Poor old Jerry W. Young. The 78-year-old Bellevue man just can't get a break.
Young got his 11th DUI in April 2006 when he was stopped in Huron. The following month, poor old Jerry got his 12th DUI when he was stopped by the Highway Patrol.
Poor old Jerry, he just can't get a break.
Actually, it's the public that just can't get a break from this menace to society and every other repeat DUI offender. They put each of us at risk; our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, friends and loved-ones. We're all in danger of getting seriously injured, maimed, or killed every time they get behind the wheel.
Jerry actually gets plenty of breaks. After his most recent conviction for his 11th and 12th DUIs, he was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.
But Jerry can ask for early release from prison after he's served just four months.
That, simply put, should not be an option. And a 30-month sentence for DUI No. 11 and DUI No. 12, is not enough in prison time in the first place.
State legislators need to reform sentencing guidelines so that the public is served, not the defendants. Here's one suggestion to keep it simple: Rehab for DUI No.1; rehab and six months for No. 2; three-year mandatory sentence for DUI No. 3; four years for No. 4; five years for No. 5; and so on ...
Jerry would never have gotten to 12 if the time fit the crime.
Poor old Jerry has had more than enough breaks, and more than enough opportunities to get help and stop being stupid. It's time we got a break.