View Poll Results: How should drunks be charged?

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  • First degree murder

    5 10.20%
  • Second degree murder

    8 16.33%
  • manslaughter

    28 57.14%
  • Other

    8 16.33%
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Thread: Drunk Drivers

  1. #1
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    Drunk Drivers

    How should they be charged?

    I'm leaning towards first degree murder. They are clearly scum of the earth who are unworthy of life.

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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    How should they be charged?
    Driving under the influence of alcohol. People who cause someone else's death are charged with the offences you list.

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    I'm leaning towards first degree murder. They are clearly scum of the earth who are unworthy of life.
    I've zero respect for people who choose to drive drunk but that doesn't mean the rule of law shouldn't apply. A criminal charge should be based on a considered review of all the circumstances of an incident, not an emotional reaction to a single aspect of it.

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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    The way I understand it, both first and second degree murder involve some kind of premeditation or malice. I don't think either applies to a drunk driver. Voluntary manslaughter involves some manner of provocation, which doesn't apply either. I would say the only logical charge is involuntary manslaughter.
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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    Driving under the influence of alcohol. People who cause someone else's death are charged with the offences you list.

    I've zero respect for people who choose to drive drunk but that doesn't mean the rule of law shouldn't apply. A criminal charge should be based on a considered review of all the circumstances of an incident, not an emotional reaction to a single aspect of it.
    Laws should be adjusted to reflect the high rate of recidivism, as well as the utter lack of regard these people have for the lives of others. Being drunk is not an excuse for killing someone.
    “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon

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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    The way I understand it, both first and second degree murder involve some kind of premeditation or malice. I don't think either applies to a drunk driver. Voluntary manslaughter involves some manner of provocation, which doesn't apply either. I would say the only logical charge is involuntary manslaughter.
    mmm- going to a bar/ party whatever, and getting smashed without regard for the safety of others equals premeditation in my view. Not that it matters. Plenty of people agree with you. If it happens to my family, I'll have to take justice into my own hands, I suppose. I'll be damned if I let some drunk pos kill my family and get a slap on the wrist.
    “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon

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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    mmm- going to a bar/ party whatever, and getting smashed without regard for the safety of others equals premeditation in my view. Not that it matters. Plenty of people agree with you. If it happens to my family, I'll have to take justice into my own hands, I suppose. I'll be damned if I let some drunk pos kill my family and get a slap on the wrist.
    People don't generally decide to get drunk with the specific intent of killing someone once they get behind the wheel of a car. So no, it's not a premeditated killing. It's reckless and very dangerous behavior, but it doesn't fit in the legal definition of "premeditated murder".
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    People don't generally decide to get drunk with the specific intent of killing someone once they get behind the wheel of a car. So no, it's not a premeditated killing. It's reckless and very dangerous behavior, but it doesn't fit in the legal definition of "premeditated murder".
    Except the recidivism part.
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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Personally i'm tired of the attitude i see sometimes that Drunk Drivers are not as bad as "other" murderers.

    Too many people who drive drunk do it over and over and over again. They make the choice to drink. They make the choice to drive. They know what the consequences could be and still they do it.
    Last edited by Serenity; 04-13-12 at 08:44 AM.
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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    Except the recidivism part.
    Well, if a prosecutor can successfully argue premeditation, more power to them.
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

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    Re: Drunk Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    How should they be charged?

    I'm leaning towards first degree murder. They are clearly scum of the earth who are unworthy of life.

    This is by way of example and does not reflect all jurisdictions in the US:


    RCW 46.61.520
    Vehicular homicide — Penalty.


    (1) When the death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person, the driver is guilty of vehicular homicide if the driver was operating a motor vehicle:

    (a) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502; or

    (b) In a reckless manner; or

    (c) With disregard for the safety of others.

    (2) Vehicular homicide is a class A felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW, except that, for a conviction under subsection (1)(a) of this section, an additional two years shall be added to the sentence for each prior offense as defined in RCW 46.61.5


    RCW 9A.20.021
    Maximum sentences for crimes committed July 1, 1984, and after.


    (1) Felony. Unless a different maximum sentence for a classified felony is specifically established by a statute of this state, no person convicted of a classified felony shall be punished by confinement or fine exceeding the following:

    (a) For a class A felony, by confinement in a state correctional institution for a term of life imprisonment, or by a fine in an amount fixed by the court of fifty thousand dollars, or by both such confinement and fine;
    RCW 46.61.520: Vehicular homicide

    RCW 9A.20.021: Maximum sentences for crimes committed July 1, 1984, and after.

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