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Only in America: Drunk driver kills child, MOM gets 3 years.





quex
This makes me loathe and fear the American justice system.

A mother of young children is about to be sentenced to up to 36 months in jail.

The charge: vehicular homicide
The victim: her 4-year-old son
The twist: she has no car, and was not driving

Her young son got away from her while crossing traffic and was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Because the woman was not in a marked crosswalk, she was charged with the murder and has since been found guilty.

Now her other two children will have to spend up to 3 years without their mother, as she is sent to prison.

I am hereafter speechless with rage.
Nameless
Well, from a technical standpoint, I can see where the verdict is coming from. There would be something very wrong if she is actually sentenced to jail though.
deanhills
I'm confused. Where was the mother supposed to cross the street, as if one looks at where she crossed there is no cross walk close to the bus stop, AND it seems to be a major high way. If I were her I would sue the City of Atlanta for failing to have a cross walk where it's supposed to be.

loremar
The article said that there is no other way to cross the street but to the nearest traffic signal which is three-tenths of a mile from the bus stop. You're right it's the City's fault. They built a five-lane highway in the midst of residential area with very generous speed limit and they didn't even give any consideration for pedestrians who don't have access to cars but use bus as means of travelling.
Bikerman
err...did anyone actually CHECK this story?
Here is what the Court Official says:
Quote:
The charge against Ms. Nelson was a misdemeanor traffic offense and carries the same punishment as running a stop sign. While the media like to hype events, (like 36 months in jail) it is unlikely that she will receive anything more than probation. The driver (who was not drunk as shown in the petition) was convicted in October 2010 and received a 5 year sentence for hit and run.
It seems to me that this was about as wrong as it gets - the story, not the charge.
loremar
The charge is fine technically. It's the law, you can't blame the law. But the outrage in the article is for the city office and it's engineers and designers. They built a poor civic design or transportation system.
Just look at how many victims lay dead in the streets because of this system.

Imagine how many people are forced to violate the law because of this system. The mother was caught in this violation because of the accident. They built a bus stop but didn't even considered for the pedestrian. They could have at least put a crosswalk at the bus stop or a skywalk or put a sign that says slow down.
Bikerman
Yes, it seems that the US has about 5,000 pedestrians killed per year. For comparison, we (UK) have about 1/10th of that per year with a population about 1/5th and a car number about 1/7th as great.

It does seem high....
menino
Bikerman wrote:

Here is what the Court Official says:
Quote:
The charge against Ms. Nelson was a misdemeanor traffic offense and carries the same punishment as running a stop sign. While the media like to hype events, (like 36 months in jail) it is unlikely that she will receive anything more than probation. The driver (who was not drunk as shown in the petition) was convicted in October 2010 and received a 5 year sentence for hit and run.
.


It is sad that her child had to have passed away that way.
Accidents happen, and she can still sue the city for bad planning of the road systems there.
Yes, the media does like to hype everything, but its still quite perplexing that Ms. Nelson has to be charged anything at all. She was going after her kid, but alas, it was too late for the poor soul.

In Kuwait and Dubai, the accident rates are higher than the US, and UK, and its mainly because of rash driving, as Kuwait does not allow alcohol at all.
There is a case I know of 2 years ago, where a lady was crossing the road, and a car hit her, as the driver was speeding at 160km/hr. Obviously, the poor lady died on impact, and I won't give you'll the gory details, but that is just one case.
mahirh
i would blame the people for assuming that the media's baseless assumptions are to be taken to be true
inuyasha
What?! The title shocked me! I don't think the result is acceptable. There is a crosswalk or not, the death is directly caused by the driver. Of course her mom broke the traffic rules. Nevertheless, the drunk driver is not allowed to kill wherever.
deanhills
menino wrote:
Accidents happen, and she can still sue the city for bad planning of the road systems there.
Agreed Menino. I wonder whether that had been discussed at the trial.
menino wrote:
In Kuwait and Dubai, the accident rates are higher than the US, and UK, and its mainly because of rash driving, as Kuwait does not allow alcohol at all.
There is a case I know of 2 years ago, where a lady was crossing the road, and a car hit her, as the driver was speeding at 160km/hr. Obviously, the poor lady died on impact, and I won't give you'll the gory details, but that is just one case.
You're right, driving in the UAE is hazardous. And on top of it, those who are involved with injuring or killing a pedestrian (and a palm tree or camel) and who are expats, get to be jailed immediately, questions asked afterwards. There is usually an enormous sum of "compensation" that has to be negotiated if someone has been hurt or died. It may be quite a while to negotiate that figure with the family of the deceased.
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, it seems that the US has about 5,000 pedestrians killed per year. For comparison, we (UK) have about 1/10th of that per year with a population about 1/5th and a car number about 1/7th as great.

