Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives May 4 1986, Page 17

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - May 4, 1986, Winnipeg, Manitoba War Winnipeg free press May pages 1724 driving living with the consequences on july Washington television reporter Kelly Burke was involved in an Auto the Driver of another Dennis was killed in the whose blood alcohol level was pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and crossing a Centre the his brought a two years a licence revocation and an order to perform Community service by producing a to documentary aimed at deterring drunk the drinking and driving the the for which Burke received no will be broadcast May 11 at cd on the Legal consequences of burkes Accident Are the result of Laws dealing with drunk and impaired driving resulting in death in in Many penalties and prohibitions Are even More severe in by Kelly Burke special to the Washington Post Washington what do you want to be remembered for in this life your failures neither do it May seem that i should be writing this my my family and my friends think they Why let More people know you drove impaired Why let More people know a person died in the Accident Why give people another Opportunity to tear you Down let it let it there is a simple a major consequence of an incident such As mine is that one can never completely let it it has been nearly two years even now i am reminded of it each when i hear news of an Acci Dent or the sound of or see a drunk driving Public service announcement on or sit on an endless bus or catch eyes staring and there is still a void to it involves a loss certainly not of the kind or Magni tude of a victim but a loss of i raise the Issue Public in perhaps a futile to urge others to avoid this what do you mean in not like you in recent the Public attention on this while constructive in Many has left a simplistic picture of the impaired it has been by superficial Media coverage that stresses the worst someone who has been arrested Many times who has not borne what others perceive As the ultimate consequence someone who can be the Hook for generalizing about everyone else its As if he or she is some mutant from a netherworld who has no his tory As a person and no kinship with allows presumption the perception is it allows people to presume crashes Only happen to it allows people to separate themselves from the problem even though they May still drink and they have yet o have a tragedy so they conclude Tik v can reckon with they May be my incident was a first i had taken some Steps to make sure i was Okay to drive before i took the my blood alcohol level was half the average for those involved in fatal still it Hap it happens every Day to a couple of thousand All of whom presume it the variables involved in driving in my Case that fatigue make it unwise to presume any amount of alcohol is society does not make it easy a new Standard has been set for drunk penalties Are released like ingredients in a time a string of consequences will make your life even if jail is not pre understand that the Vio Lence of the crash itself will rack your body and it took More than three months for me to get Over my injuries and longer to get Over the youre meeting death face to i was lying in the unable to listening to the other Driver suddenly aware this was no dream and there was no Way to rewind and Start despair will become your humiliation expect humiliation the minute the police the questions started while i was lying in the charges were Laid while i was being treated in the emergency expect an ominous feeling that nothing will Ever be the same Many Are taken to jail right while emotions Are anger and fear Breed fights with jail suicides have increased with the rising rate of one whom i have included in the Felt panic set in As he sat in a he desperately wanted to phone someone to find out How his Best Friend a Pas Senger in the car he was driving police derided refused his request and slammed the door on leaving him alone with his he later Learned his Friend was paralysed for expect the Legal grinder to wind tortuous by it was five months before i was seven months before i was nine months before my licence was 11 months before the civil suit was a year and three months before the documentary was a year and eight months before i was allowed Back on the i still dont have a Drivers licence and my probation will not be finished until lost Job the Driver i referred to before was from new that state had administrative that Means his licence was taken before because his Job depended on his he was his com Pany insurance would not cover his medical Bills because he was charged with an alcohol he was unable to find a decent Job because he drive to search for one or get to if he had been charged with a As Many Are it would have been even More difficult to find a confinement is mandatory in several states at you can be sent to a Dpi driving while intoxicated it is not a there you May be Able to work during the Day so that your family can make ends but you will have to stay locked up at night and on in the Docu Robert convicted of the regi men plays havoc with you Start to feel Normal at work and then its Back to you will have to attend nightly alcohol coun Selling your family will have to attend when they want to visit you also will be forced to pay for your room and when youre you will have to continue weekly classes or attend a meetings and report to a drunk Driver Monitor once a week for As Long As is you will Likely have to perform Community service As you will Proba Bly be unable to drive yourself to fulfil any of these somehow you will have to fit work and other necessities in along the you can expect some unannounced visits at Home or work from your probation officer who will Check to see if you Are abstain ing from you could very Well be sentenced to a traditional Cheryl