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Drunks who kill should be treated like any other murderer

Police officers walk around the scene of a fatal crash in north Seattle near Eckstein Elementary School. The suspected drunk driver had been convicted of multiple DUIs and charged with several more before he police say he crashed into an entire family one afternoon. (Photo: Kruse)

Dori writes…

Morgan Williams usually rode the bus to her job at the Eddie Bauer corporate offices – but she decided to drive herself Thursday morning because, after work, she was planning to visit an old high school friend who had just entered hospice care in Bellingham.

That act of friendship, combined with the selfishness and alleged criminality of Michael Robertson, ended up costing Morgan Williams her life.

As she drove on 520 at 5:30am, imagine the moment of fear she experienced as she came around a corner and saw headlights unavoidably coming straight at her.

Ms Williams was going about 50mph. The alleged drunk was going the wrong way at about the same speed – causing a collision impact of 100 miles-per-hour.

Morgan Williams died from her massive injuries. Michael Robertson has just a broken ankle.

According to the charging documents, Robertson said he had been at a club on Capital Hill and was trying to drive to Tacoma. He admitting to having had drinks at the club and he also had an open bottle of cinnamon whiskey in his SUV.

This is not his first time this unbelievably selfish man has been allegedly driving impaired. In December, he was nearly two-and-a-half-times the legal limit when he plowed into a woman’s car. He tried to drive away from that crash, but a witness followed him until police could apprehend him.

In that incident, he not only had a BAC of .197, but that police report also revealed that he had a male passenger in the vehicle with him, his clothes were “dissheveled” and his zipper was down – suggesting that perhaps alcohol was not his only distraction.

For the Thursday morning fatal accident, 25-year-old Michael Robertson has been charged with vehicular homicide. According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, if Robertson is convicted as charged he will face 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years in prison.

Let me repeat – he faces just 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years in prison!

Robertson will still be a young man if he is convicted and serves that entire sentence. Still in just his early-to-mid-30’s, he would have plenty of time to once again drive drunk and destroy more lives.

I say, if he is guilty, this man should never, ever experience another day of freedom.

When you take a life in such a selfish way, you should pay with your life. I’m not talking about the death penalty – but I am talking about life in prison.

To illustrate how misguided our state’s vehicular homicide sentencing is, consider this: Here in Washington, if you play one hand of Texas Hold ‘Em poker on your computer for 25-cents, you could face ten years in prison. But if you drive drunk and kill another person, it’s only 6-8 years. Corrupt state lawmakers got bought off by gambling interests to protect their monopoly, but they go easy on killers.

If someone gets drunk and fires a loaded gun into a crowd and kills someone, they are charged with murder. If they get drunk, and drive a two-ton vehicle into an innocent life, they are NOT charged with murder. I will never understand what the difference is.

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