Repeat drunk driver charged with running down girl in South Boston; she suffers serious injuries

State Police report arresting an Attleboro man, who already has two OUI convictions, on charges he struck a 12-year-old girl on Old Colony Avenue around 4:25 p.m. today.

State Police say Richard Higgins, 78, was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer when "he lost control of his vehicle, swerved right, and struck the girl." He then kept on driving until stopped in Kosciuzko Circle by a Boston police officer, State Police say.

The girl was transported to Tufts Medical Center with serious injuries, State Police say.

Higgins was charged with OUI, third offense, leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, negligent operation, driving with a revoked license, driving with a suspended license and speeding.

Innocent, etc.

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Anonymouse, Are you next

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Anonymouse, Are you next going to blame the 12 yr. old victim for the repeat drunk driver slamming his car into her body then fleeing the scene?

Well, if only those pesky

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Well, if only those pesky pedestrians didn't jaywalk everywhere and go against traffic lights.

/s

2 OUIs already and still driving?

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How is it that people with repeat OUIs don't have their driver's licenses revoked?
Perhaps his was but he was still driving anyway. In any case, this guy need to be in prison where he can never get behind the wheel of a car again.

Three Strikes Law

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OUI or reckless driving #1: minimum suspension, classes, alcohol abuse program

OUI or reckless driving #2: Bye bye license for life

OUI or reckless driving #3: Minimum 5 or 10 year jail sentence

Do it again after jail? Double that.

The punishment for first

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The punishment for first offense is too lenient. Send a message and put them in jail for a week. They won't soon forget shitting in front of others for 7 days. It will save lives.

Did you...

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...read the last paragraph?

Lose a gun license for

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Lose a gun license for misconduct and the state seizes your firearms pending a trial if not permanently. Lose a driver's license and the state lets you keep your car. One is a civil right the other is a privilege. So why the Hell isn't the sate impounding cars for the duration of a suspended license if not seizing them permanently for a revocation? Massachusetts has no problem with civil asset forfeiture and allowing police departments to literally steal property through bonded warehouse kickback schemes. So why aren't these powers being used for good to keep drunks off the road instead of abusively padding budgets by taking family hotels and heirlooms?

Easy to find

It should be a crime to sell or lend a car to someone without a valid license.

No.

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Not everyone who owns a car drives it.
You don't need a license to own a car. How would that save lives? You'd only punish folks who have drivers such as disabled people or people buying a car to give to someone else.

The driver is responsible

Period.

If somebody rents a car for a person like this to use or regularly furnishes one to such a person, we could look at laws regarding accomplices and accessories that already exist.

You seem to be arguing....

It should be a crime to sell or lend a car to someone without a valid license.

You seem to be arguing that:

  • It should be a crime to sell a car to a corporation, since corporations don't have drivers' licenses.
  • It should be a crime to sell a car to a blind or otherwise disabled person who cannot drive, but who wishes to own a car and be driven by relatives or by a paid driver.

Is that what you have in mind?

Bwa ha ha

How is it that people with repeat OUIs don't have their driver's licenses revoked?

How are you enjoying your first day in Massachusetts?

The difference

Suspended = temporary
Revoked = permanent after suspension

So his licence may be marked as both suspended and revoked, so they charge with both just in case the revocation was reinstated?

You can also get your license suspended for administrative stuff.

Swirly is correct, license can be suspended and revoked

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Swirly is correct, license can be suspended and revoked at the same time. It all falls under mgl c 90 s 23.

As for this guy driving, a second OUI is still a misdemeanor. Short jail sentence or rehab, no permanent loss of license. Also, after Melanie's law was passed in 2005, there is no limit on the "lookback period" for prior OUI's, so someone at age 78 may have paid a $20 fine for OUI in the 1950's, another in the 1960's and still have those count as priors today. Up until 2005, there was only a 10 year lookback, so whatever happened 10 years prior didn't count.

No excuses, this guy should have his license revoked for life, but at age 78 with two priors, keep in mind they may have occurred in his teens. I will forgive the media for not providing any background on his driving record since this occurred on a weekend and RMV is closed. They should track it down on Monday.

Richard Higgins should never

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Richard Higgins should never see the light of day again and should die of natural causes in a jail cell. Drivers like him who do not respect the safety of others or the law need to be locked away for good. Otherwise they will never stop hurting innocent people.

And yet ...

He'll probably be out on bail tomorrow like every other repeat offender who maims or murders pedestrians.

Dangerousness hearing

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She is probably implying that his history of violent crime means that he shouldn't be let out on bail. There are procedures for this.

He clearly not going to stop driving. He should have a dangerous hearing and be held as a danger to the public.

Note that accused terrorists don't get bail, even when not yet convicted? That's how it is supposed to work.

Doesn't work that way

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Most likely, he'll be given bail on conditions, including, amazingly, not driving. Yes, he has a revoked license so he shouldn't have been driving to start with, but the joy of that is that were he to violate a term of his bail, the bail gets revoked.

Those suspected of actually killing people have gotten bail (see Zimmerman, George.) If this guy is not a flight risk, they will construct bail the right way. Ironically, the likes of Swirly will decry bail conditions in other parts of the country for being draconian, but Massachusetts is more enlightened. But since you are new here, here is a guide to bail in Massachusetts.

Thanks for the laughs, Waquoit!

Your lecturing is absolutely hilarious, given reality:

Richard Higgins, 78, of Attleboro, was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing following a weekend incident in which he allegedly sent a 12-year-old girl flying into the air on Old Colony Avenue while under the influence of both alcohol and a narcotic, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

This is exactly what I had in mind ... and EXACTLY THE WAY IT WORKS!

I'm just astonished that it is working like it should. He's dangerous, telling him not to drive clearly doesn't work, and telling him not to drink would probably be equally effective. As noted, there is a mechanism ... and the county is using it! Maybe the courts are learning what doesn't work when it comes to dangerous drivers.

Let's meet again on Thursday

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Which is when the hearing is.

Before, I gave it a 90% chance of bail, maybe 95. With the facts out at the arraignment, which I'm assuming you didn't attend and thus were not privy to, I still give odds, but now I'd say 50 or maybe 45% chance of some form of bail, including home confinement with a GPS.

But yes, Massachusetts bail system worked just as intended. Bail is not to be used as a form of punishment, which is meted out after a trial.

I wonder when self-driving

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I wonder when self-driving cars will be smart enough to save us from people like this.

Design of the street

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The design of this street played a role here. Wide lanes and an even wider overall street thanks to parking off to the far right of the bike lane = feels safe for people in cars to speed.

12 year old children are struck, people on bikes will be struck in the future (mark my words), but those parked cars are less likely to be hit. (Is that what we really care about?)

Narrow the lanes, move the parking to the left of the bike lane, add curbs that extend to the edge of the parking so the road feels narrower. Save lives when vehicles travel closer to the posted speed limit. Not rocket science, psychology 101.

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