All impairments need harsh penalty

Regarding the article, “Moment shattered her life”: Teri Cantor, the Everett woman so badly injured by an impaired driver, has my empathy; I wish her a full recovery. I was luckier than she when in 2008 an impaired driver totaled our car by driving head-on into us going the wrong way down Highway 99. Still, five years later, I know my life will never be the same and I will never fully recover physically from that traumatic event.

Lynnwood police, who came to the scene, did little to help us and did not cite the driver, who passed out at the scene.

The reason, they said, that they did not cite the man who hit us is that he was suffering from an allergic reaction. He admitted later during questioning that he had eaten a hot dog, had a reaction to it and was on his way home to get his medicine when he passed out in his moving vehicle. He bounced off a car carrying a family with three children before he slammed into us.

This man had a history of allergies and reactions, had medicine for it and rather than calling 911, a family member or the restaurateur for assistance, made the choice to get in his car and drive while impaired, knowing he would likely get worse. Logic would dictate that makes him an impaired driver, but he suffered no legal consequences.

Whether it’s from alcohol, drugs or physical problems, an impaired driver is just that, and a menace on the roads to people like Ms. Cantor, myself and the rest of us. State legislators should strengthen penalties against impaired drivers, driving courses should teach students that there are many things that can impair a driver and law enforcement should have zero tolerance for those who so cavalierly put others’ lives at risk.

Sue Ellen White


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