A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

Immediate Capital Punishment For All Drunk Drivers

http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/235225

DIE FUCKER
Permalink DF 
July 12th, 2007 1:09pm
Well, immediate if it results in somebody else's death, and on the third occurrence if he's lucky enough NOT to kill anybody.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 12th, 2007 1:11pm
Agreed. But I think they should drop all DUI law as it is and just go completely eye-for-an-eye. Hit someone and break their leg, we break yours, etc...

No fault, no problem.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 12th, 2007 1:14pm
DIE FUCKER == DF

A coincidence?


Anyway, let's have some CNN style reporting on that incident:
Our expert says the assumed innocent man could have jumped the curb even without the ingestion of alcohol. And those tests aren't accurate anyway says another of our experts. So drink more alcohol and make our sponsors happy.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 12th, 2007 1:15pm
I just figure at best, it's negligence to the point of causing death.

Now maybe if he could prove it were faulty equipment to blame.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 12th, 2007 1:20pm
>Our expert says the assumed innocent man could have jumped the curb even without the ingestion of alcohol

This is always possible, and really is a fair statement (versus knee-jerkism, which is my natural response to incidents involving drunk drivers), but what sets this dick apart is that he hit the mother and child, and then dragged the mother back out to the street. It wasn't just an "oh shit", it was an "oh shit...oh god how do I cover myself despite just hitting a mother and child".

Stories like that really enrage me as they often come shortly after hearing a story about a 6x drunk driver who the judge feels sympathy for, and thus give them a slap on the wrist.

http://www.am980.ca/news/news_local.cfm?cat=74281417912&rem=68793&red=801141723aPBIny&wids=410&gi=1&gm=news_local.cfm

6th time, driving the wrong way on a provincial expressway, with an alcoholic drink at his feet.

6 months.
Permalink DF 
July 12th, 2007 1:34pm
Well, I am very happy my local DA tends to prosecute these types of cases as manslaughter.

It's not just drunk drivers. You wouldn't believe the stupid shit some of the suburban drivers pull when they get into the city. They get frustrated that there is a lot of traffic, and when there is a break in the traffic they will take off at 50mph through the narrow city streets and screech around corners.

It's such bullshit. They are being extremely reckless with other people's lives so they can release some pent up anger at being stuck in traffic for a ballgame. Total douchebags.

I don't care if people are drunk or not. If you kill someone else with your car through being reckless, there should be strong criminal consequences.

So I am glad our DA also see's it that way. In another city we lived in, the DA did not. Soccer Mom speeding in her Escalade ran a red light and mowed down a mother and daughter in the crosswalk. No consequences -- "It was an unfortunate accident." Not quite.
Permalink anoneemouse 
July 12th, 2007 1:48pm
I learned in Legally Blonde, for an act to be considered criminal one must possess a guilty mind (e.g. malicious intent).

Is driving recklessly (because one has finally broken free of traffic) malicious intent?  That's a lot of gray area.
Permalink Michael B 
July 12th, 2007 1:58pm
install breathalyzer-to-start devices on all vehicles.

loss of freedom, yes, but so what, give back a few little boys their kite-flying mothers back. fair price that, no?
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 12th, 2007 2:01pm
"loss of freedom"

not even that really... it was very much emphasized to me in drivers ed that driving in the US is a privelege, not a right.
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 12th, 2007 2:04pm
"for an act to be considered criminal one must possess a guilty mind"

I don't think that is true of all cases, just specific crimes like first degree murder.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
July 12th, 2007 2:04pm
life's a privilege.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 12th, 2007 2:05pm
legally, i believe it's a right. According to The Simpsons and this dude on the bus.
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 12th, 2007 2:07pm
Life's a privilege in the sense that you do nothing to bring yourself to this world.

Life is a right in the sense that no one can take it away from you, not even your parents.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 12th, 2007 2:07pm
>> Well, I am very happy my local DA tends to prosecute these types of cases as manslaughter.  <<

They've prosecuted one repeat DUI offender (multi-multiple repeat offender) who killed someone as a murder-one case.

He's in jail, working through his appeals.  The jury didn't think he deserved the needle, so it's life in prison for him.
Permalink Send private email xampl 
July 12th, 2007 2:09pm
While I understand the sentiment, the death penalty would not actually do all that much to deter drunk drivers. Maybe the small and relatively inoffensive percentage of people who drive after two beers or a Perfect Manhattan (most horrible cocktail in existence). But the assholes who get completely shitfaced and then drive, they won't be deterred by any sort of tough punishment if the probability of being caught is small.

