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Letters: How many more drunk driving deaths are we willing to endure?

Fr. Anthony Trapani of Our Lady of Perpetual

Fr. Anthony Trapani of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Lindenhurst leads an impromtu prayer memorial for Brittney Walsh at the site of her fatal car crash. (June 25, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

How many more senseless deaths are we willing to endure ?

I am saddened, perplexed and frustrated by this situation. More than 30 years ago, I wrote a letter to this page on the same topic, and nothing seems to have changed.

Why is it that we can require seat belts and helmets, outlaw smoking and trans fats, but it’s OK to get behind the wheel of a car or boat after drinking?

We must do better. We must insist that it is not OK to just have a few and then drive. The reasoning that everyone does it or that binge drinking at college is the norm can no longer be tolerated.

This is truly a national tragedy.

Joyce Tobkes, Jericho

I am fed up with drunken drivers killing other drivers and pedestrians. It’s time to get tough.

I propose that for a first drunken-driving conviction, the sentence should be a mandatory 30 days in jail. A second conviction would carry a mandatory six months in jail, and a third conviction would result in a year in jail. There would be no exceptions.

If you have a job that would be in jeopardy because you’re in jail, you would still not escape jail time. If you have children who have no one else to care for them, they would be placed in the care of authorities while you did your time.
This policy would probably not deter the hopeless alcoholic. But for the rest, I bet that one 30-day stretch in jail would persuade them to never, ever drive drunk again.

Roger Gilmore, Westbury

Another drunken driver takes a young and promising life. A major problem is immaturity and selfishness. If the accused, a young man of 31, had been mature and thought of others, and not just his own passing pleasures, he would not have drunk to excess, knowing he had to drive home.

Minutes before the crash, another driver yelled at him to stop driving before he killed someone, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. The accused, Michael Grasing, did not heed the warning. Tragically, he allegedly rear-ended Brittney Walsh’s car at 80 to 100 mph.
This is a lesson none of us wants to learn the hard way. Don’t be selfish or immature. Think before you drink and drive. If you have more than two drinks, give the keys to a sober driver.

Arlene B. Jermakian-Heed, North Valley Stream