Jail sentences for DUI too short | Kenmore Letters to the Editor
June 13, 2008 · Updated 12:00 PM
Jail term too short for drunk drivers
This is the first time I’ve felt motivated to write an editorial. It is in response to the Reporter article about Steven Rhone and his family.
I understand that according to Washington state law, 4½ years incarceration is the maximum sentence for killing someone in a drunk-driving accident. Judge Ira Uhrig handed that sentence to Damian Scott Mackey for killing Steven Rhone.
I see the analogy of alcohol as a bullet and a car as a gun, and when a drunk driver gets in the car and kills someone it isn’t much different than shooting someone with a gun.
Steven is gone, his family and friends will never be able to get over the loss, while Damian Scott Mackey will be free to walk out of jail in 4½ years to get on with his life and even drink and possibly do this again. He may not even feel remorse, as he was ready to hide what he had done after he hit and ran.
We taxpayers are paying for him to lounge in a comfortable prison for the duration of the sentence. He’ll use the gym and the library and have a comfortable bed, medical care and plenty to eat. What a system!
If my three children should ever hurt or kill anyone while driving under the influence, I hope that I will still feel strongly that 4½ years is a disgustingly short punishment. And prisons are too nice for people guilty of this crime and many others!
to be punished
The punishment for littering is not effective. People continue to litter without thinking. Drivers throw water bottles and soda cans out of their windows without considering the impact. It can take a soda can anywhere from 80 to 100 years to decompose. Water bottles can take 450 years.
I suggest the punishment for littering be two hours of picking up roadside trash. If litterers knew they would face community service, they might think twice before tossing that napkin out the window.
A fine just doesn’t seem to be enough. Forcing people to clean up after themselves and others will reinforce this lesson.