CRANSTON, R.I. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — A Rhode Island judge says he imposed a lifetime driving ban on a 17-year-old boy after a serious car accident because he wanted to send a message about reckless driving.

Judge William Guglietta revoked Lyle Topa’s license for the rest of his life on Tuesday in connection with the Oct. 23 crash in Charlestown. Topa and three other Chariho High School students were injured when their car crashed into a tree. One passenger was in a coma for weeks. Topa was driving with a suspended license at the time of the accident, according to The Westerly Sun.

Guglietta said Thursday that Rhode Island’s roads are “littered with broken dreams and broken futures” and it’s time for authorities to get serious about dangerous driving.

“It was the most strict, most drastic penalty this court can order,” Guglietta said, according to The Westerly Sun.

Topa’s lawyer says the penalty is too harsh and may be improper. But the teen can apply to the court to get his license back.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (470)
  1. Patrick Rich says:

    Well then I guess it would be equally fair to talk about the legitimate message this sends about judges.

    1. Steele says:

      And maybe you’d change your mind if it were your own kid. Split the baby loses its appeal when its your baby. And we figured that part out thousands of years ago.

    2. bob says:

      Maybe you’d change you mind if it was your kid in a coma. Since you’re not the judge, your opinion is like a fart

    3. Eric says:

      There is a difference between condemning someone to riding the bus, and sawing a baby in two.

      He’ll be able to get a license when he turns 18 anyway. And he can have his juvenile record sealed. He’ll be as clean as a new sheet.

      1. Russ in OR says:

        Your drivers abstract is not the same as your criminal record. No part of your drivers abstract is sealed when you turn 18.

      2. Doug says:

        No he won’t. Sealing a criminal convcition is not the same and doesn’t include your driver safety sheet. Driver license records are consdiered business records or public records in many states and cannot be sealed.

      3. MoveFromRhodeIsland says:

        Another story that never happened to take attention away from the coup and cover up. Unelected officials took over Washington, the media, and think you can’t handle the truth. We have no democracy, no president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

        Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

      4. Happy Feet says:

        It won’t matter the SHTF in 2012 and he will probably be riding a motorcycle with a shotgun wearing football pads and sporting a red mohawk in 2013.

        Don’t believe it?

      5. Neil says:

        He was driving with a suspended license, what’s to stop him now?

        Anyway he could go to another state and get a license.

      6. Neil says:

        30 days in jail would have been a better sentence.

    4. benth165 says:

      Well Beazr how about letting the family of future victims decide the punishment of that arrant brat. Ike maybe a firing squad. We cannot keep people from dying or getting into automobile accidents, but if justice is meted out by that firing squad on public TV, it would soon stop those who feel they can abuse common curtsey on the road.

    5. DB4D says:

      How is this cruel and unusual punishment? The punishment is a little harsh, however, the child already had a suspended license… And obviously did not learn from his prior mistakes, so he’s a repeat offender. And apparently the judge made his point because this is now all over the internet. Good job Judge.

    6. James says:

      Driving is not a RIght protected by any Law in America. To tell someone that their actions are a Violation of other Peoples RIghts than this course of action is needed and Justified.

    7. Bunky says:

      Kinda like your opinion Bob.

    8. reverend richard says:

      This will never pass muster in a federal constitutional challenge. How about the judge gives someone 30 days for a parking ticket. Or the death penalty for multiple driving offenses?

      Not saying mind you that a 5 year suspension and 30 days in the can wouldn’t mind you, my point is the judge is overreaching.

      1. Jenny Bea says:

        Why wouldn’t it pass a constitutional challenge? You do not have a right to drive. You are given a priviledge via license. His rights haven’t been violated. Now, this probably won’t stand, and this young man can appeal the ruling, and it will most likely be overturned. But his constitutional rights were not violated- or if so, please point out the amendment guaranteeing a right or freedom to drive.

      2. John Thomas says:

        Actually Jenny, you have a Constitutional Right to Travel which has been explained and enforced by the courts. Travel is a Natural Right not a privilege. Some people will claim this is untrue but legally you do not need a “driver’s license” to travel on interstate highways. State laws and local may be different.

        In U.S. v Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966), the Court noted, “It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized.” In fact, in Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969), Justice Stewart noted in a concurring opinion that “it is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association, … it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all.”

      3. Georgiasaraann says:

        Jenny never said he did not have a right to travel. She said he did not have a right to drive. Why are you bringing travel up? It has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

      4. James G says:

        It is constitutional– it is within the scope of the judge’s authority, and is not outside of the law in that state. Also, there is a legal avenue to have the license reinstated, and due process is not denied.

        If the kid straightens himself out, he will likely get his license back. If not, he can take the bus.


    9. Erick Irizarry says:

      Since it was in Cranston, it was Traffic Court. He had that authority. While it may seem draconian, he took the risk with driving with a suspended license and, driving so recklessly that he crashed his car and, this crash resulted not only in his own injuries, but also, more importantly, in the death of another and injury to a third.
      So, was the driver not to be blamed? Are we going to blame society, or some mythical creature?Shall we blame his parents for insufficient love? MAN UP!

      1. Publius says:

        Nonsense. I see no one suggesting that the driver shouldn’t be sanctioned.

        Would you suggest the death penalty is in order for the driver?

        The Traffic Court judge likely does not have the authority to deny the driver a license for life. More likely he’ll try to impose it via an order that stays in effect indefinitely. It won’t hold.

      2. MLehr says:

        there was no death in this accident

      3. JC says:

        Granted with a suspended license he should not have been driving but that doesn’t make him negligent it makes him breaking that law. Well then under this premise, Ted Kennedy shouldn’t have been driving since he was drunk and his little spill in the water ditch that involved the death of woman. Then v/s now or should we bring up any stupid things any of us might have done when we were that age. It didn’t post he was driving under the influence. So he messed up and should be punished but for his entire life. If he were drunk they would have charged him with vehicular manslaughter and he would get out in 10-20 with driving privileges. A$$ backwards philosophy. It will be overturned under appeal and the judge is way over zealous. It is bad for those hurt but he could have been showing off stupid driving or it might have been just an accident. Remember when that use to happen?. One day a simple accident will punishable by death

      4. Georgiasaraann says:

        JC …You actually defend the 17 year old using Ted Kennedy as an example under which someone should not be driving? Hate to tell you this but Ted Kennedy should also have had a lifetime driving ban not to mention a lifetime prison sentance. Also Ted had a Mass. drivers license and this happended 42 years ago. What do you want this judge to do? Travel back in time to a different state to impose a sentance? I’m sure he would have thrown the book at Ted, which should have happened. Your posting makes no sense.

    10. robert preston says:

      Such as what?

    11. Eric says:

      Driving is a privilege not a right

    12. TiredOfTheCriminals says:

      I’m sorry – when was driving elevated to the status of a ‘right’? It is something that the state licenses. They have standards, they impose fees and they can choose not to grant a driving license to someone just as they can choose not to grant any other type of license. Is getting a liquor license a right? Is getting a business license a right? Is getting an insurance or brokerage license a right? No. To get any type of license standards have to be met, if not the state can deny the license.

      Stupid people have no idea what ‘rights’ they’re guaranteed.

      BTW – what this boy will do is move to another state, get a license there and probably kill somebody on the road.

    13. Brad says:

      He would win on appeal … and you are correct … our judiciary is defunct.

      1. Doug says:

        Maybe… most VTLs have an “other” clause that allows judges to do this. And you can only appeal something if you have a lawful avenue to do so.

    14. BigBob says:

      please crawl back under your liberal rock

    15. JB says:

      Haha .. Then, we’re going to need a whole lot of rope, son. Because judicial abuse of power is alive and well in America. Do you know that you can lose your driver’s license over child support non-payment? Where is the logic in that? There is no logic. Only hunger for money and power.

    16. KMB says:

      Wow, I must have missed the fact that driving was a right and protected under the Constitution. You idiot, quit coddling stupid people in this society and hold them accountable. “No cruel or unusual punishment”; what are you 10? Knot-head; I pray to God that you have not participated in bringing a life into this world and DON’T.

    17. johnny says:

      its unconstitutional …plain and simple

    18. The_Truf says:

      @ JB

      “Only hungry.”


      I assume you’re referring to the children of the deadbeat parents.

    19. Bob Turner says:

      LOL, the Constitution does not protect driving priveledges.

    20. Terry says:

      First off, those of you who say driving is a privilege are just dunderheads! Driving is and always has been a right granted to all US Citizens. Every State in the Union agrees with this! A State issued Drivers License allows you the privilege of driving on public rights of way, i.e. highways and public roads.

      Second, please explain how a ban for life from driving is not an unusual punishment! Cruel, no. Unusual, yes. Can anyone cite examples of when this punishment has been used often enough that it’s not “unusual”?

      Admittedly, I don’t know it works in RI but in every state that I’ve been in sets a proscribed penalty period for a license suspension. I’d be interested to know if RI even gives it’s judges the leeway to suspend a license forever.

    21. 1972Patriot says:

      I applaud the judge for his ruling and his message…

      “Topa’s lawyer says the penalty is too harsh and may be improper. But the teen can apply to the court to get his license back.”

      IMO, if the teen learns to hold himself accountable for his actions due to this decision, he should have no problem regaining his driving privilege.

    22. Justin Haines says:

      @Bob Turner

      You don’t think a lifetime ban for a reckless driving charge is considered unusual punishment? Cruel and unusual punishment *is* protected by the U.S. Constitution …

      1. devilmademe says:

        “cruel and unusual punishment” is NOT protectected by the Constitution …. it is specifically prohibited by the Constitution.

        Your verbiage leaves a lot to be desired, doesn;t it?

    23. John says:

      Judges should not be “sending messages”. In every case I can think of something obscene happens out of proportion to the crime. His sentence should be more or less on similar to other minors who have committed the same crime. It should not be forgotten that while he was driving with a suspended licence (a crime) both the accident and injuries were unintentional. Surely anyone convicted of assault (deliberate) would face a stronger penalty.

      1. Matt says:


        How can you say the injuries are unintentional? does that mean that when a drunk driver slams into a family car and kills people or dissfigures them, that it was unintentional? Seems to me that if he seriously injured people, was driving on a suspended license, and driving reckless ther is no “unintentional” about it. He got into a vehicle as an operator when he was not allowed, drove beyond the limits imposed by the state, endangered others and ultimatly seriously injured and almost killed one. The judge had the ability to impose the maximum punishment which was the suspension of his license for life. Seems fair to me.

      2. Mike says:


        You really think that seems fair? C’mon, you don’t and you know it. The suspended license is an administrative violation, and by your logic, ANYONE who is speeding and gets into an injury accident is liable to lose their license for life. Driving and riding in automobiles is inherently dangerous-should cars then be outlawed?

        Since the guy needs to live, what do you suppose the result of this will be?

      3. Raphiboy says:

        Why do people keep saying it is beyond the power of the judge? The judge is quoted right in the article, it’s the highest form of punishment the court is competent to levy. When I was 17 I had enormous respect for the power of an automobile, and would never have abused that power. This kid not only had one accident and revocation of his license, but then he drove like a drunken buffoon while his license was revoked with three more people in the car. He needs a severe punishment because apparently he does not respect authority.

      4. Steve says:

        It’s Rhode Island…who cares? He can get his license in one of the other 49 states without a problem. Essentially the Judge is exhibiting a self important news maker which amounts to mere puffery

      5. James G says:

        Yes, judges should be “sending messages.” They just shouldn’t announce that they are sending a message, since that indicates they are invoking a harsher sentence than what is deserved.

        When a judge says ” I want to send a message,” somebody is getting singled out. Just apply the law and hand down the sentence without the drama.

    24. 31337 says:

      lol maybe you would change your mind if oh wait the kid was on a suspended license and SHOCKER! he was still driving. What about his parents? Where were they? They should be punished too for letting their kid drive on a suspended license. Its not the village who raises the child but the parents (Sorry Hillary) What should be done is simple, like what they do in Japan with the Shoshinsha marks so other drivers know to stay away and since this kid was in/caused an accident he should be tossed in jail for a year or two. We also need to bring chain gangs back for people like this kid.

    25. h says:

      @Justin Haines: driving is a privilege, not a right.

