Saturday, January 21, 2006

Shovel Attack Criminal Reforms - Part 1

I'm hoping the headline got your attention. That's what it's there for. You see, two-and-a-half months ago I was hit by a drunk driver — with a shovel.

Actually, that's the cute way to say it. The looks on people's faces when I say it is priceless. Shock and sympathy quickly transform into something else, usually into a contorted face of someone trying to stifle a smile or outright laughter.

That doesn't bother me. Getting hit by a drunk driver is something people understand. Getting hit by a drunk driver wielding a shovel isn't.

Long story short, he got out of the truck, grabbed a shovel from the bed of his pickup and tried to "teach me a lesson" in his words by attempting to decapitate me with a shovel blow to the head. I put my arm up and survived with only a fractured elbow and damage to my ulner nerve which still prevents me from using my left hand completely.

What I thought would be a few hours in the ER with X-rays and stitches stretched into a five-day stay at the hospital and two surguries. By the the cops talked to me again the second time in the ER that night I was madder at the system than the assailant. You see, if the drunk had been prosecuted and punished properly for his earlier crimes he wouldn't have been on the road that night, or ended up in the front yard where the incident took place.

Since then I've discovered a number of flaws with our system of justice and I've asked my local lawmaker to consider them for new legislation. Rather than outline them all at once, I'm going to use this forum to discuss them one at a time so the comments can reflect each proposal on its own merits.

The first proposal deals with the state employees who for some reason must threaten the public safety by operating under a gag order. Law enforcement people I talk to can't believe this is real, but it was explained to me by a state employee.

Empower Secretary of State Employees — According to workers at the drivers license facilities; they are not allowed to report crimes they see on the job. For example, they could watch someone drive up drunk, stumble inside, reek of alcohol, admit to just drinking a fifth of Scotch, and ask to get their license renewed. Rather than keeping a drunk driver off of the roads they are required to serve him and allow him to drive off. I haven’t found out the reasoning, but it seems that this policy violates the general state law that citizens are legally bound to report crimes.

I'll published the next proposal tomorrow.

Cross posted at


Cal Skinner 3:59 PM  

Who are your legislators?

Jon Musgrave 6:16 PM  


They're John Bradley in the House and Gary Forby in the Senate.

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