
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Six months in jail doesn't sound like a slap on the wrist to me.
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Old 08-30-08, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute View Post
Six months in jail doesn't sound like a slap on the wrist to me.
Doesn't? It sounds like it to me. He hit someone while driving his weaponized cage drunk. Six years sounds more reasonable.
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Old 09-01-08, 01:29 PM
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DUI recidivism rates are high. Making the punishment feel just for punitive reasons doesn't necessarily improve the safety of the rest of society. And shouldn't that be the primary goal? besides, prison is expensive.

We need to 1) use inexpensive ways to prevent and rehabilitate (alcohol education has been pretty effective, and license tags for DUIs have been effective too), and 2) use inexpensive ways of removing hardened, serious criminals (like a repeat DUI offendor who has killed another while driving drunk) from our midst. Since I'm against the death penalty, I suggest we reinstate banishment.
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Old 09-01-08, 06:59 PM
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back in the '70s moped boom, we used to sell lots of mopeds to chronic DUI perps. This is a big problem for some people. I work with a guy whose relative recently spent a year in jail for his umpteenth DUI. Sole supporter of his family, he was on work release from the jail during the day. When my co-worker saw him the first time after he got out of jail, he was riding a motorcycle with an open beer. This is not uncommon. I was on jury selection duty once, and there was one guy who was charged with multiple counts of sexual assult on some minor girls. His defense was going to be that he had been in jail for public drunkenness all but 12 days of the year these assaults had allegedly occurred. This is a sickness, one that generally doesn't come with a supply of good judgment. I hate to lock people up for this too, banishment sounds like it might be a good idea.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:31 PM
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It's easy... pick a random weekend and follow the guy. Report him as soon as he gets drunk and drives. He's likely doing it every Friday night and only getting caught or in trouble once and a while.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:36 PM
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Around here they just continue to drive license or not. IIRC the recidivism rate in NC is over 60% and over 50% will drive on a revoked license, of those 75% will be involved in an accident. We have had a rash of DUI wrecks in past couple of months involving impaired drivers injuring and killing cyclists and pedestrians in a near by metro area. I consider automobile crashes and DUI/DWI among the worst problems facing the public today. But little seems to being done about it. The cost to society is staggering, if I have the numbers correct the cost of automotive fatalities is over $4.1 trillion a year, the cost of injuries is over $14 billion. If those could be reduced by 1/4 it would be a major accomplishment.

I think a civil liberties suit needs to be filed against every drunk driver that injures a cyclist or pedestrian based on infringement of the freedom of moving about under ones own power. That has been established as a right, driving a car is a privilege, and when privileges start infringing on rights it is time to do something about it.

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Old 09-01-08, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I hate to lock people up for this too, banishment sounds like it might be a good idea.
Excuse me since my mother language is french and I'm canadian, I don't quite understand what you mean by the banishment, and what it is implying for this recidivist case ?
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Old 09-01-08, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sapolin View Post
Excuse me since my mother language is french and I'm canadian, I don't quite understand what you mean by the banishment, and what it is implying for this recidivist case ?
sorry, it means I have no idea what to do with these people. Banishment made sense in a tribal society where you could just send someone out to live in the woods. I suppose in a way we do this with our drunks since a lot of them end up being homeless.
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Old 09-02-08, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
Doesn't? It sounds like it to me. He hit someone while driving his weaponized cage drunk. Six years sounds more reasonable.
If no one got hurt, six months sounds like enough, especially if he's never been locked up for more than a night before. The guy will be lucky to get six months if he does it again. In Ohio, drunk drivers with this guy's record start to get time in the penitentiary measured in years instead time in the local jail measured in months.
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