SUPREME COURT ENDANGERED BY RABID PARTISAN IDEOLOGUES IN THE SENATE
Perspective on Privacy: Data Mining & Civil Liberties

WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET TOUGH ON REPEAT OFFENDERS WHO CONTINUE TO DRIVE WHILE IMPAIRED?

I drive approximately 140 miles round-trip to work using the very same roads used by those who drive while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, and other contraband substances. And I am extremely unhappy with the Court's position on repeat offenders who drive while under the influence of either alcohol or some other controlled substance. What the court does not seem to recognize is that people who drive while impaired repeat this behavior time-and-time again before being apprehended for the first, second, third or more offense.

Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Lindsay Lohan, and now Al Gore III, are symptomatic of the lenient treatment the courts are meting out, not only to celebrities but also to others including illegal aliens. I feel that the courts have become woefully negligent and partially responsible for any future death or injury caused by people who continue to drive while impaired.

According to published reports, Al Gore III pleaded guilty to driving his Prius Hybrid over 100 miles-per-hour and to possessing marijuana and other controlled prescription drugs, but the judge still ruled that the guilty plea could be withdrawn and the charges dropped if he successfully completes a drug diversion program. If all goes well, and Gore III adheres to the court's conditions, all charges could possibly be dropped sometime in 2009.

While Gore was apparently not charged with driving under the influence, although the police officer smelled marijuana, what bothers me is that this is a repeat offense that may be stricken from consideration if Gore III offends again... resulting in another slap on the wrist. That is, unless he or others like him, kill or maim some innocent citizen who happens to be sharing the same road at the same time.

While I am not even suggesting that Gore's father's fame and notoriety played a part in the sentencing, as I believe anyone who hired a top notch lawyer could achieve the same result, I am suggesting that the courts need to reconsider their position on repeat offenders, especially those who have already wasted their one golden opportunity to enter rehab to avoid the consequences of their actions.

Having a famous parent cannot be easy, but neither can having an entourage or media following  that encourages and applauds your every action.  But I don't care who the hell you are or who you think you are ... if you share a road with me and my vehicle, I expect that you will be a responsible, sober driver capable of attending to the business of safe driving.

What can YOU do?

Elect judges who are tough on "driving under the influence." I do not care so much about what is found in the car as I do the degree of driver impairment.

Petition your legislators to stiffen criminal penalties for repeat offenders who drive under the influence and to provide mandatory jail time for those who kill or maim innocent travelers.

Petition your legislators to leave the record of driving while under the influence on the offender's record forever... and to share that record with a national database.

If you are with a friend who seems about to get behind the wheel while impaired. Take their keys. If this is impossible, notify the authorities at 911. Better to lose a friend than to lose your life in an accident. Better to save a friend from a lifetime of regret and shame for having caused an accident. And better for your fellow citizens and taxpayers to assist in the prevention of an accident.

-- steve

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