Senator Calls for Restitution to Victims of Drunk Driving

The Alcoholism Report, April 1989 | Go to article overview

Senator Calls for Restitution to Victims of Drunk Driving


Senator Calls for Restitution to Victims of Drunk Driving

Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) said drunk drivers should pay compensation to their victims. "A new message must be communicated, in part, by asking our courts to throw the book at inebriated drivers by awarding restitution or compensation to the victims of drunk drivers and their families," Gorton declared. "This is no new idea, but it is one that should be expanded so drunk drivers know that they can never get away with driving drunk, especially when someone is hurt."

Gorton made the statement in support of "Crimes Victim Week," the week of April 9. The week "reminds us of all those who suffer from the careless and wanton actions of people whose disregard for the law causes so much harm to innocent people. I am thinking, particularly, of innocent victims of drunk drivers. Victoms whose harm extends long past the momentary high of the drunk driver."

According to Gorton, an opinion poll by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that drunk driving fatality rates remain high "because drunk drivers know that they can get away with it." He said "public perception must be changed by sending out a message to drivers who drink that they can no longer 'get away' with driving drunk."

JOHNSON AWARDS SUBSTANCE ABUSE GRANT

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded a $671,721 two-year grant to the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County to support a community-wide substance abuse prevention and treatment program in the greater Bridgeport, CT, area. The grant will assist the United Way in its four-year-old Regional Youth Substance Abuse Project.

"Drug and alcohol use has been identified as a very serious problem among youth in the Bridgeport area," said Leighton E. Cluff, MD, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Bridgeport and it is our hope that this program will provide some important lessons for our future grant-making in the substance abuse area."

It is expected that more than 1,000 students in Bridgeport and surrounding suburbs will be served by the United Way program in the next year. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PO Box 2316, Princeton, NJ 08543-2316; 609/452-8701)

U.S. Behavioral Health (USBH), Emeryville, CA, provider of managed mental health care and EAPs, announced its expansion into the Los Angeles area and the appointment of Samuel L. Mayhugh, Ph.D., as Vice President of Development; William Nathan, Director of Development; and James McAllister, as REgional Sales Director, Southern California. USBH CEO Gene Hill said Southern California has a "great need for the programs provided by USBH," citing Mayhugh's experience in managed bahavioral health care. He also referred to Nathan's and McAllister's record in developing and marketing "innovative alternative treatment programs for mental health and chemical dependency. …

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