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Couple who both lost a leg in crash sue student for sending messages to boyfriend (shortened title)
Daily Mail ^ | 5-24-2012 | Daily Mail Reporter

Posted on 05/24/2012 7:47:11 AM PDT by servo1969

Full title - Can you be blamed for texting a driver? Couple who both lost a leg in crash sue student for sending messages to boyfriend, 18, before he hit them with his truck

A couple who each lost a leg after a driver careened his truck into their motorbike is suing the man's girlfriend for texting him while he was behind the wheel.

David and Linda Kubert, both 59, were in Mine Hill, New Jersey when they saw Kyle Best, then 18, looking down at a text message as he swerved towards them.

After the September 2009 crash, police discovered he had exchanged 62 texts with his girlfriend that day, and he admitted he had been looking at his phone moments before he lost control of the car.

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: driving; sending; sue; texting
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1 posted on 05/24/2012 7:47:24 AM PDT by servo1969
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To: servo1969

When you text someone, how do you know you are putting someone in danger?


2 posted on 05/24/2012 7:49:53 AM PDT by Elderberry
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To: servo1969

Slavery is not dead in America. Everyone is one judge’s decision away from being a slave to another citizen for life.


3 posted on 05/24/2012 7:50:31 AM PDT by DManA
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To: servo1969
What next? Blame distracting radio commercials for playing police sirens in the background?

There are distractions while driving a car--a bee can enter an open window, a rock can hit and crack a windshield, and a warning light can appear suddenly on the dashboard. All can be distractions, but it is up to the driver alone to maintain control.

4 posted on 05/24/2012 7:52:28 AM PDT by Lou L (The Senate without a filibuster is just a 100-member version of the House.)
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To: Elderberry

Apparently the theory of P’s case is that she knew he was driving when she texted him. I think they have a serious issue with both duty (element 1 of a negligence action) and proximate cause (element 3). My assumption is that boyfriend doesn’t have enough liability insurance to suit the plaintiffs’ attorney.


5 posted on 05/24/2012 7:54:00 AM PDT by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
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To: servo1969

I guess the *girlfriend* wore the pants in that relationship... at least, the pants with the *deepest pockets*.


6 posted on 05/24/2012 7:54:16 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Trust in God, but row away from the rocks!)
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To: servo1969
I don't think they should be able to sue the girlfriend. The guy was doing the texting-while-driving, not her.

But IMO, texting while driving should be illegal, period, end of story.

I tried to do it a few times in the past. It's scary. I'll never do it again.

Pull over and THEN text.

7 posted on 05/24/2012 7:54:58 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: servo1969

common sense was lost long before the legs were


8 posted on 05/24/2012 8:02:20 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: servo1969

Stoopit lawsuit and should be dismissed.

Sad outcome though.


9 posted on 05/24/2012 8:05:55 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live athrough it anyway)
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To: Nervous Tick

I guess the *girlfriend* wore the pants in that relationship... at least, the pants with the *deepest pockets*.


The only reasonable explanation.


10 posted on 05/24/2012 8:06:31 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: jagusafr

I think you’re right.

If she did indeed know he was driving, I think she might be held liable for some very small percentage of blame and damages.

I mean a SMALL percent. Like no more than 10%.


11 posted on 05/24/2012 8:08:46 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: servo1969

That a ridiculous stretch.../sigh.


12 posted on 05/24/2012 8:12:16 AM PDT by mykroar (Romney: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Shows daily.)
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To: dayglored

That’s why they invented Bluetooth and voice texting. Not only should it be illegal, but make the penalty at least $5,000 to scare people and jail time. No one is going to be concerned about a small fine.


13 posted on 05/24/2012 8:14:11 AM PDT by max americana
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To: Responsibility2nd

Nah. Texting means you can read it later. Like email.


14 posted on 05/24/2012 8:14:16 AM PDT by Casie
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To: dayglored

careless driving is already illegal


15 posted on 05/24/2012 8:18:55 AM PDT by Gettin Betta
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To: servo1969

Her parents must have money


16 posted on 05/24/2012 8:19:19 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: Gettin Betta

so now liability extends to something somebody else did.

This is just an insurance fishing expedition.


17 posted on 05/24/2012 8:22:07 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: jagusafr

“”After the September 2009 crash, police discovered he had exchanged 62 texts with his girlfriend that day, and he admitted he had been looking at his phone moments before he lost control of the car.””


How many of those text messages stated that he was driving at the time?

Given there were 62 messages the probability of her contributing to the negligence increases. And if her parents have deep pockets that further increases her being sued.


18 posted on 05/24/2012 8:25:56 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Elderberry
Lighten up folks. Just a PI attorney doing his job for a couple of nice people who lost a leg apiece in this horrible accident.