It does seem high....


Hmmm....
Those are interesting stats. I was in London just a couple of months ago, and I'm still amazed I came home unscathed as it seemed cars were coming out of nowhere. We have a lot of cars with crazy drivers here in NYC (cabs are the worse), but the streets seem wider so it seems easier to see the cars when crossing. Could this be attributed to a tougher licensing process in Europe (I’ve heard it’s harder to get a license in Europe)? Or could it be the speed of cars in the cities? Because the streets are wider, I see cars driving much faster than the speed limit here, but narrower streets could mean lower speed. Of course I’m just theorizing here. There is an active campaign here in NYC to get drivers to obey the speed limits since the speed at which someone gets hit plays a large role in whether they walk away from the accident or get carried away in a stretcher.





FYI:
30 mph ≈ 48 kph
40 mph ≈ 64 kph
watersoul
jmi256 wrote:
I was in London just a couple of months ago, and I'm still amazed I came home unscathed as it seemed cars were coming out of nowhere.

I've wondered about this, could it perhaps be because pedestrians are pretty much allowed to cross anywhere on UK roads (apart from 70mph motorways and urban clearways) it forces car drivers to be more aware and assume that someone could 'step out at any moment' ?

I know myself, that when driving on a motorway I'm zoned out on the cars/road in front most of the time, but around town I'm certainly more careful as someone can step into the road anywhere - pedestrians aren't forced to use designated crossings by law, and any roads where they are banned from walking on are almost always fenced off with foot bridges to cross over. Maybe in a country where crossing the road is only allowed at certain places, the car drivers only take the greatest care when approaching these crossing points.

On topic though, and as a parent, what a tragic loss for that poor woman.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
Those are interesting stats.
Indeed. In addition, it may be interesting to check how many cars there are on the roads in the United States in comparison with the UK and Europe. As far as I know quite a large number of people don't own cars in the UK and Europe because they have much shorter distances to travel, have more than adequate transportation in the cities and petrol is REALLY expensive there in comparison with North America.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, it seems that the US has about 5,000 pedestrians killed per year. For comparison, we (UK) have about 1/10th of that per year with a population about 1/5th and a car number about 1/7th as great.

It does seem high....


Hmmm....
Those are interesting stats. I was in London just a couple of months ago, and I'm still amazed I came home unscathed as it seemed cars were coming out of nowhere. We have a lot of cars with crazy drivers here in NYC (cabs are the worse), but the streets seem wider so it seems easier to see the cars when crossing. Could this be attributed to a tougher licensing process in Europe (I’ve heard it’s harder to get a license in Europe)? Or could it be the speed of cars in the cities? Because the streets are wider, I see cars driving much faster than the speed limit here, but narrower streets could mean lower speed. Of course I’m just theorizing here. There is an active campaign here in NYC to get drivers to obey the speed limits since the speed at which someone gets hit plays a large role in whether they walk away from the accident or get carried away in a stretcher.
Good question.
First thing to note would be that 20mph is a nice baseline. Below 20mph, the majority of children struck (est 95%) by the vehicle will survive (as will adults until about 70yrs old at which point the stats dive deeply).
For each extra mph the chances of a fatality increase, until at 30mph about 40% of children struck will die and at 40mph it is around 85%.
http://humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
jmi256 wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, it seems that the US has about 5,000 pedestrians killed per year. For comparison, we (UK) have about 1/10th of that per year with a population about 1/5th and a car number about 1/7th as great.