    26. Serapis says:

      Bob Turner

      LOL, the Constitution does not protect driving priveledges

      Sorry, you are so incredibly misinformed. The Constitution does not “protect” anything, nor does it “grant” us any rights or privileges. The Constitution only places limits on the federal government. In short, everything in the Constitution is stating what the government CAN’T do. The Bill of RIghts does state some (but not all) of the rights that are inherit (aka, “endowed by their Creator”) Unfortunately, so many like this poster today think we are not allowed to do anything unless we are given the OK by some unaccountable bureaucrat.

    27. Kaitara says:

      Finally a judge making someone take responsibility for their actions. He might not be able to drive for a long time, but DEAD is forever!

      1. John Busciglio says:

        How is this making him take responsibility? Taking responsibility would be him paying for the injuries he caused to himself and to others. By limiting this kids ability to drive, the judge has severely limited his ability to earn wages to pay for his mistake. I would say the judge is severely limiting the kids ability to not only take responsibility for this mistake, but also to take responsibility for anything else.

        Dumb ruling aimed at taking revenged, it won’t change a thing except incite revenge minded people to applaud at the “courage” of the judge to wield his power.

      2. Doug says:

        You could argue points of this case forever. For example, the medical bills for the injured child may reach astronomical amounts the driver will never be able to pay back. Saddling a 17 year-old with several million dollars of debt will also impede his ability to earn a living, buy a house, car, etc. for the rest of his life. Is that fair? I’m not defending the kid or judge, but just pointing out stuff like this. Personally, I think a 5 year revocation, $10,000 fine, and probation would be more approriate. We all have made dumb mistakes and a lifetime ban just doesn’t seem reasonable but we don’t have all the facts here. The kid may have a safety sheet 10 feet long and is why the judge imposed a lifetime ban. Will it stop him from driving? Probably not. It’s one of the reasons I support increasing the penalities each time they get caught.

      3. Saul says:

        Agreed. It should be “Once and done: What the individual does is no concern “deal with it”. Iceland is one of several countries that has “for life” drinking and driving penalty. As a note, there is a local older fellow who drives without a liscense. He has been cited many times, even put in jail several times, but he still goes about his way and drives often. The police tend to ignore him now. He’s like a local hero. No DUI or other crime, he just drives without a liscense…..

    28. Ruckus says:

      Many Doctors and Lawyers lose their License for life, to practice Medicine and law and it is upsheld. Certainly someting as minor as a Drivers License being taken away for life can also be upheld. The brat was driving with a suspended license in the first place. This boy uses a car as a weapon. The judge is taking away his right to own such a weapon. I think it can be upheld.

    29. Gregorio Basra says:

      “those of you who say driving is a PRIVILEGE are just dunderheads! … State issued Drivers License allows you the PRIVILEGE …”

      How’s that, dunderhead?

    30. Chris B. says:

      Revenge is not an appropriate punishment. “Sending a message” goes beyond the law as it applies to an individual person, who does not, and should not, represent the entire population. Emotion should not enter into law.

    31. Finbar says:

      @Bob Turner: Yes it does. I was endowed by my Creator with a driver’s license.

    32. ryan k says:

      Giving is not a right its a privilege it is not protected under the constitution. And if you think it is you need to go and finish high school

      1. Robert says:

        Driving became a privilege when the guvment realized it could tax it. Citizenry accepted the burden of lost liberty for “security”, because the guvment can obviously make those decisions better. Sacrifice liberty for security “safety” and soon youll have neither.

      2. John says:

        Right. Driving is a privilege, flying is a privilege, using the train is a privilege…. So, The ability to travel has become something that can be taken away without due process. Genius. And nonsense. The ability to travel is a fundamental human right, and all the DMV propaganda to the contrary won’t change that.

      3. Scott Bieser says:

        The Ninth Amendment to the constitution clearly states, “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be used to deny or disparage others retained by the people” This means, just because a right is not listed in the Constitution doesn’t mean you don’t have it.
        To find out about the non-enumerated rights, you have to look into the British common law, and one of those rights is “the right of conveyance,” which is, the right to travel on the public roadways, by whatever means you have that are useful and not inherently destructive (in the old days, by horse or by private carriage). In the early 20th Century, the various states decided that “driving,” which originally meant to transport goods or persons in commerce, was now the same as operating any motor vehicle, therefore subject to license. And they got away with it because most voters at the time were afraid of those smoke-belching horseless carriages and were happy to see their use restricted. And thus does fear enslave us.

      4. Georgiasaraann says:

        John….learn the difference between driving and travel and then get back with us. And Scott…is British Common driving law listed in the constitution? No? Well then you can not connect the two. The constitution and BCL are two different things. Using your logic I can connect centuries old laws to whatever I want and say it is covered under the constitution. Driving laws have evolved over time. For a reason. By voters.

    33. TheDomesticTerrorist says:

      It means that you can drive on private property anywhere (where approved by the owner) without a license. A license is only needed to drive on the public highways and roads.

      You should also check out the supreme court’s rulings upon “the right to travel”. So much ignorance in one thread…

    34. Dennis says:

      @Justin, using your own statement of “cruel and unusual”, the operative word there is “AND”. The punishment may indeed be unusual but it is in no way cruel. It is a poignant example of ‘let the punishment fit the crime’. I applaud the judge and hope more judges will follow his example. I am a retired law enforcement officer and saw too much devastation on the roads and too much leniency from the courts.

    35. Dog says:

      You think the government polices itself?
      A cop can beat people, shoot their dog, and apologize for being in the wrong house with no repercussions. A judge is a LOT higher on the food chain than a cop. Judges are chosen for their political connections.

      The government is unaccountable, since it won’t bring itself to account, and out of control. Jury nullification and ballot initiatives are the only check on government since good people can’t make money in government since they won’t take bribes.

      I live in MA. The last four speakers of the house are in jail for corruption. Never trust a politician or the government. They are out to steal from you under the cover of “public service”

    36. Dog says:

      All these fools are happy that a judge imposed a ridiculous sentence. I don’t get it.
      I think 10 year suspension would have been more appropriate.

      Who is going to pay this kids welfare when he never can get a job because he has been denied the ability to travel?

    37. Russ in OR says:

      @Terry: One of thousands of citations. Driving is not a right:

      Chapter 11 – The Arizona Driver License
      Driving is a Privilege, Not a Right!

      Driving is a privilege, granted and revocable by the State at any time. It is a common misconception that driving in the State of Arizona is your “right,” but in reality, it is a privilege to drive in this state because you must meet prescribed criteria to be licensed.

    38. Wally Cleaver says:

      If he was an illegal alien, he wouldn’t have any problem. No Problem, I just get another license, Many such illegals are littering our roads with destruction.

      1. Doug says:

        Personally, I think illegals should be given licenses to drive in the US. Why? It would allow us to track them and allow them to get insurance coverage to give some relief to the people they crash into drunk and we get some money back from their illegal employment in this country, which we are never going to be able to stop anyway. However, I would mandate fingerprinting of them to avoid multiple licensing issues.

      2. John says:

        I wholeheartedly agree! In fact they reward them with a free pass.

    39. Claude Slahenhop says:

      Lock him up for 10 years, that will send a message.

    40. trackman says:

      Many of our country’s youth are in trouble today because there is no accountability and they know they can get away with it because they only get there hand slapped. I hope this sends a wake up call to some of our youth that you can be held accountable for irresponsible behavior.

    41. Mark Matis says:

      Well said. It’s clear that the Constitution does not matter to some of the swill commenting here. It’s all about how they feel. Hope they’re ready for the civil war. Or not.

    42. Publius says:

      “… using your own statement of “cruel and unusual”, the operative word there is “AND”. The punishment may indeed be unusual but it is in no way cruel. It is a poignant example of ‘let the punishment fit the crime’. I applaud the judge and hope more judges will follow his example. I am a retired law enforcement officer and saw too much devastation on the roads and too much leniency from the courts.”

      As a former LE officer, you realize what you’ve said here is complete nonsense, correct? The word “and” in no way allows singularly cruel or singularly “unusual” punishments.

    43. Publius says:

      Complete tripe. Try denying a license to someone on the basis of entirely subjective criteria such as race or sex and see how far your “privilege” argument gets you.

    44. Bloodyspartan says:

      Driving is not a privelege, we have only let them convince us it is.

      We have the right to come and go for now at least as we please the form of transportation always depended on time and civilization.

      After all they hung horse thieves. All governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed.
      They have no right to take away our right to come and go for life, the same with guns a felon pays his dues and according to the Demi Gods he has no right to protect him and those he loves BS

    45. Jennifer says:

      Has that judge permanently revoked driving privileges for every individual arrested for DUI and other serious infractions? They are also causes for “broken dreams and broken futures”. He should do so from here on out or he will be a hypocrite.

      1. Doug says:

        The law does not state that justice must be equal. It states that it must be fair. That is why sentences can vary widely when handed down.

      2. Macfad says:

        Tha’ts ok. Hypocrisy isn’t so bad.

    46. Jim says:

      Johnny = never heard/read/seen the Constitution.

    47. Prof. Carroll Quigley says:

      Its an accident. Accidents happen.

      The judge does not have this power.
      If he did, then another judge could take all kinds of rights besides just travel.

      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – GOOGLE EXCLUDED INCOME

      Make the lying judges and politicians OBEY the US income tax law.

    48. Terry says:


      I’ll type this slowly so you can understand it.

      DRIVING is a right. That’s DRIVING, be it a car, motorcycle, Segway, ATV or any other mechanical transportation device. This means you can drive ANYTIME on any non-public throughway.

      Drivers Licenses allow you the privilege of driving on public roads. That part IS a privilege. But driving is a right.

      I’m betting you’re the same type of person who’ll say that FLYING is a privilege too, even though it’s US Federal law that flying is a RIGHT. (Section 49 p 40103

      @Russ – Read a little further down the paragraph you cited and it states “You must have a driver license issued by the Motor Vehicle Division to drive on any public road, street, or highway…” Read the whole paragraph and it becomes obvious that their argument is that since the Motor Vehicle Division can revoke your license, and you must have a license to drive on any public road, it’s a privilege that can be revoked at any time. That website is just wrong.

      Ask yourself, do the Arizona License requirements apply to Indian Reservations? No, they don’t as long as it’s not a publicly maintained road. WHy? Because it’s private property and you don’t need a license to drive on private property or any other non-publicly owned throughway. A Private road? Legal without a license.

      DomesticTerrorist is correct and shows the critical thinking so lacking in today’s youth.

      1. Doug says:

        Terry, you are wrong. The Court has never affirmed your right to “drive” on public roadways or highways. It has only affirmed your right to “travel” upon them and you have no right to do so while driving a vehicle. Driving is NOT a right. Traveling is as affirmed by the Court. And you are wrong about your Indian reservation example. Indian reservations are considered seperate sovereigns when it comes to trying to enforce state or federal laws on them., not private property.

    49. Doug says:

      No. He just chose the wrong case to make his point. Lifetime driving bans are rather common in other countries who take this issue rather seriously. Some countries make DWI a death penalty offense or life imrpisonment for 1st time offenders.

    50. Alec Baldwin says:

      I agree with Patrick: Many people in this country believe that driving on public roads and highways should be a right, not a “privilege” While expressing remorse for those who may have lost a loved one due to a DWI or reckless driving accident, I am against this judges ruling. This judge is “drunk with power” in my opinion. Remember that when you point your finger at somebody you have three pointing straight back at you! Its easy to utterly condemn someone who has broken the law until it happens to you or someone close to you.

      1. Georgiasaraann says:

        SO….he’s a judge but should not make a judgement? This judge is right. Impose the maximum sentance. The 17 year old was driving on a suspended sentance. The 17 year old clearly did not care about the law. He will drive again. I have a relative that does this. Drunk. Has been in and out of prison several times. Do you want him on the same road as you or your family? Or this 17 year old genius who ran his car up a tree? Some people should not drive. Big deal if I point the finger at him or you. If I point one finger at you and point the rest of my fingers at you at the same time do you get 3 times the judgement? That makes about as much sense as your statement. He’s a judge. He judges and imposes sentances. It’s his job. Do you understand that? Sit in a courtroom sometimes. Judges are trying to straighten these people out. They are not on a power trip. They see way too much of this.

    51. SEGrady says:

      I am astonished at how many of you make claims about the Constitution that are so incredibly wrong. As a 15 year veteran instructor of the Constitution, I would suggest each of you go online to find a copy of the Constitution and take the 10 minutes needed, to read it over carefully. The original version was only 4 pages. Begin with the Preamble, then read the Articles, then the amendments. Some of you have a basic understanding but none of you seem to really know what is in the Constitution. It’s easy to know for certain if you simple READ it for yourselves.

      As for this ruling, I understand the judges motive but do not agree with the sentence given. A more reasonable sentence would be a 5 to 10 year loss with several hundred hours of community service. Perhaps make his community service cleaning up horrendous accident scenes to help itch in his young mind the seriousness of his poor judgement. I also agree that the parents are not free from blame…as in cases where a child fires a weapon owned by the parent there is a basic requirement that they make a good faith effort to protect their child and others from harm. A fine would likely send a clear message to his parents as well…perhaps even have a few hours of community service as a family…cleaning up accident sites. My two cents…Go READ the Constitution now folks!

    52. Ruben Reyes says:

      Prof. Carroll Quigley,

      The judge did NOT take away his right to travel. He can still buy a bus ticket just as easily as anyone else.

      1. Doug says:

        At least someone out here understands the law besides me. Why is it so diifficult for people to grasp that the right to travel is not the same as the right to drive? Is our education system that bad that even the simple legal concepts like this can’t sink in?

      2. klg1956 says:

        Why don’t you try living in Caliifornia for one day….nothing makes sense anymore…..we’ve got Police Chiefs rewriting our legal driving laws when the state is telling him he’s breaking the law..and a mayor standing up with the police chief….letting illegal immigrants drive w/o driver’s licenses, registration, insurance…..only the legals can get arrested…WHERE IS MOTHER’S AGAINST DRINK DRIVERS? What’s worse, driving drunk (at least you know how to drive while intoxicated) or driving without a license?

      3. devilmademe says:

        “At least someone out here understands the law besides me. Why is it so diifficult for people to grasp that the right to travel is not the same as the right to drive? Is our education system that bad that even the simple legal concepts like this can’t sink in?”

        There is no Right to drive … Driving a motor vehicle on public roads has been deemed (by the Courts) to be a privilege that is subject to regulation by the several states.

      4. Doug says:

        Uhm, You just restated what I just said. There is no Constitutional Right to drive in this country.

    53. Will says:

      I want this judge in my town where countless people have got off with suspended sentences for killing other road users while DUI second third and fifth time.

    54. Big Cat says:

      Driving after revocation should be a felony. It’s too bad he can’t get prison time. He deserves it.

      1. Doug says:

        i agree. At some point you should get jail time if you don’t get the message you can’t drive. However, given all the drunk politicians who crash, we’ll never see it.

      2. Reason says:

        Yes, prison! He can train to run guns and drugs for the ATF and have a bright future!

    55. JJ says:

      Be careful what you ask for. Although your heart and emotions call for justice, you slowly lose your freedom. Freedom is ugly and has a cost. Although the heart says the judge is right, one day you won’t be able to challenge the judge. And the judge will take away your freedom. And your children! Then again, you did want the judge to protect your children. Didn’t you?

    56. Macfad says:

      Good on the judge!
      Oh and you idiots arguing Constitutional rights here, there is no right to operate a motor vehicle! For 5000 years mankind rode at the speed of a horse, and by god if it was good enough for the majority of mankind past, then it’s good enough for this jerk who thinks he’s above the law! Let his arse ride the “shoe leather” express for the rest of his miserable life! (and incidentally, if it was my kid, I’d argue the same thing! NOBODY has a right to ignore the law and hurt other people!

    57. Mark Twain says:

      This is clearly Bush’s fault, not the judge or the driver.

    58. A Z says:

      Cutting a child in half is EXACTLY like taking away their license to drive a motor vehicle.

    59. EndlessMediaLies says:

      Give me a break. After the coup and cover up much of the daily news is orchestrated by unelected officials who took over Washington and the media. Even Disqus commenting systems were knocked out today to prevent the truth from spreading.

      We have no president, no democracy, and freedom of press is an illusion.

      Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

    60. John Miles says:

      I wouldn’t change my mind even if it was my child hurt in this. Judges handing out unfair sentences to ‘set and example’ or ‘send a message’ is wrong. They should follow the law and hand out the same sentence they would in any other case.

      Besides… Cruel and *UNUSUAL* punishment is against the Constitution. This would definitely fall under the ‘unusual’ category.

    61. bmsadler01 says:

      Like that will stop him from driving. He was already driving with a suspended license when he crashed his car.

    62. Mac says:

      Still spewing your linkspam, eh Aunt Bee?

    63. no says:

      This is exactly what should happen. Found drunk driving? License suspension for five years. Same with an issue of extreme negligence like this. Found drunk driving a second time? Or found driving while your license is suspended at any time? Suspended for LIFE. Found driving when suspended for life? Spend a year in prison.

      My right not to be killed by you is more important than your right to repeatedly put the public in danger, because you’re a jackhole or a drunk.

      1. Georgiasaraann says:

        THANK YOU!

    64. c dubs says:

      The judge’s capricious, whimsical decision undermines confidence in the US legal system.

      1. joej says:

        wrong. it is all the other judges who choose to NOT punish repeat offenders like this idiot who are undermining the US legal system. LET US PROTECT THE VICTIMS, NOT THE CRIMINALS.

    65. Reality Check says:

      Actually the constitution does protect some driving rights.

      The U.S. Supreme courts has ruled people have a right to work and if allowances are not made to allow people to get back and forth to work in a reasonable manner a permanent driving ban is unconstitutional.

      1. Georgiasaraann says:

        What ruling?

    66. ben says:

      5 years, I understand. For life? He’s ruined.

    67. JJ says:

      Arrogant righteous liberal. Driving is a privilege, not a right. But then, as you confuse your privileges for rights, your condemnation comes as no surprise.

      Punk ought to be in prison for life…….., but still with full driving privileges!

      1. Againstjudicalpowerabuse says:

        I’m a conservative and i disagree with you. I think driving should be a right. Can’t we have a national discussion about this then let the voters decide? So much depends upon the ability to drive these days and public transportation is not a viable option in most places in the US.

      2. Mike says:

        Anything that can be revoked, suspended, reversed, revised and or amended is not a right but a privilege and privileges can be taken away. The only right that one has is the right to free thought but then only if you keep it to yourself.

    68. William says:

      Tar and Feather this judge! Then tie him to a donkey, and make a loud noise!

    69. joej says:

      yay judge! we could use more judges like this one.

      1. Reason says:

        Go recruit them for us. Get some good former soviet bloc judges who have 20 years of being unable to oppress building up inside them.

    70. gk says:

      I agree this right-wing judge needs to be fired and thown in prison for life and forced to share a cell with gayest inmates. We don’t need judges who try making their own laws and the punishment described above will send a cear message.

    71. Joe C says:

      Yes the courts say that driving is a privilege, not a right. But does that mean we have to agree with that just because the courts say it so? And besides, rights can be taken away. If you’re a felon you can’t vote. So it’s fair and reasonable to argue that driving is a right. A lot of people claimed that gay marriage is their right, and some say it’s not. It is an evolving position. Must we always agree with the court’s current positions like sheep?

      1. Againstjudicalpowerabuse says:

        Joe C –> right on! Some of these posters would jump off a bridge because some county judge told them to do it. If more such people were living during the time of the American Revolution, we would still be flying the British Flag in this land.

    72. Jan Myers says:

      Our youngest daughter was killed 18 months ago by an 18-year-old driver. She was hit at 110 m.p.h. (black box in his car). He was showing off to friends which he regularly did. Has he served a day in jail? Lost his license? Paid a fine? NO! His life has gone one as normal while our family’s lives are devastated. Hopefully when he faces trial for SECOND DEGREE FELONY MANSLAUGHTER in June, 2012 he will get a share of “justice” meted out by this judge. Till then his life goes on with no consequences at all. I just wish someone would have been tough on him for speeding BEFORE he killed our daughter!

      1. Georgiasaraann says:

        That’s so bad. At least your daughter had you, who obviously cared about her for her young life. I am glad she had good parents. I hope the folks wanting to baby this fool driver read your post and think about what that driver did to your family. I am so sorry you are having to go through such a bad ordeal. I know it is eating you up. But he will get convicted. And sentanced. People don’t like seeing young lives needlessly taken. It has made me mad sitting here, reading your post. My heart goes out to you.

    73. Hamboned says:

      How in the world is this a violation of The Bill of Rights??!!!! Your line of thinking is what’s wrong this country!! His licences was already suspended, yet he was still driving. He obviously did not feel he needed to get the message. HE IS NOT THE VICTIM HERE!!!

      Though his driving “rights” have been revoked, this is misleading. Driving is NOT a Right. It’s a privilege.

    74. Jeff says:

      Wish judges would give that kind of penalty to those who drive drunk, especially repeat offenders, as over half of all fatal accidents involve alcohol.

    75. Paul says:

      Get over yourself judge… it’s prick’s like you that give the judicial branch a bad name… Why don’t you go after the DUI cases that get 3rd, 4th, and 5th chances….

      1. arnoldripkin says:

        I would rather enter a dangerous intersection against a drunk driver than one texting. A driver who kills someone due to alcohol, drugs, texting, stupidity, fatigue, or anything else should face the same charge. 2nd degree murder or manslaughter. It’s time to treat everyone who takes a life the same. The victim’s life should not be devalued because the killer wasn’t drunk.

      2. Georgiasaraann says:

        So Paul, what do you think the judge does on DUI cases? Dismiss them? You get a DUI you are cooked. Your license is gone. It costs you. Of course, it does not matter to a drunk, they will drive anyway. Exactly the same as this guy. Answer me this. If you are killed by a another driver, do you think it matters if his license was suspended for drunk or for reckless driving?

    76. ConservativeProf says:

      This kid was already driving on a suspended license. I suspect he will do it again, and then go to jail. It won’t matter, then, whether he has a license.

    77. Jim Dea says:

      Yeah, like they are way puffed up and thinking that they are little god’s.

    78. Pat EB says:

      Punishing a 17-year-old (a juvenile) this harshly is not productive. Make him pay for the damage he caused and let him prove that he can be trusted again. Taking his driving privileges for life proves that this judge is not thinking, he is just trying to score points with somebody (is he an elected official I wonder?).
      Maybe next time he will just order the next teenage offender shot just to prove a point. This is stupid beyond belief.

    79. FLETCH says:


    80. jack says:

      thats crazy hopes his insurance atleast covers the car
      mustangs shouldnt be abused like that! hope that insurance covers him

  2. Pleased says:

    Wow. A judge with real balls. Repeat sentences like this enough and it will become what the legal system should be – a deterrent. His little friends at school will think twice as being as stupid as “Lyle” was – and if not, may they be seated before this same judge. Thank you Judge Guglietta!!!

    1. Steele says:

      You do realize what ‘for life’ means? he crashed a car, he didn’t firebomb a school. Apply this to your own youth and figure out where you’d have been banned ‘for life’ from something for making a mistake. This is abuse of judicial discretion and will be overturned.

      1. Jib says:

        His license was already suspended, apparently that didn’t work.

      2. Steele says:

        You can get a suspended license for parking tickets, or a single driving infraction in some states depending on your age. That doesn’t prove anything but that he’d had a previous driving mistake.

      3. Jib says:

        The information is at your fingertips, if you choose to use it. 2 previous suspensions for traffic violations. Sounds like Steele is either a friend of the driver or is a fellow Dale Earnhardt on local roads.

      4. CK says:

        Steele said, “Apply this to your own youth and figure out where you’d have been banned ‘for life’ from something for making a mistake.”



      5. Steele says:

        Somehow CK unless you live in a cave, I call you a liar. Or have never driven, never had a friend who broke the law. You really are just too narrow-minded to realize what I meant. So you witness a friend drinking underage, that’s contributing to the delinquency of a minor. You’re now banned for life from being around alcohol. Say you drove 5 miles over the speed limit in a school zone, in some locals this can get you charged with wreckless driving, surprise you’re now banned for life, hope you can walk to work. Do you see how out of control this OVER reaction is?

      6. Steele says:

        No Jib, I just live by the idea that I never give the state the power to take anyone’s liberty without due process of law, and this was in violation of due process (see the links I posted that you apparently didn’t read while doing your googling.) There is no precedent, no law that gives the judge the right to do this. What’s next, we take a person’s kid away for swatting them once on the butt? For life? Do you see how easily ‘for life’ can be abused?

