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to wonder just how reckless you have to be to be convicted of death by careless driving

(21 Posts)
Plomino Sat 24-Nov-12 12:31:04

Like fuck does being a police officer help . It makes it worse . Because we are supposed to set an example . We are supposed to have much higher standards than the public. I have NO sympathy for this person . None . Same as I don't for anyone who has too much too drink and then gets behind the wheel of a car. But the jury knew all the facts of the case and failed to convict , and we don't .

He'll lose his job without a doubt . Not that that's much comfort to the girl's family I suspect . But then even a conviction of death by dangerous and a prison sentence did little to make me and my best friend's family feel any better . We got hit on a zebra crossing coming home from school when I was 13 , by an middle aged executive who'd had too much at a business lunch , and couldn't work out why all the traffic had come to a halt . So he overtook six cars , and ploughed into me and my best friend . I was lucky . I only got both legs broken.

DilysPrice Sat 24-Nov-12 11:25:50

The fact that the passenger voluntarily got into a car with a drunk driver would affect the civil damages that they could claim for death/injury, but would not affect criminal liability.

McChristmasPants2012 Sat 24-Nov-12 11:04:38

Perhaps they should make up a new offence, death by drink driving to close up that loop hole

spoonsspoonsspoons Sat 24-Nov-12 10:59:51

If the law only punished according to the crime there wouldn't be a distinction between addailt and manslaughter, one punch can be either depending on the outcome. It is not how our justice system works.

LessMissAbs Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:39

Nearly all road safety campaigns in this country focus on speeding as the cause of accidents.

Perhaps if they focussed on the failure to adequately deal with other forms of careless/reckless/dangerous driving, it would be likely to reduce accidents?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 24-Nov-12 10:49:08

He was convicted of drink driving as that that is what can e proved in court. The law punishes according to the crime, not the consequences of the crime.

nannyl Sat 24-Nov-12 10:48:03

i was runover by someone traveling at 50mph in a 30 zone (between i primary school and the playground)

had i have died (which i very nearly did [not many pedestrians survive at 50mph]) he would have been charged with death by dangerous driving (but i survived and he got nothing no fine / no points)

LessMissAbs Sat 24-Nov-12 10:39:32

Seems to be an almost impossible standard to attain. Maybe they should consider changing the law so that a driver who causes an accident is automatically deemed to be at fault unless they can produce evidence that proves otherwise.

My DH actually witnessed a van overtake into oncoming traffic (ie his car) recklessly, going round a bend, have to pull in and consequently crashing into a cyclist and throwing him into his windscreen. Miraculously the cyclist only broke his collar bone. The police attended, there were lots of witnesses, yet the police concluded it wasn't worth prosecuting because he wasn't drunk, didn't have bald tyres and there was no evidence of speeding!

RockinD Sat 24-Nov-12 09:37:32

My XP was responsible for the death of another driver in a car accident. He is an alcoholic who was still over the limit from the night before, doing 70 in a 40 limit because in his mind even now, speed limits are only advisory.

He was not prosecuted because there was no evidence to prove his speed and he had not been breathalysed at the scene (10.00am on a Saturday morning).
There were skid marks on the road, but forensics could not get enough from them to put a case together.

Some years later he was pulled over on the M5 for speeding and the Police had to let him go because they said he was going too fast for their equipment to read!

MistressFord Sat 24-Nov-12 09:28:37

You don't have the full facts, only what has been published. The jury did have the full facts and decided to acquit him based on the information that had been presented to them. That is how our system works.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sat 24-Nov-12 09:04:53

I disagree op. It doesn't show its not dangerous. There is a different criteria for causing death. No one has said its safe. Its a different charge altogether.

I know what you mean though. had he not been drinking it may not have happened. But its the 'may' they take into consideration.

spoonsspoonsspoons Sat 24-Nov-12 08:45:11

In my very black and white view, drink driving is dangerous, therefore if you kill someone whilst drink driving that is death by dangerous driving. Anything else sends out the message that drink driving isn't always dangerous.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 24-Nov-12 08:38:05

I suspect been a police officer helps.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sat 24-Nov-12 08:36:23

Its difficult to judge unless you are in court. Also, as pp said, of the passenger was fully aware the driver was drunk. They would be taken into consideration.

SaraBellumHertz Sat 24-Nov-12 04:42:24

I suspect as chaz says.

Additionally IME juries are very reluctant to convict in all but the most extreme of careless or DD cases due to the severity of sentence which is attached to consequences rather than the actual careless/dangerous behaviour.

Most individuals have at some point driven to fast or whilst having an argument with a passenger/distracted by the kids. They've fiddled with radio controls, reached across to grab a map or programmed the sat nav or made a stupid mistake. The vast majority are never punished for their carelessness due to there being no consequences, but it does appear to instill a real feeling of "there but for the grace of god..."

This case does appear unusual because of the alcohol limit being exceeded though

LadyWidmerpool Sat 24-Nov-12 04:28:05

Unless you were in court you don't have all the information. The jury did and they acquitted. That's how the jury system works.

bp300 Sat 24-Nov-12 01:51:44

As the passenger accepted a lift from a drunk driver I think this makes him responsible also. It slightly different from him killing a pedestrian or someone in another car.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 23-Nov-12 22:44:52

A sober driver should have noticed the icy conditions and moderated their driving accordingly (in some cases that might mean not driving at all). He admitted he didn't even realise it was icy.

The accident wouldn't have happened at all if he hadn't got in the car drunk. What sort of message does this send out about drink driving?

mrscog Fri 23-Nov-12 22:42:19

I would have thought though chazs that even in your example without drink it would still be death by careless driving as you should adapt your driving to the conditions of the road - if these is ice then this means driving at a very slow speed so that if you DO lose control and crash the risk of a serious injury is much lower.

Maybe because the accident didn't result from his intoxication but rather the condition of the road. Given the road was extremely icy the view might have been that the same crash would have happened if he was sober and that even a sober driver would have been unable to prevent the crash once the car had hit ice on a bend.

spoonsspoonsspoons Fri 23-Nov-12 22:25:11

"A Great Manchester police officer who was twice the drink-drive limit when he crashed on an icy road has been cleared of causing the death of his passenger.

Off-duty PC Brendan Buggie, 39, drank six pints before smashing into a parked van on the A56 in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester.

Justyna Stanczak, 26, a front seat passenger in Buggie's Toyota Celica, died of "massive internal bleeding".

Buggie was convicted of drink-driving at Bradford Crown Court and banned.

A jury cleared him of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit, which he had denied"

If being drunk in charge of a car isn't even considered careless nevermind dangerous then what is?

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