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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Drunk driver at last will serve jail time

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Few things make my blood boil as much as a drunk driver. I don't mind a drunk but I do mind one behind the wheel. And that makes me wonder how in the world Robert Pinson was given so much leniency right here in Missouri.

Pinson will finally spend time in prison after a judge this week revoked his probation following his 12th alcohol-related driving conviction. In other words, Pinson has stood before judge after judge and the only true punishment was a brief prison treatment program back in 2004. He was arrested for drunk driving five months later.

Pinson lives in Hillsboro, just south of St. Louis. He's been driving drunk since at least 1976 when he was first convicted. Multiple arrests and convictions followed in St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Francois counties. He has not had a license for 15 or 20 years but still managed to get behind the wheel of a car drunk - again and again and again.

Are the prisons so overcrowded with drug addicts that we cannot include Robert Pinson among their number? Why would any judge see his record and not put him in prison at some point? Let's say you're a judge and Pinson comes before you on his 8th driving while drunk charge. Would you not recognize that he had not learned his lesson and put him away for a very long time? What am I missing here?

Pinson was charged with DWI manslaughter in 1982 when he was accused of running over and killing a 5 year-old boy. A jury could not reach a verdict so he pled guilty to careless and imprudent driving. And still he drove drunk again and again.

When all of our attempts to help a person fail, then use common sense and punish him for his actions. I cannot believe this man was ever allowed out of prison. Treatment for some is a farce. It obviously was for Robert Pinson.

Pinson will now spend some serious time in prison but only because of a new state law. He's 52 now and hopefully he'll be 72 when he leaves prison. And if he drinks and drives again, he should spend his remaining days in prison.

I have no objection whatsoever with drinking. That's a personal choice. But when you are drunk and get behind the wheel, that puts my life in jeopardy. And I take great offense when you put my life at risk.

Pinson is among the lowest forms of life. But the judges who turned their heads the other way and allowed him to go free are just one small step above him in the food chain.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen