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?