It does seem high....


Hmmm....
Those are interesting stats. I was in London just a couple of months ago, and I'm still amazed I came home unscathed as it seemed cars were coming out of nowhere. We have a lot of cars with crazy drivers here in NYC (cabs are the worse), but the streets seem wider so it seems easier to see the cars when crossing. Could this be attributed to a tougher licensing process in Europe (I’ve heard it’s harder to get a license in Europe)? Or could it be the speed of cars in the cities? Because the streets are wider, I see cars driving much faster than the speed limit here, but narrower streets could mean lower speed. Of course I’m just theorizing here. There is an active campaign here in NYC to get drivers to obey the speed limits since the speed at which someone gets hit plays a large role in whether they walk away from the accident or get carried away in a stretcher.
Good question.
First thing to note would be that 20mph is a nice baseline. Below 20mph, the majority of children struck (est 95%) by the vehicle will survive (as will adults until about 70yrs old at which point the stats dive deeply).
For each extra mph the chances of a fatality increase, until at 30mph about 40% of children struck will die and at 40mph it is around 85%.
http://humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm


From the looks of the aerial shot of the accident site, it appears that the mother and her children crossed a four-lane divided highway (two lanes on each side), which would undoubtedly have a higher posted speed limit. It also appears that there is a bus stop right at the corner nearer to their home (covered structure) to serve those living on that side of the highway. For all we know the bus could have circled back and stopped at that bus-stop, or it could have stopped at the nearby intersection that provided a crossing signal. We can only guess, but the mother may have chosen to get off where she did to save a few moments but ended up tragically losing much more.

The details in the report are sparse, and it seems to be written to shock the reader, but I think the facts may show that the mother is more at fault than presented. It would seem that it would be prohibitive to have a crossing signal at the intersection of every cross street on a highway, but the city addressed the issue by placing bus stops on the opposing sides of the street. From the driver’s perspective, he was simply driving down a highway and some kid ran out in front of him (his driving history really isn’t at issue). While the driver has an obligation to be on the lookout for dangerous situations, I would hardly call him negligent or malicious in this case. The mother, on the other hand, seems to have put more importance on saving a few moments than the safety of her children (again I’m making assumptions here). Crossing a four-lane divided highway is simply not a good idea, especially with children. However, while technically I think she could be at fault here, I think sometimes justice needs to be tempered with compassion. She lost a child, and I don’t think the correct next step would be to then charge her, unless there is more to the story than we know. Regardless of who is at fault or “more at fault”, it is a tragedy.



Bikerman
In short - I concur. I think that the authorities seem (and as you note this is necessarily relying on much speculation) to have acted correctly. The mother was charged with a relatively minor offence which would probably result in a fine or, at worst, attending some classes or sessions on parenting/safety. The driver was charged with hit and run (he failed to stop). In the opinion of the DA for the county:
Quote:
Thank you for asking. The State Court of Cobb County handles all traffic citations. The charge against Ms. Nelson was a misdemeanor traffic offense and carries the same punishment as running a stop sign. While the media like to hype events, (like 36 months in jail) it is unlikely that she will receive anything more than probation. The driver (who was not drunk as shown in the petition) was convicted in October 2010 and received a 5 year sentence for hit and run. Had he not left the scene he would probably not have been charged
IndirParadise
I am hereafter speechless with rage, too.
Its very ...hhmmm...
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
The details in the report are sparse, and it seems to be written to shock the reader, but I think the facts may show that the mother is more at fault than presented. It would seem that it would be prohibitive to have a crossing signal at the intersection of every cross street on a highway, but the city addressed the issue by placing bus stops on the opposing sides of the street. From the driver’s perspective, he was simply driving down a highway and some kid ran out in front of him (his driving history really isn’t at issue). While the driver has an obligation to be on the lookout for dangerous situations, I would hardly call him negligent or malicious in this case. The mother, on the other hand, seems to have put more importance on saving a few moments than the safety of her children (again I’m making assumptions here). Crossing a four-lane divided highway is simply not a good idea, especially with children. However, while technically I think she could be at fault here, I think sometimes justice needs to be tempered with compassion. She lost a child, and I don’t think the correct next step would be to then charge her, unless there is more to the story than we know. Regardless of who is at fault or “more at fault”, it is a tragedy.
Excellent post jmi256. You're right, the article was written to shock and there obviously has to be information that must have been excluded from the article. I still think there should be a rule that a bus can never stop too far from a cross over in a four way lane scenario like this one, as pedestrians would want to cross the road if they can. Either that or they should do what the authorities have done in Dubai, build barriers between the two main roads so that pedestrians are unable to cross to the other side. Dubai had serious problems with pedestrians being hit by motorists similar to the above scenario and that prompted them to go to the expense of closing it off, and also adding additional cross overs with pedestrian traffic lights.
loremar
deanhills wrote:
Either that or they should do what the authorities have done in Dubai, build barriers between the two main roads so that pedestrians are unable to cross to the other side.

