This case would be sad, but nothing special, except for one detail. Rene E. Fernandez got drunk and started driving like a maniac. He hit an elderly couple and hurt them pretty badly. As they waited for help, he grinned and walked around the accident scene with no regard for their well-being. They used to be pretty active people at 81 and 85 years of age, now they have to walk with walkers and canes, and were forced to leave their home and move into a retirement community. The special detail was the elderly man in the accident is a retired judge who presided over Fernandez’s DUI case 12 years ago and suspended his sentence. Oh! The sweet irony!
It sounds like what he did with Fernandez was pretty standard, and to Fernandez’s credit, he didn’t drink and drive for a decade since that case. But it’s exactly what everyone who knows anything about drunk drivers will tell you. They’ll get off easy and be given way too many chances to screw up other people’s lives who never get off easy.
I can only hope that Judge Colin Westman is taught a similar lesson, and I hope even more strongly that when he makes a victim impact statement, he is silenced. That would be justice.