Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Is Enough Going to be Enough?

This is Mr. Danny Bettcher and he's in the news for something that will make your head spin:
Just 40 days out of prison, repeat DWI [Driving while intoxicated is the term in Minnesota] offender, Danny Bettcher, is back behind bars. The New York Mills, Minn., man is being held at the Wadena County Jail for allegedly violating the terms of his release. 
According to Sarah Berg of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Bettcher was apprehended on Dec. 8 after he was allegedly seen in an establishment that serves alcohol, and was consuming alcohol, both violations of his parole. 
Bettcher was released from prison on Oct. 29 after more than three years behind bars from previous alcohol-related offenses. The conditions of his release required him to stay sober. 
Bettcher reportedly holds the state record for the person with the most DWIs, with 27.
Unless he actually kills someone, Bettcher can't be jailed forever, and that's at the heart of the problem that his community has with him. The law is pretty clear, and it's pretty harsh on people who drive drunk. They've thrown the book at Bettcher and he cannot stop drinking and driving.

So, what do you do? If you're the town of New York Mills, or any town in America, and there's a man in your town who cannot stop drinking in public and then driving in a car, what do you do to ensure that he doesn't kill someone? What can you do?

My recollection is that there are people in the Albert Lea area who have racked up numerous DWIs through the years.

All we have is the law, and the law isn't working. If you have 27 DWIs, and a history of using aliases to cover up how many times you've been caught, you have no business being on the road. There has to be a modification to the law that will remove Bettcher from presence of the people in society that he is trying desperately to injure. Chalk this one up to a failure of the state to come up with a law that works the way it was intended, which is to protect public safety.

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