By on May 19, 2014
YouTube Preview Image

Seattle’s TV stations are reporting that a wealthy businessman who led police on a high speed chase through the city of Olympia in his Ferrari F360 has been sentenced to just one year of work release. According to the reports, Shaun Goodman pleaded guilty to felony police evasion and DUI for the December 29 incident that saw his terrified passenger leap from the moving car when he slowed at an intersection and ended only after he crashed into a parked car and then careened into the side of a house.

Blood alcohol tests showed Mr. Goodman had a BAC of 0.16, twice the legal limit in Washington State, and sentencing guidelines dictate that anyone with a BAC greater than 0.15 and two or three prior offenses receive 120 days jail time unless the judge determines that the sentence would impose a substantial risk to the offender’s physical or mental well-being. This conviction is Mr. Goodman’s seventh.

The light sentence has sparked some outcry in the local community and protesters gathered before the Thurston County Courthouse on Friday to voice their dissatisfaction. They allege that this sentence is just the latest example of the favorable treatment that Mr. Goodman has received all along from the court and point to the modest $75.000 bail, a sum the wealthy Mr. Goodman easily posted, and the fact that Mr. Goodman received the court’s permission to leave the state in order to attend the Super Bowl less than a month after his arrest as proof of their claim.

Mr. Goodman is obviously a serial offender and a menace on the roads and this judgment, just another in which wealthy defendants have used their position to obtain lighter sentences than would have been imposed upon the rest of us, is a disgrace. Protesters are right to demand answers.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

124 Comments on “Affluenza Redux: Rich Guy Gets Slap On The Wrist For Drunken High Speed Chase...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This sentence “This conviction is Mr. Goodman’s seventh.” indicates a fundamental flaw in our system. This man should -never- be allowed any license for a motor vehicle after two (maybe three) such convictions. In my world, you’d get one, then on two you’re done. We’re too lenient on this sort of crap. Look at the damage this drunk idiot has caused, and the number of people he has inevatibly come close to injuring all this time.

    But I’m sure someone (as with the street racing crash article last week) will sit here and argue he wouldn’t have acted this way if he had a racetrack nearby to his home.

    • 0 avatar
      JK43123

      Exactly. There shouldn’t be more than two priors because then his license, vehicles should be taken away. And no hard jail time after 7 convictions? Of course he’s still doing it.

      John

    • 0 avatar
      hf_auto

      “a fundamental flaw in our system”

      Bingo. The affluenza angle on this story is pure click-bait. Washington sees a constant stream of fatalities caused by repeat drunk drivers that span the economic spectrum. Still driving after 10+ DUIs isn’t unheard of.

      People here are generally fed up with the way DUIs are handled and this guy just happened to drive a Ferrari through ground zero for the Occupy crowd- that probably added fuel to the fire.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        I’m inclined to agree based on what I see in my area. There’s a constant stream of serial DUI offenders who get off lightly. And most are anything but affluent. Believe it or not, some of the offenders are stopped in the morning and they’re already soused. All I can think of is that the jails are too crowded and communities are being swamped with the associated costs. So they do everything they can short of giving jail time. Petty larcenies and assaults often get the same treatment. You can be pretty confident that crime is greatly underreported in much of the U.S.

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          > Believe it or not, some of the offenders are stopped in the morning and they’re already soused.

          This is an incredibly common misconception. Regular (non-weekend/holiday) DUI checkpoints are typically right at 8-9am. This is to catch people who got drunk the night before and are driving to work still drunk after sleeping it off and when there’s the most risk of a drunk killing someone.

          Your body is still processing alcohol through the liver into the blood by then if you drank enough. The calculations from high school health class still apply.

          Failure to understand this is why people get caught and a lot of folks drive drunk semi-regularly without realizing it.

          • 0 avatar
            beefmalone

            You have bought into their BS hook, line & sinker. People getting arrested at next morning DUI checkpoints are people who just barely hit the minimums but could hardly be considering “driving drunk” by any stretch. Just another road tax by the welfare state.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            > You have bought into their BS hook, line & sinker. People getting arrested at next morning DUI checkpoints are people who just barely hit the minimums but could hardly be considering “driving drunk” by any stretch. Just another road tax by the welfare state.

            Then get the minimums changed. If I had my way, 0.00 would be the legal limit, because many people don’t know how much they’ve had once they have that first drink. How about just not drinking and driving? How hard is that?

