|Drunk Driving, Memorial Day, and Judicial Misconduct|
|Posted by Charles Esslinger on May 30th, 2014|
Free tows on Memorial Day:
Memorial Day weekend, like many other holidays in the United States, typically involves a lot of traveling and heavy traffic. In Georgia, thousands of people were out and about during their weekend off, many of whom had been drinking. The difference between making it home safe or not, at least for many, comes down to whether or not you drive home intoxicated.
In 2012, over 300 people in Georgia died in alcohol-related traffic collisions. Memorial Day weekend, as you may already know, often involves quite a bit of drinking. So, for this year's holiday, AAA and Bud Light teamed up to offer a tow service for intoxicated drivers. In Georgia, they'll take you and your car anywhere within 10 miles for free.
“AAA will come out and take you and your vehicle home within 10 miles of wherever your drinking, but again that's a last resort,” explained Matt Nasworthy, a traffic safety consultant for AAA. “What we want is for folks to have a plan in place.”
To Diana Sikes, programs like these make a lot of sense. It's been five years since Sikes lost her oldest son to a drunk driver, and still, not a day goes by where she doesn't forget that phone call. “I lost it,” Sikes said. “I didn't know what to say or think.”
Sikes' son, Donnie, was killed just a month before his 22nd birthday. “Not only did we lose our son, but I lost a future daughter-in-law, future grandkids, but the boy's family also lost him because he's in prison,” Sikes said. So it doesn't affect just one family, it affects several. So just call somebody. They'll come get you.”
For future reference, the number to call is 1 (855) 2-Tow-2-GO.
What going on in Broward County, FL?
In the past seven months, three Broward County Judges have been arrested on DUI charges. To the local courts, it's been a public embarrassment and a shocking example that something is wrong with the judicial culture in the county.
“When people ascend to the bench and put that robe on, it's very common that they start to believe that they are bigger than the law; they are above the law; they are the law,” said Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein. “Is that happening in Broward? I've seen that happen here for many years, decades. I thought it was getting better. I still think it's getting better, but this is a very big bump in the road.”
Earlier this week, Judge Lynn Rosenthal of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court became the latest Broward County judge to be charged with intoxicated driving. Rosenthal was arrested after hitting a parked, unmarked patrol car in a Fort Lauderdale courthouse parking lot. Although she told deputies that she was forced into a guardrail on I-595 on her way to work and did not hit the car in the parking lot, video evidence seemed to indicate otherwise. Rosenthal, who is currently out on bond, has refused to talk to reporters about the incident.
In a statement issued earlier this week, Chief Judge Peter Weinstein condemned the behavior of is colleagues. He also assured the public that the problem would be dealt with. “The 17th Judicial Circuit is requesting the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court to assign a judge outside of Broward County to handle any relevant case with respect to Judge Rosenthal.”
WRDW.com - http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/Curbing-drinking-and-driving-on-Memorial-Day-weekend-260613611.html
NBC News - http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/third-florida-county-judge-seven-months-faces-dui-charges-n117166
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