A scrupulously fair man myself, I demand that both the ditzy girl, her boyfriend, and both sets of parents and their undoubted boyfriends and girlfriends, be shot. The American gene pool needs protection from these people.

If any of them have tattoos, shoot'em again.

19 posted on 05/24/2012 8:29:29 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (So, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts can't figure out if Obama is a Natural Born Citizen?)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

62 messages that day.

How many messages in the days before? What was the boyfriend doing while receiving and sending text messages with his girlfriend in the days before the negligence?

It is my observation that kids are addicted to their cell phones and texting. 62 messages on the day of the accident may have been a light day.

Show a pattern of negligent behavior on the part of the boyfriend and girlfriend and she will end up paying part of the judgment.


20 posted on 05/24/2012 8:31:32 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Elderberry
When you text someone, how do you know you are putting someone in danger?

His GF wouldn't know but he would. If you are doing it while driving you are putting someone in danger. Period.

I always have to ask when I see it....WTF is so important? Put the damned phone away and concentrate on your primary task. Or pull over and make a damned phone call already.

21 posted on 05/24/2012 8:32:03 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I will not comply. I will NEVER submit.)
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To: Elderberry
When you text someone, how do you know you are putting someone in danger?

Fricking scum-bag trial lawyers.

22 posted on 05/24/2012 8:33:03 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: servo1969

So, do we get to sue a billboard company in NJ if we look at it and have an accident?


23 posted on 05/24/2012 8:36:40 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Show a pattern of negligent behavior on the part of the boyfriend and girlfriend and she will end up paying part of the judgment.

I hope you're wrong. She is in no way responsible for the details of the boyfriend's reckless behavior, even if she knew he was reckless. I hope the guy driving the truck pays as much as he deserves to be fined, which is a lot, but I don't think she has any more direct responsibility than the phone manufacturer and the wireless service provider.

24 posted on 05/24/2012 8:44:08 AM PDT by Pollster1 (“A boy becomes a man when a man is needed.” - John Steinbeck)
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To: Pollster1

I do not have a cell phone.

My question is this. Are text messages saved by the cell phone provider?


25 posted on 05/24/2012 8:47:52 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

It is my observation that kids are addicted to their cell phones and texting. 62 messages on the day of the accident may have been a light day.


You evidently don’t use texting.

I just checked, and on a light day since yesterday morning, my girlfriend and I exchanged 37 texts. Sometimes, one message is broken up into several texts. Other times, one might put quick smile into a text. I’ve been known to send “XOXOXO” as six texts!

60 texts in 18 waking hours means that there are about 3 texts per hour, so each text is expected to sit for 20 minutes before a reply, showing how its unreasonable for a texter to assume that a driver will read the incoming text before it’s safe to do so.

It’s absurd to blame the texter, any more than to blame someone who sends me a birthday card if I trip on the way to the mailbox.


26 posted on 05/24/2012 8:48:08 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Hold My Beer and Watch This!)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Are text messages saved by the cell phone provider?


No, just like the data transmitted for a voice call.


27 posted on 05/24/2012 8:50:27 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Hold My Beer and Watch This!)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
62 messages that day.

Who the heck has that much to say, that can't wait?

Geez, some people need to get a life.

28 posted on 05/24/2012 8:52:22 AM PDT by wbill
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To: Elderberry

when you know they are in the process of driving a car

62 texts- she had to know he was driving

I presume that is why a lawyer took the case


29 posted on 05/24/2012 8:54:40 AM PDT by silverleaf (Funny how all the people who are for abortion are already born)
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To: Pollster1

The girl friend SHOULD be held responsible. In some small way. If it is proven that she knew he was driving and she contributed to his reckless and dangerous behavior, then she is an accessory.

Much in the same way a bar is responsible for plying some idiot full of alcohol and then letting him drive home at closing time only to crash into some innocent victim.


30 posted on 05/24/2012 8:54:45 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: dayglored

“But IMO, texting while driving should be illegal, period, end of story.”

It does not need to be outlawed, instead we just need to enforce the current laws. I advocate that any driver that causes physical injury or property damage should be prosecuted for the corresponding crime, for example vehicular manslaughter. That should be the case for ANY negligant behaviour whild driving.

The problem is that the only time we use these laws is when DUI is also a factor, so now we have a bunch of drivers that think the ONLY dangerous driving is DUI.


31 posted on 05/24/2012 8:57:43 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: servo1969

The lawsuit against the girlfriend is an outrage. It is the DRIVER’S responsibility to avoid distractions.

She may or may not have known he was driving, but he could have been just as easily distracted by a text from someone who had no idea he was driving. Also, if you text someone while they are driving, you should be able to assume that they won’t read it while driving.

