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Driver first convicted of OUI in 1962 was drunk and drugged when he hit South Boston girl, DA says

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.

The girl is at Tufts Medical Center recovering from her injuries in the Saturday crash.

Higgins was arraigned today with a record that includes four OUI convictions dating to 1962. A South Boston Municipal Court judge agreed with prosecutors to hold him until at least a hearing on Thursday to determine whether he is an immediate menace to society and so should continue locked up until at least the outcome of his trial on the latest offense.

According to the DA's office:

Higgins was observed by witnesses driving approximately 60 miles per hour in a stretch with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour when he lost control of his SUV and struck a parked vehicle. The impact of the crash caused the front axle of Higgins’ vehicle to break and the front right wheel to strike another parked vehicle. He then struck a third vehicle and accelerated, allegedly striking the victim in a crosswalk. The SUV continued traveling another 50 feet before it struck a fourth vehicle. Higgins’ vehicle finally came to a stop approximately 500 yards from the location of the final collision, prosecutors said.

Witnesses told police that they observed Higgins tossing beverage cans over a fence prior to the arrival of officers.

Police spoke with Higgins and detected an odor of alcohol coming from his person. He appeared to be unsteady and have glassy, bloodshot eyes, prosecutors said. He allegedly made statements admitting to consuming alcohol and Vicodin earlier in the day, and to discarding beer cans from his vehicle before officers arrived.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Soak that in. Now THAT'S a career criminal.

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This girl isn't able to move and her mother says she will never be the same again. Interesting how the "but cyclists are the worst!!1!" commenters are no where to be found in the (sadly common) articles like this.

NYC is considering congestion tolls. Boston needs to implement them and make it a safer place for pedestrians. Maybe a $5 toll to enter the city will keep drunks like this in the suburbs or convince them to take public transit.

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Just because our court system failed to put this guy away? We don't have a congestion problem (well, we do, but this isn't it), we have a Richard Higgins problem.

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You want to hand government more money

I'm not interested in "handing the government more money," but I am interested in "charging more of the cost of running the government to people consume services by driving cars, and less of it to people who happen to own real estate."

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Charging none of the cost of running the government to people who work to make money.

And nobody owns real estate by accident.

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to pay the cost of civilization, but still wants drunk-driving laws enforced. Interesting.

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That the current taxes paid to said government aren't providing enough money to enforce the laws?

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I'd be happy to slash a drunk driver's tires myself. I don't need to pay for help with that.

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Like literally none? Really? The only people who should pay taxes are those who...don't work?
And I suppose they should use their tax dollars to prioritize anti-vagrancy laws and the suspiciously clean streets separating Savin Hill from Upham's Corner.

It's amazing how much of US libertarianism makes absolutely no sense, even superficially. But it's gussied up in such a sanctimonious tone that it appeals to those among us who are sanctimonious enough to identify as libertarian - or whatever extremely pedantic answer Will feels like giving about his political philosophy.

However, this is exactly right:

And nobody owns real estate by accident.

Jared Kushner worked like a dog every day from negative-nine-months-old to have a rich dad who was involved in corrupt real estate deals.

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"Charging none of the cost of running the government to people who work for a living" = no income tax. I don't see Texas, Washington, New Hampshire, and Tennessee failing (well, at least not at work productivity). Especially the latter. Nashville is the new Austin for failed/bored Bostonians, and based on my reading of this past Sunday's New York Times, Chattanooga has a bunch of industry too that's in jeopardy with the Cheeto's isolationist beliefs.

The only things that should be taxed are property (which is finite) and sales of non-essential goods. 25% sales tax. No tax on grocery items, clothing, or medicine. Shortfalls can be made up with a tax on recreational marijuana and cocaine, the latter of which is illegal for no damned good reason.

Hell, let's cut expenses while we're at it. I was over by the Garden last night leaving my buddy's bar. Three cruisers responded to one woman on the street. That's obscene. I like cops. We have entirely too many of them. I hear too much talk about what Russia did or didn't do (which isn't anything this country didn't do), and not enough about what expenses we can cut.