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            It’s rather anti social to not have a a wine glass with dinner the night before you have to go to work. Also, OJ and decet quality bread puts you above .00.

            And, “sobriety checkpoints” are only practiced in unapologetic police states. And only accepted by the most well indoctrinated of useless drones.

            There is a world of difference between being over some arbitrary “limit”, and driving in such a way that reasonable police officers considers you dangerous despite not knowing whether you were drunk or not. When they, or some hard object, do stop you, if you are drunk enough to be even less capable of having avoided a kid that could have ran for his soccer ball in front of your car, THAT’s when even non police states should reasonably put the hammer down.

            But, as this case illustrates; in corrupt, progressive totalitarian hellholes like ours, authorities find it less complicated to just harass people who cannot contribute as meaningfully to their campaign funds. And who don’t hire law school friends of the judge to defend them.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            I’m hardly a “useless indoctrinated drone” but whatever. I’ll ignore the personal attack for now.

            People need to understand that every time they get behind the wheel of a car, they are aiming a loaded gun. These things very much are weapons but necessary because of their utility. Certain things you just don’t mix with alcohol. Driving and shooting are definitely near the top of the list.

            But keep being an apologist for that sort of behavior. Maybe we’ll check in with you once you’ve lost some friends/family to alcohol-related driving deaths like I have and we can see where you stand on this. Sometimes that harmless “one drink” isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            @stuki

            “It’s rather anti social to not have a a wine glass with dinner the night before you have to go to work.”

            Really? It is? What’s wrong with a Coke or heaven forbid glass of water with dinner? There is absolutely no situation in which alcohol is required to be social. In fact, needing alcohol to be social is indicative of alcoholism.

            I’d leave the legal limit where it is so it can account for non-drinking things that would raise your BAC. But having lost family to drunk driving I have a zero tolerance policy. No amount of alcohol is acceptable for driving.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Kaosaur and Frylock,

            Didn’t mean to offend, and sorry about your loss.

            There are soo many other factors than alcohol that reduces ones ability to drive (and shoot.) Lack of sleep, stress, screaming kids, age, lack of age, eye sight, caffeine, lack of caffeine, fever/sickness, needing to go to the restroom, dehydration…..) Below a certain amount of alcohol, it’s negative effects are drowned out by the noise of all these other factors. Smelling a beercap just isn’t going to immediately turn someone into the worst menace to ever hit the road.

            The whole idea of harassing everyone around, in order to look for that needle in the haystack that may be a “bad guy”, has no place whatsoever in anything resembling a free society. I have more than once spent over an hour, stuck in traffic, leading up to one of these sobriety checkpoints. At 2:30 am. Sometimes completely dead sober, sometimes after having had a glass of wine or two several hours prior. Chances are, as it was already late, the added tiredness from the hour+ of sitting there cheering for “the terrorists” to get a nuke and end this dunp once and for all, had a much more deleterious effect on my driving afterwards, than whatever trace alcohol may still have been in my blood from a wine glass.

            As in every other scenario, the proper way to obtain sufficient deterrence to drunk driving, is to up penalties for those who are caught. Not the kind of joke penalty the guy in the article got away with. But instead, lifetime in prison without parole for second (or first) offense. Hanging, Burning, Judas Chairs, Whatever. As long as no innocent third party is unduly inconvenienced by it, the exact punishment is fairly irrelevant. But by responding this way, you also have to make sure that the dude you’re about to torture, burn and hang, really did seriously endanger the lives and well being of others. Not just violate some feelgood limit, that may or may not have been all that serious in his specific case.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            @stuki: “As in every other scenario, the proper way to obtain sufficient deterrence to drunk driving, is to up penalties for those who are caught.”

            Except that that doesn’t work “in every other scenario” either.

            The USA has a heckuvalot more people in prison than most of the western world, often on much smaller crimes than elsewhere in the western world (tiny-value burglaries, possession of basically rather small amounts of not-so-hard drugs, etc); the USA, unlike almost the entire rest of the western world, has the death penalty… And still, the USA far outstrips almost the entire rest of the western world in these “other scenarios” (above all, firearm killings).

            So no, upping the penalties doesn’t seem to be working.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “… indicates a fundamental flaw in our system.”

      No flaw, Mr. Goodman is probably the biggest campaign contributor to whoever has been pulling strings to get him off. Business as usual

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    What sentence does the less affluent or politically connected person get and how does that work?

