Friday letters: Get drunken killers off street

03/14/2014 12:00 AM

03/13/2014 5:48 PM

Tragic? Absolutely. Preventable? You bet. The death of a 3-year-old at the hands of a repeat DUI offender is one of the most tragic occurrences one can imagine. And it’s avoidable. All it takes is a judge willing to deny bond pending trial, or maybe even the offender’s family being willing to make sure he or she doesn’t get behind the wheel. Period.

Taking someone’s license does not guarantee he won’t drive, but keeping him in jail certainly will. A second-time offender getting bond is bad enough, but someone who has at least four being on the street is unconscionable. You can say “alleged” all you want, but the previous DUIs aren’t up for debate.

It is past time that Emma’s Law was passed to require ignition-interlock devices for repeat offenders. Or maybe we need something even stronger, taking the options away from judges and ensuring that repeat offenders stay where they can’t hurt anyone again. Mandatory jail time and rehab should be the minimum, not the option.

It’s time to get these killers off the street. Period.

Hubert Smoak


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