As for criminal intent - nothing of the sort, murder without intent is still a serious felony. I was in a car crash where I was to blame and the other driver was in the hospital for a few weeks - the cops told me that if the victim is hospitalized for 4 months or more, it's a criminal case. Fortunately in my case it was only an administrative infraction (no jail time, no record). Of course it helped that this was just a case of overestimating one's abilities and the car's behaviour - I was sober, car had proper winter tyres, etc.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 12th, 2007 2:10pm
>> "for an act to be considered criminal one must possess a guilty mind"

> I don't think that is true of all cases, just specific crimes like first degree murder.

That's unsettling.

I'd prefer to naively believe that as long as you don't ever purposefully hurt someone you won't ever end up in jail.
Permalink Michael B 
July 12th, 2007 2:11pm
""While I understand the sentiment, the death penalty would not actually do all that much to deter drunk drivers."

Agreed. He was an idiot.  And I am assuming will get involuntary manslaughter.  He was an idiot with a weapon.  Just like a gang banger shots an innoncent bystander or a that crazy Tenn chick killed her abusive, priest husband.

I don't understand your point DF.  He should go down like all the others that kill accidently.  Will probably be pretty harsh.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 2:13pm
Not if you have a duty, in this case it's driving carefully.
Permalink Rick Zeng 
July 12th, 2007 2:13pm
"I don't understand your point DF.  He should go down like all the others that kill accidently.  Will probably be pretty harsh."

Another point, does this guy get the same time and if he wasn't impaired but just a bad driver?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 2:14pm
One more comment.  Does anybody think cars themselves are too dangerous?  Already the biggest killers of teens.  I wonder if smaller, lighter cars with better mileage but smaller in volume are in order?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 2:15pm
> Life's a privilege ...

> Life is a right ...

oh just making a smartass comment. the boundary between Rightsania and Privilegeland has a long history of moving around.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 12th, 2007 2:19pm
"I'd prefer to naively believe that as long as you don't ever purposefully hurt someone you won't ever end up in jail."

I'm sure you would, but that's not the case.

"Another point, does this guy get the same time and if he wasn't impaired but just a bad driver?"

No. Still a criminal case if somebody died, but probably a lesser sentence. One is a "shit happens" case, the other is a "should've known better" case.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 12th, 2007 2:19pm
>> I'm sure you would, but that's not the case. <<

That sucks.
Permalink Michael B 
July 12th, 2007 2:27pm
>I don't understand your point DF.  He should go down like all the others that kill accidently.  Will probably be pretty harsh.

He didn't kill accidentally -- he intentionally and knowingly chose to roll the dice and drive drunk, willingly putting the lives of others at risk to save the inconvenience of calling a cab.

Drunk driving is anything but accidental.

And yes, **VERY** harsh penalties have been shown to work. Drunk drivers do realize that their chance of being caught is low, but they need to think "but if I do get caught, I am so totally and completely fucked that my life will be over".

It should over. I have zero tolerance for drunk drivers.
Permalink DF 
July 12th, 2007 2:28pm
"I wonder if smaller, lighter cars with better mileage but smaller in volume are in order?"

Smaller cars, including lighter cars, are unequivocally more dangerous to the occupants - passive safety tech is quite advanced now, in that in a modern European or Japanese family car you can come out of an urban crash with no damage and walk away from a highway crash, but it does require a lot of extra material to build a cage that can crumple in a specific manner.

Small cars can also be dangerous to pedestrians. It is possible to build a car that is relatively safe for pedestrians - at urban speeds, of course - but it requires a particular shape. The front of it has to be as flat and vertical as possible, with no protruding bits; if it has a bonnet, there must be space under the cover so the pedestrian's head doesn't hit the un-crumple-able engine. Curiously enough, large SUVs are actually safer for pedestrians than classic shapes - because the bit you hit is a vertical wall, so the force is spread out across your body. Get hit by a sedan or hatchback, and you'll first break your legs on the bumper, then hit your head on the bonnet, then be tossed behind the car, landing on the pavement breaking major bones, and being run over by the car behind.

In the face of impending EU pedestrian safety regulations, Jaguar actually worked out a system for the new XK whereby if the bumper detects a collision, the bonnet pops up on extensions so the pedestrian can land relatively safely on the non-rigid sheet of metal.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 12th, 2007 2:29pm
>Another point, does this guy get the same time and if he wasn't impaired but just a bad driver?

If you knew that your steering system clonked out fairly frequently, sending you uncontrollably in random directions for a moment, but you decided that you can't be hassled to take it to the shop, and then it happens as you pass a bus depot and you go off and kill someone, then it is the same as drunk driving to me : You've unfairly put your own convenience ahead of the safety of other people, willing to roll the dice with other people's lives.
Permalink DF 
July 12th, 2007 2:31pm
I am still calling foul.  I think the issue is driving in general is still dangerous.  I mentioned teens, older drivers, but also tired drivers kill people also.  Drivers under medication.  Drivers under the influence of drugs.

