Mike Shockman, LaMoure, N.D., Published March 23 2013
Letter: The other side of ND DUI storyIf “Field Marshall” Ed Gruchalla, D-Fargo, thinks that $5,000 is an appropriate fine for a first-time DUI (March 15 Forum), then good grief. Why don’t we just cook them and eat them? A smokers fry on Wednesday and a social drinkers roast on Saturday.
The fact is more than 99 percent of DUIs are victimless crimes. There is no victim other than the poor soul who got caught, some in their own parking lot. Police, why don’t you go across the street and get the guy who’s beating his wife or girlfriend or the one who’s molesting someone’s children or breaking into someone’s house.
The 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Now, I don’t know about sequestered editors of newspapers, fatcats on gout pensions or overweight and scary-looking talk-show hosts like Ed (Mr. Meany) Schultz, but to about 90 percent of us, $5,000 is one heck of a lot of money.
If two years is the punishment for killing someone while driving drunk (10 should be the minimum), then why not just kill someone. You can get your two years taken care of in air-conditioned comfort, Internet access, three meals a day (free), threaten your wives or girlfriends about what’s going to happen to them when you get out, and be around a lot more people like you.
A lot of us are sick of the nanny (national socialist) state and their slavish sympathizers. How about a story on the homeless guy whose life was wrecked by a victimless DUI. The other side of the story, and there’s tons of them. How about a story on the ex-small- time drug dealer who can’t get a job or a place to live because of a felony conviction. How about a story on why so many Native Americans, most of whom are also native North Dakotans, get pulled over and sometimes hauled in for the innocent offense of walking down the street carrying a duffle bag or a brown paper bag. Does that happen to your precious college students?
How about inquiry into whether the metro police department has a special Native American task force? An act of real racism. That would be real reporting.
How about a reporter going outside the walls of Fargo to some small-town bars for a financial report on the effects of the smoking ban? I can assure you that the ones that still allowed smoking (many already didn’t) took a much bigger hit than a 2.5 percent decrease in their projected increase. Will that be made up to them?
Finally, how about a probe into why an already in-trouble unlicensed driver was on the road and tragically killed four people while going the wrong way on Interstate 94 near Jamestown, N.D.? That was a judicial and/or law enforcement failure. That was a troubled individual, drinking or not.