A 53-year-old man is serving seven years in prison for driving while intoxicated. The reason for the lengthy sentence was the conviction was his 12th for impaired driving.
Despite the dozen past arrests for impaired driving, USA Today reported the inmate does not think of drunk driving as a crime.
This man is one of 30 in his home state with 12 or more drunk driving convictions.
Boston impaired driving lawyers knowthere are people all over the U.S. like this man who repeatedly drive while impaired. Some of them are caught, but many more are not identified or arrested.
Many struggle with addictions to drugs and alcohol that impact their ability to make smart choices about refraining from drinking and driving. For them, consumption of these substances feels normal, and it doesn’t stop them from going about their lives. But in so doing, they are putting themselves and other motorists at risk of a deadly collision.
Many Impaired Motorists Struggle with Addiction
According to USA Today, the man serving time for his 12th conviction did not actually do any jail time until 2002. It was his eighth conviction that finally landed him in prison. He was never involved in a serious crash, nor did he ever kill someone as a result of his actions, so he allegedly “has a hard time understanding why his actions are criminal.”
He told a reporter he grew up thinking his behavior was acceptable and he does not want to stop drinking, although he knows he must to comply with the terms set forth by the judge.
Still, he concedes a fair amount of his life has been negatively impacted by his drinking. His parents and family members consumed alcohol at almost all family gatherings and he remembers his father driving him home after having had a few drinks. At the time, this was something that everyone simply did because the dangers associated with impaired driving were not yet fully understood. He became a regular drinker and used drugs routinely by the time he was a sophomore in high school.
As part of past convictions, he underwent required alcohol assessments.
Like many people who are found guilty of drunk driving, he was not offered or required to undergo any intensive alcohol treatment that might assist him in discontinuing his drinking.
This reflects one of the major problems with the way courts handled drunk driving cases where no one is hurt and no property is damaged.
While temporary drug and alcohol counseling and staying sober are frequently part of drunk driving sentencing, many people who have alcohol problems are not actually provided with the support they need to stop drinking long-term. Many people also don’t admit they have a drinking problem and fail to acknowledge the negative effect substance abuse has on their life. This leads to many repeat drunk driving offenders and many people who have serious alcohol problems but who get behind the wheel anyway.
While there is no excuse and impaired drivers still need to be held accountable, more should be done to actually help people stop drinking in order to improve public safety over the long-term.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries
Massachusetts Man Arrested for 11th Drunk Driving Offense, August 12, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Blog