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Magistrate Doogan snowed under with pernicious drink drivers

By johnboy 23 April 2009 42

The Canberra Times (briefly) explains Magistrate Maria Doogan’s dismay at having to deal with 35 drink drivers yesterday (32 men, three women).

One wonders if the accused got together for a party afterwards?

Apparently this indicated “the Canberra community was failing to get the drink-driving message”.

Personally I think improved enforcement and detection’s got something to do with it, keep taking licences away and we’ll probably figure it out.

Drink driving

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Magistrate Doogan snowed under with pernicious drink drivers
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monomania 11:46 am 24 Apr 09

vg said :

Yeah, so lets just let them off scott free. I’m pretty sure, on a straw poll, murderers have friends, cousin and some may even be mothers themselves.

In your world would they have laws at all? But being as you described yourself as a drink driver (when you said they are ‘me and your friend’) then what else would we expect……but I bet it wasn’t your fault

A typical response from you vg. Exaggerating what a person has said and/or making a personal attack on their character.

I never said that there should be no sanctions for drink driving. I think the penalties are about right. People on this post have come up with a lot of very punitive measures that they believe will reduce drink driving. It is obvious that the greater emphasis by police, current sentences and education have greatly reduced its incidence.

By not allowing work licences, those (and their families) who rely on the ability to drive face a far greater punishment than other offenders.

Unlike vg, who given his habit of throwing stones must be innocent of any wrong doing, but like a significant number of other Australians I have occasionally driven when drunk and not been detected. This occurred when I was younger. At the time the limit was 0.08%. Of course it was my fault. The fact that I no longer would consider doing so has nothing to do with penalties but does show the benefit of education and in my case peer pressure.

People dont usually loose their right to drive all together. Just the right to drive after work hours….

Driving on public roads is not a ‘right’.

vg 11:14 pm 23 Apr 09

monomania said :

Hugh Lews said :

I’m sorry if this has been covered….

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I know people whove been done DUI got a work licence 2 days later and couldnt care less..

People dont usually loose their right to drive all together. Just the right to drive after work hours….

Imagine if there was a 1 strike policy. And a DUI meant 5 years without your licence in any capacity.

Same with speeding P platers. If you got caught once and lost your licence immediately – imagine how quickly these stats would drop..

Hell we could extend it to anything if we lived in a police state. Spitting on the pavement, drinking in public, swearing, jaywalking and walking on the grass. Off with their heads. Drink driving is stupid and dangerous to the driver, their passengers and all other road users. However, drink drivers are not the spawn of the devil, they are me and your friend, cousin and mother.

Yeah, so lets just let them off scott free. I’m pretty sure, on a straw poll, murderers have friends, cousin and some may even be mothers themselves.

In your world would they have laws at all? But being as you described yourself as a drink driver (when you said they are ‘me and your friend’) then what else would we expect……but I bet it wasn’t your fault

vg 9:43 pm 23 Apr 09

Licences should be hard to get, easy to lose. Seems to be the other way around

“On a side note, a mate of mine used to smoke dope on a semi-regular basis partly because he was under 18 and didnt want to drink. He attempted going for a job which required he be drug tested, so he subsequently gave up the grass. The unfortunate side-effect to this was that he slowly took up drinking instead, as he now had spare time and money, was now over 18, and could drink in confidence knowing it wouldnt affect his job drug test. Within about a month of this, he was caught DUI (0.020 on Ps) and was charged. We had been out for the evening, he hadnt driven for 4 hours after 2 drinks, to be safe, then finally went home and got nicked on the way home.

He learnt his lesson the hard way, just because alcohol is legal and ’safe’, it cost him his chances at the job anyway. He quit drinking, went back to smoking, and is now leading a much happier life without fear of ever losing his license for DUI again.

(Having said this story, within weeks of swapping the weed for the drink, he was involved in a few punchups in civic too, thus making the decision even easier).”

God I hope the guy had nothing more responsible than scanning cans at Coles. Sounds like someone who can’t hold his grog either. Best to leave the drinking up to the adults who can

monomania 8:43 pm 23 Apr 09

Hugh Lews said :

I’m sorry if this has been covered….

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I know people whove been done DUI got a work licence 2 days later and couldnt care less..

People dont usually loose their right to drive all together. Just the right to drive after work hours….

Imagine if there was a 1 strike policy. And a DUI meant 5 years without your licence in any capacity.

Same with speeding P platers. If you got caught once and lost your licence immediately – imagine how quickly these stats would drop..

Hell we could extend it to anything if we lived in a police state. Spitting on the pavement, drinking in public, swearing, jaywalking and walking on the grass. Off with their heads. Drink driving is stupid and dangerous to the driver, their passengers and all other road users. However, drink drivers are not the spawn of the devil, they are me and your friend, cousin and mother.

Special G 7:43 pm 23 Apr 09

A mate of mine used to think he was right to drive after a bunch of drinks. I would just take his keys. If he continued trying orI would put him to sleep. Every time he thanked me in the morning for stopping him doing something stupid.

