PULSE News Article
A1-A8 Oct 30 2011
For Drunk Drivers, a Habit of Judicial Leniency
According to this article, judges have been giving a lot of drunk drivers second chances- chances that they should not be granted. In the state of Massachusetts there is an acquittal rate of 80 percent for drunk driving cases, which is higher than any other state in the United States. Proponents for a stricter sentencing/penalty system for drunk drivers who previously scorned ...view middle of the document...
There have been instances mentioned in the article were drivers have sent others to the hospital and walked “out of the court free of the burden of a guilty verdict” (Carroll). The article goes on to talk about the reason for this phenomenon; there is a possibility that the judges empathize with the drunk drivers because of past experiences. Regardless, the laws need to be enforced.
I chose this article because I thought it specifically pertained to Aristotle’s motion of praise and blame. Here is a classic example of an action that is done in ignorance of particulars. The drunk driver made the decision to drink earlier on in the night, so even though his decision making process might have been altered from the alcohol, he is still responsible due to his former actions. In order to be virtuous he/she needs to understand the choices they are making before they get themselves into a jam. There prior state caused their ignorance so they are at fault. These basic philosophical notions are easy to understand, so it begs the question why some of these judges are letting criminals off the hook. No one can blame ignorance of universals, so these drunk drivers should obey the laws; this will keep more people out of harms way and create safer Massachusetts roads in general.