Drunk Drivers Need To be Stopped
A very disturbing report was issued today, showing that we are losing the battle against drunk drivers. We are losing it most especially against repeat drunk drivers:
"Repeat drinking drivers were responsible for 6.6 million drunk-driving trips in Canada last year; that adds up to about 90 per cent of all drunk-driving activity,” a research scientist said. “Clearly this group isn't getting the message."
We MUST do something about this. I have several ideas:
a) injury and death caused by a drunk driver must be treated as assault causing grievous bodily harm and murder respectively; there can be no excuse for some lesser offense such as vehicular manslaughter. After all the publicity, a drunk driver -- especially a repeat offender -- knows in advance that driving while drunk is as dangerous as flashing a gun around in a drunken state. It is a premeditated offense and should be treated as such;
b) assuming no injuries or death, a first offense of drunk driving should carry a jail sentence, a long period of banning from the road after the jail sentence has been served, and a substantial fine;
c) driving while banned or a second drunk driving conviction should carry a ten year minimum sentence and a lifetime ban from driving;
d) driving drunk a third time should carry a mandatory life sentence.
e) we should adopt a 0% alcohol limit while driving. You can drive as much as you want. You can drink as much as you want. You cannot do both together. Period.
I have no sympathy for ANY drunk driver under ANY circumstances, ever. If they rot in jail at least the rest of us will be safe from their criminal negligence.
Drunk Driving Murderers
I saw an ad today from Mothers Against Drunk Driving who require more volunteers for their educational programs. It reminded me about some stuff I've been meaning to write about.
The questions I have to ask are: why are vehicular homicides caused by drunk drivers not treated as murder? Or at least as manslaughter? Why is the average sentence for death caused by drunk driving only a few years, if that? What, exactly, is the purpose of having a crime of vehicular homicide? What's wrong with charging the drunks under the various degrees of murder we already have on the books?
There can be no defence of ignorance anymore. There can be no adult or young adult in the Western world who doesn't know that alcohol impedes muscle control, that a drunk behind the wheel of a car is an offensive weapon looking for a victim. So, anyone getting into their car after drinking knows what he or she is doing -- making themselves into a semi-guided missile that misses targets only by chance. That makes the offence deliberate. Pouring yourself into a car after slugging back a dozen beers is exactly the same as walking into a crowded bar in a bad mood with a gun in your pocket.
There is no doubt that the guy in the bar will be prosecuted for murder if he pulls the piece and shoots someone dead. There should be no doubt that the drunk driver who kills will be treated in the same way.
But that ain't so today, and no-one can tell me why.