      7. law talking dudette says:

        You do understand that driving is a privilege, not a right, correct? And that it was Lyle, not the judge, who caused that privilege to be revoked by getting his license suspended, driving while his license was suspended, crashing while his license was suspended, and putting another kid into a coma?

      8. bob says:

        @Steele – Without due process of law? Why do you think a courtroom is? You really are stupid and clueless

      9. rpv says:

        The glaring truth is that he’ll carry this mistake and the harm done for the rest of his life. I disagree with the judge’s verdict because there are better ways to handle this. I don’t believe for one second that whatever adult he grows into, he’ll resort to public transportation, or the graces of others to get him around. At some point, unless his behavior is changed and he has a venue for reacquiring his license, he be behind the wheel of another vehicle. Better to educate and modify his behavior, than to enforce a rule that time will make meaningless.

      10. reverend richard says:

        law talking dudette

        You do understand that driving is a privilege, not a right, correct? And that it was Lyle, not the judge, who caused that privilege to be revoked by getting his license suspended, driving while his license was suspended, crashing while his license was suspended, and putting another kid into a coma?

        The judge is grand standing and you know it. How about giving him 20-life, think that will get peoples attention.

      11. Al says:

        Agreed! Not one of us (hopefully) is the same person at 35 that we were at 17. Suspended sentence didn’t work? Okay, then you up the anty with a few months in jail for juvies. If that doesn’t work, then more time in jail, fines, and inline forms of punishment.

        One man, despite being a judge, does not have the power to arbitrarily strike down another person’s rights to a normal, healthy life just because said person made a big mistake. Nobody was killed or even permanently impaired. The sentence in over the top and unconstitutional.

      12. dmockercy says:

        how about the lives that are forever changed due to the actions of someone who had no business behind the wheel?

      13. robert preston says:

        I don’t think so

      14. mike says:

        steele is useless arguing with a bunch of idiots on the internet

        agree with you though

      15. vtwin says:

        Would you say the same if he had smashed into YOUR vehicle and left you crippled and brain-damaged for the rest of your life, thus causing undue financial hardship on your family?
        He had a choice. Obey the law or violate it. He chose the latter, but he was punished for the severity of the result of his offense.
        And, as a result of the judge’s decision, YOUR roads are a bit safer.

    2. Brandon says:

      Being “tough on crime” does not work. It has been proven over and over again. It’s just a scam to get simpletons like you to part with your money to build prisons.

      1. bob says:

        I must have missed the part where he was sent to prison.

        I agree, putting criminals in prison does not work. Criminals should all be allowed on the streets to commit more crimes. That will work to reduce crime. Aren’t you glad you’re not a simpleton?

      2. joej says:

        I agree. Instead we should all carry guns and shoot the idiots we see around us. Much cheaper and more effective in the long run.

    3. Darrell Renfroe says:

      Yes!! Finally!!
      A judge is willing to to punish a person for crimes that other people have not yet committed.
      Everyone who commits a crime should be punished for whatever anyone else in the future may or may not ever do.
      That’s the whole purpose of “sending a message” when imposing sentences!
      This person should ABSOLULETLY NOT be punished for what he did, he should be punished for what orhters might be stopped from doing!
      Way to Go SuperJudge!

      1. bob says:

        So the judge took away his license for no reason at all? The guy was safely driving his car and the judge just walked up and took his license away for life. What a meanie beanie judge!

      2. Eric says:

        He was driving recklessly, and doing so without a valid license. The fact that he didn’t have a license tells me that he’s probably done it before.

        He committed at least one crime, and neither you nor I know what his prior record looks like just from reading this article.

        Reckless driving IS a crime, and it kills thousands of people every year
        One of the most important reasons behind incarceration is to prevent the person from committing “future crimes.” That’s why we lock people up. It’s not a new concept that this judge just now invented, you know.

      3. Reason says:

        It’s important that he continues to be punished at 50 for what he did when he was a kid. All you republicans that think otherwise better wake up! The great spirit blessed our nation with a growing authoritarianism for a reason! Fall in line! Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Judge ordered him to be beat with sticks in public every Wednesday for life?

      4. Georgiasaraann says:

        Well Reason, yes, it will be too damn bad if he has to take public transportation at 50 because he was an idiot at 17. I thought you liberals liked buses and trains. And this will save the environment! I’m sure the trees are much safer, without him running into them.

  3. Junnipersmippets says:

    Good call by the judge. One stupid drunk behind the wheel can devastate families forever. He can ride a bike or walk. He should never, ever be behind the wheel again. I hope he’s also sued for all medical costs related to the injuries of his “friends.” Some friend.

    1. aaron burns says:

      Where does it say he was drunk?

      1. bob says:

        Does it matter if he’s drunk or not? His repeated reckless action caused serious injury to another person. At least he wasn’t sent to prison for assault

      2. Junnipersnippets says:

        Bob, maybe it doesn’t matter if he was drunk or not. Aaron simply called into question Junnipersmippets presumption that he was drunk. The comment was part of the conversation they were having, until you jumped in and stated something irrelevant to the exchange. Your comment may be relevant to the article, but who cares?

    2. AlexU says:

      Wasn’t drunk but reckless so he understood what he was doing.

    3. Steele says:

      because clearly one mistake should ruin your life where no one died. I hope your kids bring you the same sort of draconian justice home, and you get the legal bill, maybe then you’ll think twice about allowing this sort of insanity.

      1. Jib says:

        One mistake? His license had ALREADY been suspended TWICE for traffic violations. Do a little research, pretty easy on the internet.

      2. Deb says:

        I guess we should wait until he kills someone before punishing him.

        He was driving on a suspended license, and still had no respect for the law. I think this is great!

      3. Steele says:

        You’re talking about the rest of his life, do a little research, that’s generally longer than say, a month. You want him to atone? incarcerate him. Do not impose a lifetime ban when it was a mistake. I can guarantee you that there is something in your life you hide from people, that if we banned you for, you’d be screaming that ‘for life’ was unfair. I guess we need to start heating up the irons and doling out the scarlet letters so you idiots get a clue.

      4. Steele says:

        Also deb, he was punished. In a plea agreement, Topa admitted to speeding 20 miles over the 35 mph limit, although the judge said he believes the speed was higher; violating laws regarding seat belt use, having too many passengers in the car and overtaking another car where prohibited. The judge dropped several charges including a graduated license violation of being out past designated curfew, leaving the lane of travel and failure to maintain control of the vehicle. Other charges, such as being a minor in possession of alcohol, are being handled in closed Family Court hearings.

        This is just the harshest PART of the punishments.

      5. Eric says:

        So, Steele, he was drunk, had no license, a car full of kids, swerving all over, speeding like a maniac, etc…..and you think this was “excessive”?

        How many dead bodies does it take before you’d take it seriously?

      6. Dave says:

        I would also like to point out that if his license was suspended then he was probably not covered by and insurance (which last I knew was required in all states). So if he would have hit somebody who would have paid for that damage. Sending him to jail just means that now the tax payers have to support him. Then there is the question of alchol, If that was involved then I think he should have been charged with attempted murder.

      7. Junnipersnippets says:

        Steele, do you always immediately resort to pejorative and 5th grade name-calling when someone has a differing opinion? Do you realize you called Deb an IDIOT because you disagree with her? I suspect you suffer low self-esteem from being stuffed into your school locker as a kid, but now you’re one of those “keyboard warriors” who can hide behing your computer screen and attack with your fingers.

      8. KRS says:

        Steel said “I can guarantee you that there is something in your life you hide from people”

        Nope. It’s called live as a law abiding citizen.

  4. Not Sure says:

    Bring on the the flying cars already!

    1. Intellectual says:

      So instead of merely crashing into a tree at 45-60 mph, they’ll fall into a tree from 200ft up, where their speed will be upwards of 100 mph? Sounds great, instead of one person being in a coma, they’ll all just die…

      1. More Intellectual says:

        so…you were kinda itchin’ for that comment , weren’t you? You’re just..well…dumb.

      2. Even More Intellectual says:


      3. Most Intellectual says:

        What the deuce?

      4. Intellectualissimo says:

        What the tres?

    2. 51Phantom says:

      Yeah, that way he drive it into the ground like a lawn dart!

  5. sammy says:

    Amen Brother Nash!

  6. ChinaHarry says:

    What’s wrong with you fools? The sentence will be overturned or, if not overturned, it will not be implemented. If implemented, it will not be enforced. It just shows up the law as a foolish game being played by politicians. If the guy killed someone, then execute him – manslaughter or negligent homicide – so what’s the difference? Who cares? His behavior has shown him to be a danger to society in a big wat. It’s you who has got to live in that state with that idiot.

    1. george says:

      I agree that the sentence will most likely be overturned or simply not enforced. It sounds like an interesting idea, but surely there are sentencing guidelines in place that make a lifetime driving ban improper. My other problem with the sentence is that the judge is basically telling a 17-year-old teenager that he will never grow up and become mature enough to drive safely. That’s quite a presumptuous thing to assume, isn’t it? Maybe the kid will remain irresponsible forever — and maybe not! The judge is not a soothsayer and shouldn’t be passing judgment on the person this boy will become in a few more years.

      1. robert preston says:

        Nah — the judge in fact is telling the punk to move to another state. Hopefully yours. There he can legally drive and go out and kill somebody. The kid’s a punk, and you’re making excuses for him. You will probably vote for even more hope and change. Thanks, loser.

      2. Macfad says:

        Hey George, guess what? The man is called a “JUDGE” for a reason. Yes he DOES get to “pass judgement”, that’s what judges get paid to do!!

    2. joej says:

      right, but hopefully it is a lot of work for the kid, and a big enough pain in the butt, to re-instate his license, that maybe “next time” he will think a bit more before repeating a similar stunt…

  7. mike says:

    the judge is an idiot. if the kid is a danger to society, charge him with a crime and prosecute him accordingly, but taking away his ability to drive for the rest of his life is inappropriate. want him off the road for the rest of his life? put him in jail. that would be appropriate if he did something to deserve that punishment, but this judge acted inappropriately. this is america, not nazi germany.

    1. Dupree says:

      I agree. Prosecute with jail time to make a message. Otherwise, how will this kid eventually support himself as an adult if he cannot drive to work. Why don’t we just put him directly on welfare while we are at it.

      1. vtwin says:

        how will this kid eventually support himself as an adult if he cannot drive to work

        Ever hear of a bicycle? Buses? Car pooling? Telecommuting? Work-from-home?
        I guess not.

    2. bob says:

      He’s a danger to society when driving. As far as we know, he was never a danger while walking. Appropriate sentence

    3. joej says:

      i disagree. It is a huge $$ cost to the state to put him in prison. It is no $$ cost to simply revoke his license. And think how embarrassed his parents must be from this national attention. Maybe they can scare him straight. “Stop embarrassing us!”

      1. Georgiasaraann says:

        I wonder where the parents are. Was he driving one of their cars? You really have to keep the keys hidden in a situation like this. He’s 17 and hopefully will mature. If he loses his license forever, so be it. Better he and other people are alive and inconvenienced than dead with his license in his pocket.

  8. Steve says:

    Bush caused the wreck.

    1. jose says:

      Dam, beat me to it! It’s Bush’s fault

    2. michael says:

      I bounced a check at the supermarket yesterday. Bush’s fault!

  9. jose says:

    Too bad Judgie Wudgie does not do the same for drunk drivers? How many drunk drivers has he permanently banned. Seems a no brainer to overturn on appeal.

  10. Republicrat says:

    He can just get a DL in another state. Per the Constitution, CT has to recognize an out of state DL (full faith and credit clause).

    1. American Fatty says:

      Will be difficult since most states are parties to the Drivers License Compact.

    2. Robbob says:

      If you are revoked/barred in one state, no other state will issue you a license.

      1. Doug says:

        Not true. Some states don’t honor reciprocity.

    3. egomaniac says:

      The Driver’s License Compact applies to all states except for Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. Massachusetts is close by.

      1. Doug says:

        Actually, you are somewhat correct. If your privilege to drive is suspended in your home state getting a license from another state will not restore your right to drive in your home state. You will still be arrested. However, if drive outside of your home state on your new license there is nothing that can be done on a state level. However, it is a federal violation of law to obtain more than one state license to avoid sanctions on your home state license. Is it ever enforced? Mostly on commercial vehicle operators.

  11. ADM says:

    This judge has ruined this kid’s future, if this ruling is allowed to stand. Fine and jail him. Take his license away for five years. But for the rest of his life? That’s sick.

