December 27, 2012

The problem with "intoxication murder"

As this story tells us, when two guys get stinking drunk and go for a drive, and the passenger gets killed, the driver is (or at least can be) charged with "intoxication murder."

This rubs me the wrong way. In the car were two men who were (I assume) equally drunk and thus equally responsible for what occurred. It seems to me if the passenger is killed, he committed suicide. Unless someone outside the car is killed, the driver should be charged with DUI, not murder.

They never take into count the equal responsibility of the passenger. How were those two guys different? They weren't. The other guy could as easily have been the driver; it just wasn't his car. That's a detail, not a case for murder.

What if the passenger lived and the driver was killed? No charge against the passenger? They need to think this through again.

What's your opinion?

Update:  It turns out the passenger in this incident wasn't drunk at all. I picked a bad example. But my argument remains sound. When both driver and passenger are drunk, I think if anyone dies inside the car, it's a suicide. Wish I'd picked a different twosome for the post.

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