whom i interviewed the spent nearly two years in prison for the deaths of two children in suburban Maryland four years she was separated from her own two Little girls All that finding child care and a Job once she was released was Robert convicted in the deaths of seven people waiting for a will spend the rest of his life in District of Columbia he reporter Kelly after having his licence rides Public transit told maybe god kept me alive just to punish David the first Man to be convicted of murder under fed eral statute in a drunk driving has spent three years in besides killing Margaret an Mother of he crippled himself in his from his cell he told i dont know but i would have been better off if i had died in that those Drivers who appear in my program All called jail a nowhere place with nowhere people who do nothing but wait and think of what might have prisoner of own mind there is the jail of your own the one in your the one you construct out of the anger you feel toward i spent a Long while Community service becomes an effective punishment because of this in writing about the incident and doing the document i relived what happened and was forced to Deal with its Imp Lica a Washington Post editorial is implied once that such a sen tence would be easy for me because its what i do for a it want in seeking funding for the program and in researching i had to Tell people Over and Over what in producing and reporting i interviewed Drivers and victims and experience their i again and the comments of Sandra the widow of Dennis and Peggy with and Linda Davenport were killed in accidents involving their families talk of the tragedies and the aftermath in to saw pictures of her there was nothing easy about preparing that i agonized Over How to do the program without appear ing to be self serving or hypocrite knowing full Well i would never be Able even with the Best of intentions to make the jail of your own making can some times be the expect your personal life to suf family members try to be but they resent whats each step in the Legal process brings everyone feels because of the stigma and the rollercoaster ride through you dont want to go anywhere or see you become a social everyone gets tired of driving you every especially when your Home is a Long Way from the you become you lose credibility with your the preaching about individual responsibility you were sofa Mous for seems you sup press your you dont want to make things you end up sometimes sleeping overnight at the office when you work late so As not to you Hitchhike occasionally life is lived on a different expect to be drained doctor Legal damages run into thousands of i am now mortgaged to the Hilt and undecided How to expect life without a car to be there is not a Day you will be free from worrying about Logis expect the motor vehicle Branch to put you in a bureaucratic in Many the Branch has tremendous it can extend the period of licence suspension or revocation Well beyond its original classes and boards expect interminable requests for information and expect to attend several weeks of alcohol awareness classes and several weeks in the drive improvement expect to go before a medical advisory which will determine whether you Are fit to expect the Board to either prohibit you from drinking restrict your driving to and from expect to pay Between and a year for i am not trying to gain any nor Are the Drivers who appear in the they All have the empty feeling that comes with the resignation that Little can be they we regret what has happened and want others to understand the consequences Are la an unlikely so do the victims who appear on the the consequences faced by them Are they speak with an intimacy i have Sel Dom it is difficult to listen to Dick Haley speak of How hard it is to plan for one instead of two now that his wife Margaret is it is hard to listen to several of the h children of the Haleys de scribe the Ripple effect on the lives of everyone who knew their vibrant at the same the family shows a strength of character that is and a spirit of Healing that offers As John Corrigan stands by the bedside of his daughter who has been paralysed in a nursing Home in unable to re for five our vulnerability is completely we would consider it a says if god decided to take Maura now and ease her suffer tragic toll Case after Case simply explains what happened to the toll builds and it becomes Clear without statistics just How tragic drunk driving it May make some i have been angry at myself time and Ive been angry at society this country creates the wrong expectations in people by failing to address our dependency on alcohol despite the staggering its hypocritical to Sanction and encourage the consumption of an addictive drug As dangerous As any that Are now banned and expect people to be immune to its effects and make Good unless this flaw in our culture is nothing will Ive Learned in a terrible Way that alcohol does not discriminate be tween Good Guys and bad alcohol Doest give chits for past Good it indiscriminately and progressively manipulates and destroys ones no Madi son Avenue Glitz will Ever be Able to counter that Basic making the right Choice is not made easy in a country where drinking is a despite the Clear evidence that any amount of the chemical consumed can inhibit the ability to make that right i feel that total abstinence is the ultimate answer to the problem of drunk to expect such a moral consensus would be it i can Only Appeal to that which motivates most people the wheel of Fortune is not in your if you do As i did expect too much of yourself after understand that Drivers injure and kill them their families and and they Bear social Stig Mas the loss of the loss of civil and financial most it never seems As i said in the it is difficult to let it so Many people Tell you you no one Tell you

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