Friday, August 14, 2009

Is Drunk Driving A Felony?

by Dick Mac

Either drunk-driving is a felony or it isn't.

I am of the opinion that driving while drunk, which jeopardizes the lives of any person who might encounter the drunk-driver, is felonious behavior.

In New York, it is a misdemeanor. A crime that more often than not results in a slap on the wrist.

You can be imprisoned for a misdemeanor conviction, but you are less likely to be imprisoned for a misdemeanor than a felony.

New York Governor Paterson, let's call him Governor Stoopit in honor of the remarkable work he has done since being appointed governor, believes that drunk-driving in only felonious behavior if there is a child present in the vehicle the drunk is driving.

I am a fan of drinking. I think drinking is great fun. Booze and I have had some great times together, and I believe people should be free to consume as much alcohol as they want.

I am a fan of driving. My family will tell you that I can drive for hours on end.

I do not drink and drive. Ever. It is stupid to drink and drive. It is dangerous. Too dangerous.

I support changes to the law that make it a felony to drive drunk. I do not support changes to the law that make it a felony to drive drunk ONLY if children are in the car. This is nonsense. A drunk-driver can kill just as many children if they are in the other car, as if they are in her own car!

Governor Stoopit doesn't know how to govern, he only knows how to react to events around him. He has no vision or ideas for a better New York.

A mother killed herself, her daughter, and three nieces while trashed out of her mind. She also killed three adult men in another car. So, Governor Stoopit wants to change the laws.

If the four girls had not been in this drunk's car and she killed only herself and the three adult men, would Governor Stoopit be calling for changes to the drunk-driving laws? No. He is using the same political currency that neo-cons and reaganites have been using for three decades: children. He is using the deaths of four little girls to further his own career. He is like a Republican. He is despicable.

Let's make drunk-driving a felony, but not only if there are children in the car, let's just make it a felony.

Paterson Wants Tougher Penalties, at WNYC


Anonymous said...

I understand the critique here is two part: dwi laws and Governor Patterson. It is important to put this in historical context - between 1930 and 1950 the Model Penal Code was created by a number of scholars and other legal professionals. The MPC lists a misdemeanor for recklessly putting another in harms way. The current dwi law comes directly out of that. As you note, DM, it is time to change our approach to this to make it a felony. Note the language - "putting another in harms way." NOT "putting a child in harms way."

Have a good weekend everyone.


Anonymous said...

It's an incremental thing, I guess. Maybe we just have to wait until a drunk driver runs his car out of control through a crowd of Gov. Stoopit's relatives on a sidewalk in Albany, mowing them down before he sees fit to make it a felony to drive under the influence when there are any kin of sitting governors in his path. Baby steps, you know. Eventually we'll have universal coverage.

Jamarhl Crawford said...

off topic, but had no way to send u a direct message....

hey i was just googling myself for research and came across an old post you had regarding me when i wrote for elemental magazine... this is jamarhl crawford... i was always surprised by the response to that article and of course i never got your letter which i would have answered, because clearly you missed the point, for the record matt or his brother never responded to me either i have never spoken to them since... any way give me a call and lets talk and then report on our conversation, i am actually in the process of writing a follow up piece to it and would love your input, i think if you practice a little of what you seem to believe (not judging, tolerance) and actually speak with me, you may find we are closer than you think and you may have misunderstood my writing, or on the contrary you may come away thinking im a bigger jerk than you did originally, but my money says this is all a misunderstanding.

-Jamarhl Crawford