    1. Aldo says:

      This is the RI Judiciary… He is not even a Judge but a Magistrate!!

      Guglietta is a political hack.. Guglietta, who has most recently served as chief legal counsel to the House of Representatives, was nominated to the position by Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams. Guglietta was chosen by Chief Justice Williams following interviews with five individuals recommended to him by a three-person nominating commission he appointed.

      US Constitution -Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted”. The general principles the United States Supreme Court relied on to decide whether or not a particular punishment was cruel and unusual were determined by Justice William Brennan.In Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), Justice Brennan wrote, “There are, then, four principles by which we may determine whether a particular punishment is ‘cruel and unusual’.”

      The “essential predicate” is “that a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity,” especially torture.
      “A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion.”
      “A severe punishment that is clearly and totally rejected throughout society.”
      “A severe punishment that is patently unnecessary.”

      I think any REASONABLE person would judge this to be patently unnecessary!!!

      1. Dorsey says:


        One needs to remember that a drivers licenses is a privilage not a right, it can be taken away at any time.

      2. bob says:

        Cruel and unusual? That’s quite a stretch. He can always walk or take public transit. How about the kid in a coma? Is his future ruined?

      3. James G says:

        I am a pretty reasonable person, and I believe strongly in the “reasonable person” doctrine that is taken from common law.

        But, a lifetime ban is not really a lifetime ban, under state law.

        The kid has future methods of applying to get his license back under the current state laws. He is entitled to due process, and he is receiving it, and will continue to receive it under the law.

        If this was really the end of it, and he was denied the right to drive forever with no appeal or due process, a reasonable person would be on your side. But that is not the situation he faces.

        Let the law and the ruling play out. If the kid straightens up, he will get his license back.

    2. Dave says:

      I disagree. The judge did NOT ruin this kid’s life…he did it himself. That’s the problem these days, no one wanting to take responsibility for one’s own actions. This individual did NOT have to text while driving, but being the “indestructible” teen with the attitude of “it won’t happen to me,” chose to do just that. He ought to count his blessings that he ONLY got his driving privileges revoked. His friends weren’t so lucky.

      1. Dave says:

        My bad, I thought the article said that he was texting, when he was reckless driving. That does not change anything, though.

      2. Steele says:

        And he has to live with the fact that he hurt his friends, a far harsher punishment than any a judicial system can ever inflict. Not to mention the lawsuits for civil damages against his parents necessary to pay for his friends doctor and healthcare after the accident. The fallout from this without this ludicrious ruling would be lifelong.

        I have a better idea, why not, and this is absolutely brilliant, why don’t we just start branding people’s crimes on their forheads, so they make big red welts they wear for life. We could call them scarlet letters. And then everyone would know every mistake you ever made in your entire life by what letters you wore. Get a clue. this is insanity.

      3. bob says:

        ooh he has to live with hurting his friend. that must be worse than being in a coma or death. a rapist has to live with hurting a woman. that’s enough punishment. a murderer has to live with taking someone’s life. no prison time needed for him. grow up steele. stop defending your son or friend. whoever that idiot is to you

    3. Robbob says:

      He was already revoked when this accident happened.

    4. manup says:

      the judge ruined this kid’s future???? HUH???…he had a suspended license….was driving anyway… violating all sort of laws. at what point did the judge give him keys to the vehicle and say party on garth???. And where are the parents in all this??? whole thing is grandstanding as the kid already didnt care about the suspended license so why should he care about the revocation??

    5. joej says:

      I disgree. A jail record will be much harder on a future career. A revoked license? With some work, demonstrations of “good faith”, and retaking a class and test, he’ll have his license within a few years. I think the judge did the “for life” just to draw media attention and embarrass the family. It worked.
      I predict the family sues the judge next.

  12. James says:

    Unfortunately, that is utopian thinking and is not a real world solution.

  13. geo says:

    are judges elected in CT? he running for office?

  14. KG says:

    Raise the driving age to 20. There is way more traffic and distractions than, let’s say, just 30 years ago. Allow them to mature and live.

    1. Heemer says:

      KG, you’re on to something, but why stop there? Let’s raise the driving age to 45 and then tell people that they have to give their licenses back when they get to be too old, say 46. I’ll bet all this bleating about driving being a privilege would change real quickly if we were to do that!

  15. KB says:

    I suppose the judge can try this, but Connecticut’s laws regarding the issuance of a STATE Drive License could only be enforced in that state, or any other state in which Connecticut had a current MOA.

  16. Tom says:

    I’d bet any money this is an illegal sentence. If CT is anything like PA where I live, the statutes determine the suspension for any offense, not some judge who decides to play God.

    For those who think this is great, how do you expect this kid to ever work if he can’t drive a car?

    1. Dave says:

      Ride the bus, walk, taxi, ride with fellow employees, bicycle, etc, etc.

      1. Tyler says:

        I wouldn’t hire someone who didn’t have their own car.

      2. bob says:

        @Tyler – That’s why you work at mcdonalds. Most people living in New York don’t have a car.

    2. manup says:

      hey Tom…I don’t know about PA but in most states i’ve ever been in they have these things called buses. I take one daily and am one of the 1%

  17. Fred says:

    At 17, he should have known better… unless he had engaged in s3xual acts with his teacher, in which case he would have been an innocent victim.

  18. Fred says:

    I don’t know if Google makes them, but MTD has a few of those “self-driving” things around my town… they’re called buses

    1. Grace says:

      Or Polish up the bike.

  19. Dorsey says:

    I think the one thing we all need to remember is that having a drivers licenses is a privilege not a right, it can be taken away for any reason or no reason at all. This entitlement society is going to drive us into the ground. Way to go judge.

    1. Aldo says:

      But for life? Come on….

      1. Dorsey says:

        I do agree that is a little harsh.

      2. bob says:

        It says he can apply to get it back. Perhaps when he is more mature in 10 or 20 years.

    2. White says:

      “I think the one thing we all need to remember is that having a drivers licenses is a privilege not a right, it can be taken away for any reason or no reason at all.”

      Privilege because the government tells you so. You have the right to travel, therefore you have the right to use any mean you wish to travel. Of course, you should continue to brown nose the government, I am sure it loves you back, dog.

      1. obamasadope says:

        OK, I want to be able to fly an F/A18 without a license! Yeehahhhhhh!

      2. Eric says:

        White, you are completely wrong. For one thing, he is under 18. He is a juvenile. He is conditionally allowed a license only because his parents signed something that granted him permission and accepted responsibility for him. They can revoke it at any time, or for no reason at all.

        Driving is NOT a legal “right” in any of the 50 states and never has been.

        You have a right to travel, but there are available alternatives to driving. Being able to drive your own car is a convenience, not a necessity.

        Even your actual civil RIGHTS can be taken away if you violate the social contract. That’s what the Founders said. Your rights end when you violate the rights of others. People who are driving down the highway minding their own business and making a reasonable and prudent effort not to endanger others have a RIGHT to be free from kuckleheads who speed and otherwise put people in danger. If you violate their rights, then the courts absolutely DO have the legal right to deny your driving privilege. They revoke licenses all the time for reckless driving, drunk driving, etc.

        This is a civil society, not anarchy. You do NOT have a right to do as you please all the time and without consequences.

      3. Eric says:

        White: Can the right to keep and bear arms be denied to criminals? Yes or no?

        If you say, “yes”, then please explain the difference here.

        ALL rights can be taken away if you violate the rights of others. That’s how it works.

      4. Denver says:

        Eric: Do this some time. Fly into any big city west of the Appalachians and east of California and try getting to the next town without a car. Much of America is like that, even if your little liberal enclave isn’t. Fortunately, out here in the middle, we don’t obsess over such silliness. If we have to drive, we drive, and it doesn’t matter if our government says it’s okay. Our government is corrupt. We no longer care what it says or thinks.

  20. mark edward marchiafava says:

    it’s beyond time you people learn driving is a RIGHT and not a privilege.
    Quit drinking the Kool Aid.

    1. Dorsey says:

      You better check again high speed, you do not have a right to a drivers licenses.

      1. Eddie Haskell says:

        You don’t need a license to drive, Dorsey. Best of all, without one, you don’t need insurance either. Think things through, please.

      2. mark edward marchiafava says:

        I never said anyone has a right to a driver’s license, as the word “license,” itself, means “permission.” What I DID say is driving is a right. Do us all a favor, learn the difference.

    2. Eric says:

      Driving is not a legal right in any of the 50 states. You have it backwards.

    3. Stevie says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Mark Edward. We all have the right to move freely. Law enforcement’s laws only derive from the consent of the governed. Some of these readers are in for a real shock when Greece hits closer to home.

    4. Georgiasaraann says:

      Because you say so? What gives you the right to drive? What makes you think it is a right? It is not given to you by law. You have to have a license to drive and qualify for that license. You also have to pay for the license and pay for the insurance. That makes it a privilege and not an automatic right. If you violate driving laws, that privilege is revoked. See above case.

  21. Rick says:

    The judge is my hero!

    But with a slick lawyer, he’ll probably get it back in a year or two.

    Maybe the judge should’ve sent the punk to the State Pen for a year to scare the kid straight!!

    1. Steele says:

      Rick, I bet if we all stood in judgement over your life, you’d deserve a lot more than a year in the state pen, you just never got caught like this kid did. Everyone makes stupid mistakes, don’t treat stupidity like depraved indifference. It is not the same thing.

      1. bob says:

        How do you know? Do you know Rick? Has Rick put anyone in a coma? Perhaps you are projecting your guilt and lifestyle onto everyone else

      2. bob says:

        Everyone makes stupid mistakes and everyone has to pay the consequences when faced with the results

      3. Eric says:

        Amen, Bob! I don’t know when being immune to the consequences of our own actions became a “right.”

        Probably about the same time when expecting someone to perform work in exchange for money became “demeaning.”

      4. joej says:

        Steele – don’t know what guilty past is haunting you, but you should really find a professional to talk it out with. I would argue that *most* of us have nothing remotely close to this in our past. But then, that is my experience, and clearly yours must be different.

      5. Georgiasaraann says:

        Steele, he drove on a suspended license. That pretty much sums up depraved indifference. Good Lord. Don’t ever raise any sons. Mine were more afraid of me than any judge. You would excuse anything stupid they purposely did and they would have absolutely no respect for you.

    2. Joe says:

      Or maybe Penn State??

  22. jsmith says:

    “Topa was driving with a suspended license at the time of the accident, according to The Westerly Sun.”

    So now he’ll just drive without a license. Problem solved!

    1. Dave says:

      Unfortunately you are probably right. He was already driving on a suspended license at the time of the crash, so what’s to stop him from getting back behind the wheel again? Other than some time in the klink, of which I believe is where he belongs.

      1. Stevie says:

        Dave, the clink is full because the same morons that think driving is a privilege can’t seem to get their little minds around the problem that such a nonsensical statement creates. Throw him in jail, by all means. Throw everyone who drinks and drives in jail. Any idea how many more cells we’re going to need? 1.4 million according to the FBI. Here’s a question for ya, Dave. Where are we gonna get the money to build 1.4 million jail cells?

      2. Georgiasaraann says:

        Stevie, driving is a privilege. You have to qualify and pay for a license. You must have auto insurance and pay for that. You must also obey driving laws. It is not an automatic right. Drunk drivers do go to jail and to prison. Happens all the time. They do not like jail and hopefully will learn not to drink and drive. Drunk drivers also pay huge sums of money to probation officers and fines, so they are paying part of their court costs. They also must do community service. You may have noticed them picking up trash along the roadsides. And Stevie, taxes go to building jail cells. Which is a fine use of my money.

  23. truther says:

    we need more things like this happening for a variety of dangerous things people do while driving, id like to see this for dui’s, texting or being on the phone while driving etc. lets send a message

  24. Karen says:

    As the parent of teenagers, I want to say thank you to the judge. Our town has lost 10 students to car accidents in the last year. I hope every high school makes kids do a report on this story.

    1. Steele says:

      As a parent of teenagers, I hope your child suffers the same, so you can see how insane a life time ban really is. Lifetime isn’t like ‘a year’, for a 17 year old thats a 60 year ban. Get a clue.

      1. obamasadope says:

        I hope I don’t live near your obviously undisciplined and spoiled brats.

