Recidivist Drunken Drivers

Readers write

April 12, 1992

From: Laure Kaylor

Ellicott City

I am writing in response to Lan Nguyen's March 18 article (HowardCounty Sun, "Man who won DWI changes again charged") concerning the drunken-driving charges against Jacob E. Sites.

I was outraged upon learning that Mr. Sites has been convicted of drunken driving threetimes in the past nine years, and yet has retained his drivers license and continues to offend.

Needless to say, drunken driving is a serious offense and not one to be dealt with lightly, but apparently in Mr. Sites' case, the justice system neglected to consider the possible consequences of repeated offenses.

When an intoxicated persongets behind the wheel of a car, he is endangering not only his own life but also the lives of other people who unfortunately happen to bearound at the time of the crime.

Given that Mr. Sites was not wearing a seat belt at the time of his fourth DWI arrest this past December, he is obviously not concerned with his own safety. Additionally,the justice system that allowed Mr. Sites to retain a drivers license after three drunken-driving convictions was not too concerned aboutprotecting the public safety.

From his past record in dealing with Maryland's judicial branch however, Mr. Sites has been quite successful in using the law to suit his purposes. In 1984 he fought to get a statute to allow drunken-driving suspects time to call lawyers before submitting to a Breathalyzer test.

In December, when Mr. Sites was charged with his most recent DWI violation, a 20-year-old woman suffered injuries great enough to require medical attention through the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Hopefully, the next time Mr. Sitesgoes to trial, the judicial system will realize the seriousness of his repeat offenses. How many more times will Mr. Sites be allowed to offend before the judicial system puts a stop to it?

LIMIT CONGRESSIONAL TERMS

From: Janet M. Sloan

Ellicott City

During the pastcentury, our rulers have expanded the power and scope of government under the guise of attempting to create a more perfect world for all.

Despite a facade of good intention, its continued intervention has bought us a sea of red ink, swollen, inefficient bureaucracies immune to change, an education crisis, as well as social, moral and economic decay.

These failures and recent congressional scandals lead concerned citizens to raise the question: Are elected representatives motivated by public or self-interest?

The answer is simple. Careerpoliticians are motivated by the same incentives that drive workers in the private sector -- job security, money, benefits and power. These incentives translate into political preoccupation with re-election.

Obviously, the self-interest that dominates today's political arena is contrary to representative government, which by definition requires prioritizing public interests.

Government controlled by careerists no longer functions as an instrument of the people. In place of safeguarding individual liberties, the government functions to redistribute wealth and grant favor and privilege.

Special-interest groups emerge as the principal beneficiaries of government spending andlegislative mandates, and the politician's ticket to re-election. Unfortunately, the taxpayers foot the bill.

Term limitation is needed to break the stranglehold of self-serving professional politicians and their special-interest groups and to restore representative government to the people.

In Howard County, a term-limitation movement is under way. Through the initiative process, Howard County residentshave the opportunity to create a new beginning for their government by supporting the volunteer, non-partisan efforts to limit terms of the Howard County Council members. Supporting term limits on a local level sends the vital message to state and federal representatives: Weare taking our power back!

(The writer is the chairwoman of the Howard County Action for Limiting Terms.)

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