I would still prosecute drivers under the influence as murderers or something similar but think death penalty is a little far.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 2:47pm
"but they need to think 'but if I do get caught, I am so totally and completely fucked that my life will be over'."

When you're drunk, the first thing to go is judgment.

I think greater awareness has helped considerably -- in my parents age, nobody gave much thought to driving home from a party -- now all this stuff is prepared for. 

In Vancouver, we have a massive cab shortage -- it's basically a political problem (there's only so many cab licenses and they are valuable).  I suspect we have more drunk drivers than we would otherwise simply because of that.  Immediate concerns outweigh long-term consequences.
Permalink Send private email Wayne 
July 12th, 2007 3:00pm
>When you're drunk, the first thing to go is judgment.

Fair enough -- so the first time someone wakes up a realizes that they drove home drunk, the car sitting in the middle of the lawn, they maturely and soberly realize that they must never drive to a bar again, to eliminate even the possibility of driving home.

Is that what drunks do? Of course they don't.
Permalink DF 
July 12th, 2007 3:09pm
The driver should get convicted of first degree murder since his decision to drive drunk was premeditated. If that is capital murder in his state so be it.

But let's be clear here. The crime is that he murdered someone, not that he was drinking spirits.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 3:38pm
"The driver should get convicted of first degree murder since his decision to drive drunk was premeditated. "

That isnt going to fly, dude.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 3:39pm
"I don't care if people are drunk or not. If you kill someone else with your car through being reckless, there should be strong criminal consequences."

Welcome, voice of reason.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 3:40pm
Bot, I said 'should', not 'will'. I know that won't fly. But I say that if you decide to talk on cell phone, comb hair, drive drunk, and someone dies because of your decision, then it can fairly be considered premeditated since you knew you were making a situation in which someone might die. That's different from an accident, where you just didn't see it coming. Like driving along and a jumps into the street from between two parked cars and you hit him before you even have a chance to hit the brakes. That's an accident, and you shouldn't even be charged for that sort of thing. But drunk and driving ONTO the sidewalk and smashing into pedestrians? Nope, that's not an 'accident'. Even if it wasn't consciously intentional, it was still intentional.

Let's say I fire a gun into a room full of people with my eyes closed. Can I say "I wasn't aiming for someone, I was just having some fun. It's not murder!" No, because I DECIDED to shoot the gun, even if I didn't have a specific target, I knew that shooting the gun had a reasonable chance of killing someone.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 3:45pm
"Is driving recklessly (because one has finally broken free of traffic) malicious intent?"

Yes, I say it is, using the blindfolded gun shooter argument. Gun shooter is malicious intent even though killing someone was not a sure thing but only a possibility, so therefore reckless driving is malicious intent as well.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 3:47pm
"it was very much emphasized to me in drivers ed that driving in the US is a privelege, not a right"

This has been upheld in multiple cases in the federal district courts, but to my knowledge this theory has not gone before the supreme court yet. So it's not completely decided. In particular I'd want to know if the government can restrict your travel rights because you haven't paid your taxes or your alimony or your GPA is too low - all of these are now reasons to deny drivers licenses.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 3:50pm
That is not first degree murder. But lesser forms of murder are still felonies and you still go to jail.

I believe the most recent conviction here was a 20-something chick who was sober, speeding, blew through a stop sign on a sunny afternoon, and killed two pedestrians. She got four years. I don't remember what she was convicted of, but I am happy that she got significant jail time.

I really do feel people should fear a felony conviction and significant jail time when they are driving recklessly. There have to be consequences for not respecting other people's lives.
Permalink anoneemouse 
July 12th, 2007 3:50pm
"Let's say I fire a gun into a room full of people with my eyes closed. Can I say "I wasn't aiming for someone, I was just having some fun. It's not murder!" No, because I DECIDED to shoot the gun, even if I didn't have a specific target, I knew that shooting the gun had a reasonable chance of killing someone"

I agree with, to some degree.  But I dont agree with you that it some how sends a message to people.  Just like the NRA wasn't worried about any ramifications that might come from Cho's crazy.

How about this and why the law can get interesting.

Lets say I shoot a gun in the direction of a crowd but from far away.  Several shots.  I don't kill anyone.  I get caught.  What happens?  Get the book thrown at me?

Lets say I am drunk drive up on the curb, and semi close to a crowd.  Probably get only a drunk driving charge?

Is there a difference in the two cases?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 3:51pm
"The driver should get convicted of first degree murder since his decision to drive drunk was premeditated."

Now, when I said lack of criminal intent does not absolve you of criminal responsibility, that is not to say intent doesn't matter. Don't forget: the justice system is not actually in the business of vengeance. A murderer is convicted for life or death because someone who intentionally takes the life of another human being cannot be allowed to function in society in the future. A person that killed someone through action, but without intent, is nowhere near the same level of danger to society.

