Three people convicted of second-degree murder in deadly DUI crashes urged the New York Court of Appeals earlier this week to throw out their convictions, arguing they were too intoxicated to know the threat they posed to others.
We are is shocked and appalled that these defenses were presented, as they are completely offensive to victims of drunk driving. Drunk driving is a 100 percent preventable violent crime. The argument put forth by the defense would be a travesty to justice of victims. We believe the act of driving drunk that results in the death of a person equates to murder. The court should uphold the original sentences and let the punishments fit the crimes for the act of drunk driving which resulted in fatalities.
Families and friends of victims of a drunk driving crash are left with a lifetime of loss. Offenders who kill or injure innocent victims rarely receive a life sentence of incarceration or anything that closely matches that of a victim. The justice system should handle fatal drunk driving crashes as the violent crimes they are—a choice by a person to drive drunk resulting in the death of an innocent person or persons.
The Court of Appeals rulings are expected next month. If this defense is allowed, it will only be a matter of time before defense attorneys try it around the country.