The lawyer’s “electronically present” argument is also a crock. If someone is sitting in the passenger seat, while I am driving and says, “Hey, look at this?” or “Read this?” and I take my eyes off the road to look at it, and an accident results, it is MY fault, not the passenger’s.

It would be different if the passenger created a distraction I could not avoid, by covering my eyes or waving something in front of my face while I was driving, but a text message is nothing like that.

An incoming text message is only a distraction if the driver CHOOSES to break the law and disregard safety to read it.


32 posted on 05/24/2012 8:58:03 AM PDT by Above My Pay Grade (The candidate I vote for will NOT have a CARE after his name.)
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To: Beelzebubba
They're saved, but it depends on your provider.

Ask Kwame Kilpatrick. :-)

33 posted on 05/24/2012 8:59:36 AM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: Responsibility2nd
The girl friend SHOULD be held responsible. In some small way. If it is proven that she knew he was driving and she contributed to his reckless and dangerous behavior, then she is an accessory. Much in the same way a bar is responsible for plying some idiot full of alcohol and then letting him drive home at closing time only to crash into some innocent victim.

I disagree - very strongly. This overly broad concept of liability is a fundamental problem with our civil courts. Direct personal responsibility for reckless or negligent actions is one thing, but even there we go way too far. Even if she had some moral responsibility and morally "should" have held off on texting while he was driving, to hold that as a legal standard is an efficient way to enrich the tort lawyers, but it doesn't help society or any productive person. Similarly, I don't believe a bartender is responsible for the actions of a drunk who leaves while intoxicated and then drives. To attribute legal liability with only an indirect link goes way too far for me, and in my view for a free society. Whatever hypothetical social benefit we gain by making everyone their brother's keeper and holding them accountable in court is more than balanced out by the loss of personal freedom when we give the courts that much power. Your answer is, sadly, how our civil courts work. Mine is how they ought to work. Unfortunately, lawyers have far too much input in writing our laws, so your side is winning.

34 posted on 05/24/2012 9:48:10 AM PDT by Pollster1 (“A boy becomes a man when a man is needed.” - John Steinbeck)
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To: Pollster1

I hear what you’re saying, but laws have been on the books for centuries that punish accomplishes and accessories to crimes.

And while the GF didn’t drive the get-away car (so to speak), it could be argued that she did knowingly distract him and in some small way was a part of the crime scene.


35 posted on 05/24/2012 10:12:21 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: DManA
A very astute observation. Don't forget, if you have minor children you're two steps away from slavery because of their actions and I have yet to hear tort reform as a campaign platform.
36 posted on 05/24/2012 10:21:51 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: liberalh8ter

Everyone should have at least a $million umbrella policy. In one inattentive heart beat you could not only lose everything you own but everything you will ever earn.

Even more so if you’ve got kids.


37 posted on 05/24/2012 11:11:20 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Responsibility2nd
I hear what you’re saying, but laws have been on the books for centuries that punish accomplishes and accessories to crimes. And while the GF didn’t drive the get-away car (so to speak), it could be argued that she did knowingly distract him and in some small way was a part of the crime scene.

I have no problem with punishing a genuine accessory or accomplice to a crime. I have a huge problem with punishing someone financially based on a frivolous or trivial link to a reckless or negligent act. I would not prosecute the hardware store owner who sold Trayvon Martin a screwdriver used in a burglary, even if he should have suspected that Trayvon had little interest in home repairs. I would not prosecute the girl in the skimpy outfit who distracted another driver and "caused" an injury accident. Our laws have carried this concept way too far, and decent people need to push back against the frivolous abuse of our courts.

38 posted on 05/24/2012 11:29:46 AM PDT by Pollster1 (“A boy becomes a man when a man is needed.” - John Steinbeck)
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To: Pollster1

What if he sold him 62 screwdrivers?

Sorry. Don’t answer that. I’m being facetious. I do get your point. We are a sue happy society.


39 posted on 05/24/2012 11:50:05 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I know about a family who successfully sued the store which sold their son the ammo he used when he committed suicide. I was sorry for their loss, but I failed to see how the store could have possibly known what the son planned to do. Apparently, a jury felt differently.


40 posted on 05/24/2012 12:12:39 PM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: Hoffer Rand

Sheesh. What State did that happen in? Some blue state, I’m guessing.


41 posted on 05/24/2012 12:17:28 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

No, sadly enough, Utah. As much as Utah is touted as a conservative state, once you start delving into anything in the “family values” area, we have a ton of nanny staters.


42 posted on 05/24/2012 12:47:16 PM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: Pollster1
Similarly, I don't believe a bartender is responsible for the actions of a drunk who leaves while intoxicated and then drives.

Precisely. Where does the liability chain stop, once extended beyond the person who performed or neglected to perform as they should have?