      2. Eric says:

        A juvenile court judge can’t issue a lifetime driving ban. The kid will be able to get a license when he turns 18, or possibly 21. Either way, you need to relax. Jeez, he already drives without a license anyway, and no way he’ll have insurance after this. (Assuming he did in the first place.) Do you really want him out there?

        Get a clue.

      3. bob says:

        if your or his kids do the same stupid things repeatedly, they deserve the same punishment

      4. Doug says:

        Eric… You are incorrect. ANY judge in RI can remove your privilege to drive based on their law. § 31-11-5 Abstracts of court records – Recommendations of judge. The judge of any court in the state may, in his or her discretion, or upon the request of the division of motor vehicles or its agents, furnish to the division of motor vehicles the details of cases which have been heard before the court; and the judge may make an order to the division of motor vehicles as to the suspension of the license of the defendant in cases as he or she may deem necessary. The order shall be binding on the division of motor vehicles.

      5. James G says:

        Perhaps you need to get a clue.

        Lifetime is not lifetime under state law. The kid can apply to get his license back, and he will receive due process.

        This case is being blown way out of proportion, since state laws already have built-in procedures for application for reinstatement of a DL.

        Plenty of opportunity for this punk to change his life and get his license back. But, that will be resolved by state boards that deal with this stuff– or perhaps the judge will lift the ban if the kid gets right with society. Either way, he will have plenty of due process.

  25. Roberto Garcia says:

    This irresponsible teenager also has murder charges and pending bank robbery against him. His driver’s license should be taken away permanently

    1. Steele says:

      I can’t find this, you might want to be careful of making libelous statements. < this story seems to indicate that the community thinks all the kids hurt were fine young men. Not criminals.

  26. Brandon says:

    “Let’s teach repeat jaywalkers a lesson by chopping off their legs! That’ll teach ’em!”

    God, you reactionaries are so stupid. . .

    1. Steele says:

      Yeah, I really hope the people screaming for blood where no blood was spilled end up suffering some of their own justice, and perhaps they won’t be so quick to embrace absolute draconian sentences.

      1. Eric says:

        Don’t be such a baby. The kid was already driving without a valid license, so clearly it doesn’t mean anything to him. And when he turns 18 the edicts of the juvenile court go away.

        The judge is just frustrated by a kid who is thumbing his nose at the Courts and at society in general.

      2. joej says:

        C.O.M.A. “blood” was most definitely spilled.

      3. James G says:

        You, and the clown you were replying to, both need to shut up and get some education on this. I will help (But I doubt you will be able to actually absorb these things called “facts”)

        The “lifetime ban” is not really a “lifetime ban”. It has built in due process under state law that allows application for reinstatement, which has plenty of due process. You could look it up, but that does not seem to be your style.

        The judge can also lift the ban if he feels the kid is turning his life around. If the judge does not lift the ban, the kid still gets due process for reinstatement via state laws.

        It is simpletons like you (very likely liberals, since their usual reaction is to disregard facts and call everybody else a neanderthal or something similar) that are the problem. Reasonable people are dealing with this kid. He is not “banned for life” from driving if he starts acting like an adult– something you should try. It is your fault you do not know state law. Instead of making ignorant comments, how about getting informed?

  27. Yirmin Snipe says:

    Would be fair if the judge was also imposing life time bans on drunk drivers, but I doubt that is happening.

    1. Georgiasaraann says:

      What do you think the judge is doing to drunk drivers? Letting them go? And what difference does that make anyway? The driver in this case is just as dangerous as any drunk driver. I mean, think before you post. You don’t know what the Judge’s stand on drunk drivers is. You just assume he is not as tough on them. What would make you think that? Answer that. Don’t mean to sound irritated but you are about the 5th person to post this asinine comment. And it is asinine.

  28. Paul from NJ says:

    It’s a slap on the wrist.
    He was driving on a suspended license anyway.
    The judge ain’t gonna stop him until he’s put away.

  29. Flannigan says:

    I’m sure a lifetime ban on an illegal alien would be viewed as racist…of course.

  30. Hegelian Dialectic says:

    Dumbed-down, fluoride drinking faskestream media brainwashed America sure does like themselves a tyrant. Because it’s for “everyone’s good.” I guess it also makes sense to everyone to have the TSA shoot you up with radiation and grab your genitals to protect you from something that is less likely to kill you than a bee sting.

    Through incrementalism, people will one day willingly give up their one final remaining right, and then finally wake up once it’s too late and your in the gulag. And you will wonder how you got there as the black bag is thrown over your head and you are whisked away to your NDAA cell.

    1. Aldo says:

      You’ve got that right!!!!

    2. Stevie says:

      Sadly, Hegel, we’re already there.

  31. Bryan Abbott says:

    The judge should be censured, it’s that simple. Recognizing when a judge is out of control doesn’t mean that I support reckless driving. This is America, not North Korea or Iran. The kid is being taught a horrible lesson about our justice system… though I would say there is something to be learned by all of us here. Judges like Cops and Lawyers often behave outside of the law and outside of what most people consider to be reasonable.

    1. jakartaman says:

      Obviously an Obama supporter

  32. Eric says:

    Too bad it was juvenile court, and the “ban” expires when he turns 18. It really doesn’t mean anything. I feel bad for the judge, because he’s helpless to actually do anything to this kid.

    1. Jerrik says:

      That fool of a judge can suck it. All he’s taught the kid is that laws are arbitrarily enforced and made to be broken and that anyone who tries to obey the law is an idiot. He’s also taught the kid, by your own admission, that judges who hand down draconian sentences are just making idle threats and no one should take their pronouncements seriously. Congratulations, sucker: by calling for more intrusive punishments and restrictions on people, all you’re doing is helping to manufacture more petty crime and petty criminals. This judge should be disbarred for life just to teach him how counterproductive this idiot ruling of his really was.

  33. dbeall says:

    I’m not saying that the judge didn’t have good intentions, but I do not think a “lifetime” driving ban will pass a legal test.

  34. Hegelian Dialectic says:

    Another bit of food for thought to everyone spouting the party-line of “driving is a privilege, not a right” (because the government told you so). Do you not feel that you have a right to use your private property in the manner of your choosing? Is living in your home a privilege? How about eating your food? Drinking your water?

    Maloperation of a vehicle that endangers others is and SHOULD be a crime. However, government thugs telling you that they are doing you a favor by allowing you to operate a vehicle that you own is just untrue. It’s your right. Life, liberty, and property.

    1. Eric says:

      I have the right to use my private property in the manner of my own choosing up to the point where I violate the rights of others. I have a right to live in my home, but I do NOT have a right to keep pigs in my back yard. I do NOT have a right to play my stereo at Earth-shattering volumes at all hours of the night.

      When you operate a vehicle on public highways you are taking the lives of others into your hands. It’s not “Private property”. It’s PUBLIC property, and your use of it is subject to the terms and conditions established by the owners. When you choose to drive recklessly you are violating THEIR rights.

      You lack a basic understanding of our system of government and the basis of our laws and society. This is not anarchy.

      You have a right to purchase and own a car. Nobody owes you a place to drive it. Your license to drive on public roads is subject to restriction or revocation depending on your behavior.

      You have a right to own a gun. You do NOT have a right to fire that gun wherever and whenever you please, without regard for the safety of others. If you do that, then you lose the right. PERMANENTLY, in the case of a felony. A lifetime ban. And rightly so.

      You have a right to free speech, but you do NOT have a right to slander or libel others, or to deliberately incite panic, or to make terrorist threats, or to foment violent revolution, or commit treason, etc.

      You have a right to freedom of religion. You do NOT have a right to sacrifice a bull to Moloch in the middle of the town square.

      You have a right to do as you please with your own body. You do NOT have a right to parade naked through a preschool.

      Is any of this sinking in? ALL of your rights are subject to your use and expression of them. There are ALWAYS limits, and society can take away ANY of your rights if you abuse them.

      Google “John Locke”, “social contract”, “natural law”, “origins of English common law”, just for starters, to get an idea of where the Founding Fathers were coming from on these issues.

      NO right is absolute and unlimited. That would be anarchy, not civilization.

      1. Eric says:

        Oh, by the way: Even if a driver’s license is a “right”, this ban was based on due process and probable cause.

        We an argue about “cruel or unusual punishment” if you like. You might have a leg to stand on there. But neither you nor I have any knowledge of the case or this kid’s record, beyond what we read in this article.

      2. Bloodyspartan says:

        Wrong , Wrong , Wrong Rights are absolute.
        NO one says there cannot be consequences when you abuse the rights of others.
        IE the State Killing Others.
        There is an Old Phrase. Let the punishment fit the crimie.

        This does not..

  35. kapain kanada says:

    It’s about time somebody got serious about dangerous driving. The sentence was lenient in my opinion.

    1. Aldo says:

      So hos do you explain a $200 fine for a Rep?

      RI is a JOKE!!!

  36. Todd Parsons says:

    SO WHAT, he was already driving with a SUSPENDED license. This means he was already banned from driving. So now he is banned for life – big deal. It didn’t make any difference the day of the accident and it won’t make any difference the rest of his life either. You people really need to get your panties out of a wad.

  37. jakartaman says:

    The judge was sending a message –
    Stupidity has consequences
    In the case of driving a car there is a lot more than personal responsibility, especially is you have passengers.
    The judge obviously knows the dope will get his license back.
    If I was the kids parent – he would not drive while he lived under my roof!

    1. Aldo says:

      This is Rhode Island and he is not a JUDGE but a politically appointed Magistrate!!!

      Obviously you have never experienced this Kangaroo Court in Action!

      1. Eric says:

        Judges are always politically appointed, but thanks for playing.

  38. Andy says:

    Nice to see a judge doing his job and trying to protect society from harm rather than letting the harm happen then feeling sorry for the perpetrator and letting him do it yet again.

    I’m sure democrats will be foaming at the mouth to punish this judge for doing his job properly.

  39. The Truth says:

    Im not saying that I was perfect, but I have always been a good driver, even when I was a teen. I admit that too many of them drive like complete fools, buy so do a lot of fellow adults where I live. The D.C. area is the worst, and it keeps getting worse every year (To the point where areas that I once considered road-rage mania have become tame in comparison). Idiot drivers need to be taken off the roadway, period (That includes my one neighbor, who has broken and continues to break every traffic law in the book).

  40. Eric says:

    He will be eligible to seal his juvenile records and get a driver’s license in less than a year.

    Why are you people all freaking out? The judge is just tired of the body count, that’s all. He knows his sentence has no teeth.

    1. Stevie says:

      We’re freaking out because you seem to be two moves behind and it’s a boatload of fun pulling your strings. Besides, nothing’s on TV tonight. This is it, Buddy. Thanks for playing along.

  41. Joe says:

    See the problem here is that this judge is issuing a ruling based on the politically correct thought of the week… this absurd crusade against cell phones and texting while driving.

    You don’t lose your license for life, even as a drunk driver that killed someone. Yet this clown wants to make a statement… the statement being “I don’t care about the rule of law, the severity of the crime or ANY precedent whatsoever… I only care about being the head cheerleader for the latest Progressive liberal cause against texting while driving”.

    He is probably shooting for a Supreme Court nomination, he is exactly the type of idiot Obama would pick.

  42. MisterEd says:

    Like a lifetime ban will keep this kid from driving. People drive without licenses and insurance all the time. This decision was more for drawing attention to the judge than doling out any real punishment.

  43. Dr. Glickman says:

    This is cruel & unusual punishment. The kid is in need of psych interventon. He could be bipolar or have anger management issues stemming from an abusive background that was beyond his control. Maybe have the shrink accompany him to hospitals visiting accident victims. Give the kid a reasonable sentence. He has displaced aggression that needs to be fixed. That’s why we have so many shrinks making 6-figure salaries. Make em work for their money.

    1. Eric says:

      LOL! The shrink industry has never solved anything.

      He can ride the bus. It won’t kill him.

      Do you really think that “visiting accident victims” will matter? If he’s as crazy as you suggest? Come on. You tell us he’s “sick” and he “needs help” and then suggest that we can appeal to his reason. Pick one and stick with it.

      He’s still alive, and he’s able to walk under his own power. He is not drooling down his bib or waiting for anybody to change his diaper. He is getting off pretty light, I’d say. Plenty of people are experiencing “cruel and unusual” because of people like him.

      “Displace aggression…..” Pop psych nonsense. He’s a brat who thinks he’s entitled to do as he pleases. He needs a swift butt kicking more than anything. I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts he was raised without his father in his life. That’s as far as I’ll go with the “psych” excuses.

