Sunday, October 18, 2009

Let's kill all the drunk drivers

Hope you liked the hyperbolic headline. I'm only half-kidding.

Please read this story, from today's Toronto Star, then return. I'll wait. In case you're busy, here's a quick synopsis: A 21-year-old at the wheel of a BMW plowed into a minivan, killing three and sending two others to hospital. Police suspect the driver was drinking. Reports have the BMW doing 200 km/h (120 miles/hour) in the moments leading up to the crash. Note: this wasn't on a highway. It was on a city street, at the corner of Finch and Tobermory.

Said driver had been investigated for earlier drinking and driving-related offenses, but police have not released his name, or the details of those earlier cases. As happens so often in cases like this, the suspected drunk driver suffered minor injuries.

Something in my head snapped when I read this. If this moron is convicted - which any justice system worth its salt will hopefully manage to accomplish - then I pray he spends the rest of his life behind bars. It isn't justice, of course, but it's high time we got serious about drinking-related crimes. Where to start: Zero tolerance, punishment that means something, no remorse.

Enough.

Your turn: Thoughts?

19 comments:

Sara said...

I know what you mean - recently in our state they arrested some guy for DUI - and it was his 20th arrest or something stupid like that - he has no license - cause they took that away from him years ago...

But, there is is on the roads endangering lives...

bobbie said...

Amen

Mojo said...

Where to start? How about charging the guy with the crime he has committed? Homicide. Three counts. Attempted homicide (or at the very least aggravated assault). Two counts. These deaths were a completely preventable and foreseeable consequence of the actions of the defendant, and resulted in the wrongful death of three people and the serious injury of two others. I'm no lawyer, but I believe that rises to the level of homicide. I know I'd have no problem convicting him of that charge if I were on the jury -- assuming the burden of proof was met. And whatever penalty a conviction on those charges brings with it, let him serve it. Period.

We don't need "new rules", we just need to enforce the old ones. The reason they don't work isn't because they're bad rules, it's because we don't use them. Nothing works if you don't use it.

fredamans said...

I agree with zero tolerance.

I lost a loved one, by someone who was drunk driving. He was charged and at that time, got 2 years less a day. He spent Christmas with his family. We lost our family November 13th, 1993, and will never have another holiday together.

You decide what's fair!

Klaatu said...

In the court system, the sentence given often is related to the monied influence and the caliber of legal representation it provides.
What is needed in conjunction with tougher drunk-drivimg laws, is tougher licencing and much better driver training.

klaatu

Klaatu said...

Hi Carmi. Just thought I would let you know I have a new forum and tone. I deleted silly humans and now am posting with
greymatters-klaatu.blogspot.com

Klaatu

P.S. sorry to hear about your dad.
best wishes.
Bradley

♥ Braja said...

I think you were right the first time: kill 'em.

Tracie said...

I agree with the zero tolerance. I lost my cousin to a drunk driver a few years ago, and it was his 3rd offense!! Drunk driving accidents are the most preventable ones in the world....call a cab people!

lissa said...

My mom used to have a superstition about not wishing death on another person. But to me, this is warranted. There is a rumored defense in Texas courtrooms: "Your Honor: he just needed killin'." Well....there are those who do. Drunk drivers are amongst them.

The story sickens me, as do all stories of its ilk. Murder charges aren't strong enough...what's stronger than murder?

b13 said...

A boyscout gets suspended from school for having a Swiss army knife locked in his car because of zero tolerance... but this idiot is still on the road after multiple offenses.

Our lawmakers are truly A-backwards. I hope this driver gets what he/she deserves in our prison system.

quilly said...

Way back in the days when I was in college I read a bit of Austrian history from right around the Hitler era -- supposedly folks caught driving drunk were executed -- whether or not anyone died from their actions -- because willfully driving drunk was considered attempted murder. (I never never tried to corroborate this fact.)

quilly said...

Oh, and at least a few years back, if the State of Oregon found someone guilty of inflicting bodily injury as a result of driving drunk, then one of the charges leveled was assault with a deadly weapon.

Tabor said...

I do not think wishing death on this young person will help anything. I doubt that drunk drivers at that age even think about punishment when they get behind the wheel. We need technology to make sure that the car cannot start!

Tanya (aka NetChick) said...

*sigh* This is far too common.

I saw the resulting scene on the news -- unbelievable.

I agree with Mojo. This is murder. He got into his deadly weapon, and killed people.

Sometimes, I think we should have the death penalty in Canada.

Instead, we have an appointed (read: no responsibility to the people) Senate soft on any crime. We need wholesale changes to the system.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

thoughts?
remembering the appalled face as one young drunk driver was faced with the body of his victim being wheeled past in the corridor

Pamela said...

I vote for the murder indictment.
There's hardly a family that hasn't been effected by drinking & driving.

Vicki ~ FL said...

I totally agree with you about his punishment. Taking away his license isn't going to stop him from driving so he needs to be put behind bars (for the rest of his life and without parole, if you ask me) where he can think about what he did to those poor people and their families. Let him and his family suffer!!

Sleepypete said...

That's the biggest problem with Drunk, Drug and Mobile Phone drivers ...

They rarely kill themselves, it's some other poor innocent person who pays the ultimate penalty for the crime.

Lock 'em up, throw the key away and if they do get out, throw the car keys away too.

g said...

A record like that already at 21? That's what struck me first - this is a guy my son's age, and it's not his first offense. How could his parents let him be so stupid?

I know it's hard to keep a drunk off the road if he wants to drive badly enough, but you'd think that someone that young doesn't have the resources to support having a car, gas and insurance unless his family is abetting him.

I don't think killing him is the answer - locking him up and throwing away the key, and let him reflect on how he threw his whole life down the toilet strikes me as better justice.