You are right. That's what they do in my country. They even put barbed wires in them and placed a warning "Wag tumawid nakakamatay" which means "Don't cross or you'll die!"
deanhills
loremar wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Either that or they should do what the authorities have done in Dubai, build barriers between the two main roads so that pedestrians are unable to cross to the other side.

You are right. That's what they do in my country. They even put barbed wires in them and placed a warning "Wag tumawid nakakamatay" which means "Don't cross or you'll die!"
That sounds pretty awful, but I guess it has to be effective. I hate barbed wires as no doubt plastic bags and other rubbish get entangled in it. On a main road to one of the Emirates there is lots of barbed wiring as all Sheikhs like to surround their properties with walls. And there are ugly plastic bags all over the wiring. The more wealthy Emirates have properties mostly with construction walls surrounding them.
Afaceinthematrix
I don't understand the outrage.

First off, it never said that the driver was drunk. It said he drank three or four beers. He could have drank three or four Coors Lights (which is closer to water than beer). In the U.S., you can drink some and drive and not be breaking the law. In CA, your BAC must be less than 0.08% to drive. He could have drank those few beers over the course of the previous two hours and been perfectly fine to drive.

Secondly, no one seems to be putting themselves in the man's shoes. The article didn't talk about him breaking any other traffic laws. So try to put yourselves in his shoes. You're driving down a car road in your car like you're supposed to. You're not driving on the sidewalk. You're not driving in a park. You're not driving in a pedestrian only area. You're driving on a road intended for cars. You're not speeding. You're not talking on your cellphone. All of a sudden, a kid comes out into the street and you hit him. Now, all of a sudden, it's your fault? Weren't you in an area designated for car use and a pedestrian was illegally in that area? I don't see how it's his fault (unless he was distracted or speeding in which you could then argue that if he had been going to proper speed limit he could have stopped in time).

Now look at the mother. She is blatantly committing child endangerment. She is taking her children into a road that is designated for fast and deadly machines. Yeah it would have been nice if they had put more crosswalks in, but that still doesn't excuse the danger she put her children in.

Lastly, it doesn't say she's going to jail. All it says is that she was convicted (imo correctly) of a crime. After being convicted, you are told what the maximum penalty will be. That doesn't mean she will receive that penalty. She still has to be sentenced. I doubt she'll get jail time. I hope she doesn't. Her remaining kids could probably use a mother. I would prefer that she is just forced to take child safety courses so that nothing like this happens again.
menino
Lets all say it was an accident and leave it at that. You can't really blame the driver, as it is on a highway, and you can't really blame the mother, because she was close to it, and children have a nasty habbit of running around, and you can't blame the city planning, as there's probably a lot of planning to be done around cities, and with the population explosion at times.
In all I hope that it was an isolated accident.