      1. Stevie says:

        Thanks for clearing things up, Eric, but it doesn’t explain YOUR problem. I’m thinking it has to do with letting go, so to speak.

    2. Joe says:

      Wow, you either know a lot more about this story than this article mentions or you are making an Olympic record breaking leap.

      Some kid driving on a suspended license getting into an accident, nothing unique in that. Now if the article said he intentionally crashed his car into a tree because he wanted to see who in the car would be hurt the worst… maybe then you are looking at some serious psych intervention needed… being a stupid kid, doing stupid kid things… just means he is basically normal.

      He deserves a punishment, he deserves to lose his license for a few years but nothing in this article speaks of anything that would require a psych intervention… except perhaps of the judge who gave an insane judgement.

  44. Eric says:

    He already had his license suspended and was driving without a valid license. He was drinking. He was speeding. He was weaving through traffic. He had a car load of kids. Nobody was wearing seat belts.

    Does it take a bag full of body parts before you people take this seriously?

  45. cbr says:

    what a pos the judge seems to be… more government totally out of control. driving is NOT a privilege. You cannot pursue life liberty or happiness without it in most of the us, we should not even allow government to regulate it at all.

    if you DO hurt someone seriously by being reckless or deliberately bad, then you SHOULD pay seriously – but that is for a JURY to decide, not some elected official.

  46. J Streeter says:

    Unless this judge were to give this same sentence to anyone with multiple reckless driving convictions this kid is having his rights violated inasmuch as he is not being treated equally before the law as anyone else in his situation would be.

    1. Aldo says:

      He is NOT an elected official but a political hack.

      This is RI and hew was “connected”

      Not even a Judge but an appointed Magistrate.

      Appointed by a former Chief Justice who resigned in disgrace!!!

  47. Sage says:

    He will just get a license in another state, liberals are so friggin stupid.

  48. alex says:

    Very interesting. While I do not condone his behavior there are thousands of adults driving worse in this country. How about the multiple DUI offenders who still regain the privilege to drive. I do believe the punishment is harsh. Perhaps revocation of driving rights for 3 years and intensive “safe” driving education. People commit manslaughter and do not spend a life in jail.

  49. charles says:

    He was driving on a suspended license already. Obviously he doesn’t care whether he has a license or not. He will drive anyway.

  50. Ben Franklin says:

    I have a couple of thoughts since some of you are having a tough time with reality.

    1. The kid’s gonna drive, with or without a license. Millions of people drive without licenses. He’s gonna save a ton of money on insurance, too, since nobody will write a policy for a guy without a license.

    2. A driver’s license may be a privilege, but the right to move around isn’t. It’s an absolute right in the United States, and since, as a practical matter there is no real way to move around without a car, the kid is going to eventually win his court case when he is caught by Barney and hauled into court.

    The kid needs to be taught a lesson, but this isn’t it. Nor does it make anyone one little bit safer. Wake up, Amerika.

    1. Bloodyspartan says:


      1. Doug says:

        Yep… I see it all the time. In 20+ years I have only seen one person ever go to jail for driving on a suspended license. His name was Rhadami Mendes and he got 9 months for operating with 150+ suspensions on his real name alone. He had over 500 if you counted his aliases.

  51. Marie says:

    At least this kid didn’t kill anyone. Read THIS story. This kid’s parents have hired expensive lawyers and are pushing for the kid to be tried as a juvenile, after he wanted to exercise adult privileges.

  52. ian says:

    Death penalty for parking violations!!!!
    All you id 10 Ts and the what if it were your kid B$ is not a argument. This judges let drunk drivers get their licenses back all the time. You never hear about drunk drivers having their license revoked for life.
    Think about this…if this id 10 T does not have a license, how is going to work? You are cheering on a lifetime welfare recipient. Mo ro ns

  53. Believe In Redemtion (most of the time) says:

    The best thing to do would have been to make him take a class to get his license back eventually. Even with suspension he will likely drive anyway. The behavior needs to be punished and harshly and the way to do that is to convict of a civil crime not a felony then off to a work colony to make financial restitution.

  54. Locke says:

    Sounds like it’s time for Judge giggles to retire.
    His black robe has become fetted and needs a good cleaning before the next insane lawyer takes over.

  55. whoeveriwant2b says:

    Oh come on! Whoever owned the tree should be fined for obstructing traffic and should be banned from owning any trees for life.

  56. CINDY says:

    He get his license back within 2 years or move to another state and get his license to drive. I wonder if the victims had knowledge of his suspensed license?

  57. max powers says:

    Wow Wow Wow…….. Why does he get a lifetime driving ban and drunk drivers don’t? Granted… what the kid did was wrong and people shouldn’t text while driving… but where do you draw the line with “lifetime driving bans”?

  58. Carl B says:

    Too bad this judge never has Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton in front of him

    1. max powers says:

      True that

  59. HeyHey says:

    Its Bizarre form of Modern justice cheered by an archaic minded simpletons.

  60. Charles says:

    it is to much of a sentence for a 17 year old. Lose his driver lin. forever? Com`on… Lose it till he`s 18 is more like it. Give him comm. service of 100 hrss. and a fine. If you don`t know this aera, Charlestown is not a town at all. It`s all country out that way and at least 10 miles to town if your lucky.

  61. Bob Dobbs says:

    it is a miscarriage of justice when recklessness draws a longer penalty than malice

  62. Gordon5 says:

    Just castrate the kid and call it even.

  63. john says:

    The law always has trouble applied to teenagers. That is because we all have to pretend teenagers actually have brains to understand right from wrong, or else we losr control totally. But in reality teenagers are all dangerous idiots. The issue I see here is well its too bad that when the kids brain grows in in a decade or two he will still have no license. But his victimes may have permanent problems that dont even fully surface till later.

  64. elevenhundred says:

    Meanwhile the same judge has handed down 5 year sentences for intoxication manslaughter. Someone must be up for re-election!

  65. Eddie says:

    Considering the geographical area, one can clearly see that this boys last name isn’t Kennedy.

  66. No name says:

    All the kid has to do is move to another state and he can get a DL there.

  67. blahblah says:

    Hardly enough information to form a conclusion about the appropriateness of the punishment. Most of you are tools.

  68. Avogadro says:

    Terry, you must interpret the phrase properly.
    “…nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
    8th Amendment, you failed to include a key word which is “AND”, the punishment must be both, cruel and unusual.

  69. Texan says:

    You Rhode Islanders are idiots.

  70. Bombasitc says:

    No longer safe to fly, to drive, or even to blog. Something is happening in this Country, and it ain’t good.

    It’s almost as if, the U.S. Government is trying to turn citizens into enemies of the State.

    And it’s working. There is NO politician alive today, that I wouldn’t mind hearing if they were quite DEAD tomorrow.

    The 911 terrorists should have targeted the Congress instead. Better them, than 3,000 of our neighbors.

    Maybe next time; and hopefully soon.

  71. wildbill6996 says:

    Do you need a license to drive ? Bet you check a sizable number of people driving now and they have no license or any intentions of getting one.

    1. Doug says:

      I think the last time I checked the stats, 1 out of 5 people on US roadways are unlicensed, suspended, or revoked. It is why many jurisdictions have recriminalized the offense.

  72. Kip Noxzema says:

    Cruel and unusual punishment, all the way. The only message this judge sent is regarding how to be tossed out of the bar for ruining someone’s life. The fat self-righteous soccer moms are forgetting what stupid things they did at 17.

    1. Doug says:

      Tha term applies to sentences of imprisonment, not on a privilege to drive.

  73. Chris B. says:

    We all have issues we are passionate about, and often we appeal to the law to support them. However, “sending a message” goes well beyond the law as it applied to an individual person who does not, and should not, represent the whole population. That flies in the face of individual responsibility, just as a judge making a judgement based on his (or someone else’s) emotions flies in the face of blind and impartial justice. Emotion should not enter into the law, and neither should a person be used as an example to others, who’s behavior he is not responsible for. That’s really akin to making him a scapegoat, isn’t it? This sort of thing is an erosion of our legal system.

  74. Vince says:

    Look him up on FaceBook, This piece of $#!+ is going to be in trouble with the law his whole life.

  75. Ron says:

    It’s Bush’s fault, since it happened on Obama’s watch

  76. indy says:

    Now he can enjoy the privlage of taking a bus or riding a bike to get around.

  77. FedUpWithBigGovernment says:

    Driving is a privilege… all of these idiots on the road that are talking and texting on their cell phones drive me crazy.. I want to see some lose their license for life to send a message DONT DO IT. In Germany… they have very harsh penalties for reckless driving… people there know… keep your mind on the road otherwise you will not be allowed to drive… so guess what.. they don’t have to deal with stupidity like people texting while driving!

  78. Phillip Marlowe says:

    i would be interested in knowing exactly what the judge said. you’ll notice the only part the reporter quoted was the judge talking about the highway being littered with broken dreams. i suspect interpretation on the part of the reporter concerning the send a message bit.

    perhaps the judge felt the driver was unremorsefull…the point is we dont really know and are left to this writer’s interpretation further complicating the issue.

  79. mitch Bupp says:

    Conservatives love “judicial socialism” … after all isn’t that what this judge is talking about when he says that he is sending a message

  80. SC says:

    I like this judge!

  81. Boo says:


    First off, those of you who say driving is a [b]privilege[/b] are just dunderheads! Driving is and always has been a right granted to all US Citizens. Every State in the Union agrees with this![b] A State issued Drivers License allows you the privilege[/b] of driving on public rights of way, i.e. highways and public roads. ”

    This is an example of what’s wrong with this country… too many dumb liberals

    1. Doug says:

      No. You are wrong. The courts have ruled you have a right to travel but you do not have the right to do it behind the wheel of an auto on public roadways. You are confusing your right to travel unimpeded and incorrectly inferring your right to travel means you can do it behind the wheel of an auto. One is a right and one is a privilege. This is well settled law. Once your license is granted, you have the right to a hearing on its revocation, suspension, etc., but that is not the same and is why you are confused. That right is called Due Process, not the right to drive.

  82. Brian says:

    Kid moves to another state. Since the judge cannot order another state to deny him a license

    1. Doug says:

      Almost every state has reciprocal revocation when your license is revoked in another jurisdiction. It is why DMV forms ask you if you have ever been licensed in another jurisdiction. Failure to disclose this on the form is a criminal offense. It is a felony in NY.

  83. Doc Fox says:

    I have a 15 year old learning to drive. On the roadways, she points out during our 15 minute drive to school about 20 illegal actions of other drivers. She is right. Most of these illegal actions are not unsafe…(i.e. the failure to come to a full absolute stop before a right turn on red), but a few are….we witnessed a car that on three sequential stop signs just sort of looked and went through at 15-20 mph.

    A lifetime ban? Well the kid was already on a suspended license and had injured several people. Personally if I was the judge I would have made him do 200 hours community service, 100 hours of driving instruction (paid for by himself at a valid driving school in a dual control vehicle) after a 5 year ban on driving. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

    Of course nothing will keep him from buying a car and driving it. He may not be able to get it registered or get insurance, but he can steal a license plate and drive until he wrecks or gets caught. Eventually he will end up in jail if he violates the rules.

    In my opinion a lifetime ban is a little over the top.

  84. justin says:

    The judge didnt revoke he right to drive, just her license, which was already suspended. That didnt stop her from driving before, and it wont this time either.

    Besides she can still ride a bicycle or moped legally without a DL.

  85. Doug says:

    There is no “Right” to drive in the US. It is a privilege. You do have the “Right” to travel freely upon public roads and highways, just not behind the wheel of an automobile when doing it. People often confuse the two and think the “Right to Travel” is a “Right to Drive”. They are not the same. One is a “Right” and the other is a privilege. Sorry, but this issue is settled law. You can search the Supreme Court’s online decisions to educate yourself on this issue.

  86. Lazybum says:

    Dude- you a fluked.

  87. Mike says:

    This judge obviously lacks even the most basic understanding of criminology and crime deterrents. This punishment is so outlandish that it will be overturned after an expensive but necessary appeal. Personally, I feel this goes far enough that the judge should step down from his position. Please call the judge and request his resignation as I will. His number is 401-275-2801.

    1. Doug says:

      Maybe you should read the law first. RI’s law allows him to do this and it’s binding on RI Motor Vehicles.