Does the distiller or brewer get sued? The distributor? The farmer who grew the grain? The person who sold the seed, the tractor, the fertilizer?

The extended blame game is a creation of tort lawyers in search of a deeper pocket and a higher fee. (Just like the tobacco lawsuits, where the selfsame governments which refused to cut their income stream by banning tobacco, profited from suing the companies they taxed who manufactured and marketed a legal product they forced no one to use.)

43 posted on 05/24/2012 12:58:05 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Smokin' Joe
The extended blame game is a creation of tort lawyers in search of a deeper pocket and a higher fee. (Just like the tobacco lawsuits, where the selfsame governments which refused to cut their income stream by banning tobacco, profited from suing the companies they taxed who manufactured and marketed a legal product they forced no one to use.)

The tobacco lawsuit especially disgusted me. A huge share of the money went to lawyers just like John Edwards, and the rest goes to government spending - an indirect regressive tax on the most vulnerable advertised as a victory for the people, but politicians don't have to take the blame for raising taxes.

44 posted on 05/24/2012 3:36:47 PM PDT by Pollster1 (“A boy becomes a man when a man is needed.” - John Steinbeck)
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To: CSM; Gettin Betta
>> But IMO, texting while driving should be illegal, period, end of story.

> careless driving is already illegal > It does not need to be outlawed, instead we just need to enforce the current laws....the only time we use these laws is when DUI is also a factor...

Alcohol, per se, does not cause accidents. Intoxication, per se, does not cause accidents. Texting, per se, does not cause accidents. For that matter, engaging in an argument or phoning or having sex while driving do not cause accidents either, in and of themselves.

What causes accidents is lack of attention to driving, distraction away from what is ahead of or around your vehicle, resulting in lack of control of your vehicle.

My point is that _IF_ we prosecute DWI and DUI for alcohol or other drugs, we should also do so for other activities that cause similar dangerous levels of distraction.

It is well known and acknowledged that texting typically slows reaction and response times by MANY SECONDS where being drunk does so for mere TENTHS of a second -- yet that smaller level is considered enough to lock someone up for years and take away their license and livelihood.

I'm arguing for CONSISTENCY in the law.

I know.... losing proposition....

45 posted on 05/24/2012 4:15:37 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: Kenny Bunk

I like the way you think. I like it a lot.


46 posted on 05/24/2012 4:20:48 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
If she did indeed know he was driving, I think she might be held liable for some very small percentage of blame and damages.

I disagree. Texting is an asynchronous form of communication, like email. The recipient can read and answer at his convenience and when he is safely able to focus on the message. The sender is not responsible for the timing of the recipient's response.

47 posted on 05/24/2012 4:41:18 PM PDT by gitmo
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To: dayglored

“I’m arguing for CONSISTENCY in the law.”

On that we agree. I advocate that consistency be through the utilization of current laws to bring the hammer down on any driver that causes physical harm to persons or property damage. The existing laws already provide that avenue, for example we have vehicular manslaughter. It is not used consistently and it should be.

That said, I believe where we differ is that you are advocating adding to the current laws, where I would subtract from them to get that consistency. I would not have “special” laws for prosecuting those that cause harm or damage, instead I would eliminate those laws and better utilize the law to cover all situations where the driver causes that harm or damage.

To be more succinct, as an example, I would eliminate DUI laws, while at the same time I would bring the hammer down on anyone that causes the death of another person. Any driver that is at fault, whether by being drunk or by being distracted should spend many years in prison.

I say that as a person that did have a friend killed by a texter: http://www.mbkmemorial.org/

If I am misunderstanding your position, then I offer my apologies....


48 posted on 05/25/2012 3:58:42 AM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the Dave Ramsey Ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: CSM
> I believe where we differ is that you are advocating adding to the current laws, where I would subtract from them to get that consistency... I would eliminate those laws and better utilize the law to cover all situations where the driver causes that harm or damage...

Actually, we agree, and you have done me a good service by pointing out that I was not following my own principles. If you look at my FR Profile page you'll find the great quote from Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative", which I take as a guiding light towards better, smaller government:

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

Unfortunately, in the case of DWI/DUI, there is this huge public sentiment in favor of punishing careless drunk drivers not just for their carelessness, but for their inebriation as well. It goes so far that a CAREFUL drunk driver who causes no harm is still just as liable to lose their license. I have no hope that those laws will ever be eliminated, so I was taking the fallback position that "if we're going to do A we should also do B".

You are quite right to correct me, and I thank you.

49 posted on 05/25/2012 7:48:54 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: CSM
Oops, hit "Post" before I was done.

Also, I'm very sorry about your friend. That's a great memorial site.

Best FRegards, Dayglored

50 posted on 05/25/2012 7:54:10 AM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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