Volume 96, Issue 60
Thursday, January 16, 2003

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A "heinous crime"

Re: "Should a DUI spell political doom?" Jan. 14

To the Editor:

I was very concerned with the authors of your editorial and their apparent attitude that drunk driving is not a particularly heinous crime, as expressed in the implied surprise at the amount of press coverage resulting from "an event that happens fairly regularly in this country."

I would ask the authors if, should Mr. Campbell have gotten drunk and randomly discharged a firearm in a public venue, would there even be a question of whether he should remain in office? Clearly not. And yet, his actions amounted to the same, if not a greater, offense.

By operating, while intoxicated, a mass of 2,000 plus pounds of steel moving at 50 km/h, he exposed the public to a much greater destructive force than any handgun.

This kind of "boys will be boys" attitude when it comes to drunk driving is extraordinarily dangerous.

And yet this flippant attitude persists, possibly due to the fact that most drunk drivers are fairly affluent members of society, and very similar in socioeconomic terms to the people who determine which crimes deserve which punishments.

The roots of democracy stretch back nearly 400 years. It is well past time that the laws of our society were made to reflect the public good, and not simply the interests and prejudices of the elite.

Mike Cozens
Social Science I

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