    Our local PD must be giving officers retirement points for DUI arrests because it’s become an industry. I’m waiting for the burglars to figure out the cops are all tied up on Weekend nights leaving the jewelry stores far from the clubs as easy pickings. I suspect they are happy to keep fining him rather than do their jobs and toss him in the jail.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’ve had some customers and know a couple of other people that have DUI convictions. They got jail time, work release, and or electronic home detention as well as being required to have blow and go installed on their vehicle for 10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Yeah, the blow and go is another part of the industry. Friend of mom’s claimed she got stuck with it after a single DUI. I had no pity, though I would think its only really useful if your DUI was a result of alcoholism rather than bad judgement.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s useful in either case. If you are a drunk, it’s useful. If you have such poor judgment that you can’t be trusted to do the right thing, it’s useful.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            No gadget is a defense against bad judgement.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Really? Cause you badly judge your intoxication level, the gadget does it for you and prevents you driving.

            Seems like a guard to me.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I understand your point, and I’m not saying it’s never going to help, but bad judgement can also overcome.

            – Get hold of another car in case you drink too much.
            – Drive your drunk friends car.
            – Steal an airplane, that will show those bastards!
            – Hey, I bet it can’t detect shrooms, let’s see what happens…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Might as well add:

            -Murder elderly neighbor, drive her car instead.

            If you’re going to say “well it can’t overcome…” and put examples which fall outside of the events which occurred, you open up the possibilities too far.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You are like a dog with a frigging bone. I initially said “really useful”. I later said it could help, and then pointed out “can also overcome”. “Really useful” and “can also overcome” are not the same as “useful at all” and ” Will overcome”. I wasn’t trying to debate you.

            Btw, google “drunk steals plane” and ignore the air show act. It happens. As does getting a legally sober person to blow on the device. I will bet every one of my examples has been done more than once. I really don’t think the one you mention is that outlandish.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      On a high-speed chase such as this, the less affluent or politically connected person from a certain demographic(s) would probably wind up getting shot on sight.

      Sad but true.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      Yep, the biggest drunk drivers in my town are the cops and the firefighters, they are brazen about it. What’s ever worse is that the prosecutor is a known drunk that hangs out at the bars and drinks everyday both at lunch and after work. This was pointed out during his election and somehow he still got the job.

      This guy though who is the subject of this article, he needs to be in prison, and for a long time, along with the corrupt judges who have let him slide and he should be barred from driving anything, for life.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        You would think a single DUI would end a police career. You would think minimum sentencing guidelines would be applied here.

        One of the reasons for lax sentences is judges trying to protect their statistics from being overturned on appeal. Clearly, we need some new metrics for judges.

        • 0 avatar
          VenomV12

          Well actually they have a sneaky way of getting out of the DUI’s for themselves and family members. I can’t give it away, but when they get pulled over they have a way of letting the officer know they are a cop or a family member of a cop without saying a word and they get let go or followed home or dropped off, so they never actually get a DUI or arrested for one.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I remember a cop getting caught out of his jurisdiction. Sadly, he ended up in a jurisdiction that played by the rules and then got into much more trouble than just a DUI.

      • 0 avatar

        For a cop to get a DWI, they have to damage public property (triggers a report) OR cause personal injury. If they don’t hit anything they are in the clear.

        NY now has in car breath testers for first offenders…and you get ordered to go to a MADD victim impact presentation, for which you PAY MADD. How an advocacy group got into the money machine that is DWI amazes me…

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    This is Meet and Just. For He is our Better, annointed by the Lord.

    Practically speaking, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Many Americans subscribe to religious beliefs that imply your statement. Wealth in this life is “proof” that you are living “correctly” and accordingly are enjoying a “blessing.” Some Americans subscribe to religious beliefs that explicitly state wealth is proof of god’s blessing.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Hell, I’d go to church if there was money in it.

        Catholicism didn’t work, any suggestions? Didn’t that belief start with Calvinists? Who are the modern Calvinists? I’ll be there with bells on.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          In Catholicism, they keep all the money – the congregation is who they take the money from. I’m sure you can find “modern” Calvinists nearby. Mind you, the belief as I understand it isn’t “I got rich going to this church!” it’s “God sanctions my lifestyle and my choices. I know this because I’m blessed with wealth, which is a manifestation of God’s approval. Poor people are doing it wrong, which is obvious because of their lack of blessings.”

