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Poll: Is a Lifetime Driving Ban Too Harsh?

A Rhode Island boy's license was revoked permanently after a crash in October.

A Rhode Island judge imposed a lifetime driving ban on a 17 year-old in an attempt to send a message about reckless driving, the Associated Press reported on Friday. 

Lyle Topa's license was revoked for the rest of his life following a crash in Charlestown which left one passenger in a coma for weeks. 

Judge William Guglietta told the Associated Press that Rhode Island's roads are "littered with broken dreams and broken futures."

The teen will have a chance to appeal to the court to get his license back. 

What do you think? Is a lifetime driving ban too harsh? Speak your mind in the comments section and vote in our poll below. 

pat napolitano March 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM
life time community service in a rehab facility would be more conducive to straightening him out.
Paul Gillin March 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Lifetime anything is too harsh for a 17-year-old. The human brain isn't fully developed until around age 25. There certainly are cases in which lifetime bans make sense. Habitual drunk driving offenders who have caused fatal accidents and who show no signs of behavior change after multiple convictions and penalties would be candidates. It appears that the judge in this case has chosen to make an example of this kid. I think he could have chosen his target better.
chris March 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM
You adults are so double standard no matter how young you are.... means nothing the problem is that he never explain why... what did the kid do??? ran into a tree... what about millions of other drivers that are above 30 who drive like an jerk? what about people who don't use the BLINKER OR WHEN THEY BEHIDN YOUR BUMMER OR WHEN THEY DON'T STOP AT STOP SIGNS AND CUT YOU OFF? yet since its a teen its fine... you adults sicking me why don't we ban every stupid perosn who has a licenses who shouldn't you can't follow the road of the rules why do you have a licensees
Ariel Sarousi March 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM
lol @chris
Myd Nevins March 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM
And here is the product of today's education system.... Chris, if you haven't noticed, the majority of adults view the ruling as too harsh.
Change is our only Hope March 05, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Myd, didn't Natick have a similar kind of ruling that the majority of adults voted against?
Sal March 05, 2012 at 05:13 AM
The judge is very obviously a mental case wacko who does not belong on the bench in any court. Minors make bad choices and that is why we do not allow minors to join the military or to vote or to buy alcoholic beverages. When We the People standby and allow our criminal justice system to abuse their judicial powers as in this case_______then there is no justice for anyone.
Sal March 05, 2012 at 05:15 AM
This Judge better pray that God does not judge his sins as harshly as he judges others for their sins.
kenneth March 05, 2012 at 05:28 AM
lets see,, he was drinking at age 17 (illegal) he was drunk (illegal) he was driving with suspended licence (illegal) too many youths in the car (illegal) passing in a no passing zone (illegal).. he should be lucky he's alive to breath.. and lucky all the kids are alive or he could be in jail for vehicle homicide.. BUT you know he will drive ILLEGALLY anyway.. being suspended hasn't stopped him from all he did
kenneth March 05, 2012 at 05:33 AM
but it is just a bit harsh.. the judge is using him as an example,,, which is wrong.. he should lose his license till he's about 27 yrs old,, and if he's caught driving during that time 5 more yrs or jail time for each infraction
Cranky Old Bastard March 05, 2012 at 07:49 AM
What did the kid do??? Well, for starters, he drove drunk, on a suspended license, not wearing his seatbelt, with too many passengers in the car, after curfew, “and overtaking (passing) where prohibited”, as well as “…failure to maintain control of the vehicle.” Not to mention, putting one of his friends into a coma for weeks. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was texting, too. And don't give me this crap about a 17 year-old brain not being fully developed. His brain was developed enough to pass the drivers exam and get his license, which he didn’t keep very long. It was developed enough to get ahold of a car, probably from daddy. It was developed enough to get ahold of alcohol, which he was too young to purchase himself. That “Under-developed Brain” theory was probably cooked up by a 17 year-old in the first place. If not that, then by a 17 year-old’s defense lawyer. I’m sick and tired of teenagers ‘getting away with murder’, metaphorically speaking. I applaud Chief Magistrate William Guglietta, and wish more judges would send the message that, “…the "dramatic" sentence would deter other teens from being so careless.”
Change is our only Hope March 05, 2012 at 08:42 AM
More than likely, the sentence will be reduced upon repeal and the judge is putting a good scare into him. Serves the kid right. Hopefully, there is a legal sword of Damocles hanging over him for a long time and he obeys the law.
