Although I'm gratified that a Michigan man will get 43 years behind bars for his drunken slaughter of half a family from Parkville, I think he should have gotten life.
But he didn't. Why? Because the drunks have won. There is nothing really wrong with drunk driving, according to society.
How can I say that, you ask? When you get a chance, do a Google News search on "drunk driving." See how many hits come up. Drunk driving has become No Big Deal. In fact, in Hollywood, it's seen now as some sort of rite of passage. You can't even get a SAG card without going to rehab, it seems.
Here's a partial list of those just in sports who have received DUIs:
- Cedric Benson, (formerly) Chicago Bears
- Dontrelle Willis, Detroit Tigers
- Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
- Carl Eller, formerly Minnesota Vikings
- Warren Moon, former QB for several teams
- Jevon Kearse, Tennessee Titans
- Steve "The Big Dog" Duemig, Tampa sports talk show host (BTW, apparently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' forums banned discussions about a player they signed who has a history of DUI!)
- Ken Stabler, formerly Oakland Raiders
- J.D. Quinn, University of Montana
- Lofa Tatupu, Seattle Seahawks
- Dwayne Jarrett, Carolina Panthers
And I haven't even mentioned Michael Phelps (all those who think in this Olympics run-up he'll be asked about his 2004 DUI, please take one step forward), Tony LaRussa, Sidney Ponson, Mike Tyson . . . you get the idea. (Hat tip: TotalDUI.com)
And I'm not sure I have the bandwidth to list the celebrities: Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, Vivica Fox, Mischa Barton, et many al. Besides, you can find that out nightly on your Hollytrash TV shows.
And I even have to argue against myself by saying that George W. Bush's mishandling of his 1976 DUI conviction cost him votes in 2000.
All this is greeted more by "ho-hum" than by outrage. As MADD points out, drunk driving is 100% preventable (as is unplanned pregnancy, I point out). But everyone is convinced that "I'm Not A Drunk Driver; I've Only Had One Or Two."
"Don't Drink And Drive" is dead. Congratulations, DAMM (Drunks Against Madd Mothers). You won; the roads are all yours.
Drive safely, or try to.