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Well, whatever the agency responsible, God, genetics, luck, it’s hard to argue with the outcome here; if you’re gonna be an alcoholic sociopath, best be rich.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Anything that happens in the PNW is just comic relief at this point.

  • avatar
    crm114

    It’s time for a federally funded track in every neighborhood in America, for the children.

  • avatar
    jmo

    After let’s say 5 DUI convictions, if you had his money, wouldn’t you just hire someone to drive you home? Or, buy a house or condo near a bar?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It’s hard to show off from the back of a LWB 7-Series.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Why? If they aren’t going to punish him in such a way that it is an actual hardship, why bother changing your behavior?

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      That’s a question you could ask every NFL/NBA/MLB player who’s ever gotten a DUI.

    • 0 avatar
      Signal11

      The problem with the US of A is that not enough Americans are alcoholics.

      Once you are past ass critical mass of drunks, the market solves this problem for you.

      Here in Korea, every working age male between the ages of 25-55 you see out past 8pm on any given day is at varying stages of getting or being drunk. The market solution for it is driver’s services. You call a licensed and bonded driver service, tell them where you (and your car) are and where you need to go. They will quote you a price. Within a few minutes, a driver will text you his insurance information and his ETA (usually 3-5 minutes). Then he drives your car home.

      Typical intracity cost in a small to medium sized town is 3-7 USD. I used to live about 10 miles outside of the city, so I was regularly paying anywhere between $16 (midnightish) to $25 (4-5am ish) to get a guy to drive me home. A guy to drive me from the casino at the east end of Seoul to my home east of central costs me about $20.

      To drive innovation and to support small business, America needs more drunks, not less.

  • avatar

    If “affluenza” means that you get treated differently based on social or economic status, then it’s fair to say that cops, firefighters, corrections officers, city officials and the friends/family of these workers suffers from it too.

  • avatar
    Thatkat09

    Well, work release means he has to go back to prison after hes done with his job so hes kinda in prison. I get your point though.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    That the rich tend to get lighter or no punishment for similar charges is hardly news.

  • avatar
    gtrslngr

    Welcome to the good ole US of A where everyone is treated equally . Unless of course you’ve got either enough money or the right connections or both in which case you’ll be treated a little more ‘Equally’ than everyone else .

    Where in fact if you have enough money and the right connections you truly can get away with murder ! That famous Claudine Longet poem of old coming to mind ;

    There once was a girl named Longet
    Who came up to Aspen to play
    Along came a Spyder
    Who laid down beside her
    And she blew the poor b**tard away

    Getting house arrest in her luxury mansion on the hill in Aspen as her ‘punishment’

    Its a rough life those ‘suffering’ from Affluenza have . But somebody’s gotta do it .

    • 0 avatar
      Thatkat09

      He has to go to work in the morning and then has to report to the county jail at 5 pm everyday for a year where he stays untill he has to go to work again. Thats a light sentence, sure, but hes not getting entirely away with it.

    • 0 avatar

      What about Gail Collins, who after killing her husband, producer and bass player Felix Pappalardi, lived off of royalties she got from the lyrics she wrote for his band, Mountain? Lesley West has bemoaned the fact that because his fans expect to hear Mountain’s hits he has to sing the words of the woman who killed his best friend. Collins, who died last year, only spent two years in prison.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I don’t think prison is useful in these cases. He should have to pay fines that really mean something, like just shy of bankruptcy. And he should certainly NEVER be allowed behind the wheel again at this point. But prison is very, very, expensive, and other than the drinking and driving he his a productive member of society, and should go on producing. I don’t think prison should be a punishment, rather prison should protect society from predators. I don’t think this guy quite rises to that level.

    Though he certainly should have lost his license permanently about 5 convictions ago. I agree with others that once should be an expensive learning opportunity, twice and you are walking permanently. But on the other hand, I also think that there should be proof of actual, serious impairment, not just an arbitrary BAC level.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      With work release the inmate or is it outmate usually has to pay for his stay so the state could make a profit on it.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      ” twice and you are walking permanently.”

      Within 5 years, yes. If you get caught when you’re 22 and again at 52, I don’t think you should lose your license permanently.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        I could argue the opposite: Its fairly common for a person in the thrall of a fulminating problem with alcohol, or other life stressors, to pick up a couple of rapid-fire convictions and then do better. A guy with two convictions decades apart is likely to have a life-long problem with alcohol

        What we know is that either way, only about 20% of these guys with 3 or more DWIs quit drinking.