L-word is all you. I agree with many of their beliefs, but I don't do political parties. I'm unenrolled. My mind is not for rent to any God or government.

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Some like-minded noneconomist has been busy in Texas organizing "liberty cities" around these principals.

But, hey, you can only guess how successful that has been once they get to the "we need sewers to attract retail" stage.

Hahahahahahah.

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I use those. Show me the guy building it, I'll hand him $20. No government coercion necessary.

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Like SimCity with idiots.

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. I don't see Texas, Washington, New Hampshire, and Tennessee failing (well, at least not at work productivity).

I hope you're aware that "work productivity" is not exactly the biggest problem in our economy. In fact, some would argue that we have a problem with overproductivity. And, since New Hampshire doesn't have income tax and schools are funded largely from property tax, the failure is sporadic: the rich get rich, have rich schools and their rich kids do well in life, and poor communities, notsomuch. I'd call that failure, but perhaps you have other ideas about entrenched privilege.

My mind is not for rent to any God or government.

An adolescent Neal Peart would be very proud of you, but I suspect he's done some growing up in the meanwhile and abandoned his John Galt fantasies.

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We're outbreeding the available work to be done.

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As I just said, Will. Overproducivity.

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I'm the first to defend cyclists when idiots claim things that aren't true but this story has nothing to do with bikes. No reason to rehash the same arguments in a tragic case like this.

The guy should have never been behind the wheel. Period. The law needs to be updated to make it a crime to allow someone known not to have a license operate or buy a vehicle.

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This isn't even the first time you've concocted some faux-outrage about the absence of comments you want to see. Why don't you direct your anger at something tangible and merited, like the fact that this happened and the guy was driving again. It's pretty unnecessary to bring up bicycling, which is completely irrelevant to this story. Even less relevant than comments that don't exist.

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The courts are finally waking up to how crime with a car is crime that kills people, and that people who won't stop driving and doing drugs and running people over maybe can't be trusted to not do drugs and booze and run people over.

Cars don't kill people in accidents - drivers kill people.

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"Car violence"

Why doesn't anyone stand up to the car lobby? Or is AAA too powerful? #DemandAction

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Reality makes it less funny.

Despite its work promoting environmental responsibility in the automotive and transportation arenas, AAA's lobbying positions have sometimes been perceived to be hostile to mass transit and environmental interests.

In 2006, the Automobile Club of Southern California worked against Prop. 87. The proposition would have established a "$4 billion program to reduce petroleum consumption (in California) by 25 percent, with research and production incentives for alternative energy, alternative energy vehicles, energy efficient technologies, and for education and training."

Daniel Becker, director of Sierra Club's global warming and energy program, described AAA as "a lobbyist for more roads, more pollution, and more gas guzzling." He observed that among other lobbying activities, AAA issued a press release critical of the Clean Air Act, stating that it would "threaten the personal mobility of millions of Americans and jeopardize needed funds for new highway construction and safety improvements." "AAA spokespeople have criticized open-space measures and opposed U.S. EPA restrictions on smog, soot, and tailpipe emissions." "The club spent years battling stricter vehicle-emissions standards in Maryland, whose air, because of emissions and pollution from states upwind, is among the nation's worst."

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Gets me all the service I need (like AAA) but is pro bike and not anti transit. Not affiliated etc.

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MADD does. Cycling organizations do. Several congresspeople who bike have.

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The courts are finally waking up to how crime with a car is crime that kills people, and that people who won't stop driving and doing drugs and running people over

Setting bail in one crystal clear case does not begin to address this issue.

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The courts are finally waking up to how crime with a car is crime that kills people, and that people who won't stop driving and doing drugs and running people over maybe can't be trusted to not do drugs and booze and run people over.

Citation, please?

