Drunk driver killed cyclist: judges should get tough

Everyone I spoke to regarding the slap on the wrist sentence of a mere $12500 fine for the drunk driver who killed a cyclist was outraged.

Despite stiff penalties against drink- driving, many drivers are still prepared to gamble with the all familiar attitude of “Ha, don’t worry, I can handle my drink”, “I had only two glasses, no problem”, “They don’t catch people every day”.

The following incidents prove that the authorities are facing an uphill task: (all as reported in the media in the last few months)

The latest anti drink-driving blitz by the traffic police rounded up 20 motorists early Saturday morning.

They included 18 men and two women, aged between 23 and 53 years old. (CNA, Dec 8)

Twelve motorists were arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning, during an island-wide blitz against drink driving. (TODAY, N0v 17)

FIFTEEN motorists were arrested early Thursday morning for drink driving. (ST, Oct 25)

Traffic Police have arrested 25 motorists in an anti-drink driving operation conducted on Sunday from 1.30am to 4.30am.(Asiaone, Oct 7)

The pressure must be kept up against those who drink and drive.

Places that sell liquor should conspicuously publicise the penalties. Drivers guilty of drink- driving should have their vehicles impounded at once, and disqualified from driving immediately.

Community service could also be imposed.

Finally, judges should adopt zero tolerance towards drink- driving. Where a fatality is involved, mandatory jail sentence should be imposed.

Do judges have greater sympathy for the living than the dead victim’s family who have to suffer grief and loss for a lifetime?

Unless tough action is taken, we will continue to read of further slaughter of pedestrians and cyclists.

Charge them with homicide or manslaughter! Enough is enough.

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