Fatal mistakes: First DWI

  • Article by: PAM LOUWAGIE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2010 - 10:44 AM

A majority of alcohol-related fatalities involve first-time offenders.

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sheepyFeb. 13, 1010:47 PM

If you drove again after the first arrest, then you didn't learn to not drive drunk.

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bikemilesFeb. 13, 1010:53 PM

Two days ago I published this on my http://freedomtoact.com in response to an excellent KSTP-TV story on distortion of local DUI crackdowns. ............. "02-12-10 Is MN DWI enforcement focused on the wrong roads? click here Mini redrant: Very good KSTP story points out: "Minnesota received $3.7 million from the federal government to crackdown on drunk drivers--more than ever before." In terms of raw number Hennepin County had the most alchohol related injuries and deaths. That said, Hennepin County contains almost one quarter of the MN population. When we calculate "risk" by factoring in miles driven Hennepin ranked ranked 72 out of 87! The raw number list is rather like saying that in 2008 the Metrodome sold more alcholic beverages than any other liquor licence holder in MN. In 2008 the Metrodome hosted the Vikings, Twins, Gophers and other events. Nevermind that the Metrodome only sells 3.2 beer. The focus on a raw list, ignoring the most basic data rules seems to be that this DUI enforcement is focuswed on the densly populated urban centers. Here there is more wealth and more money to support the "DUI Industry"."

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b4igonFeb. 13, 1011:19 PM

using all the information that I've seen in print from this paper. I would have to say that the drivers with multiple DWI's are safer drivers considering the number of driver that are out there on any given Fri,sat night. The other factor that really needs to be looked at is how many DWI's were for parked cars not going anywhere.

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jetfuelFeb. 13, 1011:42 PM

It is my understanding that MADD has nothing against drinking nor against driving. They just want the two separated. What could possibly be wrong with that? However, I also believe that cell phone usage while driving, (except on four lane interstate highways) also deserves zero tolerance.

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bikemilesFeb. 14, 1012:07 AM

Typically you stay with a single "journalist" or at least do co-credit writing so the "journalist" learns the subject matter.

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chris5144Feb. 14, 1012:19 AM

Bruce's story brings up another important aspect of dui - he's one of over 500,000 MN drivers with that conviction, and like the overwhelming majority in that group, has never inflicted harm on anyone, but is nevertheless targeted as unemployable years later. Once, not all that long ago, only felony record was made available to employers and potential employers; driving record only if the job involved driving company vehicles. Now dui, drug convictions, and domestic misdemeanor records are provided as well to anyone who requests the info. That needs to end immediately, the great hypocrisy is that these families are being economically devastated and ultimately replaced in our economy by undocumented illegals with access to clean, false identities. Social engineering agenda gone ballistic, the result of crossing the line and making largely victimless matters into crime, against all traditional definition of what constitutes criminal activity.

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futuricsFeb. 14, 1012:25 AM

There is indeed, as Bikemiles indicates, a "DUI Industry" in this state. Starting with our draconian and unconstitutional "implied consent" law, money flows like water into the coffers of MADD via court-mandated attendance at their "scared straight" lectures. Purveyors of sappy-happy "substance abuse" classes also take home a hefty penny because of court-mandated attendees, who may or may not actually even have a substance abuse problem. And the number of DUI defense lawyers that also laugh all the way to the bank, is legion. But heck, it seems MADD doesn't even have to pay money for the printing of their neo-Prohibitionist newsletter any longer. The STRIB is hauling water for them!

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otiscatFeb. 14, 10 1:02 AM

While I am moved by the sad stories here, I would like a clear breakdown of statistics that show B.A.C. levels of drivers involved in fatal crashes. Also,how does a .08 bac level compare to legal imparment (sic) such as moderate drowsiness?

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cswain12000Feb. 14, 10 2:28 AM

I find it outrageous that a person only gets 8 months jail time for taking the mother of those two children, who are sentenced to a life of growing up without their mother. And why only jail? This woman should have been in prison, and for much longer. Those children lost their mother and for no reason other than someone who didn't want to stay home alone after drinking. And what about that unborn baby who grew up without a father??? And that 24 year old probably spent just her weekends in jail. I find it disgusting. I hope that all who have taken a life because they chose to drive drunk are tormented every day and night by what they have done. This really angers me. There needs to be zero tolerance and much stiffer penalties right from the start!!

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buzzman0755Feb. 14, 10 4:17 AM

Serving only a few months in jail then community service is a joke! These people committed a murder with their car! We need long manatory sentences without parole or any other considerations! It should be at least an automatic 10 to 20 years in prison to give these people a chance to really think about their crime and most wouldn't repeat drinking and driving again. But the cop to the jail to the county to the judge to the rehab programs wouldn't make their money off the drunk driver. And for those reasons stiff fines will never happen in the state. Greed rules!

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