Driver’s license suspended? It probably isn’t a sign that things are going perfect in your life, but what does it say about you when you have it suspended not once, not twice, but 41 times?
Ask motorist Jason Brown, a 36-year-old driver from Mastic Beach, New York, who has experienced this very phenomenon spread out over 11 dates, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.
Recently, Brown captured headlines again over at the Washington Post when he was, you guessed it, pulled over, this time for “erratic driving.”
Upon the stop, the officer noticed that Brown was in possession of marijuana. He was charged with “aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (first degree), criminal impersonation, unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a controlled substance (seventh degree, two counts),” according to the Suffolk County news release.
But that isn’t all. Police also allege that Brown wasn’t just in possession of marijuana but that he was also concealing “heroin and cocaine within his body,” according to a separate report from Valley Central.
Cases like this one stir the debate over what the appropriate punishment should be for repeatedly breaking driving laws.
In extreme cases like that of Jason Brown, some feel that it would be in the best interests of society to impose harsher jail sentences since out-of-control motorists can easily pose a threat of bodily harm or death to other drivers.
Technically, Brown’s situation falls under that of a non-violent offender, though, and with prison overcrowding, it could be counterproductive to hit drivers like Brown with heavier sentences.
This very argument was on display in a higher profile situation with the recent death of Eric Garner, the New Yorker who died in part from an illegal chokehold that an officer used on him when trying to make an arrest for selling “loosies,” or illegal cigarettes on the street.
Garner had been arrested more than 30 times in 30 years, but only once for assault. The other times were for non-violent offenses, prompting many to criticize the NYPD for the use of excessive force.
Opponents of tougher sentences for such infractions point out that when a citizen like Garner is harassed or, more specifically to this story, a driver like Brown has his license suspended, it creates a vicious circle wherein he cannot improve his life situation because of overburdensome punishments.
What do you think about the man who had his license suspended 41 times? Sound off in the comments section.