Letters to the Editor

DUI crashes are not 'accidents'

The guest column by Mike Nichols on drunk driving makes a good point about lessons but it does not address the root of the problem concerning innocent victims. As long as offenders are given mild sentences for murder the rest of us will be at their mercy. I'm waiting to see what happens to Milton Willis who is soon to be tried for felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.

The Willis Brothers Web site for surf lessons talks about "being the best you can be" and other noble thoughts. Apparently they have not had time to revise it to include missives about acting responsibly. For those who missed the story, Willis was reportedly driving at about three times the speed limit on Coast Highway in Del Mar. He lost control and hit a tree and other cars. His passenger, Bradley Dillahunty, was killed. Willis' trial is coming this spring.

Drinking, driving and killing or injuring others is not an accident. It's time to quit treating this crime so lightly in the criminal justice system. There are non-violent drug offenders who do more time than serial drunk drivers. Maybe the answer is confiscating cars or breathalyzers in bars. But the current criminal justice system response is just not adequate. And you'd agree if one of your family members was killed in one of these "accidents."

Bill Peters

Solana Beach

   
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