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Old 12-04-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
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Drunk Driving Crimes

Thread split from 14 year old Receives Life in Prison thread. Please continue drunk driving discussion here. Thanks, Jae.

Quote:
Authorities also suspended Stallworth's driver's license for life and ordered him to pay $10,000 in fines and perform 1,000 hours of community service.

After his release from jail, Stallworth must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation
.
From your own article.

30 days is not all he received, unlike what you claimed:

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Originally Posted by d'oh
This kid gets life and Dante Stallworth gets 30 days. Where is justice ?
Care to rephrase?



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Old 12-04-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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30 days is not all he received, unlike what you claimed:

Talking about JAIL TIME behind bars !!! At home you don't have Bubba as a cellmate !!!

Stallworth has lost his driver's license and can apply for re-instatement for among other things, transportation back and forth to work but not until at least five years has passed.

http://www.examiner.com/x-426-Sports...ttle-jail-time

He also has to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. If you want to continue this PM
me the moderators may think this is off topic


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Old 12-04-2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
That depends on what you call "justice".

Should every person who ever killed another person for ANY reason be put in jail for life? If this were the way we should look at it, we should all lock ourselves up. Because we are all responsible for somebody's death in some way or another, even if you have to use the 6-point-rule to do it.

Is drinking and driving stupid? Hell yes. Should everyone with a grade-school education know better? Damn right they should. But lots of people get drunk, and lots of people drive drunk, not all of them cause accidents. Fewer of those actually kill people.

Is running across the street stupid? Yes it is. Should everyone with a grade-school education know better? Damn right they should. But lots of people do it and lots of people get killed for it. The man he killed I'm certain was in no crosswalk. Should be have been sent to jail as well if he survived?

Lotts is in prison Stallworth is not for two important reasons besides money. Stallworth committed a crime of stupidity. He drove drunk, and for that stupidity, someone died. He did not go out wanting to kill someone, he did not go out targeting this man in particular. He even stuck around the crime-scene, very few hit+run drivers do that. In short, Stallworth was stupid and owned up to his crime.

Lotts is in prison because he killed his brother in cold blood. He did not have the assistance of alcohol to inhibit his thinking, he did not have a car to propel him at inhuman speeds. He and his brother were playing a friendly game, that Lotts decided to make into a deadly one. Lotts is in prison because he made the decision to escalate a situation into violence and he chose to murder his brother. It was not a "stupid mistake". Thinking you're sober enough to drive is a "stupid mistake". Stupid mistakes do not include "I think I'm going to go from playing a fun game with fake guns, to taking a real knife and stabbing my brother."

So, is it "justice" that the death of a man by a stupid mistake results in a lighter punishment than the death of a minor by a desire to kill? Yeah, I think it is.
Felony DUI Serious Injury or Death

If a person is DUI, as described above, and causes or contributes to the cause of a crash involving serious injury, the person is subject to being charged with a DUI - Serious Injury. It is a third degree felony, level 7 offense, subject to five years in the state prison. The Florida Sentencing Guidelines apply. The maximum sentence is five years in the state prison. The minimum mandatory sentence is calculated based on various factors including victim injury points. The mandatory fine is the same as a "Felony DUI." There is a mandatory minimum three year driver's license revocation.

If the person is DUI, as described above, and causes or contributes to the cause of a crash involving death, the person is subject to being charged with DUI-Manslaughter. It is a second degree felony, level 8 offense, subject to 15 years in the state prison. The Florida Sentencing Guidelines apply. Without going into the details, a single death carries a minimum of approximately 10 years in prison. There is a mandatory permanent revocation of the driver's license.

http://www.whitedlawfirm.com/dui-thecrime.html


An arrest warrant charging Stallworth, 28, with DUI manslaughter was filed in the March 14 accident that killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes. If convicted, Stallworth would face up to 15 years in prison.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4033632

How does 10 years go to 30 days ?


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Old 12-04-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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Wasn't in the trial, I couldn't tell you. What's the point in putting someone in jail who is clearly remorseful for their crime?


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Old 12-05-2009, 12:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
Wasn't in the trial, I couldn't tell you. What's the point in putting someone in jail who is clearly remorseful for their crime?
Perhaps to keep him from driving drunk again and killing more people? I don't care if he was remorseful--he never should have gotten behind the wheel in the first place.


