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Thread: Driving drunk with kid in car worse than creaming a motorcyclist?

  1. #1
    Contributor 2000 Posts! Diane_N's Avatar
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    Driving drunk with kid in car worse than creaming a motorcyclist?

    Here in good ol' NY, she’s likely to get the greater punishment for driving with a kid in her car…

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/arti...ash-590719.php

    PALATINE BRIDGE -- A head-on collision between a sedan and two motorcycles left one man dead and led to DWI charges against the driver of the car Sunday, deputies said.
    Montgomery County Sheriff deputies continue to investigate the crash that injured three other people at 1:30 p.m. on State Route 5 in front of Lee Publications.
    A westbound Chevrolet sedan driven by Sybil Monk, 34. of State Route 80, Fort Plain, crossed the center line in the two-lane road and hit motorcycles operated by Bruce Gilmore, 66, of Wellesley Island; and Douglas Estelle, 48, of Clayton, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.
    Both men were flown to Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown with serious physical injuries.
    Gilmore died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Doctors operated on injuries to Estelle's lower extremities; he remains hospitalized, deputies said.
    Monk and her four-year-old son, who was a rear child seat passenger, were transported to Little Falls Hospital where they were treated and released. Monk's 13 year old son was not injured.
    After conducting sobriety tests at the hospital, deputies charged Monk with driving while intoxicated, driving with ability impaired by drugs and aggravated DWI under Leandra's Law for having children in the car, and a traffic violation for failure to keep right, deputies said. She was arraigned in Palatine Town Court by Town Justice Ron Dygert and sent to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on $10,000 cash bail.
    She could face additional charges for Gilmore's death.
    Deputies said this morning that Monk remained at the jail.
    Sheriff Michael J. Amato said authorities are still investigating the crash and interviewing witnesses.
    They are also asking the driver or passengers in a maroon four-door sedan seen on a nearby security camera following the motorcycles contact deputies. Amato said it is believed the occupants of the car witnessed the accident."
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    RiderCoach Wannabe 4000 Posts! Chench53's Avatar
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    I looked Leandra's Law and found this reference to it..
    Gerry
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    Flirting With The Redline Scooter Rider's Avatar
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    According to the media it is Some how some one being charged with a crime from a new law
    Is more news worthy than the rest of the charges.

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    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! Afflo's Avatar
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    I hate to sound callous, but a child has no choice in the matter. A motorcyclist is taking a known risk riding on the roads with idiots. As for making the news - the greater harm or loss of life does not necessarily imply greater newsworthiness, especially when news is a commercial business that sells based on consumer demands.

    Hopefully those additional charges that are mentioned above will drop.
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    Contributor 2000 Posts! Diane_N's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afflo View Post
    I hate to sound callous, but a child has no choice in the matter. A motorcyclist is taking a known risk riding on the roads with idiots... As for making the news - the greater harm or loss of life does not necessarily imply greater newsworthiness, especially when news is a commercial business that sells based on consumer demands.

    Hopefully those additional charges that are mentioned above will drop.
    I posit that a child strapped into a cage with a drunk driver is "safer" (if that word can be used) than a biker on the road with a drunk driver. New York's new nanny state law adds yet another "tier" to drunk driving. Hey, drunk driving is a menace to EVERYONE! The motorcyclist does not choose to have a car cross over into their lane any more than a kid can choose whether to be in the car. In this particular instance, the new kid-in-the-car law bumps her DWI into felony territory, even though the kids both walked away from the wreck. If she doesn't get charged (and convicted) of reckless homicide, it's clear that merely endangering a child is considered a more heinous crime than killing a motorcyclist.
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  6. #6
    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! Afflo's Avatar
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    The kids were alive by virtue of being in a safer vehicle. If this had been two cars, and the other driver had been in a smaller car, would the story be the same?

    Should severity of punishment be based on damages alone (hence endangering lives vs homicide), actions/motive in behavior leading up to the incident (hence murder vs homicide)? Where do we, as a society draw the line, to avoid punishing a driver (who clearly displays wretched, antisocial behavior) for the risk the opposing driver accepted in vehicle choice, as well as avoiding punishing the victim?

    To put it a different way, do we place a greater burden of responsibility automatically on the driver of the larger vehicle? Should we, as a society, ensure that we are transmitting the message that the greater the mass/more damaging your vehicle to others, the greater risk of punishment you accept. For example, if you chose to drive a large SUV, lifted pickup*, etc.

    *In addition to being extremely dangerous for occupants of passenger cars, David Hough mentions them as being more deadly to riders.

    I'm sure I agree with everyone here when I say that I hope this driver gets put away for a long time.
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  7. #7
    Contributor 2000 Posts! Diane_N's Avatar
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    My feeling is, our "lawmakers" are constantly splitting hairs on already existing law. DWI should be DWI. Reckless endangerment, child endangerment, these are already on the books. Why compound DWI by making it a worse offense if in the process of being DWI, you are also endangering a child? Wouldn't it suffice to just charge her with that in addition to her DWI? Maybe we should get an additional law that compounds DWI with running down a motorcyclist/pedestrian/bicyclist.
    At the risk of wading into LEPR territory, another example of this piling on is "hate crimes"... So, in effect, if you shoot somebody because you "hate" them, it is somehow worthy of greater penalty than if you shoot them "just because..."? Far too many laws are being drafted based on knee-jerk emotional reaction, rather than proper application of the myriad of laws already on the books.
    At any rate, this lady broke a whole boatload of laws, and hopefully will be off the road for the rest of her life. (I fearfully doubt it, though)
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  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Afflo View Post
    As for making the news - the greater harm or loss of life does not necessarily imply greater newsworthiness, especially when news is a commercial business that sells based on consumer demands.
    This is a great point for us all to remember anytime we hear anything from any news source. News media is an entertainment business. It is in the business of attracting viewers or readers by entertaining them. Any information provided is incidental and only provided to the extent that it contributes to attracting an audience.

    This has always been true. Mark Twain said "Those who do not read the newspaper are uninformed, those who do are misinformed."

    It has been going on for a long time. Be that as it may, I believe our media is the best in the world. For all its faults, it gets information out there. We as readers must understand that it is biased, sometimes wrong and incomplete. But if we read it with a skeptical view and read it from multiple sources and apply some common sense we can gather some useful information.

    Some news is blatant fake, but most, perhaps all news is imperfect.

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