Tag Archives: driving while intoxicated

Criminal Law

During my 24 years of practicing law I have handled a wide variety of criminal law cases. My cases have included everything from minor traffic tickets to rape cases. In fact my last two jury trials were rape cases wherein both of my clients were found “Not Guilty.” I tried one of those cases in Dent County Missouri and the other in Washington County Missouri.

I do not recommend going to trial on every case. If a client has actually committed the crime he or she was charged with, then I usually recommend accepting the prosecuting attorney’s plea bargain if one is offered.

I look at every case individually and then give my best advice to my client. If you need a good criminal law attorney, then call me, Glenn Hall, today at 573-729-2229.

Lifetime Ban for Drunk Driving?

Lifetime Ban for Drunk Driving

Well, it doesn’t say the driver was drunk, and I’m guessing that there was an original charge of drunk driving that the prosecutor ended up dropping, but this kid sure smashed up his car, badly.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8566930&rss=rss-kabc-article-8566930

And so the Rhode Island judge banned him from getting a driver’s license FOR LIFE.

The first articles I read about the story bothered me—it sounded way too harsh. Then I read that one of his passengers ended up in a coma for weeks. No one died, but a week long coma?

What troubles me about the judge’s sentence is that he said he was doing it to “send a message” to others that Rhode Island doesn’t tolerate reckless driving.

That’s great, this teenager isn’t all those other drivers. He did what he did, and the punishment needs to fit his crime.

Banning people from driving can seem like a good idea because, theoretically, it keeps them off the road. After all, that’s what we want to accomplish.

In my limited experience, banning people from driving rarely keeps people off the road—it merely makes them repeat “criminals.” The people that suspensions and bans do keep off the road tend to be the people who learned their lesson and are not going to do anything stupid with their cars or while driving again anyway.

If this guy drives again while his license is still banned, he could end up in prison. If this guy doesn’t drive again, this act could possibly cause a detrimental impact on him for the rest of his life. If the injuries he caused to his passengers have long term detrimental impact, then maybe it is just and fitting to cause him problems for the rest of his life.

Also, I believe the Rhode Island law does permit a judge in the future to lift the ban and allow him to get his driver’s license again. Thus, if this guy rises above his past and proves he’s a responsible, hard working, diligent adult, then he may be able to see a little grace to soften the harsh justice his careless deeds ran him into.

I’m a bit torn about whether the punishment fit the crime in this case. I disagree that it’s appropriate to slam someone with a harsh punishment because the judge wants to send other people a message. Justice is about what the defendant in question did, not about scaring other people.

Further reading:

http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-02/news/31117742_1_ri-judge-lifetime-ban

http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20220305harsh_judgment_ri_jurists_lifetime_drive_ban_for_teen_went_too_far_say_bay_state_pols

http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2012/03/ri-judge-imposes-lifetime-driving-ban-on-teenager-for-serious-reckless-crash.html