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Old 12-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #15
Jae Onasi
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Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
Yes because clearly, he has a killer instinct, and every time he gets into a car, he gets this dark, Neanderthal desire to go mow people down with his $200k Bently. Because that's totally what rich football players do. Buy cars that cost more than our homes and then kill people with them.
The people who die or whose lives are permanently destroyed because of drunk drivers don't care what his motive is. They're dead, or mindless vegetables in a hospital bed, permanently handicapped, or orphans because of his actions, regardless of his intent.

Originally Posted by Web Rider
You don't have to send people to jail for driving drunk.
If it keeps drunk drivers from killing more people, and serves as a deterrant for those who might consider driving after 'just having a few', why the hell not?

Originally Posted by Web Rider
The effects of alcohol on the brain are clearly documented. For someone so up on medical stuff, you should know this.
So? It doesn't mean he has to get behind the wheel and drive. There are other options--phoning a friend or beloved, getting a cab, etc., etc., etc. Want to get drunk? Fine. Want to drive drunk? I have zero sympathy for the SOBs who get caught and end up in jail. For far too long we 'looked the other way' and ignored drunk driving. We can't do that anymore, and if the only way to combat it is to put people in jail, then that's what has to be done. Also, driving is a privilege, not a right. You don't follow the rules for driving, guess what? You pay the penalties.
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Perhaps we should design all cars with a Breathalyzer, because ya know, impinging upon the freedoms of everyone because a minority are idiots is the American way.
Some states have an ignition breatholyzer for those convicted of drunk driving in the past. They have to blow into it, and if they're over the limit, the car won't start. Obviously it's not fool proof, but if it helps keep drunk drivers off the road, then so be it.
Originally Posted by Web Rider
And besides, that won't stop him from driving drunk, only stop him from doing it while in prison.
At least that's 10 years (or whatever length of time the courts decide) where he's not on the road.
Originally Posted by Web Rider
As soon as you let him out, he could do it again? Are you going to argue that we should then never let him out of prison? I think that's an argument you'll lose except with the most hardcore anti-drunk-driving people.
Bar him from being able to own or drive a car forever if he's a repeat offender. I never argued that he shouldn't be let out of prison--that's your leap in the argument, not mine.

Originally Posted by Web Rider
While taking away his licenses, taking away all his cars, and heck, even preventing him from entering a car where he's within 5 feet of the wheel, that won't prevent anything. It will only make a repeat offense less likely.
Great! Make it less likely for him to destroy other people! At least we're trying to do something to prevent him from harming more people.

Let me tell you why this is important to me.

When I was in college, I had a soft spot in my heart for all alcoholics. My dad is a recovered alcoholic. It's a terrible disease, and I've seen it destroy classmates, friends, and a few loved ones. I didn't think drunk drivers should be penalized harshly because after all, alcoholism is a disease, and the disease needs to be treated. One day, I walked into the pediatric ICU at Children's hospital, where I worked part time while I went to doctor school. There were Amish all over the place, looking very scared and sad. That's not necessarily uncommon because Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH is the referral center for all of OH, and there are several Amish communities within several hours. What was surprising to me was the number of them. There were 2 young Amish girls on respirators that day in the ICU. Both had had emergency surgery overnight. One was expected to survive, but would need massive medical care for months. The other girl was in such a critical state they didn't know if she'd make it or not, and her head injuries were so massive she was unlikely to ever have anything resembling a normal live again.

They were victims of a drunk driver vs. Amish buggy accident. The driver was speeding 65 mph in a 25 zone, through a large Amish community. He was familiar with the area and knew there were frequently Amish buggies in the area. He hit a buggy and killed the father, 2 other children, and the mother, who was 5 months pregnant, nearly instantly. The driver walked away from the crash. He refused the breatholyzer at the scene because he'd been arrested for drunk driving before and knew how to get around the system. The Ohio police arrested him and had to get a court order for a blood test. He was still over the legal limit at the time they drew his blood, and it was estimated that at the time of the crash he was over 3 times beyond the legal limit (which was more generous 15 years ago than it is now). He was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter of 5 people and lesser crimes for the severe injuries to the 2 surviving girls and sent to jail.

If he had paid a heftier penalty for his first offenses, he might not have had that car that obliterated that family. If he had been put into jail and detox, and got sobered up enough to get appropriate help for his alcohol problem, it might not have happened. If some friends had driven him home from the bar that night, it wouldn't have happened. If he had called a cab, it wouldn't have happened. I still have sympathy for alcoholics, because I know what a horrible disease it is to fight. However, I have no sympathy for them when they make the choice to get in the car and drive drunk. We're taught the penalties of driving drunk when we go for our driver's licenses--the book you have to study to get your license has that information in it. Furthermore, ignorance of the law (or impairment to the point of ignoring the law at the time) is no excuse. The laws of driving apply whether you're impaired or not. If you have to stop and wonder if you should be driving or not, then you probably shouldn't be driving. In this case, the guy just didn't care that he was drunk, he decided he was going to drive that way anyway, in violation of the law. He got the jail time he deserved. There is zero excuse for ever driving drunk, and there is zero excuse for complaining about the penalties if one gets caught.

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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 12-05-2009 at 04:07 PM.
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