Thomas B. Givhan March 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Those beliving the sentence imposed is too harsh fail to notice the durnk driving ellement, the injuries involved ellement or the other charges for which no penalty was imposed or that it applies only to his present state which are two agrivators and a way out. He can move. He probably will move and some other state will see him in court to answer for the death of other person or persons. The sentence may get his attention and teach him that he does have a duty to his neighbor. If the passenger had died, he would have been subjected to a negligent murder or manslaughter charge. Talk to any family which has lost a loved one to a drunken driver and see if they feel the sentence was harsh.
anita j. March 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM
i agree with Kenneth-I would take away his license until age 25 and then give him another chance. How ever i wish they would impose this sentence on adult drunk drivers who should lose their license after one incident of drunk driving.
BESSIEE March 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM
THINK OF ALL THE ADULTS WHO ESCAPED PUNISHMENT FOR THE SAME THING. DIDNT ONE OF THE KENNEDY BOYS LEAVE A GIRL AT THE BOTTOM OF A RIVER AFTER AN ACCIDENT EVEN WHEN HE WAS OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.
Change is our only Hope March 05, 2012 at 02:40 PM
BESSIEE, "Bottom of a river?" Don't you mean in a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island?
Raymond Gordon March 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM
They should not drive until they are 25. This kid is a scofflaw
Raymond Gordon March 05, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Chris I do have to agree
Change is our only Hope March 05, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Republic, maybe Rhode Island ought to reward the kid's delinquency and non-compliance with the laws he agreed to follow when he signed his name for his license to operate a motor vehicle. "DEMOCRACY is a FRAUD and REPUGNANT to the Constitutions." There is only one Constitution/Bill of Rights.
REPUBLIC RISING March 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM
OBEY and PAY & PAY to play in their fictional CORPORATION ESTATE - pierce the Corporate World Overlay and get back on Yahweh's creation The Earth. Take Dominion of your Estate and yourself and your creations...
Jim Rizoli March 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM
RR.......Easier said than done! My estate is owned by the bank and the town..... Any suggestions how to take control of it. Jim@ccfiile.com
Kim Poness March 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
oh boy
Jim Rizoli March 05, 2012 at 05:08 PM
@RR...."The (E)state is raising a whole class of irresponsible zombies with no common sense or respect for themselves or anyone else - more in touch with gadgets than family. So is it any wonder that they mess up?' I do agree with you on that one! Jim@ccfiile.com
REPUBLIC RISING March 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Who is censoring me? If you disagree it is ok, lets discuss it an I'll prove that I AM RIGHT....but to CENSOR and remove my comments is just WRONG and in violations of ones inherrant Rights protected in The Bill or Right namely The FIRST ONE.
REPUBLIC RISING March 05, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Most of those ZOMBIES/SLAVES are grown up now and they hate to be wrong and EXPOSED that is why I'm being CENSORED here right now. Give me 2 minutes of your time and one comment and I'll prove to all of you that DEMOCRACY is a FRAUD and repugnant to the Constitutions and all of you that support Democracy are FRAUD and TRAITORS as well. One comment and 2 minutes for a Lifetime of Truth. Anyone will accept the challenge? Hosea 4:6 "My people perish for lack of knowledge." Are you rejecting knowledge?
Ben Jackson March 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Hey Republic Rising - It would be swell if you would stick to the topics at hand and can the separatist bologna. Also, it would be swell if you would follow the discussion board guidelines and use your real name as required. Hiding behind an alias and USING caps on alternating WORDS makes for tedius debate, I've found. Regardless, this is not a "nanny state" issue. This is a child (yes, child. Science backs up the claim of brain development continuing into the 20s, not politics), who clearly has issues. Those issues need to be treated, and this child's victims need restitution. They will not get restitution if this child is sentenced to a lifetime of poverty by not being allowed to drive. He will be forced to live in an urban area with robust public transportation. A life sentence at seventeen for *anything* is patently ridiculous. I am not the same person *I* was at seventeen, and I'd wager most commenters here are not, either.
David Nolta March 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
As usual I'm with Ben on this one.
Jim Rizoli March 05, 2012 at 08:06 PM
RR....I'm happy to hear what you have to say....most people here would probably want to see you hung and quartered. Jim@ccfiile.com

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