“No one pried open your mouth that day and forced alcohol down your throat. . . You decided to do all of this by yourself,. . . This was no accident.”
It isn’t often I sing the praises of judges but every once in awhile I come across something that makes me take notice. Recently, we posted an article on behalf of the Crash Coalition: Drop the “A” Word about a sentencing in Hawaii for drunk driving. Judge Rhonda Iwalani Lai Loo sentenced a multiple repeat offender to 20 years in prison for killing a 19 year old student and causing injury to another. The driver deserved the sentence and some would say probably more after reading the story. She also banned him from driving for the rest of his life and ordered restitution. This is the first time I have heard of a judge banning someone from driving for the rest of their life. More judges should do it.
The defendant in seeking an excuse for his behavior his criminal behavior stated in a letter to the court, ““I know that what happened wasn’t done out of any heinous act,” he wrote. “It was a true accident.”
Her reply should be on every courthouse wall where impaired drivers appear. ““No one pried open your mouth that day and forced alcohol down your throat. . . You decided to do all of this by yourself,” she said. “This was no accident.” http://bit.ly/1A46z6Q We applaud Judge Loo for the courage of her convictions and expressing what many of us who have been victimized by the crime of impaired driving strongly believe.
This is why we formed a coalition to educate the media and others about the consequences of using the word accident when reporting on a crash or impaired driving crime. You can read more about us on our Crash Coalition link. If your organization would like to join, please let us know.