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Thread: Drunk Drivers

  1. #1

    Drunk Drivers

    As I've stated before, I was injured when I was 8 years old (24 years ago). I was riding in a car and we stopped for a stop sign but the drunk driver behind us didn't stop. I'm T4/5 complete, and two of my friends, ages 7 and 9, died in the accident. The drunk driver was punished with 3 years in jail. About a year after he was released, my family and I were at the county fair (we were living in a small town in WI) and there was a man there who was being loud and obnoxious and stumbling all over the place. He was clearly drunk. I remember thinking, what a jerk, but that was it. Then my parents saw him and became visibly upset and said we had to go. My sister and I wanted to know what was going on, and they told us that he was the guy who hit us. It was a weird moment me. I guess in my young mind, I had ASSumed that killing two kids and injuring another so badly would change his life around, but it clearly didn't.

    I know there are others here who have been injured by a drunk driver. I'm wondering what "punishment" other offenders got? In my case anyway, 3 years in jail wasn't the answer. That was more than 20 years ago, and I'm wondering if things have changed?

  2. #2
    My story is SO similar to yours. I was 6 and hit by a drunk driver. My drunk served NO time at all. Last I heard he as serving time in prison on some kind of drug charge. I never met him.

    Sucky isn't it?

  3. #3
    Oops, I meant to put this in the Life catagory. Maybe a moderator could move it for me? Thanks.

    Wow, no time at all Lindsay? Maybe this is really naive, but I hope that the drunk drivers today and getting some therapy or something. Something other than just jail time (or no jail time).

  4. #4
    I think you both know I was riding with a drunk driver. The charge of vehicular battery that caused my paralysis was dropped, as was the vehicular homicide charge for the death of his sister. He was only charged with a misdemeanor DUI and given the maximum 6 month jail sentence for first time offenders.

    Incidentally, a 21 year old girl from my hometown (population 7000) was driving drunk and the passenger that was riding with her died in the accident. She received 5 years in jail, and there wasn't another passenger who was confined to the life of a quad.

    LindsayS - how did your guy get NO jail time?? That baffles me. Did you at least receive a settlement?

  5. #5

    Why doesn't this surprise me? I was riding in a car with a drunk driver and almost died. Lucky for him that I didn't I think. He never got jail nor had any settlement to deal with me either.

    Lawyers said that he had no money in his name, his family was wealthy but that was theirs. Plus, they said he was underage... 18 yrs.

    It really is sad that they seem not to have to pay in any way. It seems that we are the ones that pay for their mistakes.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Sh0rty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    I was a passanger in a drinking and driving accident. My ex-bf was the driver and supposed DD. That was almost two years ago, and still in the court system, the piliminary hearing was about a month ago and i havent heard anymore of it. I know it didnt change his life, he still went out and drank afterwards, at first when I was in the rehab hospital I would talk to him on the phone and he would tell me how he went out and got soo drunk or how he was hungover or how he was going to go out and party with bothered me and I snapped on him one night saying "I am like this because you did what you did and you still do it" He said he wasnt going to plead guilty one time, because: "how can i plead guilty to something I dont remember doing" and he was hoping to get off charges on a police error. *sigh* even if he does go to jail, the sentence he will recieve (if any) will never amount to the one I recieved.
    I know of a case that happened here where a girl I went to school with was the drunk driver and killed 4 other people that were in the car with her, she got 5 years in jail.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Boca Raton, Florida, USA
    You know ladies and least I can make myself feel better by saying I was stupid enough to be riding a bicycle in rush hour traffic.

    I can't imagine that people's lives are changed to this extent, and yet our laws are legislation in the United States punishes people in such a meager way.

    How can someone who is drunk and driving a car be charged with anything less than attempted murder? It makes no sense to me...

  8. #8
    1987 was the best year and the worst year of my life. Over a decade of long distance, marathon running and weight training resulted in my physical health being excellent. In May of that year I finished Graduate School at USC and thus achieved my educational and professional goals. In July of 1987 I was the victim of a drunk driver who was in possession of a loaded handgun and he was angry and decided to shoot innocent motorists. While driving down the freeway to visit a friend I was shot just below my left ear and I had no idea what had happened. He fled the scene and was caught later that day. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in prison and was released in five years under the good behavior policy. I was awarded a civil judgment of eight million dollars and I have not, and probably never will, collect anything from this convicted felon. I live alone, and this total dependence on others is sometimes more scary than I want to deal with.
    The sadness comes when I remember how magnificent the views were before I was shot. You can only appreciate the mountaintops if you have been in the deepest valleys.


  9. #9
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I also don't understand why drunk drivers aren't punished more severely, especially those who kill. Second degree murder, in my opinion.

    Before the term "designated driver" was invented, I was the DD for my frieds, as they knew I wouldn't drive if I was drunk. At most, I'd have one drink when we first got to the bar or party, and soft drinks the rest of the night. Parties in my dorm or home, I'd drink like a fish, but never when driving was involved. This was pre-SCI - now, I don't drive or drink. I only miss the former. All my friends grew out of drinking to drunkenness once we finished college.

  10. #10
    I was hit by a drunk driver a week into my 8th birthday. The driver was known as the neighborhood drunk. Charges were never brought againt her and she received no jail time.

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