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      Most practical post on this.

      Virginia is looking to lower to limit to just .05…. come on now, really? My general rule of thumb is if I can’t crawl to my bed, I’m not drinking, but still, enough is enough.

      And yeah, after 7 convictions pretty close this guy shouldn’t have a license. But as someone else pointed out, 2 in what, a 20year span? That would be a bit ridiculous, especially when you consider how insanely low the legal limits are getting. Not to mention I’ve known sober people who have caused more accidents and harm to other drivers then most drunk drivers, and yet, they seem to still have their license.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        This. Reducing the limit to .05 isn’t going after the drunks and serial offenders, it’s criminalizing people who might have recently had 2 drinks depending on their body weight.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I could make that argument after one, maybe two, DUI convictions. But after six offenses, it’s apparent this bozo is a danger to everyone on the road.

      I say, let him rot.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      “Other than the drinking and driving where he could have potentially killed lots of people on multiple occasions, he is a productive member of society”. There, I fixed it for you. This man should be rotting in prison, should have been 4 DUIs ago.

    • 0 avatar
      jim brewer

      I completely disagree. Jail time is hugely helpful to the raging alcoholics. If nothing else, its a six month vacation for their livers. its a good start on a life of sobriety. Recidivism is fairly low after drunk drivers serve these kinds of sentences. There are plenty of people who pick up a DWI as a kind of fluke, but someone driving drunk on a revoked license, or a three time offender? Six months is entirely appropriate.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’ve got the solution: a choice of life in prison OR a C-130 to Afghanistan where he would be issued $100, a Swiss Army Knife, and dropped in the desert.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Law enforcement is what the “justice system” (a misnomer) does. If the result of law enforcement upsets you, there are processes to suggest changing the laws to suit you – provided that enough of you (whether corporeal or monetary) exist to support the change. A much easier way to alleviate your (likely misunderstood) emotional response is to type angry things and ridiculous suggestions about ‘the way things outta be!’ in the comments section of a blog post. Your personal “information” access will almost guarantee some greater (or just more recent) emotional perturbation eclipses the current outrage prior to the end of the day. Wash, rinse, repeat. Cheers.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Considering the sorts of insane penalties meted out for minor bullshit traffic offenses, I’m surprised more people don’t roll the dice and try to run for it.

    Cause it’s only felony evasion if you get caught.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    It isn’t just rich people that get lax sentencing. This is a society-wide problem, not some war against rich villains.

    The gang member that shot my Uncle in the head served 7 years. 1/10th of average life expectancy– for taking-out a 34 year-old Father of Two children under the age of 10. Because he’d bought the wrong used Buick.

    In court there were tears. There were assertions that society caused this murderer to commit his heinous act. He’d never belonged to anything. His Mother hit him with a frying pan. He had to perpetuate a history of violence because that’s all he’d known.

    This stuff goes both rich and poor. The only people that are victims are those stuck in the middle.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      iNeon – Yup ! Stuck in the Middle * being the wife and mine’s theme song for the 2010s covering all aspects of 21st century life . If you are poor and especially a minority … theres a million and one excuses … and more often than not you are let off easy . If you’re wealthy , white and especially if you are well connected ….there is a million and one loopholes for you to fall thru … thereby more often than not getting off completely .

      But god help you if you are a white – middle class – heterosexual as well as monogamous male . In which case no matter what you’ve done you are more than likely screwed

      Even those of us in the upper middle classes are vulnerable to the system as it stands … though in truth we stand a little bit better chance than those below us financially speaking .

      Don’t kid yourself though . The wealthy and well connected [ as well as celebrities ] do have a distinct advantage over everyone else when it comes to the courts and in fact can more often than not get away with murder

      * the song by Jerry Raferty and Stealers Wheel

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Not related to income? Really?

      My lady friend’s ex-husband had to do a couple of weeks in the slammer after his second DUI conviction. He worked in the storeroom at a hospital.

      And then we have this goon, who doesn’t do a day of time after his SIXTH offense…and you think this system isn’t gamed?

      Yes, it is.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Certainly there are people who leverage power and riches to avoid the punishments others tend to get. Unfortunately, the usual meme ignores the root causes. First stupid people tend to be poor because the are stupid, and they tend to do stupid things and get caught. Now, we know there are stupid guys like Mr. Ferrari above, but people who are wealthy and powerful generally have skills that help them avoid stupid acts, avoid getting caught, and avoid getting the book tossed at them in any case. Those skills are what usually got them the money and/or power.

