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Works at KPMG (2014–present)Updated February 11, 2020
Have you ever seen someone ruin their life in just a few seconds? How did they do it?
Told to me by a policeman friend. Young lady lawyer, just graduated from a top law school, joined a prestigious law firm in Philadelphia. First Friday on the job, went to happy hour with her colleagues, had only 2 drinks, drove home carefully. Bad luck. An elderly lady got confused, drifted on the wrong side of the road, head-on collision. Lawyer was fine, but other lady was injured pretty badly. Police showed up (including my friend) at the scene. He said that lady lawyer had no idea her life was over (he knew) until asked to take a breathalyzer test. He had never seen anyone go that fast from calm and taking care of the other lady, to completely terrified (“including times I had to pull my weapon on someone”). Yes, turns out that she was marginally over the legal limit. Got a tough judge. Felony DUI, jail time (may have been suspended on appeal), but no longer practicing law. Not really the “few seconds” but the decision to drive after a few drinks ended her entire professional life that she had worked so hard for— this was pre-Uber,
Now a story I tell my kids and other kids often. Take an Uber / Taxi. Even if you are “in control” it simply isn’t worth the risk (another driver may do something very stupid, and you get blamed automatically.)
Addition: Thanks for the comments. Several people have suggested that a first offense with low BAC would result in a mere slap on the wrist without life-changing consequences (a few heated comments including someone who called me a liar, because any judge doing this “would be impeached” and subsequently deleted the comment). Two caveats, I am not a lawyer, and yes, this is second hand. But, what I believe these folks are missing is that this was a DUI WITH serious injury. I believe that elevates the charge from a typical “general impairment DUI” (which usually has no jail time) to a felony DUI (more severe penalties including state prison) — and not sure how much wiggle room DA/judge had. And refusing to take a chemical test, won’t reduce that charge if an injury was involved.
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Clearly as a little L libertarian, I disagree with the Gooferment “justice system” on DUIs.
Just as obvious to me is that, if you do “damage” while driving, then you have to be held accountable to the fullest extent.
If there is no damage, then there is no “violation”. Roadside checkpoints are just a flat out violation of the Fourth Amendment. It’s transparently clear, that there has to be a proportion in this particular “one-size-fits-all” Gooferment “solution”!