Judges must get tough on all who drink, drive
In his Oct. 25 commentary, Donn Esmonde describes how John Jankowiak Jr. was recently arrested by Orchard Park police who observed his vehicle weaving at 4 a.m. near Milestrip Road. Apparently, he was out celebrating a victory in Buffalo court hours earlier on an April charge of drunken driving. “Jankowiak, in that instance, got so toasted at a bar that he reportedly smacked into a telephone pole on the drive home to South Buffalo, ran from police and, despite his claim of a concussion, had the presence of mind to refuse a Breathalyzer test among other things.”
Despite the evidence of drunken driving, City Judge Diane Wray, in a non-jury trial, convicted Jankowiak only of a violation and fined him $375. That caused Jankowiak to apparently go out and celebrate. Drunken driving is a serious crime, often leading to the death of innocent people. For Wray to reduce this to a violation suggests to me that this judge either needs additional training or should consider some other line of work.
David F. Quagliana