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... this guy will drink and drive again is too high. He needs to stay locked away in jail till the trial. At 78 the chances he will ever see freedom again are slim. What a way to spend the last years of your life!!

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This happened in Massachusetts. He won't sniff jail.

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He's literally in jail right now.

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Jail: place you go when arrested.
Prison: place you go when convicted.

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At least in Massachusetts, where a conviction with a sentence of under 2 1/2 years gets you sent to a county jail. Only more severe sentences get you sent to prison.

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That wall ain't gonna build itself!

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In Massachusetts, we have a "civil confinement" law that allows convicted sex offenders to continue to be locked up even after they have served their entire prison sentence, on the grounds that they are at high risk of re-offending.

But only for sex offenses. Not for repeat offense drunk driving. Not for arson. Not even for manslaughter.

Why?

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The civil confinement laws should be unconstitutional. But this guy should have at least had a GPS monitor and lifelong probation in which he goes to jail should he touch a drop of booze.

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I'm not opposed to civil confinement for any offense, if done with proper safeguards.

I was in the jury pool on a civil confinement case for sexual 'problems'. It was going to be a long trial (weeks) and I took the easy way out: Told the judge my mind was made up.

The point:
Mass. requires a separate REAL trial for civil confinement.

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The guy in question had forcibly raped a 5 year old.

I was torn between thinking that that civil-confinement-for-exactly-one-crime is unconstitutional, and speculating as to whether I could jump over the rail and get the guy's eyeballs out before the court officers reached me. I confessed these complex mixed feelings to the judge, also pointing out that my record shows I have not tried to get out of jury duty, and I was sent home.

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I was on an actual jury almost fifteen years ago about whether someone should continue to be locked up in Bridgewater as a "sexually dangerous person." In his youth, the guy had a thing for young teenaged girls, I think even had a legal marriage at one point with a girl in her early teens. He had been convicted of sexual assault back in the early 70s and had served a five-year term or the like. By the time of our trial, following the completion of his criminal term, he had been civilly committed (under conditions pretty much indistinguishable from imprisonment) for about **25 years** at Bridgewater.

The trial, which lasted for about ten days, was totally bizarre. The guy's whole mo was "grooming" young teenaged girls. By the time of our trial, he was about 70 years old and could barely tie his shoes, let alone groom young teenaged girls. The commonwealth's case (on which they had the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt) had virtually nothing to do with the individual in question. It was all statistics about recidivism rates. It was total BS, which is why I figured the "defense" attorneys had not objected to me (an ancient lawyer from a big-pig law firm).

To top it off, the judge (a highly respected Suffolk County trial judge) appointed me the foreman. After less than two hours of deliberation, we decided the commonwealth had come nowhere near to satisfying its burden of proof. I was a little thrown off when the clerk asked me as foreman if we had decided that the "defendant" was *not* a sexually dangerous person, because we hadn't been asked that question, but I managed to sort it out: The presumption was that he wasn't, the commonwealth had the burden of proving beyond a reasonable that he was, and we had found that the burden wasn't satisfied (so the presumption stood).

I don't have an answer about the issue of "sexually dangerous persons," but the point here (and do I have one?) is that it's pretty frightful what the "commonwealth" can do to you that you don't even know about,

--gpm

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I was on the same kind of jury, but the defendant was very different. He had also been confined for 25 years, but his original crime had been killing someone during sex - but the sex was otherwise consenting and adult. He'd had thousands of sexual encounters but started getting violent during them, until he finally killed someone. He turned himself in and confessed and pleaded guilty - but since he had killed someone during sex they decided he was "sexually dangerous" and therefore would serve his life sentence at Bridgewater. And now that 25 years were passed, we had to decide if he was still sexually dangerous. If we did, he would just go to Walpole to serve out his life sentence. He was actually going to petition to stay at Bridgewater in that case, if I remember correctly, because he seemed to have gotten his life in order there.

