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Author Topic: well they are getting closer....Life sentence for drunk driver a first in Canada  (Read 472 times)

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Offline irishrick

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http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090909/national/drunk_dangerous_offender

By The Canadian Press

SALABERRY-DE-VALLEYFIELD, Que. - It's not the sentence they were looking for, but Crown prosecutors say a legal precedent was still set today.


Crown lawyer Joey Davis says it's the first time a Canadian court has handed a life sentence to a drunk driver. A Quebec man was condemned to life in prison following his 19th drunk-driving conviction - in a case where he ran over and killed a woman in a wheelchair.


A judge declared Roger Walsh incorrigible and said he would be likely to reoffend.


But Quebec court judge Michel Mercier did not hand prosecutors the legal prize they were looking for: dangerous offender status for Walsh.


The Crown had been seeking to make Walsh the first Canadian subjected to that designation for drunk driving.


But the judge said the label - which has been reserved for the worst criminals, like murderers and serial rapists - did not apply in this case.


In practical terms, however, today's sentencing could wind up being just as harsh.


Walsh would have had a chance, either way, to seek parole after seven years; the difference with dangerous offenders is that once they're freed they're monitored more strictly and, if they reoffend, they can then be locked up indefinitely.




Offline BristolUK

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Finally it has been taken seriously. No need for dangerous offender status with a sentence like this.

I just can't see "dangerous offender" status is justified for drunk driving. I'm not saying it's not dangerous but nobody intends to harm someone when they get behind the wheel of a car while drunk.

Throw the book at the repeat offender by all means. Throw away the key by all means. Just don't equate it with serial rapists and serial killers who set out to do harm deliberately.
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Offline irishrick

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I agree Bristol, hopefully this happens more often but with less repeats ... first offense should be 3 years.... If someone is caught for the second time DUI they should get 5 years ... after that it should be life ... maybe less people will die at the hands of drunk drivers then