When foreigners go to India, especially Delhi and Mumbai, the traffic is crazy, and yet there are very few accidents compared to US, Middle East and probably UK.

here is a clip [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjrEQaG5jPM&feature=fvsr[/youtube]
Da Rossa
I didn't read the replies, but my cents:

- I'm pro civil responsibility, and I advocate punishment for omission.
- In that case, however, regarding the information given in the first post, there was no fact that could implicate the mother, since there is the 'trust principle': people who play by the rules should not fear for their actions, and she trusts that, doing things correctly, no bad result could come up;
- A drunk driver is something impredictable, because it is an exception to the general rule. The correct is to drive without alcohol, and only a very small percentage break that rule. Why should her walk watching her back 24/7, carrying on such a paranoid behaviour?
deanhills
Amazing the different slants to the same story everywhere in the press. I got this version at Examiner.com.

It did not say anything about the driver being drunk, however the driver is a repeat hit-and-run offender.
Quote:
In 1997 the same Jerry Guy also committed a hit-and-run accident, also on Austell Road, when he rear-ended one car, fled the scene, and then later ran into another car, and fled that scene on foot.


This part of the news report takes the cake:
Quote:
Raquel Nelson, Marietta, was convicted today of vehicular manslaughter in an incident where she and her children were struck by a repeat hit-and-run driver, Jerry L. Guy.


Oh yes, and the heading of the article is quite interesting:
Quote:
Marietta pedestrian convicted of vehicular manslaughter, while walking
silverdown
so she gets 36 months in jail for someone else killing her child i must say...the law has great mirroring justice effect when it comes to common sense... Whats next if a bird flys into your windows and dies are you charged with animal cruelty?.. Shocked
deanhills
silverdown wrote:
so she gets 36 months in jail for someone else killing her child i must say...the law has great mirroring justice effect when it comes to common sense... Whats next if a bird flys into your windows and dies are you charged with animal cruelty?.. Shocked
The theory is that the mother should have kept a better look out for her children and not crossed the road where it is dangerous. The Motorist should also have kept a proper lookout and not fled the scene. For me the worst offender is the City's failure to ensure that there was a pedestrian crossing within easy reach of the bus stop. Maybe even a pedestrian fly-over (bridge). There are plenty of those in the UAE. Also in Muscat, Oman. The pedestrian fly-over allows uninterrupted traffic and is also very safe for pedestrians. Then of course decent barriers so that pedestrians won't try and cross the double carriage. To protect pedestrians from themselves.
Bikerman
silverdown wrote:
so she gets 36 months in jail for someone else killing her child i must say...the law has great mirroring justice effect when it comes to common sense... Whats next if a bird flys into your windows and dies are you charged with animal cruelty?.. Shocked
Who says she got 36 months? Did you read the other postings? She was charged with a misdemeanour and I'm reliably informed by at least one present poster that misdemeanours do not carry prison time.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
silverdown wrote:
so she gets 36 months in jail for someone else killing her child i must say...the law has great mirroring justice effect when it comes to common sense... Whats next if a bird flys into your windows and dies are you charged with animal cruelty?.. Shocked
Who says she got 36 months? Did you read the other postings? She was charged with a misdemeanour and I'm reliably informed by at least one present poster that misdemeanours do not carry prison time.
News reports did say at one point that she may be getting "up to 36 months" jail sentence for manslaughter (refer the news article I quoted in my previous post). So Silverdown did not really get it that wrong. And "no" the charge was manslaughter and manslaughter as far as I know is not a misdemeanour. When this happened there was a massive outcry from the community which must have affected the verdict, as she is getting no jail time with an option for a new trial. Refer MSNBC News Report below of 27 July.
Quote:
Raquel Nelson will not be going to jail — at least not anytime soon.

“One year probation, it was better than jail time, of course,” a relieved Nelson told Ann Curry in an exclusive live interview Wednesday. “I was just happy to be walking out of the courtroom.”

“I'm not familiar with this ever happening,“ Nelson’s attorney, David Savoy, told NBC News regarding the option for a new trial. But, he added, “I was very pleased with the decision and I think she [the judge] made the right decision.”

Nelson put her feelings about the judge more directly to Curry Wednesday: “When she said what she said, it was a relief. I probably could have kissed her.”

