Posted: December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

On December 11th, Nebraska center, Mike Caputo, was cited on suspicion of driving under the influence. Yesterday, he was officially charged with reckless driving, today he pled guilty to that charge.  MADD Nebraska is very disappointed with the decision of the city prosecutor to reduce his charges and not hold him accountable for his actions. Cases like this downplay just how serious of a crime driving under the influence is and sets a prededent that those who drink and drive will not see consequences for their actions.

It is disappointing to us when the criminal justice system does not enforce the strong DUI laws set in place by the state of Nebraska. It is truly a team effort to make sure that all those who make the choice to drink and drive are held accountable.  This is the best way to ensure that people learn from their mistakes. We here at MADD Nebraska would like to see fair and equitable treatment across the state, with all offenders receiving a punishment that fits their crime and that has to happen in the courts. Law Enforcment Agencies across the state are out there, working to keep drunk drivers off of the roads. But, unless their actions are followed by swift and certain punishment, the message gets lost.

We hope that even with the reduced charges, Mr. Caputo learns from his choice and never makes a decision that puts him in this situation again. More than that we hope he realizes what his choice could have led to. Every time someone gets behind the wheel after drinking they are putting themselves and others in danger. 53 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2010, 53 lives taken because someone made the choice to drink and drive. It is a lesson all of us can learn, to never drive after we have been drinking and to always designate a sober driver.

We hope that in the future, everyone will be held accountable for their actions by Nebraska’s criminal justice system. Dropping and/or reducing charges sends the message that drunk driving is not a serious crime. But, if you ask any of the families who have been impacted by an alcohol-related crash, it is, a dangerous, life-changing crime that deserves much more than a slap on the wrist as a punishment.


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