The truth is that while drunk drivers crash infinitely more often than sober ones, most drunk drivers still make it home in one piece.

I have a personal policy of not driving when I've had a drink, even if I know with my weight and the time elapsed it won't have any effect any more (tested this with breathalyzers, people carry them in their cars around here). However, I have driven in the morning after drinking, in a state where in hindsight I probably shouldn't have, and I was definitely still over the legal limit. I drove about 250 miles at 75mph on what is essentially country lanes, across two countries, and was never in a dangerous situation throughout that trip. I expect most people here can think of a time when they drove in a condition where they shouldn't have - drunk, hung over, tired, angry, etc.

You simply can't legislate away people's judgement. It won't work. If you tell people that they can't decide whether they're fit to drive, they'll ignore you. If you make extremely strict penalties for it, they'll revolt.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 12th, 2007 4:03pm
Yeah I wondered if you were going to bring that up and hoped you wouldn't since it's a good point.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 4:08pm
(at Bot)
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 4:08pm
"In particular I'd want to know if the government can restrict your travel rights because you haven't paid your taxes or your alimony or your GPA is too low - all of these are now reasons to deny drivers licenses."

It's the same old issue of your freedom extending only as far as the tip of my nose. The government can't restrict your right to take a cab or ride with a friend, but driving is a licensed activity, and if you're incapable of controlling a car in a manner that is safe to other road users, you are infringing on their personal freedom. And your right to exercise your freedom is limited by the same right of other people.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
July 12th, 2007 4:08pm
I guess in cities that you'd be cited with unlawful discharge of a weapon, like they do for guys shooting their guns in the air on the 4th of July.

I've shot at people on my land in the past and not been charged, though when the law did come out they explained to me that they *could* arrest me, but the intruders didn't want to press charges, mainly since if they did I'd have them charged with trespassing, so it was something of a standoff legally.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 4:11pm
>I expect most people here can think of a time when they drove in a condition where they shouldn't have - drunk, hung over, tired, angry, etc.

I don't drive if I've had the slightest bit of an alcoholic drink. I save myself the common error of drunken self-evaluation by excluding the possibility of driving for about 12 hours after any drinking.

Having said that, one incident that is burned in my mind was a late night drive back straight from Florida to here in Toronto. I was so tired it was absurdly dangerous and irresponsible, and I've always used that as a baseline for future outings, ensuring I never find myself in the same situation.
Permalink DF 
July 12th, 2007 4:14pm
"It's the same old issue of your freedom extending only as far as the tip of my nose. The government can't restrict your right to take a cab or ride with a friend, but driving is a licensed activity, and if you're incapable of controlling a car in a manner that is safe to other road users, you are infringing on their personal freedom. And your right to exercise your freedom is limited by the same right of other people."

It seems reasonable to think that before being allowed to use public roads (the 'only' place where legally you are required to be licensed) to think that someone should 'prove' they can drive safely, and the license is proof of that.

On the other hand, the same could be accomplished by extending to all the right to travel by car, but to revoke that right (much as other freedoms are taken away as punishment by the court system) as part of a conviction for reckless driving. So, if you don't know how to drive and you do, the courts are still within their rights to deny you the right to drive, just as they can order you to home confinement, take away your right to vote, and so forth.

However, licenses are no longer proof you can drive safely. We all know that 90 yr old half blind people have licenses and don't need to re-pass driving tests to show they are still competant.

At the same time, most licenses nowadays are denied for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with your ability to drive safely, but are used as a key mechanism in social control of the populace by the State. Do something the state disapproves of, and your right to travel is taken away.

You mention cabs and busses but in almost all of the US, there is no cab or bus service. That's something only found in cities.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 4:25pm
"that crazy Tenn chick killed her abusive, priest husband"

My understanding of the case was that there was no evidence he was abusive, he had absolutely no history of being abusive to anyone, both their children said that dad never laid a hand on mom, and she mentioned nothing of abuse in her initial talks with police, it was only after her lawyer talked to her that she came up with this abuse angle.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 12th, 2007 4:29pm
"both their children said that dad never laid a hand on mom, and she mentioned nothing of abuse in her initial talks with police, it was only after her lawyer talked to her that she came up with this abuse angle"

Ironically, she was out drinking one night and having a good time when she was on bail?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 4:34pm
sharkfish, would you stop using my nick.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 4:41pm
"Ironically, she was out drinking one night and having a good time when she was on bail?"

You know what, nevermind, I think I really need to stop drinking, had a relapse there (that was my post)
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 12th, 2007 4:42pm
Anyone driving under the influence that injures or kills a pedestrian should be shot by the police on the spot.

If you don't drink and drive you have nothing to worry about.
Permalink Send private email Philo 
July 12th, 2007 6:33pm
I don't want the police shooting anyone on the spot!
Permalink Send private email Wayne 
July 12th, 2007 8:24pm

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