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Bereaved dad seeks tough laws for drugged driving
WHIDBEY NEWS TIMES ^ | June 23, 2011 | Jessie Stensland

Posted on 06/23/2011 4:55:31 PM PDT by AustralianConservative

Ed Wood is on a mission to change state laws regarding drugged driving.

Wood has a very personal stake in the issue. His son, 33-year-old Brian Wood, was among three people killed in a Sept. 3, 2010, car crash on North Whidbey last fall. Evidence introduced at trial showed the two Oak Harbor women responsible for the collision had illegal drugs in their systems.

Wood, a Colorado resident, wasn't happy about the sentences handed down this month to the women. But he hopes his story of loss and injustice will spur a law change in this and other states.

"It would bring some solace," he said, if the tragedy leads to something positive.

Wood wants lawmakers to adopt a "drug per se law" to make it easier for prosecutors to convict people of driving while drugged. He said one of the reasons that the two women who caused his son's death received lenient sentences is state law that makes it difficult for prosecutors to convict defendants of driving while under the influence of drugs.

As state law stands today, it's not illegal for any driver, with the exception of commercial drivers, to get behind the wheel with drugs in their blood. It is illegal if they are "under the influence of or affected" by a drug, which can be difficult for cops or prosecutors to prove.

Wood spoke at length about drugged driving laws at the sentencing hearing. He said he wants Washington to join a growing list of states that have enacted "drug per se laws." They can either be zero-tolerance laws that ban people from driving with any level of drugs in their systems. Or they can mimic drinking-and-driving laws, which set a legal limit.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattlepi.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: drugdriving; laws; testing
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/sound/article/Bereaved-dad-seeks-tough-laws-for-drugged-driving-1437849.php
1 posted on 06/23/2011 4:55:36 PM PDT by AustralianConservative
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To: AustralianConservative

What about prescription drugs?


2 posted on 06/23/2011 5:03:41 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: AustralianConservative

What about prescription drugs?


3 posted on 06/23/2011 5:03:47 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: AustralianConservative
Now you're talking.

4 posted on 06/23/2011 5:04:08 PM PDT by I see my hands (Embrace misanthropy)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Like Marijuana?


5 posted on 06/23/2011 5:10:46 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: cripplecreek

Marijuana isn’t a legal prescription drug in my home state of Texas. Is it legal in Washington state where this story is from?


6 posted on 06/23/2011 5:18:20 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Paleo Conservative

In Washington state, probably.


7 posted on 06/23/2011 5:23:14 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: AustralianConservative

Our government lets (or requires) pilots of 100 million dollar warcraft to use prescription methamphetamine to keep them awake, alert and functioning properly on long flights.

This little secret was unearthed back in the 80s through FOIA requests when Reagan sent F111 bombers from England to Libya and back in the 1986 raid on Libya.


8 posted on 06/23/2011 5:30:51 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: AustralianConservative

It’s always difficult to respond to a bereaved person pushing a bad idea.


9 posted on 06/23/2011 5:38:09 PM PDT by Minn (Here is a realistic picture of the prophet: ----> ([: {()
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To: AustralianConservative

She was convicted of vehicular homicide. She was sentenced to 8 years. Change the law and she could be sentenced to 11 years.

The per se laws will not make the roads any safer but could put into legal jeopardy a lot of people on prescription medications.


10 posted on 06/23/2011 6:02:20 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Minn
It’s always difficult to respond to a bereaved person pushing a bad idea.

That's what happens with guns.

11 posted on 06/23/2011 6:03:22 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Minn

When someone says their “ought to be a law” 9 times out of 10 there shouldn’t be one...

Maybe they should talk t the one guy who daughter was killed by Jared Loughner....

That man is courageous for saying that there should not be a law when his own daughter was gunned down by a crazed gunman.


12 posted on 06/23/2011 6:49:54 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Paleo Conservative
Prescription drugs generally note a warning about reduced mental/motor skills ability, and some clearly state they cause hazards while driving.

I don't drink and drive.
I often drink.
I often drive.
But I never do both at the same time.

I also don't take some OTC drugs and drive, because I am definitely mentally impaired when consuming many of them.

I think if you are involved in a vehicular collision, and were driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol...an extra degree of pemeditated criminal penalties should be included.

Accidents do happen, but we all avoid accidents every single time we drive our vehicles unimpaired.
Driving impaired by drugs or alcohol is an intentional added risk.

13 posted on 06/23/2011 7:09:52 PM PDT by sarasmom (God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy....)
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To: sarasmom

But drugs affect people differently. Just because you are involved in an accident and a particular drug is in your system doesn’t necessarily mean that that drug was at fault.


14 posted on 06/23/2011 7:17:40 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: decimon

8 years for a death? Well, life is cheap isn’t it? Drug addicts are being mothered.


15 posted on 06/23/2011 9:24:35 PM PDT by AustralianConservative
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To: Paleo Conservative

What about prescription drugs? Yes, let’s change the topic (lol). Okay. I’ll play.

If people don’t read their prescription drugs which tell them not to drive then they’re at fault. But to take an illegal drug is deliberate lawlessness.

I’m over smacked out drivers killing families. I hope you never get that “knock on the door” though.

To ignore prescription advice and take illegal drugs is a triple wrong.


16 posted on 06/23/2011 9:31:32 PM PDT by AustralianConservative
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To: wildbill

Tell that to the family who lost their daughter to an LSD tripper. Not sure what your point is other than to excuse.


17 posted on 06/23/2011 9:47:57 PM PDT by AustralianConservative
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To: AustralianConservative

I read the labels. If I find a drug interferes with driving I either have others drive me or use a different drug. According to the standards advocated by the father of the man killed by the woman who had heroin and methamphetamine in her system, the mere presence of drugs in a driver involved in an accident should be considered as proof that the driver was impaired and was at fault. If some driver runs a red light at 40 miles per hour and hits me while I am legally in the intersection, that driver is at fault regardless of whether I am taking a medication. According to this proposed legislation, the presence of the medication is proof that a driver is at fault.


18 posted on 06/23/2011 9:51:23 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: AustralianConservative

When I was taking 5 vicodins a day prior to and after my back surgery in 2001, I didn’t drive.


19 posted on 06/23/2011 9:53:06 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Paleo Conservative
What about prescription drugs?

What about them?

I have to take a very heavy duty prescription drug when I get a migraine. There have been a couple of times when they have struck without warning when I was away from the house. I have either taken a taxi home or called someone to drive me home. I do not drive when I am not sober.

Prescription drugs that make you loopy have the warning clearly shown on the bottle. If you take them and drive then you are no different then the person who slammed back a fifth and climbs behind the wheel and you should be treated the same way.

20 posted on 06/23/2011 10:01:33 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Yesterday I meditated, today I seek balance. That was Zen, this is Tao.)
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To: AustralianConservative

Wow! An argument based on an appeal to sympathy combinded with reductio ad absurdum as the number of deaths caused by LSD induced driving is probably less than talking on the phone while driving or changing the radio stattion.

However, I will go you one better.

If we were both legislators, and you introduced a bill providing for immediate and summary beheading at the scene of an accident where a driver fails a field test for driving under the influence of LSD, I’d be inclined to vote for it and add an amendment that every police car be equipped with a beheadding sword. Not for vengence or punishment, but because we need to remove such people from the gene pool.


21 posted on 06/25/2011 11:35:16 AM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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