Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Wed, Nov. 20

Why do DUI drivers get bigger breaks than some felons

Try to imagine for just a moment that you are a convicted felon. Maybe not anything as serious as murder or something of that nature. But a felony just the same. You are maybe recently released from prison and have very strict rules attached to your probation or parole. Other people may live in the street or remain unemployed, but you may not. A violation could mean a year or longer back in the slammer without committing a new crime.

Let's pretend now that you are a habitual drunk driver. Perhaps you have had half dozen DUIs. You are no longer are legally allowed to drive, but continue doing so anyway. You may end up doing a little local time if you are caught, but you are not going to prison. After all, you are still not a convicted felon. Perhaps you should be! No matter how bad your criminal record can get, it is being a convicted felon that is life changing.

There are torts or misdemeanor crimes, and then there are felonies that are often classed by a 1, 2 or even a 3 or 4 felony, which depends on the severity of the crime or how many times you plead guilty to it. People used to believe that prison was not so much for punishment as rehabilitation. Hah! I think we can all agree that ship has sailed. For some offenders, adjusting to the outside was hard enough. Add the pressures attached with parole, and it is often like being set up to fail.

Employers most often do not hire convicted felons. They don't care if you did your time for writing a bad check or killing three people! You are still a convicted felon. I just don't know if I can go along with this. I think a violent crime such as assault, rape, murder, etc., would certainly be a slam dunk for denial of employment. But the poor guy who has no history of any violence, completed his sentence, and is asking for help to begin his life again should not be disregarded. He is certainly no more a criminal than those who continue to put lives in danger everyday by driving drunk.

Something is wrong with this system.

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