Drunk Driving is Not Dangerous...

by DanielaSpinelli on February 6, 2014 - 6:02pm

On September 9, 2009 an article titled “Repeat Drunk Driver Not a Dangerous Offender” was published on the CBC news website. The article revolves around Roger Walsh who in 2008 killed a women in a wheelchair named Anee Khudaverdian. Roger Walsh hit Anee and fled the scene to only be arrested a couple blocks away after having crashed into a ditch. Quebec court Judge Michel Mercier gave Walsh a life sentence in jail but refused to label him as a “dangerous offender”. The night of the murder, Roger Walsh had more than double the legal alcohol limit. In addition, Roger Walsh has other offenses consisting of; “114 convictions for assault, uttering threats, breaking and entering, and theft, in addition to the 19 drunk-driving convictions.” The court refused to label Walsh as a “dangerous offender” because such terms are only used for crimes such as intent of murder or rape.

Further information about Roger Walsh and the death of Anee Khudaverdian can be found here.

I disagree with the overall ruling of Michel Mercier. Roger Walsh had nineteen other hit-and-run drunk driving incidents. Based on his recurring actions he is portraying the image that he does not respect the law and will continue to drive drunk if it were not for his life sentence in jail. To label someone as a “dangerous offender” is to imply that said individual is too dangerous to be released into society because of their violent nature. Roger Walsh got behind the wheel by choice and drove under the influence putting his own life, but more importantly, Montréal citizen’s life at risk. Not only was Walsh a threat to people on the road but also to others that he was near for his numerous amount of assaults, break-ins, and theft. I do not understand why Roger Walsh, a man who has killed and continuously broke the law without any regards would not be considered as dangerous. If people are being put at risk because of a certain individual who refuses to act in a rational and safe manner, why must people refer to him as anything other than a dangerous offender? Walsh should have not only received jail for life but also the title of “dangerous offender”. I strongly believe the Criminal Code should include that anyone who is a threat to society should be labeled as dangerous, hazardous, unsafe, risky, etc. If other cases go on like this then what message is the court providing to society "only murders and serial rapists are dangerous offenders"? Drunk drivers kill people too, isn’t that murder?

Comments

The title of this article definitely just screams read me, at first I was under the assumption that this author thought drunk driving was okay, but after reading the article it is clear that drunk driving is highly frowned upon. Getting behind the wheel of vehicle is a terrible decision, but it is a decision that was made by the driver, the driver could have called for a ride or made plans ahead of time to be picked up by a designated driver. About five years ago my cousin was sitting in her car at a red light and was hit by a drunk driver. She now has a metal rod in her leg and scars that will never go away, it is a blessing that she survived and did not have any more serious issues. The people that decide to drive under the influence of alcohol take huge risks every time they do it and feel better about doing it after every time they make it home safely and without being pulled over or ticketed. This is not a smart way of living because it only takes one mistake to seriously injure or kill someone, which does not only change that or end that persons life it changes and effects the lives of their entire family. Roger Walsh should be labeled as a dangerous offender, even though he was caught nineteen times, imagine how many other times he was not caught. I do believe in giving people second chances because everyone makes mistakes but it took this man nineteen times before something he was actually put in jail, and that was after he hit and killed a woman.

Alcohol is a very dangerous substance if it is abused. The fact that this man is still apart of society and has faced no major consequences or repercussions for his actions is just atrocious! He has committed murder, but he used his vehicle as the weapon. I believe after his third offense, depending on the severity of the crime, he should have been put on some type of "dangerous offenders" list and handled accordingly. By allowing him to continue to be a part of society with these crimes makes no sense at all! His actions could get progressively worse and result in the loss of more lives.

Similar to @Mjone10 I thought the writer was condoning drunk driving at first. On the contrary, drunk driving is not only illegal but I agree with you that it should be labeled a dangerous offense due to the consequences that can result from drunk driving. Conversely, what further more could have Walsh received from being labeled as such? He was already sentenced to life in prison. I believe that this is partially a flaw of the legal system to allow Walsh to walk free as a citizen after having so many violent crimes. I believe that because of his violent offenses and not from driving drunk, that he should have received this label. Although I believe that Canada is at fault for allowing him to not only be out of jail, but to have the capabilities to drive after being convicted of previous crimes. As someone who has friends that have affected by drunk drivers, I can attest it is a tragic situation where you want the driver to receive full penalties because of what it has cost you. As someone who also knows good people who made the mistake to step behind the wheel after drinking, I believe second chances should be granted with restrictions such as breathalyzers, curfew and other methods to ensure the driver does not repeat such offenses. However, I believe a third chance for DWI's should never be granted. So in result, I am asking what did you expect to result from Walsh being labeled "dangerous" or not? I believe reforms and law changes need to be made to stop the consequences of drunk driving.

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