I'll make this short and sweet. As the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaches, I'm reminded that drunks consider this the first holiday weekend of the summer and often create fatal mayhem behind the wheel of a vehicle. I have for years - far too many to count - urged motorists to use their thick skulls and avoid getting behind the wheel while drinking. And then on the Tuesday following the Memorial weekend, our newspaper publishes the names of far too many people killed on the roadways by drunk drivers.
Having said that, I read an interesting article from Kansas City today where a persistent drunk driver was sentenced to 25 years in prison. It is being hailed as the longest sentence for that crime in state history. But wait before you applaud the court system.
Gregory Krahenbuhl had already accumulated 17 DWI convictions before he pled guilty in March to two more DWIs and driving with a revoked license. Now imagine that. Seventeen previous DWI convictions! Folks there is something tragically wrong when we put kids in prison for possession of marijuana and yet let jerks like this continue to walk the streets.
I would advocate capital punishment for Krahenbuhl. Granted, that's a ridiculous notion. But if a drunken jerk can accumulate 17 DWI convictions then he is, in my opinion, beyond hope. Revoking his driving privileges is indeed a joke. He's an alcoholic with no redeeming values at all. Twenty-five years is a wake-up call but let me ask how he could have avoided prison before this point?
Police report that Krahenbuhl was so drunk during his recent traffic arrests that he could not stand. I do applaud the judge for sentencing him to 25 years. I would like to know the names of the judges who on 16 prior occasions allowed him to roam free.
Do we somehow think that revoking a license will change behavior? Surely you jest! This drunk was bound and determined to drive drunk until he killed someone. Just a little more time would have provided that opportunity. And then society would point the finger at Krahenbuhl. The finger should be pointed directly at the judges and prosecutors and the system itself that allowed him to breath free air long before this latest incident.
You should never drive drunk. But our system should also guarantee that if you do, you will pay a price beyond your imagination. I could care less about overcrowded prisons. I want these drunks off the roadways so that my children and your children can be assured that their behavior will not threaten their lives.
Twenty-five years is an admirable sentence. But how in the hell did we allow this man to reach this point? Answer me that!