This one's no different. The story of Charly Hart's latest conviction was a doozie. This guy's been drinking and driving for longer than many of us have been alive. And despite dozens of convictions and at least one death, he continues to get behind the wheel. Amazing - and frightening.
His latest sentence - six years in prison - is believed to be Canada's stiffest penalty to-date for a drinking and driving offence that did not result in injury or death. Either way, my gut tells me to watch myself in six years (or actually, less than three the way things work in this country, but I'm digressing) because people like this don't seem to ever learn.
Sadly, the law-abiding citizens among us are the ones most likely to pay the price for these idiots' inability to take responsibility for their own behavior. No one ever said life had to be fair, after all.
Your turn - a 2-parter:
- How can society ensure repeat-offenders like this one are never allowed to threaten others again? What's the answer?
- Do you have your own experience with impaired driving (either side of the coin)? How has this issue touched your life or the lives of those you know?
Drunk drivers threaten us all
Published Saturday, December 17, 2005
The London Free Press
Advocates against drinking and driving got some good news this week when Watford’s Charly Hart was sentenced to a six-year jail term for impaired driving.
The bad news is Hart’s been drinking and driving for 35 years, he’s already been convicted in connection with one fatal accident, and he’s been convicted nearly 60 times, including 39 verdicts for drunk driving and related offences.
Call me naive, but a justice system that allows this degree of blatant, serial lawlessness to continue doesn't make me feel remotely safe.
How many other Charly Harts are out there? How many times will they be turned loose to threaten the lives of the rest of us who have already gotten the message about drinking and driving? How obscene must the list of offences become before society hits its breaking point and decides to fundamentally change the way these people are dealt with?
It’s something I wonder about every time I buckle my kids into the car. It’s something I wish Mr. Hart would think about as he finally receives the punishment he so richly deserves.