Target: Judge James Dixon, State of Washington
Goal: Demand that a rich Washington man be forced to serve time in jail for repeatedly driving while drunk, rather than be pardoned because of his wealth
Wealthy Washington citizen Shaun Goodman recently received his seventh DUI (Driving Under the Influence) ticket. Despite the number of drunken offenses he’s earned and the fact that his blood alcohol content (BAC) was more than twice the legal limit, Goodman escaped with absolutely no jail time and will instead serve one year in the work release program.
Goodman was arrested in December, 2013 after driving 100 mph, crashing into other cars and popping over curbs. The Washington court’s DUI system states that any drunk driving arrest with at least two previous offenses and a BAC above .15 (which Goodman’s was) must serve a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail. Shockingly, Judge James Dixon’s ruling did not include any jail time at all. Judge Dixon’s reasoning was Goodman’s position as an “important businessman in the community,” according to an article by ThinkProgress. For him to serve time in jail would jeopardize the jobs of his employees.
To make matters worse, Judge Dixon also authorized Goodman’s trip to NYC for the Super Bowl. Criminals in Goodman’s position would not normally be allowed to leave the state, but his lawyer petitioned the judge saying it “may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [for his client] to see his hometown team play.” Apparently that was reason enough to allow Goodman to once again get away with bending the rules because of his wealthy status.
What should ultimately matter in this case is accountability and safety, not wealth. Allowing Goodman back onto the road is an obviously reckless decision no matter how much money he has. Demand that Judge Dixon reverse his ruling and have Goodman serve jail time, helping insure he can no longer endanger people with his reckless drinking and driving.
Dear Judge Dixon,
I recently learned about your lenient ruling in favor of Shaun Goodman. Despite the fact that this was Goodman’s seventh DUI, you saw fit to wave any jail time and instead released him to serve one year in the work release program. I find this ruling highly questionable and feel strongly that it must be overturned.
As I’m sure you are aware, the Washington court system regards DUIs in the following way: if a person has two or more previous offenses and a BAC above .15, he or she must serve a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail. Under your ruling Goodman’s seventh DUI at .16 BAC did not warrant jail time because he is an “important business man” in his community. This just seems to be a roundabout way of saying Goodman is wealthy and therefore above the law.
The safety of the citizens of Washington should be given far more weight than Goodman’s wealth. I urge you to reverse your decision and to sentence him to no less than the mandatory minimum jail time associated with his crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tallentanut Darkone via Wikimedia Commons