        The real shame is how few people realize what a nice living can be had by behaving as a gentleman or lady in this country. It’s a much wiser path to take even the lowliest of jobs, show up on time, be pleasant, and be responsible than it is to be a hoodlum. But, some guys would rather be the next guest star on Cops instead.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Landcrusher, the “skill” in question here is to learn to live your life sober, not write checks to attorneys to clean up your messes when you don’t.

          And assuming his reckless “skills” got him to the point where he could do this and get away with it the fact is that it won’t go on forever…your personal life isn’t the only thing booze destroys. It’ll destroy your work and business life just as easily (probably easier).

          Time in jail would probably have sobered this man up. It works sometimes. Or he can get to the point where he loses it all.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            If you read my post again, you will note that I was talking about the system being gamed in general, and not this case in particular. Look for the words “generally have skills”.

            The ever present rich v poor nonsense is what I am posting about, not the stupid guy in Ferrari anecdote.

            Money to write checks keeps a small amount of idiots out of the worst punishments, but the reason that the poor are more highly represented in prisons is because most stupid people are poor. It’s not a mystery or conspiracy. The game is quite rigged in favor of those with social skills and/or the ability to behave civilly. The former actually correlates better with income than IQ. If you want to change the game, it’s first important to understand it.

            You are right about the fact that avoiding punishment is usually no blessing. Our guy in the Ferrari is a “functioning” alcoholic like my Dad was for decades. He got away with it rich and poor. Had they been tougher on his early offenses, it could have saved a lot of people a lot of pain.

    • 0 avatar
      cartunez

      This will be hard to hear…but the gang member doesn’t “owe” society anything…the debt should be paid to your family as you suffered the loss. The current system of supposedly locking bad people away is broken

  • avatar
    Krivka

    What kind of business does the DB own that could influence a judge to sentence him like this? SIX DUIs alone should have put him in jail. People can be sentenced for six years in prison for six DUIS and loss of license.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      “SIX DUIs alone should have put him in jail.”

      Not necessarily.

      I had an employee of mine who had 4 DUI’s and STILL had his license, albeit he had an ignition interlock/breathalyzer device. I paid him diddly sh*t, right at the poverty line if not a hair above.

      The sad thing is I had to have that same employee ejected from one of the job sites by the local PD.

      He was completely hammered.

      For what its worth, I highly doubt that this Shaun Goodman fellow has ever had, nor will ever have, anything like that on any of his cars’ ignition systems. Hmmm…

  • avatar
    Short Bus

    Seven times……. I’m having a really difficult time wrapping my head around that. It’s not *that* easy to spot a drunk driver unless they’re being flagrant or they ran into something. Statistically speaking this guy should probably be dead, right?

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    The perp will commission an updated building for the Seattle PD, which shall be named “Shaun Goodman Police Headquarters”.

    Let’s not forget the hefty “donation” he’ll contribute to Backstoppers.

    That easily the streets will remain his personal playground so he can continue to go on drunken rampages and turn his exotics loose.

    In fact, I wouldn’t rule out another 1 or 2 DUI offenses.

    Cry “foul” if you must, but it’s been this way for generations.

    Welcome to America.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      And why does it have to be this way, just because he has money? Plenty of people with more money than this yahoo have done time. He should have been the latest on the list.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Agreed, freedmike.

        But good luck telling that to the judges, attorneys, special interest groups, and police commissioner who all sit at the same table at the country club, and now (consequently) get to have their hands in his wallet.

  • avatar
    raph

    See these are the stories that incentivise me to do better. Make enough money, get the right friends and you can fail upwards with little consequence.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    People really don’t think this is affluenza? Of course it is.

    My lady friend’s ex husband got two DUIs in the space of 15 years or so, and he did a couple of weeks in the county lockup after the second conviction. He’s a storeroom clerk.

    Meanwhile, Mr. (Drunk) Master of the Universe here doesn’t do a day of time after his SEVENTH conviction.

    And money has nothing to do with it?

    Kreutzer is right on target with this article, and calling it affluenza isn’t clickbait – it’s real life.

    By the way, my friend’s ex quit drinking after sampling the hospitality at the Boulder County Jail, losing his job, and having to cash in his 401k to pay his lawyer. He’s been sober since then (going on three years now). Anyone want to predict a similar outcome for Ferrari Man?

