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Tougher penalties for drunk drivers

December 15, 2010 2:01:41 PM PST
There was another arrest on Long Island - yet another wrong way driver. This time it's not an accused drunk driver; instead, the 26-year-old is charged with driving under the influence of drugs. He was in a head-on crash with two other cars near Riverhead.

This is the sixth time, by our count, that a driver under the influence, went the wrong way on a highway or road on Long Island in the past few weeks. One of the accidents in that spree was deadly.

At some point in the future, we'll look back ? and I suspect it may be more accurate to say "our children will look back" ? and wonder why in the world we didn't have a zero tolerance policy for DWI. Drive drunk or high on drugs? Lose your license. Period. Not for a month or six months, but for five years. Or maybe for life is the more appropriate punishment.

Why in the world is that such a hard concept to grasp? That's what families of people killed by drunk drivers ask. And it's understandable. We are simply not tough enough on these drivers.

That they risk their own lives is one thing. That they risk others' lives is quite another.

We can't pretend to be against this kind of behavior by turning the other cheek or by minimizing the penalties for it.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll have the latest on the accident, tonight at 11. Also at 11, we're following developments in the camp of the New York Jets, where the team's discovered that the coach who tripped an opposing player running along the sideline last Sunday, had ordered other players to form a human wall on the sideline right before the incident. Sal Alosi, the Jets' strength and conditioning coach, has already been indefinitely suspended. He's apologized, but didn't mention anything about ordering his players to stand together. Now the Jets have to figure out what to do next. Fire Alosi? Penalize the other players? What to do?

Speaking of what to do, we're looking at what parents will do with the nearly 1 million drop-side cribs that have been bought ? but that have now been banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. At least 32 infant deaths from falls or strangulation in these drop-side cribs since 2000. So now what? "Commercial providers" could pay hundreds of millions to replace the cribs they've sold ? at an average of about $500 a pop. We'll have the latest, at 11.

And we're also taking a closer look at the growing number of plastic surgeons who are now offering mastectomies and lumpectomies to their clients who have breast cancer.

It's quite a trend, given that some hospitals ? obviously with a self-interest here ? suggest that it's not as safe a procedure in a doctor's office as it is in a hospital. But of the more than 7,400 mastectomies done in New York last year, about 900 were performed on an out-patient basis. So private doctors see that stat and ask, why not do it in our office, which has an operating room?

Sandra Bookman has our story tonight.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

BILL RITTER

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