Here's the scenario, you've killed a bicyclist while driving intoxicated and you do three years in prison and you get five years probation. Are you going to drive drunk again?
story at NapleNews.com. Here's reporter, Aisling Swift's account:
"A 49-year-old Golden Gate Estates man who served prison time after killing a bicyclist while driving drunk was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for violating probation by driving drunk again.
'It appears to the court, Mr. Pratte, that you just don’t get it,' Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt told Raymond Louis Pratte, who was convicted of driving under the influence last week involving a Jan. 18 traffic stop while on probation for the 2007 conviction. 'You don’t understand what the problem is. You seem to have an excuse for everything.'
Hardt accused Pratte of lying during the probation violation hearing, testifying he wasn’t drunk when he killed 34-year-old Oscar Giovanny Alvarez on June 29, 2006. Pratte testified he left the scene of the crash only to call 911 and drank beer afterward because he was so 'shocked.'
But Assistant State Attorney Richard Gorman showed that wasn’t true, producing a sworn affidavit from a friend who drank with Pratte during golf and at Pelican Larry’s before the crash.
The sentence is what Pratte faced in October 2007 for leaving the scene of a crash with death, a second-degree felony at the time. Instead, the plea bargain allowed him to serve three years in prison, followed by five years of probation. Gorman noted Pratte was charged with DUI less than a year after his release, and a month or two after an ignition interlock device was removed; it prevented him from driving drunk.
Alvarez was bicycling eastbound at about 2 a.m. on Immokalee Road, a half-mile east of Collier Boulevard, when Pratte’s van hit one of the bike’s tires, flattening the van’s tire. Pratte fled, leaving the van, but was quickly arrested. Under the plea bargain, Pratte also pleaded to DUI .20 percent or more, a misdemeanor reduced from DUI manslaughter, a first-degree felony.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Krier had ordered Pratte to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation after his release and to follow recommendations. Gorman said the recommendation was to refrain from alcohol."
This is pro forma for the alcoholic. Judge Hardt is actually saving this guy's life for the time being, and possibly the life or lives of other area-residents. Tragically, the sentence may only postpone the inevitable if Pratte doesn't kill himself on Prison hooch.
The thing is, there is a solution, for Pratte, the Hollywood starlet, for all alcoholics, they have to let go absolutely, recognize their utter powerlessness over alcohol and in my case, turn my will and my life over to the care of God. Maybe Pratte will discover the solution during his next incarceration. Miracles do occur.