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PRISON or DRUNK TANK

Nearly 3rd of cases in county are DUI

March 25, 2013

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A consultant recently recommended Lycoming County spend $40 million on a new prison to keep up with demand for cell space....

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(17)

Billtown101

Mar-25-13 7:10 AM

Alright, so the SG is going to take credit for this 'P/DT' series. The staff of the SG couldn't form a rational piece of investigative reporting if Everyone saw an event and Everyone formed the same opinion. - ANYWAY; although more than a few letters had been submitted PRIOR to this SG revelation, it is good to see the subject being brought up for opinion and debate once more. - Truth is, 40 years ago any officer with a half decent personality, would tell you to go home and stay off the street for the rest of the night. 10 years prior, they would give you a ride home... Now, Yes, Williamsport NEEDS a 'Drunk Tank' and it Should located be at the New and Improved Williamsport Medical Center. They can facilitate any possible issue that may arise from medical aid to security.

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tacosalad

Mar-25-13 7:32 AM

The problem in this county exposes itself at the end of the article. Why is the DA left with the decision making ability on what punishment offenders will be given? Shouldn't he only be making recommendation? He refuses to actually bargain in his DUI pleas. He writes up the punishment and threatens to recommend the maximum sentence if the accused do not accept his terms. Where is the judicial backbone in this county? I appreciate all the work Judge Butts has put into the ARD and drug court programs, but she should be judging the accused, not an attorney. DUI would be much less of a burden in this country if it were returned to a civil offense accompanied by fines, community service, and programs based on education. Putting non-violent offenders in prison is useless. A comparison of the punishment given to DUI offenders and crimes of a more serious nature should be concerning. a 2nd time DUI offender could face up to 5 years in prison. Assault carries a smaller term.

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jeff33

Mar-25-13 8:28 AM

Not to long ago Linhart was a criminal defence lawyer and D.U.I.s were most of his caseload and he was always crying ARD for his clients.

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eric88

Mar-25-13 9:33 AM

"We're not taking advantage of alternatives but if the DA thinks that's what's fair, that's how the process works."

What a good republican! Up to one man to skirt the laws that are legislated through government. Since the crisis is amplified from the DA instituting his own version of the law maybe the inmate shipping costs should be deducted from his salary. And why do we have judges anymore if they don't use "judgement" in dictating cases or sentences? The country could hire a circus M.C. for a lot less!

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eric88

Mar-25-13 9:35 AM

Not to long ago Linhart was a criminal defence lawyer and D.U.I.s were most of his caseload and he was always crying ARD for his clients.

Definition of hypocrite.....Just a game for these clowns.

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eric88

Mar-25-13 9:40 AM

He writes up the punishment and threatens to recommend the maximum sentence if the accused do not accept his terms. Where is the judicial backbone in this county?

Why? Simple! MADD $$$$$$$$$$

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spike2

Mar-25-13 10:08 AM

Why not have a day reporting for Domestic and Fines and Costs arrears? How many are unemployed? Make daily job search a condition of release and retaining the job unless another is found. if someone is truly unskilled or has no GED, make it mandatory to obtain some training or an equivalency diploma.If an employer down-sized or went out of business, back to job search. This would take a few additional people but seems cheaper than long term incarceration. I bet more would make it than would not if a realistic plan with realistic expectations was in place.

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Deusintoxicatus

Mar-25-13 10:09 AM

You are all absolutely correct. The D.A and Pennsylvania don't care about anything but revenue. It's funny how they ramp up the DUI limit and there are more non-violent offenders being arrested, wasn't it supposed to deter drunk driving. How bout put more money into education on substance abuse. And really how many deaths actually occur from and driver with a .08, .09 BAC?

