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Years ago you could hit and kill someone with your car and get away with a slap on the wrist. There was one stipulation: You had to be drunk. Then it was considered an accident, it wasn't intentional. The penalty was lenient or altogether non-existent.

Fortunately the law was changed and drunk driving is no longer considered accidental. If someone chooses to drink and drive we acknowledge that it is not only wrong, it is also illegal.

But as it now stands, if you hit someone with your car when you've been drinking and leave the scene of the accident you can still get away with a relative slap on the wrist.

It doesn't even matter if the victim dies; the penalty isn't any stiffer. You can be charged only with leaving the scene of an accident. No one can prove you were drunk, especially days, weeks or months later when you've been caught. Not only do you avoid being charged with DWI and vehicular manslaughter, but you even get to keep your driver's license.

The excuse used for leaving the scene of an accident is poor judgment. That's what Drew Tidwell would have us believe he's guilty of. The notion that a respected and well-paid partner in a Buffalo law firm could be guilty of using such poor judgment is an insult not only to the family of Donald Freuhauf but to all of us. Clearly, the law needs to be changed.


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