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Prison for drunk drivers sends a 'stronger message'

Two separate DUI accidents involved telephone poles and killed passengers. Both drunk drivers got time behind bars rather than probation. As Craig Kapitan reports for San Antonio Express-News, the judge in one of the cases said to the defendant, "You seem to be a good man. I recognize it was one mistake, but you have a dead person."

These drunk-driving cases have eerie similarities. Besides slamming their cars into telephone poles and killing their passengers, both of them survived, and lab analysis reports showed that both had alcohol and marijuana in their systems.

One of them got seven years in prison and the other got 15.

But the similarities don't end there. A different judge presided over each case, yet both judges expressed an opinion that the drunk drivers seemed to be "genuinely remorseful," as Kapitan reports.

The prosecutor, as could be expected (apparently the same prosecutor handled both cases), did not have the same opinion regarding the driver drivers' behavior - that despite the facts of these cases, despite genuine remorse, a "stronger message" would be prison rather than probation.

Source: San Antonio Express-News, "Prison for pair of DWI drivers who killed passengers," by Craig Kapitan, 08/04/11

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