I like the idea of having to undergo driving instruction, road rules tests and a licence test before getting your licence back. I also think licences should be disqualified from the time you are caught.

rottweiler 5:27 pm 23 Apr 09

Sorry i forgot to say it was his 2nd time round 1st time was in country town in N.S.W almost 5 years before but the suspended lic didn’t apply in A.C.T legaly he couldn’t drive in NSW.
Some of the lesson was learnt but the day in question he’d had a big night before went to work had a beer at lunch then had to leave work as his employee got sick, he thought he was ok to drive but clearly was just over.He admits it was stupid.

And yes we can afford a lawyer thankyou and he was looking at 12 months but was reduced to 7 months with a higher fine.

Hugh Lews 4:23 pm 23 Apr 09

I’m sorry if this has been covered….

The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. I know people whove been done DUI got a work licence 2 days later and couldnt care less..

People dont usually loose their right to drive all together. Just the right to drive after work hours….

Imagine if there was a 1 strike policy. And a DUI meant 5 years without your licence in any capacity.

Same with speeding P platers. If you got caught once and lost your licence immediately – imagine how quickly these stats would drop..

BerraBoy68 3:51 pm 23 Apr 09

chewy14 said :

A few years ago i attended court with a friend of mine who had been caught DUI at .07
He, a 25 year old male with 7 years of unblemished driving received a fine and 5month ban.
The man after him, a 45 year old male, also blowing .07 with 25 or so years of unblemished driving received nothing, no conviction recorded and i think a small fine.

Care to tell me what the difference in their crimes were?

While not discussing teh issues suround these exact cases, my experience gained spending a day in court seems to indicate that you come to the attention of the police plays a significant part. If you are picked up at a random breath test you will likely get a different result than if you are picked up for DUI while speeding, doing burnouts etc. Your attitude to the police when charged also played a big part so its better to be uber-polite rather than arrogant or a smart-ar*e. I’d also suggest seven years clean record is a lot different to 25 yrs unblemished.

motleychick 3:46 pm 23 Apr 09

I agree with you, but it’s to an extent – some people don’t care what they’re friends or family think about what they do, they just do what they want anyway. What my friends and family think about what I do generally has an impact on my decisions, but in the long run if I want to do something and they don’t approve it’s usually not going to stop me. Everyone is different.

FC 3:38 pm 23 Apr 09

that was meant to say attitudes,

FC 3:36 pm 23 Apr 09

motleychick said :

It’s going to continue because people are making their own choices to do it, it has nothing to do with it being accepted by your friends or your family.

attitutes/values of friends and family can have a big impact on influencing peoples decisions.

FC 3:35 pm 23 Apr 09

I know that. My ex and his friends got a lift home from a mates wake with a drink driver. The initial mate had died while driving under the influence!! I couldn’t believe it.

That said, what would people do if their friends were assaulting someone (either physically or sexually) they would do what tey can to intervene and stop or, or they would become a liable party in the act.

Maybe, as friends, we need to feel this same type of responsibility where its like, “Hey, it could be my mum or my brother you kill when you get behind the wheel tonight. I don’t care if you don’t want to be my friend any more, I’m either a. taking your keys, b.going to call the cops if you drive or c.haven’t thought of this option yet”.

any friend worth having would forgive you the next day.

I think that sometimes we feel powerless to get involved, and are unsure of our place to say/do/allow for personal responsibility of others. I say if we are real friends we will stand up and do what we can (Not just a token effort of saying ‘don’t drive, your drunk)/

end rant.

Instant Mash 3:34 pm 23 Apr 09

Exactly right.

motleychick 3:29 pm 23 Apr 09

It’s going to continue because people are making their own choices to do it, it has nothing to do with it being accepted by your friends or your family.

motleychick 3:28 pm 23 Apr 09

Majority of people don’t listen when you tell them not to do something. When I used to tell my mate not to drink and that I wouldn’t get in the car with her if she did, she’d still do it anyway and just laugh off what I said. Especially when it comes to young people, there is no way you can tell them what to do, even if you are their friend. They’re going to do whatever they want anyway!!

FC 3:23 pm 23 Apr 09

You can also get pissed off at friends for doing it and when they wonder what you’re getting so worked up about you can tell them:
The lives they are risking, including their own, their recklessness.
Obviously people will do what they are going to do, but sometimes having a friend kick up a stink can make them think twice about why its sucha big deal.
The more it is tolerated as acceptable by the community (peoples friends and family), the more it will continue.

Instant Mash 2:57 pm 23 Apr 09

Many of my friends do it. You can tell them not to, but they won’t listen. It’s just convenience…

motleychick 2:54 pm 23 Apr 09

Having an unblemished driving record shouldn’t really make a difference. Fair enough you may be a good driver, but you risk your life and the lives of many others if you drink drive. No one should get off lightly.

monomania 2:35 pm 23 Apr 09

It would appear from what you say the offences were of equal severity. I wasn’t in the court and have no idea how well they represented themselves, if age was the consideration, the 18 extra years of unblemished driving or some other factor that the magistrate might have taken into account.

chewy14 said :

I think there are a large number of people in Canberra that think DUI is not that bad, and they know if they get caught they can claim a good driving record and get off lightly.

Most people who drive when intoxicated either don’t think or don’t think they will be caught. They don’t think about the penalty and don’t think that because they have a long driving history without a serious offense they will get off lightly.

It is quite reasonable to show some leniency to those with a previously good record. Having an unblemished driving record should only work once.

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