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Comments about ‘'It's not fair,' father says of DUI crash that killed his 3-year-old son’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 27 2014 6:33 p.m. MST

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Tilka
PORTLAND, OR

what about some more details that everyone is wondering about. Did the driver have a license? Is he here legally? Was the car he was driving registered to him?

Cougrrr
Beaufort, SC

@Mr. Smitty
Can't compare New York to Utah. People use public transportation much more in New York, where costs to drive and park in the city are prohibitive. In other words, people don't drive in New York because it's easier on their pocketbooks or is more convenient, not because they are somehow more responsible than people in Utah.

JayTee
Sandy, UT

No, it's NOT fair. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars in the "war on drugs," trying to legislate morality and protect people from themselves. We try to control the size of drinks, who can dispense, etc., etc. Yet, we can't seem to get the drunks or other impaired drivers OFF the roads. We have one state agency distributing alcohol, and another attempting to get them off the roads. But still, probably largely because most lawmakers do drink, we still play patty-cake with drunk drivers. Insane. If penalties are substantial enough, this wouldn't be happening often, and when it did happen, it would only happen one time to any given driver.

azamatbagatov
Lehi, UT

First, anyone convicted of DUI should not be allowed to own a vehicle, rent a vehicle period. There should be a national list that car dealerships and rental car companies would use to see if a customer is on the list. Anyone caught selling a vehicle or renting a vehicle to an offender would be subject to a hefty fine. This includes friends who let a drunk friend take their car. It should also

Second, anyone who injures someone while driving intoxicated should be charged with attempted murder. Anyone who kills someone while intoxicated should be charged with first degree murder.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

The fact is that if a person has a DUI that person is more likely to continue to drive under the influence. A single DUI conviction rarely cures anyone. Killing will continue until society severely punishes the misuse of alcohol, drugs and firearms.

speed66
Heber City, UT

I lost both my aunt and uncle to two different drunk drivers. While I appreciate the emotional response does anyone think that tougher laws would have averted this tragedy?

@Reflectere wants to make alcohol use illegal...we tried that and the criminals got rich. Where are my small government friends who realize that you can't legislate this away?

Will we outlaw use of cell phones in cars? The death rates from these is skyrocketing?

We have to educate people. We have to quit glorifying bad behavior. I wonder if anyone who saw the man driving erratically made a call to the police before the accident?

This particular situation is particularly egregious because the perpetrator seems to have contemplated escaping the scene...a drunk and a coward. But let's not over-react or think that the solutions to a complex problem can be fixed with tough talk and draconian laws.

Makethemhonest
Orem, UT

It is important to know if this drunk was also illegally in the country. It is important. He has killed a child.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Killing will continue until society severely punishes the misuse of alcohol . . . ."

Actually, it'll continue until we punish those clear-thinking captains of industry that profit so handsomely from supplying the substances that are known and intended to deprive customers of their will and wisdom.

Ever more draconian DUI sanctions on the low-level hit-men, on those who actually commit these heinous crimes, leave free and untouched the people of the venal, brutish "hospitality" industry -- including brewers, distillers, and distributors -- who are the real authors and profiteers of the carnage.

It amounts to ambulance-in-the-valley, rather than the fence-on-the-cliff thinking.

Assuring that those profiteering from enabling and encouraging this carnage become responsible for it can only be accomplished by expanding the reach of Utah's toothless dram-shop laws.

You'll be surprised how quickly the problem is solved once an entrepreneurial self-interest is introduced into the system.

Now, if we can only convince conniving legislators to place the interests of voters and constituents ahead of well-heeled campaign contributors in the "hospitality" industry.

Well, we can dream, anyway.

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

Mr. Smitty:

Unfortunately fatalities from drunk driving have many contributing factors including 1) access to alcohol/drugs 2) propensity to use 3) personal choice/responsibility 4) percentage of drinkers using private vehicles vs public transportation, etc. 5) the rate of average speed, number of intersections, distance from bar-to-home, etc.

Less access will lower the number of DUIs and fatalities. So will a lower propensity to use (which is why public awareness campaigns are important) and/or use in moderation will also lower DUIs and fatalities. The increased use of public transportation, designated drivers, taxis, etc. will also reduce DUIs and fatalities. Finally, New York and Utah are poor comparisons given the higher average speed limits, great miles traveled, etc in the West compared to densely populated cities in the East (while distance from the bar/establishment could be reduced by adding more bars, the increased access would likely more than offset the lessor miles traveled, so that solution is not a reasonable one).

