I don’t drink alcohol. Ever. I realize I’m in the minority here, especially in a college town. But when you’re 15 years old and your father is killed by a drunken driver in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon in August on his way home from work, you never really develop the attraction to drinking that your peers seem to have.
The woman who killed my father graduated high school with him. They knew each other. Imagine killing a 37-year-old man with three school-age children, a man you actually know, and having to live with that for the rest of your life. Seriously — imagine it. I’ll wait.
Oh, yes, she was punished. This being her third drunken-driving conviction, our legal system really came down hard on her. She got — wait for it — 30 days in jail on work release. She never even lost a day of work. My dad lost his life. So much for Norman O’Melia’s suggestion (CDT, Friday) to “punish the (State Patty’s Day) lawbreakers.” Some things just can’t be undone.
Granted, that was back in 1975, when drunk-en driving was considered more of a lapse in judgment than an actual crime, regardless of the outcome.
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I have nothing against drinking in moderation, and I’m certainly not advocating prohibition on any level. The State Patty’s Day revelers still had the right to drink as much as the law allows. But any event that exists for no other reason than to promote excessive public drinking — and all the collateral damage it involves — should allow an intelligent community the freedom to protect itself. And that’s our right.
Holly Snyder, State College