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Thread: This Is What Happens To A Drunk, Now Paraplegic Learner Driver

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    A*O
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    Default This Is What Happens To A Drunk, Now Paraplegic Learner Driver

    Discuss.

    Paraplegic avoids jail over horror eight-in-car crash
    August 25, 2010 - 4:06PM

    Seven young friends crammed into a small car screamed at their learner driver to slow down before the vehicle slammed into a pole at 124km/h, a court has been told.

    The driver, Kuong Majak, 25, survived war-torn Sudan only to become a paraplegic in Australia after she got behind the wheel of the car following a night of drinking in October 2008.

    Majak had a blood-alcohol content almost three times the legal level and was travelling 40km/h over the speed limit, with seven passengers squashed into the two-door Mitsubishi Lancer.

    It was a recipe for disaster, Victorian County Court Judge Paul Lacava said on Wednesday.

    All seven passengers were injured, five seriously, after the crash on Melbourne's Princes Highway at Clayton.

    But Judge Lacava said he would not send Majak to jail because she had already suffered enough.

    Majak is confined to a wheelchair and requires 24-hour care at a Williamstown respite centre as a result of her injuries, described by Judge Lacava as "catastrophic".

    "How anyone managed to survive the impact alive is remarkable," Judge Lacava said in sentencing Majak to a three-year wholly suspended jail term today.

    "The fact there were eight persons in the vehicle at the time makes it even more remarkable no-one was killed."

    Majak, who migrated to Australia aged 12 from a refugee camp in Egypt after her family fled Sudan, was travelling "far too fast" with a blood-alcohol content of 0.146 before the crash, Judge Lacava said.
    When the vehicle's other occupants yelled at her to slow down Majak replied "don't worry, it's OK", the court heard.

    "Your negligence in causing this collision and your negligence in causing serious injury to so many young people should be a salutary lesson to all young inexperienced drivers," he said.

    Judge Lacava said although Majak's offending would normally result in a prison term, he was not satisfied she would receive the treatment she needed in custody.

    Port Phillip Prison - a men's jail - was the only facility equipped to cater for her high-care needs
    .

    Judge Lacava said it would be "unthinkable" to send her to a men's prison and was not convinced the women's Dame Phyllis Frost Centre could accommodate her either.

    He said her punishment must be balanced with mercy and told Majak she would not be going to jail.

    "You have been punished enough, yet your punishment will continue for every minute of every day for the rest of your life," Judge Lacava said.

    "Your crimes were very serious. Your culpability was high.

    "But in offending you injured yourself and must now live with the consequences.

    "You are very remorseful and have full empathy with your victims, who were your friends."

    The court heard Majak continues to suffer from behavioural, emotional and cognitive difficulties as a result of her internal head injuries.

    AAP
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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    8 people in a small car wtf wow. Why did they even let a drunk driver get behind the wheel? Especially a learner driver??
    They couldn't put her in a men's prison and it's true that she is basically living in a jail now anyway. The physical and mental damage is her prison. I'm assuming the tax payer money pays for her care now. I'm really torn on this, I want her to go to jail for her crime but at the same time she's already suffering a great deal and will be for the remainder of her life.
    Were any of the other people in the accident hurt as severely?

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I don't really agree with the idea that she's "suffered enough" and therefore should not be sentenced to actual incarceration, but I can understand not sending her to prison if there's no facility equipped to deal with her medical situation.

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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Actually this is not what usually happens to a drunk driver. Usually they walk the fuck away while everyone else is dead or paralyzed.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gas_chick View Post
    Actually this is not what usually happens to a drunk driver. Usually they walk the fuck away while everyone else is dead or paralyzed.
    Amen.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    being paralysed and brain damaged for life is a million times worse than a few years in jail. there's no point in sending her to jail, absolutely none.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I think it depends on how you view incarceration. If you view it as something to rehabilitate people, you're definately right. If you view it as punishment, then maybe her going to prison would serve only as that.

    I guess I don't know how I'd feel about this if I was a family member of one of the other people hurt. On the one hand, you're responsible for your own safety up to a point. On the other, it says the other passengers were young - if that means minors, I might cut them some slack for stupidity.

    Very gray area, definately.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    i think it's useless to send her to prison as either punishment or rehabilitation. her fate is worse than death, that's punishment enough. and the work she's going to have to do to learn to live with her injuries will be hard enough to rehabilitate her character. besides, it's not like there's any chance she'll re-offend, unless she takes to ramming people down with her electric wheelchair.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I understand what you're saying and I can appreciate it, but I know myself well enough to know that if she caused someone I loved to be horribly injured for the rest of their life, there is no punishment enough. Perhaps it's one of my personal flaws as a human being, but it is what it is.

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    ^^^
    and that's why there is a court system in place to take care of doling out justice, instead of it being left to individuals.
    that's why victims' families have no place in determining sentences - nothing will seem like enough to them, short of seeing the defendant stomped to death by spike-toed elephants and burned alive.
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    Elite Member Geest's Avatar
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    I'd punish the other idiots as well who got into the car with her.
    At least one of them should have said, no fucking way you're driving gimme the keys. Now they are accomplices.

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    Since prison is supposed to be for punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation-- I reckon it's pointless. Never being a paraplegic takes care of the first two. Bitch is never going to walk again, let alone drive. She's got zero freedom in her state.
    When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what the fate of the other passengers were? Were any of them paralyzed or worse?

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    A*O
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    All 8 people were seriously injured but nobody died but I can't find any info on whether anyone else has been left permanently disabled. I can't believe they wouldn't be - the car was completely destroyed in the impact with a light pole.

    I don't see much point in sending her prison. She's going to be punished for the rest of her life and there's no hope of rehabilitation. Either way, she's going to be relying on the taxpayer to look after her from now on and that does piss me off since she is entirely responsible for her stupidity but what's the alternative?
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    Elite Member roslyntaberfan's Avatar
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    I understand that being left the way she has is her true punishment, but I do think that she needs to learn some social responsbility.

    It's her fault that she has been left paralysed, no one forced her to drive pissed, but she needs to accept some responsibility for what she did to the others. I'm not an advocate of prison, but she should be made to do some other form of either punishment or payback, where possible. Perhaps she could do something to educate others as to what happens when you act like a selfish fucktard and drive drunk. Or whatever she can do that is within her physical capability.
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