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Affluenza Man’s insurance will go up, after paying the claim to have his car repaired.
      With any luck (for the rest of us), his liver will burst before he wipes out a minivan full of pre-schoolers.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    This is the consequence of having an oligarchical government. It is by design. There is justice and socialism for the wealthy, police state and free-markets for the rest.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m not sure, but I think in Finland vehicle fines are scaled to a person wealth or income.

    So maybe if the guy has plenty of cash the amount should reflect what he can afford so he doesn’t repeat.

    If the guy has lots of money then this will have the biggest psychological affect.

    The seventh time maybe they should take 70% of his wealth.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Problem is he’s a money maker for the city. DUI fines are crazy expensive, the more he gets. He’s a cash cow, and probably gets multiple speeding tickets and moving violations a year. So why would they turn away all that money, taxes paid, etc. Plus you know how much he spends just in registering his Ferrari?

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I hate it when money is so blatantly valued over human life and safety though. Do you think the judge(s) who keep slapping his wrist will have to answer for him when the inevitable day comes that he kills someone besides his own dumb ass?

      No, when he erases somebody’s teenage children from the earth, there will just be a lot of “I have no comment” and little else.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    10 bucks says he’ll do it again and get away with it

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Most drunk drivers have driven intoxicated more than a hundred times before they get caught the first time.
      You’re likely to get your 10 bucks enough times to reupholster your seats before he gets popped again.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Sentencing disparities and general injustice are also a function of jurisdiction. Mr Kruetzer is familiar with Western NY. Buffalo is a great city to drive drunk – 4am bar closing times with lax enforcement in a poor, under-policed city awash in more pressing social and criminal matters. However, cross over a town or county line and police enforcement and subsequent prosecution are much more aggressive.

  • avatar

    60% of prison inmates in the US are black or hispanic so you have your answer right there

  • avatar

    My guess is that plenty of poor people know how to game the system pretty well too. Ask anyone who does court appointed criminal work. Think about it, while a rich person can buy good lawyers and influence, the criminal class probably knows how the system works better than some suburban child of privilege.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    The bad thing about working in the criminal justice system is that all your customers are crooks – generally poor ones at that, as most crooks who get caught are broke. A rich defendant like Mr. Goodman is a rare payday for one and all.

    Even so there are limits. O.J. ended up ruining a cop’s career then ran out of money, so he is now in jail. El Senor Goodman almost killed a bunch of people and outraged his community. He is in the news, and that does not bode well for his drunken a**.

    The kiss of death for these sort of boys and girls is typically:
    1. they run out of money
    2. they make a powerful enemy, or
    3. they endanger the community

    Justice usually applies to the rich even here in Texas. It just takes longer and comes in a different form.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “The bad thing about working in the criminal justice system is that all your customers are crooks”

      I wanted to be a proctologist but then I realized I’d be working with as*holes all day.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> Justice usually applies to the rich even here in Texas. It just takes longer and comes in a different form.

      In Texas, the key is to get control of a County Judge and the county sheriff – or know somebody with control. Then make sure the crime originates in that county. Law enforcement outside the county won’t take the report unless the crime originated in their own county. The Rangers won’t take a report – period.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Actually, there’s probably less favortism for DWI than most any victimless crime (if there’s no accident) than you can think of. Thank you MADD.

    There’s no discussion in the article of his driving status, but almost certainly he was driving on a revoked license, and probably more than one of his prior DWIs was driving drunk on a revoked license. There’s no excuse for this, with the advent of interlock licenses, as there is a legal avenue for mobility.

    A good way to approach this would be to get serious on the “driving on a revoked license” charge. Someone driving on a revoked or suspended license where the license was revoked for DWI should get some jail, whether he is drunk or sober. No plea bargains. Say five days minimum. Statistics regarding dispositions of these cases should be centrally collected and publicly disseminated and cross-indexed to the cop and the judge involved. That will keep horseplay to a minimum.

    Those interlock devices work great if their use is enforced. Six months for a first offense, a year for a second, three years for a third. All of this should be enforced administratively through DMV, not the courts, where as we have seen, this gets plea bargained. Even a committed alcoholic after three years on an interlock gets worn down some and physiologically knows his limits.

