What’s the Best Punishment for Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents?

This question has been bouncing around in my mind as I follow the Marco Muzzo trial.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of this case yet, Marco is a man who drove with a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit last September. He crashed his car into another vehicle, killing three young children and their grandfather as well as seriously injuring two other members of that family.

The children’s’ names were Daniel, Harry, and Milly Neville-Lake.  They were 9, 5, and 2 years old. Their grandfather was named Gary. You can read the rest of the details of the crash in the link above.

Every article that I’ve read about this case has talked about how devastating their deaths have been for their family. Their parents lost a father and all of their children in one terrible day.

This is the first article I’ve found that talks about how Marco has been affected by this. His sentencing hearing has been going on this week, so this case has been featured regularly in our local news. No one knows yet how long he might be in prison, but some people are guessing it could be between 10 and 12 years.

I’m hoping it’s much longer than that.

I went to school with someone who is now serving a 20+ year sentence for killing one person. While the circumstances of that case were nothing like this one, it has sprung to mind several times over the last six months. Stolen property can be returned, but nothing in this world can ever bring someone back from the dead. Murder is one of those crimes that can’t be undone.

So causing the deaths of four people should have a similar sentence, especially in cases like this where the accused was knowingly breaking the law and endangering other people’s safety.

If this was a situation where an old piece of equipment broke down at exactly the wrong place and time, it would be different.

If this was a situation where someone temporarily lost control of their vehicle due to a seizure or asthma attack that they’d done everything they could to prevent, it would be different.

If this was a situation where a patch of black ice on a dark night caused a car to suddenly spin out of control, it would be different.

It wasn’t, though.

This was all completely preventable.

Nothing can bring the victims back, but I’m hoping an appropriately long sentence will make it clear that their lives mattered.

We’ll see what the judge says…..

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