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Old 12-04-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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It's called the law. I think I clearly stated the facts for jail time and the crime he was charge with. Mario Reyes the man he killed will never see a sunset etc.
Didn't die by an accident Donte was drunk. Florida law says you must go to jail for ten years if you are sorry or not sorry. IT all leads to money .
If you can't see my point then I guess we'll agree to disagree.


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Old 12-05-2009, 02:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by D'oh View Post
It's called the law. I think I clearly stated the facts for jail time and the crime he was charge with. Mario Reyes the man he killed will never see a sunset etc.
Didn't die by an accident Donte was drunk. Florida law says you must go to jail for ten years if you are sorry or not sorry. IT all leads to money .
If you can't see my point then I guess we'll agree to disagree.
The idea that the law should be executed to the letter regardless of circumstances is contradictory, since the letter of the law says to take all the circumstances into account.

A zero tolerance policy doesn't work in schools, because it doesn't work in reality. Therefore, if an absolute law does not work on the most impressionable of society, in a mostly closed environment(school), there is no way it will work on our adults, in the real world.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Perhaps to keep him from driving drunk again and killing more people? I don't care if he was remorseful--he never should have gotten behind the wheel in the first place.
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.

You don't have to send people to jail for driving drunk. The effects of alcohol on the brain are clearly documented. For someone so up on medical stuff, you should know this. 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.

And besides, that won't stop him from driving drunk, only stop him from doing it while in prison. 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.

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.


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Old 12-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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Old 12-05-2009, 06:10 AM   #9
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To what extent do you excuse people's behavior if they merely say that they are sorry? Mandatory sentences can be harsh, but mitigation can also be abused. You need only look at some judges' decisions (like in New England over the child molestation-murder case where the judge had to be overruled for handing out extremely lenient sentences). There probably should be a minimum for drunk driving offenses if they result in someone's death, no matter how sorry the the perp is about it. Wha's the avg for involuntary manslughter?


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Old 12-05-2009, 06:34 AM   #10
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Drunk driving is (imo) one of the top crimes.

Knowingly risking the lifes of others who trust you should be punished severely.
I've seen too many examples of people getting away with it...

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Old 12-05-2009, 09:56 AM   #11
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Knowingly risking the lifes of others who trust you should be punished severely.
But how do we define "knowingly"? There are many people who "get away" with crimes of passion because their brain literally stopped working logically for a while. There are people who get away with crimes because they have no memory of it, because they've been injured and forgotten who they are, or because their brain does not always function properly.

Should "knowingly" be "we know you did it." Or should "knowingly" be that the person charged with the crime willfully did it, fully understanding the risks and the rules they were breaking? You know, IMO, I think we shouldn't get in the habit of assuming every person has a complete understanding of the rules and risks of every situation.

To that you might say "well if he didn't understand the risks!", but that's exactly my point, Alcohol abuse damages the brain in the long-term, and severely impairs(with increasing severity the more consumed) it in the sort term. He "didn't understand" because he couldn't, alcohol had impaired his mental faculties to the point where he didn't realize what the risks were, much less that there even were risks.

So, personally, I think when we accuse someone of "knowingly", "willfully" or "purposefully" having done something, I'd like to be sure that they really did know, and understand what they were doing.


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Old 12-05-2009, 10:33 AM   #12
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #13
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But how do we define "knowingly"? There are many people who "get away" with crimes of passion because their brain literally stopped working logically for a while. There are people who get away with crimes because they have no memory of it, because they've been injured and forgotten who they are, or because their brain does not always function properly.

Should "knowingly" be "we know you did it." Or should "knowingly" be that the person charged with the crime willfully did it, fully understanding the risks and the rules they were breaking? You know, IMO, I think we shouldn't get in the habit of assuming every person has a complete understanding of the rules and risks of every situation.

To that you might say "well if he didn't understand the risks!", but that's exactly my point, Alcohol abuse damages the brain in the long-term, and severely impairs(with increasing severity the more consumed) it in the sort term. He "didn't understand" because he couldn't, alcohol had impaired his mental faculties to the point where he didn't realize what the risks were, much less that there even were risks.

So, personally, I think when we accuse someone of "knowingly", "willfully" or "purposefully" having done something, I'd like to be sure that they really did know, and understand what they were doing.
Correct. But when you remove the 'knowingly' or 'wilfully' it becomes an accident, which it isn't. I don't know a solution for this though since, like you said, alcohol makes you...different.

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Old 12-05-2009, 11:05 AM   #14
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I imagine someone can knowingly and willfully get totally drunk. It's not that these drunk drivers can't evaluate the risks of driving because they're drunk; it's that they put themselves in the situation where such actions are even possible. Personally I find it very easy to prevent myself from drinking so much (or during some situations) such that I have absolutely no control over getting in a car and mowing down whoever's in my way.


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Old 12-07-2009, 11:09 PM   #15
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Correct. But when you remove the 'knowingly' or 'wilfully' it becomes an accident, which it isn't. I don't know a solution for this though since, like you said, alcohol makes you...different.
I believe 'an accident' in the way you have outlined it still falls under criminal negligence. There is a penalty for that, and in more cases than just driving.

I only wish we'd prosecute more of the kind of incompetence that has catastrophic consequences, like regulators who cop an attitude and say that a law is 'unenforceable' to avoid having to do hassle work. If such irresponsibility isn't an example of criminal negligence, I don't know what is.

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I imagine someone can knowingly and willfully get totally drunk. It's not that these drunk drivers can't evaluate the risks of driving because they're drunk; it's that they put themselves in the situation where such actions are even possible. Personally I find it very easy to prevent myself from drinking so much (or during some situations) such that I have absolutely no control over getting in a car and mowing down whoever's in my way.
That's another point: the degree of influence plays a role and ought to be a determining factor in the penalty severity.

================================================== =======

@ subject: Where something is not in any way someone's fault and no real harm is/was done resulting from it, then I do think the letter of the law approach is hypocritical and overly severe in those cases.

IE: an acquaintance I have met is now going to prison for 6 months b/c some other piece of **** mowed down a mailbox and kept hold of the mail and decided to drop it at his apartment. Crime was for possession of mail. Does not matter that he had NO part in it whatsoever. Mandatory minimum. In this case he had nothing to do with the crime itself, had no intent and a clean record...his house being used to retain it was circumstantial.

I don't see what good reason there is to punish him anyway. It isn't like anyone was being harmed directly, or killed anyways and his involvement was practically none. The guy who did it should get punished, not also the guy whose apartment the a-hole hid it at. Indirectly someone lost some mail? That shouldn't matter and blaming a third party isn't going to fix the problem with the missing mail.

Now in the case where people are injured or in danger of death, even from gross negligence, that is a potentially and likely life altering or ending result. Or if the result is catastrophic and has significant adverse effects upon third parties. Then in that case I can totally understand a punishment for the irresponsibility.

There is some overlap, but in one case the third party's involvement hurt, killed, or detrimentally cost someone else significantly. In the other it looks largely like blame game and the system just making money and turning someone to hapless chattel.

Laws that ruin innocent people regardless of circumstance need to be changed; laws that hold people accountable for negligent/irresponsible actions, whether sober or not, having detrimental consequences, are right on.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:44 PM   #16
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I just want to declare that I was invalidating D'oh's statement that all Dante got was 30 days. I do believe he should've gotten the 10 years and wonder why he didn't either.


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Old 12-05-2009, 04:13 PM   #17
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I do believe he should've gotten the 10 years and wonder why he didn't either.
Same here.


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Old 12-06-2009, 04:47 AM   #18
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Like most adults I do drink and have been drunk before. Unlike many, I refuse to drive for the rest of the night no matter if I've had one beer three hours ago or am falling over myself trying to find the bathroom. I value my life, that of others around me, my career, and my hobby (racing) much more than the convenience of not taking a cab or calling someone. I just won't drive, or won't drink.

As for drunk drivers and penalties, in my opinion the US is far too lax on the subject. One DUI can be chocked up to a mistake in judgement but should still be heavily penalized. Two should mean jail time and permanent revocation of driving privileges. I had an alcoholic uncle who did kill someone while driving drunk and come from a family where alcoholism is unfortunately rather prevalent. I still have absolutely no sympathy for people who drive drunk. People that unbelievably stupid, selfish, and self-centered should be locked up as they really are a menace to society.

If they choose to drive while drunk and endanger my life, I have no problem with them either dying through their own stupidity or going to jail for decades. It's practically attempted murder or manslaughter. I won't shed any tears for someone that stupid.


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Old 12-06-2009, 12:57 PM   #19
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Minnesota is especially lax on the subject. IIRC it's something like your 3rd or 4th offense that you loose your license. (Don't quote me on that) I've never understood it, especially when you get your Whiskey plates, they follow the vehicle, not the offender's license... I've never understood that :|


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