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biobabycj

Mar-25-13 12:19 PM

i agree about nonviolent criminals, like drunk drivers, should not be in the jail. maybe a simple scare tactic of a drunk tank, being locked up in a private cell to sober up, i dont know, but what are some suggestions, not that they will listen to us anyhow, but what suggestions would you make to deter more people from drinking and driving? bars could limit how much one purchase but, that customer could bar hop and get more and more. the repeat drunk drivers never learn until they kill someone, and sometimes that wont help either. id like to come back and read what some of you guys think would help deter drunk drivers from doing it again. not being a jerk here, im just curious. maybe judges would listen

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LoveYoMama

Mar-25-13 12:22 PM

Ya know.. if people actually followed the laws we wouldn't have this problem? Everyone needs to stop making excuses about making money and all that bs.. it just comes down to people get caught driving drunk and need to come up with excuses.*****it up and be responsible..

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eriklatranyi

Mar-25-13 4:02 PM

MADD and drunk driving laws are a major factor in the erosion of personal liberty.

The legal BAC limit is an arbitrary, non-scientific standard set by a small group with little tolerance for any drinking whatsoever.

DUI checkpoints are sick and disgusting in a nation of supposedly free men and women.

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brynlee

Mar-25-13 5:04 PM

I do not agree that DUI offenders are non-violent criminals. 1.2 people were killed each day in 2011 in PA due to drunk driving and 23 people a day were injured in PA in 2011. Drunk driving kills people. They make the decision to drive impaired instead of getting a ride or taxi. If the punishment for this is a slap on the wrist, these criminals will not take the DUI law seriously. I was in the court house the other day when someone with their 5th DUI was facing 3 years in prison and the judge gave them 5 years of probation instead. His blood alcohol level was over twice the .08 BAC. As a driver in Williamsport, this does not make me feel protected from these dangerous drivers, who could kill me tomorrow on the road with their careless decisions behind the wheel.

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eric88

Mar-25-13 5:32 PM

Brynlee, first I would like to correct your MADD talking points. 1. the actual number that you cited is incorrect for deaths caused by "legally impaired drivers" MADD distorts the numbers by using "alcohol related"statistics which includes passengers, proximity to bars, and ANY bac .01 or higher...

calling B.S on your courthouse example too. ANYONE convicted of a fifth DUI faces a MINIMUM 1-5 years in prison--non negotiable! Those are minimum legal statutes, not eligible for bench legislation. If so the judge and prosecutors have themselves commited a crime in ruling against the legal statutes set.

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Brew4U

Mar-25-13 7:30 PM

Thanxs babycj,eric88,& spike2,you all 'nailed' it.Saves me a bunch of typing and saves $40 mil. for tax payers. Lets do this...

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Fredzz

Mar-26-13 11:09 AM

Think about it...

Using a base line of 100% (all drivers)

Non Alcohol Related Highway deaths are a larger percentage than those of Alcohol Related Highway deaths !!.

Maybe its time to give those Sober drivers that are Killing children every day The same treatment that DRUNK DRIVERS receive...!

Are the children killed by a sober driver any less Dead than those by a drunk driver..??

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biobabycj

Mar-27-13 10:13 AM

i obviously dont care about statistics, but, i partially agree with brynlee. i mean, a violent death or injury caused by a person driving drunk, is a violent crime so to speak. ok so maybe the drunk driver would never punch someone or put a gun to someone, but, get drunk behind the wheel and kill your best friend or someone elses family is a violent death or injury, and its a crime, so thats where i agree partially. since i dont care about statistics or where they come from, thats the part thats "partially". i also agree that the slaps on wrists get handed down more than you really are aware

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biobabycj

Mar-27-13 10:15 AM

i personally know a repeat offender. i met him the second time he got busted for dui. never went to jail, came home with fines and went to the PRC for awhile. and returned home, without a license for awhile. went right back to the bar.. got another, got a hit and run and the sob is still not in jail. so brynlee could be right, if you werent there to see the sentence YOU dont know the truth..possibly the offender had money and or knew the judge.. you know the old saying, its who you know and who you......... well anyhow

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