Whether Nelson will accept the option of the new trial was less clear. Asked by Curry if she wanted the opportunity to clear her record, Nelson said: “We’re weighing our options right now. There’s a part of me that doesn't really want to go through it again, but by the same token, I'll look at it and say, ‘You know, if I've done it once, if that's the greater purpose, then I'll do it again.” Nelson said that she has 30 days to decide whether to accept the option of a new trial.
quex
Wow, wish I';d been on more recently; didn't see this discussion take off. Everybody has already got the latest details and corrections pinned down, but I thought I'd address a misconception regarding the law in the US:

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I don't understand the outrage.

In the U.S., you can drink some and drive and not be breaking the law. In CA, your BAC must be less than 0.08% to drive.


Being above the state BAC limit is only the prerequisite for immediate arrest and incarceration by an intervening officer. You can have a BAC lower than the given limit and still be ticketed for driving drunk. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired (by drink, drugs, or even lack of sleep) can be a punishable offense at any BAC. That is, if you are driving poorly as a direct result of your previous actions (something you drank, smoked, or ate; medicine you neglected to take, sleep you skipped, cellphone you are talking on, radio you are singing along to, child in the backseat you have turned around to tend to, etc.) you are still driving impaired. While you won't be cuffed and taken in right then and there, you will get a ticket, and you will have to appear in court on charges of impaired driving.
deanhills
Quex, there has been so many conflicting and erroneous reports, but maybe you noticed that the charge was hit and run, not driving under the influence.

He did hit and run before. So it was his second offense.
quex
I did notice that in one of the more recent reports. Yeah, the original petition passed around the net had quite a few errors it. -_-'

HOWEVER, it remains a huge misconception in the US that you're legal to drive if your BAC is below the legal limit. I've seen way too many folks get to trial with the "but I only blew a .05" excuse, thinking they'll be let off, not realizing that it's still an offense with a heavy fine and points on your license.

That's one of the reasons cops (in Tucson, AZ, anyway) hate the availability of breathalyzers at bars and for purchase online. Some idiot uses the breathalyzer, gets a number lower than the legal BAC, and thinks it clears her to drive with no problem... halfway home when she skids through a red light, she argues with the cops that her BAC is legal, so she should only get a traffic violation, not realizing that she can still be charged with driving under the influence.

-_- SO many idiots out here.
deanhills
quex wrote:
-_- SO many idiots out here.
I didn't know this. I always thought that there was a limit and that it would be in line with a breathalyzer. Hopefully that does not make me an idiot? Very Happy Perhaps there should be more education about this instead? I'd never drive if I have had a drink though, not because of legislation against it, but for myself I'd like to be fully sober and have my wits around me. Also, I don't really believe in the number of drinks they say you may have as every person is completely different in how they handle their alcohol. Some get intoxicated after the first drink.
ocalhoun
loremar wrote:
The charge is fine technically. It's the law, you can't blame the law.

The hell I can't.

No matter if you mean 'the law' as in law enforcement, or the actual written rules themselves, both are perfectly acceptable targets for blame.


As for where the blame actually should rest... near as I can tell from the information provided:
Child's death - accidental, no blame.
Mother - perfectly applicable fine for jaywalking.
Driver - perfectly applicable charge for hit-and-run. (The hitting is not the crime, the leaving the scene of an accident with injuries is the crime.)
loremar
ocalhoun wrote:
loremar wrote:
The charge is fine technically. It's the law, you can't blame the law.

The hell I can't.

No matter if you mean 'the law' as in law enforcement, or the actual written rules themselves, both are perfectly acceptable targets for blame.


As for where the blame actually should rest... near as I can tell from the information provided:
Child's death - accidental, no blame.
Mother - perfectly applicable fine for jaywalking.
Driver - perfectly applicable charge for hit-and-run. (The hitting is not the crime, the leaving the scene of an accident with injuries is the crime.)