    Multiple offenders (more than three or four) can get their licenses back after a long passage of years, with a judicial hearing. These should not be a benediction ceremony. The drivers with that kind of record should be required to show at least six months substantial and “clean” use of an interlock license. To me, “clean” means less than 0.017% BAC (one drink at full absorption) not merely no “lockouts” .025. Yes, they can tell the difference between Orange juice and bread and alcohol.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “A good way to approach this would be to get serious on the “driving on a revoked license” charge. Someone driving on a revoked or suspended license where the license was revoked for DWI should get some jail, whether he is drunk or sober.”

      This would exempt affluenza like no other, license revocation after the nth DUI makes a good talking point but in the real world having a valid license or not is almost exclusively a function of falling behind on payments to the court cashier.

      http://tinyurl.com/nenen3u (study on rate and reason of license suspension in NJ)

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I doubt this is a case of “affluenza.” DUI’s are almost always treated indulgently — especially license revocation — because the “poor SOB” pleads to the judge that, without his car, he can’t get to work, etc. (most often a fairly true statement).

    What the system fails to do is to get the serious drunks off the road: the people whose BAC would render a normal person unconscious. MADD’s increasing focus on lowering BAC limits in order to be classified DUI is entirely misplaced. Aside from the fact that there’s no statistical link showing increased rates of injury caused by people with BAC’s that are below the old legal limit and above the new one, the more people who are “eligible” to be classified DUI the less likely there is going to be severe punishment.

    Perhaps the best “hammer” would be achieved by a series of increasingly large fines for DUI (going up with each conviction within a 20-year period) and a license revocation for a person with X number of DUI convictions or guilty pleas.

    The real hammer should be on people driving without a license which was revoked because of the number of DUI convictions. Those are the people you want off the road, permanently (or at least after a decent number of years that they can demonstrate that they were continuously in a sobriety program like AA).

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The reality is that we don’t have the money to throw the book at everyone. There isn’t enough jail space to hold them all or to maintain them.

    If Goodman is doing a year in some sort of “sober living” halfway house, then he’s probably footing the bill. Letting him do that for a year is cheaper than sticking him in a taxpayer-funded cell for four months.

    By having a culture in which punishment is almost always the first resort, we end up with minimal punishments for many because we simply can’t afford it; punishments necessarily end up being somewhat arbitrary. What we should do is start getting a lot of petty offenses off the books so that we have enough resources left over to deal with habitual offenders like this one. Giving the .08 and .16 drivers nearly identical treatment really makes no sense at all.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Right, incarceration is expensive, but if we require it for selling a bag of weed, we can certainly require it for someone who’s on his SEVENTH DUI. It’s all a matter of priorities.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Dan brings up a related issue which is serious: dilution of a driver’s license suspension. It used to be your license got suspended for bad driving. Now you get it suspended for not paying child support or dropping out of school. it contributes to the way that driving on a DWI suspended license is handled. The rule in all jurisdictions (its a federal requirement) is that the license must be suspended for at least six months on a first offense, or at least replaced with an interlock requirement. Many, if not most states differentiate between driving on a DWI revoked license and a license suspended for other reasons. This, however, is often ignored.

    I completely disagree with the idea that jail time is ineffective. Its the thing that works for multiple offenders and within reason, an excellent return on our penological dollar. Its like a vacation for the guy’s liverif nothing else. There’s no substitute for physically drying out. I don’t have a problem with substituting residential rehab for jail.

    Driving drunk on a revoked, or three offenses or more, should pull you a felony and six month’s incarceration.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Dan brings up a related issue which is serious: dilution of a driver’s license suspension. It used to be your license got suspended for bad driving. Now you get it suspended for not paying child support or dropping out of school. it contributes to the way that driving on a DWI suspended license is handled. The rule in all jurisdictions (its a federal requirement) is that the license must be suspended for at least six months on a first offense, or at least replaced with an interlock requirement. Many, if not most states differentiate between driving on a DWI revoked license and a license suspended for other reasons. This, however, is often ignored.

    I completely disagree with the idea that jail time is ineffective. Its the thing that works for multiple offenders and within reason, an excellent return on our penological dollar. Its like a vacation for the guy’s liverif nothing else. There’s no substitute for physically drying out. I don’t have a problem with substituting residential rehab for jail. Driving drunk on a revoked, or three offenses or more, should pull you a felony and six month’s incarceration.

    I don’t think forcing people to go to AA is a good idea. For one thing, its a private organization and its supposed to be, you know, anonymous. Who told the local Adult Probation office they could hijack this organization, force people to go and turn in sign in sheets? I don’t mean to be harsh, but really, a long, enforced drying out period is preferable.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States