Sixth OUI = PROBATION?!?!?!

10 Oct

From the new Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog ‘Wasted in Wisconsin’ comes this little nugget:

Sixth-offense OWI nets jail and Drug Court
John T. Hughes, 48, of New Auburn was this Tuesday placed on 3 years of probation with 2 years in jail with work release for a conviction of felony sixth-offense operating while intoxicated. Barron County Circuit Court Judge James Babler ordered that Hughes complete the Drug Court Program. He was fined $600. Hughes was convicted of drunken driving in Barron County May 10.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! I always figured Wisconsin was one of those states that didn’t really punish you until you killed someone. I guess I was right.

And work release? The guy should never see the light of day again. What will this judge tell the family of the person he kills during his seventh or eighth offense (and he will kill someone, it’s just a matter of time) when they look back and ask why Hughes’ sentence was so light on his sixth offense?

This blog is relatively new but looks interesting. If nothing else it will make me more vigilant out on the road if I do see someone drinking and driving.

I actually called the police on a drunk driver a couple of years ago. My friend M was visiting from Florida, and she and I were coming home from a movie, probably around 5 p.m. or so. There was a white unmarked van on the freeway that was obviously swerving — in addition to almost sideswiping a car, the driver nearly ran the van into the cement wall of the on-ramp as he entered the freeway. I started following him and got on my cell phone to the police. I told them the license plate number and the particulars about the van, and continued to follow him as he got off the freeway, telling the police the whole time where we were.

The van pulled into an alley. The driver got out, boomeranged off the side of the van a couple times, and proceeded to pee against a fence. At this point M was freaking out, thinking he was going to see that we followed him and do something to us.

I pointed to him staggering and said, “He can barely pee standing up, I highly doubt he’s going to be able to jump back in the van and follow us.” But she was getting upset to the point of near hysteria, so I kept driving (I originally stopped because I wanted to wait for the police to show up so I could point out the van to them).

I at least drove away knowing that I attempted to do a good deed. And thankful that, from the point when we first spotted him to when we left him, that he didn’t hurt anyone. Which I guess, in a situation like that, is all you can hope for.


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