But unlike your jury, we deliberated for almost a full week. It was almost a 12 Angry Men situation, because we took an informal poll early on and only like two or three people were leaning towards "not dangerous." Eventually we all agreed that the state hadn't met its burden, however. But it took a lot of talking about what reasonable doubt meant.

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Is there a GoFundMe to help the girl's family with hospital costs?

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n/t

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This guy hit 4 parked cars and a small child who will likely rack up crazy medical bills.
I am just assuming here but the guy had a revoked AND suspended licence so Ima go out on a limb and say he had no car insurance.
Who pays damages on the parked cars? Who pays the medical bills?
Can the state seize this man's assets and sell them off and or distribute them to the victims? I'm guessing he will go to and die in jail so he really doesn't need that stuff anyways?
Anyone have any idea?

In 2 weeks I have witnesses 4 parked cars get smashed up right outside my house so I have been experiencing first hand the workings of the police and insurance companies regarding reckless drivers.
Police: write reports and do nothing else. No citations, no sobriety tests.
Insurance: opens wallet
Drivers: continue driving
Victims: loss of transit and endless hours on the phone with insurance companies and body shops...

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If the driver hit parked cars, they will pay civilly if they don't have insurance. Were the drivers not identified? How do you know they weren't cited?

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If the driver has insurance (and is known) they will get an insurance surcharge.

[a month after I got my license I rear ended someone. A cop, from a different town from where the accident was and off duty. He had such a bad attitude that the officer on the scene was really nice to me. But the surcharge showed no mercy, but I deserved it.]

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During the whole process. The woman who crossed into the oncoming traffic lane and into two parked cars on the opposite side of the road was not even given a sobriety test. No citstion for reckless driving, texting while driving... Nothing.
Mind you this happened in the middle of the day in broad daylight. She literally had no excuse for the officer.

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You were standing right next to the cop, like 3 feet away, the entire time he was interviewing the, for lack of a better word, suspect? The cop was okay with you just standing there? Okay.

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Was she hurt? Was an ambulance there? Was she mailed a citation? The cop let you hear her private information?

Anyway in this case, she was identified and her insurance (not yours or mine) would have covered the damages, which was part of this entire thread.

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After one OUI, a person should be forever restricted from owning/operating any vehicle heavier than 4000 pounds (small SUVs only).
After two OUIs, 3000 pounds (cars only).
After three OUIs, 2000 pounds. (microcars only)
After two OUIs, 1000 pounds (motorcycles only)

Yeah yeah, offenders shouldn't be allowed to drive at all. As a practical matter, judges are loathe to revoke licenses. That's not going to change. Judges should be more agreeable to vehicle restrictions. With a smaller vehicle, a person can still hold most jobs and manage a family, while being far less of a danger to the public.

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Meaning the driver agrees that if they don't get into another OUI in a year, the case gets dismissed. The driver also gets about 5-10K in drivers class fees/fines.

If you impose some sort of harsh penalty, lawyers are going to fight every charge. A rough guess from my experience tells me that about 80-90% of drunk drivers are found not guilty in jury trials (juries simply feel bad for other human beings facing jail time). So by taking the CWOF, you are basically not rolling the dice (in your favor) in a jury trial.

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I wonder how many here realize what it took to get an OUI in 1962.

The BAC was almost double what it is now - if there were even a limit.

You had to be staggeringly blackout drunk, basically.

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Stop impaneling wussies onto juries.

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Most defense attorneys opt for bench trials on OUI, and there are judges known to be lenient when it comes to OUI cases.

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Stop admitting wussies onto the bar.

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Half the OUI cases would go away.

That said, the defense attorneys have a duty, and the law presumes innocence, which hamstrings judges.

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. If your real guilty, get a jury trial, if you want to show that there is some serious doubt that the operator was drunk, get a bench trial.

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That's why I think vehicle restrictions are more palatable than license revocations. It's not a harsh penalty making someone downsize to a smaller car.

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