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The other newspaper is confirming(yes, confirming, NOT speculating) that this person should not have even been in the country in the first place.

When will we start cracking down on DUI's and his other offense seriously?

How many deaths will it take?

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

DUI should lose the drinking privilege, not the driving one. The offender still needs to get to work somehow. But he demonstrated that he cannot drink responsibly, if there is even such a thing, so take alcohol away from him. Can you reasonably expect somebody who is drunk to have the judgement not to get behind the wheel? Alcohol sales at the very least should be controlled like gun sales.

andersonj
Syracuse, UT

My father was hit by a Drunk Driver in 1998 and I have helped provided for my parents since. This is a real issue and has effected me personally.

Why don't we have enough guts to follow what Mayor Rudy Giuliani did in the 90's? He cut drunk driving incidents down by 70% by passing a new law that if you were caught driving drunk, whatever vehicle you were driving was the property of the state. It didn't matter if you owned it or not. It was now the states. The state then sold those cars off at auction and it became a significant source of revenue for a short time before the drunkards wised up and realized that it was tough getting to work on foot.

Simple, easy, and effective. Why won't we do this? Because of the Banker's lobby? Make this hurt and no one will want to be caught driving drunk. Jails are too crowded. Plus we end up just feeding them. Make them be responsible instead of locking them up.

brotherJonathan
SLC, UT

Your loss is for as long as you live, faith in God is hope of being together again one day. With that truth said: if this was the drivers 1st DUI, it is hard to prevent behaviors that have not been seen by the courts before. If it is not the 1st time, this shows that a consistent fair method of prevention is not in place for our society. Once a DUI is adjudicated a simple personal mechanism should be used to prevent further lapses in judgment by the offender. Often if the offender is wealthy or powerful, use of that power gets them special treatment so society does not get equality under all laws. Which we must share for the fair and just treatment of all citizens. If a judge's power to negate fair punishment of an offender is not spelled out in the law, the use of punishment can be unfairly dished out to the rich or powerful with different treatment for poor or minority groups by mercy on the wealthy or elite grouping of citizen. Carefully written laws so fair use of judicial power to all citizens equal in the eyes of justice dispensed.

esodije
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

In tort law, they have something called the "eggshell skull" rule, which basically says you take your victim as you find him, and even though you couldn't have known that he was particularly susceptible to injury (or death), you're still liable for all of his damages. I've long thought they need a similar rule in criminal law, saying that whether or not you could reasonably have contemplated killing someone when you got drunk and chose to drive, the penalty for doing so will be commensurate with the consequences. Many legal scholars would call that capricious, but how much ~more~ capricious is the outcome for the victim and his family?

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

The toughest drunk riving laws in the world are useless until you catch someone in the act. That means more officers on the road. Hire another 50 to 100 UHP troopers. When drivers realize they have a high probability of getting caught there will be reduction in driving under the influence and reckless driving. I have seen drivers do things that are criminal in nature and they should go to jail for it.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

My sincere condolences to the family. No, it's not fair. We can argue all we want over what the laws and consequences for drunk drivers should be, and for the most part, little will change.

Personally I wonder why certain products are banned from the market because they MIGHT cause cancer in some test animals, but alcohol, which is known to kill thousands every year remains at fairly easy access because their would be a greater outcry if the FDA banned it.

The fact is, little else short of time and the comfort of the Spirit will do much in this case. We are truly sorry.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

This is a very sad story. But not everybody who drinks drives afterward. I rarely even drink away from home.
Suggesting that we tax alcohol more will not help. I understand that we all get upset reading about these things, but talking about capital punishment for people who get DUIs will not help either. This "off with their head!" mentality is not the solution.

Rikitikitavi
Cardston, Alberta

I am FOR stiffer penalties but we taxpayers will pay the incarceration costs. Mandate some form of public service might work better.

Kathy Chadwell
Lafayette, IN

My heart and prayers go out to the father & the family.
I am & have been a proud member of MADD. Nobody should have to go through this.
This is my only fear about them legalizing pot. I worry about those who will get behind the wheel of a car.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

My suggestion is to make automobile Homocide alcohol related to be at least a second degree felony with the possibility of upgrading to a first degree felony.

The 4000 (or more) pound vehicle is every bit as lethal a weapon as a gun or a knife. Use of a gun or a knife can go up to a capitol felony (death penalty).

Being drunk and driving impaired in my mind rises up to the culpability standard that first degree felonies have.

I'm sick of drunk drivers getting off lightly because the prosecutors don't want to deal with them so they plea bargan most to "alcohol related" reckless driving, which doesn't exist in the statue.

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