I think the law about 'jaywalking' and 'hit-and-run' is fair. You can't blame why it's there. Smile
ocalhoun
loremar wrote:

I think the law about 'jaywalking' and 'hit-and-run' is fair. You can't blame why it's there. Smile

Well, yes.
I don't mean to say that the law is to blame in this case, only that it isn't automatically immune from blame in all cases.
quex
deanhills wrote:
quex wrote:
-_- SO many idiots out here.
I didn't know this. I always thought that there was a limit and that it would be in line with a breathalyzer. Hopefully that does not make me an idiot? :D


No, sorry. Didn't mean it that way... the idiots are the ones who are truly inebriated to an unfit state, but think they're fine to drive because their number on the breathalyzer is below the legal limit. Doesn't matter if you blew a .07 or a .09 after hitting and killing a kid -- the kid is still dead, and you were still behind the wheel in an unfit state.

Quote:
Perhaps there should be more education about this instead?


Sometimes I think the reason there isn't so much advertisement of this fact is that people would cry foul and get the law changed so that you really would have to have a BAC above the legal limit to be charged with intoxication, and then there'd be a lot of borderline drunks who get off with misdemeanor traffic violations and no restrictions on their lisences. Maybe. I dunno.

Quote:
I'd never drive if I have had a drink though, not because of legislation against it, but for myself I'd like to be fully sober and have my wits around me.


I like you. :3

Quote:
Also, I don't really believe in the number of drinks they say you may have as every person is completely different in how they handle their alcohol. Some get intoxicated after the first drink.


Yeah, those are the idiots. If you can't walk a straight line, it doesn't matter what the stupid little machine says your BAC is: DON'T F*CK*NG DRIVE.

/rant
achowles
Bikerman wrote:
err...did anyone actually CHECK this story?
Here is what the Court Official says:
Quote:
The charge against Ms. Nelson was a misdemeanor traffic offense and carries the same punishment as running a stop sign. While the media like to hype events, (like 36 months in jail) it is unlikely that she will receive anything more than probation. The driver (who was not drunk as shown in the petition) was convicted in October 2010 and received a 5 year sentence for hit and run.
It seems to me that this was about as wrong as it gets - the story, not the charge.


Once again the injection of some actual facts changes everything. But regardless, the lack of adequate crossing is somewhat stark in light of this.
deanhills
achowles wrote:
Once again the injection of some actual facts changes everything. But regardless, the lack of adequate crossing is somewhat stark in light of this.
Totally agreed. That's about the crunch of it all.
sudipbanerjee
Law is Law. Negligency is also a crime. So I think decision is right.
achowles
sudipbanerjee wrote:
Law is Law. Negligency is also a crime. So I think decision is right.


Yes, the law is the law. Meaning the law is a constantly updated set of rules that govern society. These changes are often brought about by cases that bring into question the validity of laws in certain circumstances that had not been taken into account at the time or cases that highlight how outdated a certain law has become.

Blindly following the word of the law is not an excuse.
Afaceinthematrix
quex wrote:
Wow, wish I';d been on more recently; didn't see this discussion take off. Everybody has already got the latest details and corrections pinned down, but I thought I'd address a misconception regarding the law in the US:

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I don't understand the outrage.

In the U.S., you can drink some and drive and not be breaking the law. In CA, your BAC must be less than 0.08% to drive.


Being above the state BAC limit is only the prerequisite for immediate arrest and incarceration by an intervening officer. You can have a BAC lower than the given limit and still be ticketed for driving drunk. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired (by drink, drugs, or even lack of sleep) can be a punishable offense at any BAC. That is, if you are driving poorly as a direct result of your previous actions (something you drank, smoked, or ate; medicine you neglected to take, sleep you skipped, cellphone you are talking on, radio you are singing along to, child in the backseat you have turned around to tend to, etc.) you are still driving impaired. While you won't be cuffed and taken in right then and there, you will get a ticket, and you will have to appear in court on charges of impaired driving.


Yes. But I also addressed that it wasn't his fault, either. I don't recall reading anything about him speeding, swerving, etc. If your BAC isn't above the limit, and you're not stumbling, then you are not drunk. He was just driving his car on a road intended for cars whereas this mother was dragging her kid across a street intended for cars which is what endangered the child.
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