Take action to get drunks off the road

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Our politicians have failed us. All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have to email, tweet, call, write, walk, march — anything to use their  voices to get the law changed.

Think about this: if I wanted to kill someone and get the lightest sentence, I would get legally drunk, drive my car and do the job.  I would probably get less than two years, immediate release after being charged for drunk driving causing death and I’ll probably get my licence back in a year.

Justice should be a charge of second-degree murder with a mandatory sentence of 10 years — not to be served concurrently — and no early release, plus no more driving for life. Find me one person who disagrees with this and I’ll find you a hundred that do agree. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has its version of new legislation well thought out.

Our shameful politicians have failed us over and over when it comes to getting drunks off the road. Let’s band together and force these changes. There is power in numbers and our elected officials know that, so let them know how you feel. If they choose not to make appropriate changes to the law, don’t re-elect them.

Are you going to try to change the system only after your loved one is dead? I was in a car “accident” in 1996. Although the driver wasn’t impaired, I have been in constant pain ever since. It has and continues to affect everyone I love.

That drunk out there now may be the drunk who takes your loved one away or puts you in my position.

Don’t just talk about it, do something about it. If your hands work, you have no excuse. Shame on you if you do nothing. That drunk driver may be in your path tonight.

Paul Cardoulis

St. John’s

Organizations: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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Recent comments

  • Herb Morrison
    August 24, 2013 - 16:07

    The emotion-fuelled, “Hang ‘Em High,” mob mentality being displayed by persons, in the wake of this particular incident, should be as much a cause for concern, as the fact that the driver is alleged to have been impaired at the time of the incident. When people appear to be willing to adopt a mob mentality, which is devoid of any semblance of Justice; as appears to me to be the case, within the context of this particular situation, when a person can be convicted in the so-called court of public opinion, without benefit of the due process of law, we should all be concerned about the impact such behaviour will have on all of us, living in this community. I suggest that the impact of mob mentality on us could be as negative as the action of any person who chooses to drive while impaired. Why, because any time a particular situation, results in the type of raw, animalistic emotion fuelled words of the variety, which we have seen reflected in peoples’ reaction to this situation, where people appear to be willing to allow their baser instincts to govern their behaviour, rather than employing their ability to reason, the result is that we have a mob, a mob, which is seeking vengeance not justice

  • david
    August 24, 2013 - 14:55

    Drunk driving will stop in Newfoundland when driving stops...simple as that. At the core, we are a society of selfish, ignorant, unevolved savages..

  • carlos moores
    August 23, 2013 - 01:24

    how about this RNC, instead of nearly running over a guy and his gf because he was drinking a beer in public, you park a ghost car outside the City Hall parking lot and pull over and breathalyse everyone who leaves between 1 and 4 am Thursday through Sunday. What can I say, I'm a crime fighting genius.

  • Cashin Delaney
    August 22, 2013 - 18:07

    All imprudent and/or impaired driving can kill. Drunk, stoned, on pills, texting, eating and other distractions should all fall under the same category of offense when it results in a fatal mistake. The unreality of the analogy presented in the above letter, is that no impaired driver, or texter plans to hurt anyone. This hypothetical murder scenario contrasts with a real impaired driving fatality in the intent to kill. Many impaired drivers do not make the choice to drive until impaired. In this way, they are less culpable than a sober texting person who kills. I believe that the appeal for tougher legislation is beyond the mandate of MADD, not a proven deterrent and not the most effective use of the organization's resources. "An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest." This is an interesting statistic from MADD.org. Is it really the politicians, law enforcement, judges who are failing us, or is it the enabling community that must work for social change. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers became Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1984. This change was made because MADD is "opposed to the criminal act of drunk driving, not individuals". MADD also updated its mission statement over the years..."provides grassroots leadership to create major social change in the attitude and behavior of Americans toward drunk driving." +++ "...mobilizes victims and their allies to establish the public conviction that impaired driving is unacceptable and criminal, in order to promote corresponding public policies, programs and personal responsibility." +++ "to stop drunk driving and support the victims of this violent crime." +++ “to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.” Judges already have the legislation to give a life sentence. It is my opinion that social responsibility and conformance, not higher fines or longer incarcerations are the most effective motivator for curbing impaired and imprudent driving. The shame is not in failing to lobby the government, it is in failing to act within your own social circle to change attitudes and behaviors. You can force legislation into effect, but not real change.

  • Stephen Redgrave
    August 22, 2013 - 17:29

    Cool it with this talk of "shameful politician" . If you pulled your head out the can it's stuck in, you'd know that the Newfoundland justice system has already taken the strongest action possible by suspending individual's driving privelideges without a trial and without a breach of the criminal code of Canada--driving well below the legal limit of .08. . Normally I would be livid with this sort of Charter violation, however, I am willing to accept it as "good for my children"--If Newfoundland wants to go the same route as Quebec--They can impose a zero tolerance law under provincial offences. Don't ever forget---The death penaly has not eliminated murder where it is imposed--nor will zero tloerance , or over policing stop impaied drivers from driving. Drive defensively! and perhaps you will see the drunk coming. Government can not , and will not save us from every hazard in life. Don't expect it. They put their pants on one leg at a time--including Kathy Dunderdale.

    • david
      August 24, 2013 - 14:52

      Newfoundland is a drunk driver's Disneyworld. It is just another activity here, not a crime...it's only a crime if you get caught,,,and that's one of two ways: either you are the very, VERY unlucky rarity that gets pulled over, or else you hit something or someone and don't have the presence of mind to run away and hide for 4 or 5 hours. And even then, you hacve a good shot at getting off on an RCMP screw-up.

  • Joe
    August 22, 2013 - 14:01

    You know when you hear someone with this type of mentality you just want to give up. And don't be mistaken there are loads of them out there. Why hasn't this person used the same "logic" to say politicians have not stopped bank robbers, murders or crooked politicians. Glad to see the opinion section of the paper is trying to introduce us to informed thought..

  • Colin Burke
    August 22, 2013 - 08:19

    Our current mode of allowing people to drive motor vehicles is wrong in principle anyway. No one ought to be obliged to get a licence for anything he does for himself. If motoring is too dangerous to be allowed without licensing it, then only taxi drivers and bus drivers ought to be so licensed.

    • Psuedonym Rod
      August 25, 2013 - 23:33

      The department of motor registration sells speed.