  88. 312capri says:

    You only need a license to drive when you;re stopped by the police! At least that’s the way it is here in New Mexico!

  89. Doc Fox says:

    When was 15 (34 years ago) I took drivers ed. Then I took a written test and an eye test at the DMV. When I turned 16, no matter how much driving I had done, I was eligible to take the road test. It was a test on real roads in your own vehicle (for which you had to show legal registration). There was also a DMV course where you had to demonstrate 3 point turns and parallel parking. If you passed, you paid your fee and got a license. This was Maryland’s law. At the time very few teens owned cars so they had to borrow a parent’s car to go anywhere.

    Now it seems many teens have cars. The high school parking lot my daughter attends has 100’s of cars that the kids drive to school in. Louisiana requires 32 hours of classroom instruction, 8 hours of dual driving time with certification by a licensed driving instruction, passing the written and eye test and then you get your permit. You may then drive with a parent or over 21 related individual (and up to 1 related passenger) between the hours of 6 AM and 11 PM. The permit must be held for at least 6 months, the child must turn 16, the parents must certify and provide proof that the permit driver has had 40 hours of driving time (of which 15 must be at night) before they can take the driving test and get a restricted license. The restricted license means they cannot drive without a parent before 6 AM or after 11 PM unless going to or from work or school.
    After the driver turns 18 and has had no infraction, his license will have no such restrictions. All permits/ restricted driving time licenses are printed so that the license is vertical. When your age hits 21, you go to the DMV and they issue you a horizontally printed license. This allows bars to immediately know whether you can get in or not. If your license is vertical….nope. Horizontal, yup. Now a 21 year old does not need to go get his horizontally printed license, but bars may refuse to admit him even though the license proves he is over 21.

    Many states are going to graduated licensing like Louisiana. It cuts down on youth high risk driving. Unfortunately, with more teens (who are generally risk takers) having access to a car of their own, there will be more accidents like the one this story is about.

    As I commented before, however, nothing keeps a driver from getting behind the wheel when he as a set of keys….license or not, of correct age or not. Until we make a system where your car has a slot to put the license in and then communicates instantly with the DMV to prove you are legal to drive, people will drive on suspended licenses.

    In o

  90. rick says:

    Judges should not single out civilians to make a point. People are KILLED due to accidents every day. Those people DON’T lose their driving privileges for a LIFETIME, even if they get JAIL TIME.

    This is another example of the judiciary out of control. Driving may have been a privilege 20 or 30 years ago. Today with the lack of public transport, it is a necessity.

    In addition, the judge has probably turned this kid into a criminal instead of helping him.

  91. MarcV says:

    I can’t believe the people on here defending the driver. People are seriously injured and killed every day in this country due to reckless drivers. We need to take wreckless driving as seriously as we do gun laws.

    If your license is suspended, your car should be impounded or booted on your property until the suspension is lifted. The parents of this minor should be fined stiffly for not supervising him when they knew his license was suspended. Finally, we need to seriously consider raising the driving age to at least 18. 16 years olds are not mature enough to drive responsibly.

    1. ramicio says:

      If your license is suspended, why should that affect your car? Does someone not have the right to allow a licensed driver to drive their car to take them places? 16 years old kids can be plenty mature. It’s the society that’s raising them that’s failing. Many laws are the problem, and more laws will just make things worse. In this instance the parents should be the ones in the most trouble, and the minor should not suffer and be a burden on someone else for his entire life. The judge should be stripped of his power immediately.

  92. Rascal69 says:

    He was driving with a suspended license…so what is going to prevent this in the future? Still, the kid is 17, how many posters on here want to be held responsible “the rest of their life” for something they did as a teenager?

    If that were the case for everyone, most would be unable to obtain a license, buy alcohol, obtain credit, etc. I just think it goes a little too far to call it justice.

  93. Mister C says:

    Judges make judgements.

  94. neums says:

    If we had got around to instituting Sharia law they mullah would have ordered his hands cut off but allowed him to continue driving.

  95. ramicio says:

    Driving is for commerce. To use the road for commerce is a privilege. Roads were invented for free travel. Traveling is a fundamental right. We will some day have back our right to operate our cars on the road again without needing a privilege to do so. No amount of licensing and cost is going to prevent some people as taking it as a joke or allowing bad drivers to slip through the system. More importantly, no amount of laws are ever going to prevent people from getting hurt or dying. Life is scary, deal with it.

    Who knows what this judge is thinking. It’s just creating a burden on someone else. If it was me I would have spat in the judge’s face, taken the slap on the wrist jail time for contempt of court, and when released, driven away a car in front of the tyrant.

    1. Doug says:

      Spitting is considered a felony offense in many jurisdiction and misdemeanor in others. Your slap on the wrist would mean at least 6 months to a year in jail in most cases.

  96. sam says:

    17 years old, and already had a suspended license ?

  97. Brian says:

    For those of you saying that driving is not a right please stop voting. You obviously have no clue what freedom is and what the legitimate function of government is in a free society. A legitimate government only prohibits action which are injurious to others. Driving in and of itself is, therefore, a right. To view it any other way is tyranny.

    1. Doug says:

      You are wrong. The right to travel unimpeded on public roadways is a right. You don’t have a right to do so behind the wheel of an auto. It is well settled case law. You can educate yourself on this issue by reading the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue over-and-over again as well as your state court’s website that clearly define this point of law.

    2. John says:

      Dude..driving is not a right and according to the constitution, neither is voting.
      Educate yourself

  98. Coffee Girl says:

    For the constitutional scholars out there, anything deemed “cruel and unusual” must meet both. Being either cruel or unusual does not meet the standard.

  99. John says:

    I have a nephew, who when he was 18, slammed his car into a tree at 80 mph. The only thing that saved him was the fact that he was thrown into a thick hedge…cushioning him and saving his life. He was in a coma for a week but had no lasting effects. His alcohol level was well over the limit.
    He learned his lesson….for about a year, when he was pulled over for a DUI. Acknowledging his past drunken driving episode, the judge gave suspended his license for 6 months and sentenced him to 4 weekends in jail. His check in time was at 8pm on Friday night and he was released by 11 am on Sunday. After the first weekend, he had learned from others how to game the system and joked about how easy it was and how he had pulled the wool over the judge’s eyes when he convinced him give him a permit to drive “for work only”.

    Lenient sentences do nothing but reinforce that there are no consequences. This kid received a just punishment. We all know he will get his license back bu tin the meantime, maybe he will learn how to grow up.

  100. Liz says:

    Maybe, next time he drives (obviously, without a license), he will drive himself into a tree, then, be in a coma for life. Karma.

  101. Steve says:

    A drivers license is not an entitlement, it is a privilege! This kid who removed two lives from existence has at the very least canceled his right to drive forever. Good job judge, more of this kind of punishment is necessary.

  102. joe schmoe says:

    great.. another runaway judge.. he needs to be removed from office ASAP

  103. RT says:

    A lifetime ban does sound too harsh.

  104. chris ringue says:

    The Judge, while “well-meaning”, has just insured that this kid will be on the road again… this time without a Drivers Licence or insurance.

  105. Chippy55 says:

    At least the kid wasn’t found guilty of defrauding the Country by creating a birth certificate out of thin air, falsifying a selective service card, stealing microfilm from the period August 1, 1961 to August 7, 19661, and applying for money which was targeted specifically for foreign students but now claiming he never did. What should be done about that/

  106. memem says:

    F v ck the judge. You are not a messenger, you are a judge. Your role is to apply justice, not to send “messages”.

    I’m sick and tiring of these activist judges. A liberal d o u c h e bag, most likely.

  107. Kevin says:

    I’d hope to be on a jury if/when they bring this kid up on driving on a revoked license. I’d let him go so fast, due to the penalty being excessive. If he did something else wrong, I’d convict him, but on the driving without a license, he should just drive and ask for a jury trial.

    A nation of sheep soon begats a government of wolves…. Edward R. Murrow

  108. Doug Lynn says:

    We have a lot more to fear from reckless and drunk drivers than we do from terrorists. In the last 12 years terrorists have killed less than 4,000 Americans. Reckless and drunk drivers have killed at least 200,000 Americans.

  109. Barb says:

    It isn’t a judges job to “send messages”. It is a judge’s job to uphold the law. A lifetime ban on driving isn’t in the books. It will not pan out when said kid needs the driving to make a living. This was an inappropriate punishment. Imprisonment for a time is expected, not a lack of employment opportunities. To destroy one’s ability to make a living for such a crime is itself criminal.

    Whatever happened to the liberals’ belief in “rehabilitation”? Very selective they are about it I guess.

  110. Lipo Davis says:

    A judge isn’t supposed to send messages. A judge is supposed to interpret the law and ensure justice is done. The judge is supposed to be impartial and not care whether an individual is found guilty or not. That judge has violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause (Fourteenth Amendment).

  111. robert m says:

    I have said for years that anyone driving an automobile involved in a drive by shooting should never drive again. Also the people in the car should walk for five years. Those caught not respecting the decree should face long prison sentences. (automatically mandated) Zero chance of trial. Caught driving don’t pack a suitcase.
    It is my conclusion that these young gangster types think more of driving priveledges than a human life

  112. Mike G says:

    If his worthless attorney thinks the punishment too harsh, then make him use the kid as his personal driver for him and his family for the next 10 years instead.

  113. Me says:

    Good for the Judge! Maybe others will take this message to heart and be more responsible.

    This wasn’t a simple mistake on the driver’s part – he was already driving on a suspended license at the age of 17, which tells you that he doesn’t care about the law.

    I’ll bet he does now. At least he isn’t in prison, so he’s pretty lucky.

  114. HopeandChangeinNovember says:

    What about judges that are elected to uphold the law and end up breaking the law by superceeding their authority. States have traffic laws. These laws have fines and penalties for traffic violations, non of which have a lifetime ban on driving. Are you going to change the law and make reckless driving a lifetime ban on driving?

    Good luck judge, your ridiculous penalty will soon be overturned.

  115. rae_ekaf says:

    Driving, according to the legal definition, is operating a vehicle for hire

    1. Doug says:

      No it’s not. You can be convicted in most states for simply sitting behind the wheel with the key in the ignition and sometimes for just having the key in your pocket while behind the wheel. RI law states: § 31-10-1 License required to drive. – (a) No person, except those expressly exempted in this chapter, shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless that person has a valid license as an operator or chauffeur under the provisions of this chapter.

  116. Pedro says:

    L’yle can always go to Mexico and drive – so what’s the big deal…

  117. Pete says:

    It’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL and he DOESN’T need a permit TO TRAVEL!!!!
    Wording! ALWAYS wording in law. You need a permit to DRIVE, NOT TO TRAVEL!
    We the ADMIRALTY LAW court can do this is because WE LET THEM do this through ROMAN LAW, NOT Common Law, and the Bill of Rights. We let them make us PROPERTY to a CORPORATION.

    1. Doug says:

      The judge didn’t ban for life his right to travel, he banned his right to drive. He’s free to take a bus, train, walk, etc. Don’t you understand the difference? Your Constitutional right is to TRAVEL not DRIVING. EVERY court in the land affirms your right to TRAVEL, not DRIVE. Hello.. McFly..

  118. UyeahU says:

    Everyone here seems to be getting into a p***ing match over whether the punishment fits the crime. How about: is the sentence within the legal bounds of the law or is this legislating from the bench? If total revocation of the boy’s license was within the guidelines of the law and the boy was shown to be in total disregard of other’s safety, the judge would have the option to order such a sentence, and apparently felt it warranted. I worry about judges who make it up as they go along, disregard precedent and do whatever they please in the court.

    1. Doug says:

      It appears he is within the law. § 31-11-5 Abstracts of court records – Recommendations of judge. The judge of any court in the state may, in his or her discretion, or upon the request of the division of motor vehicles or its agents, furnish to the division of motor vehicles the details of cases which have been heard before the court; and the judge may make an order to the division of motor vehicles as to the suspension of the license of the defendant in cases as he or she may deem necessary. The order shall be binding on the division of motor vehicles.

  119. gphx says:

    Many shades of gray. On the one hand 17 is extremely young to have caused a severe accident on a suspended license. On the other hand judges are revoking rights to drive, forbidding people from access to computers, and forbidding them to live with a certain distance of schools, the latter which may be impossible to comply with in some cities. I don’t know about anyone else but without access to a vehicle and a prohibition on computer use I’d be unable to support myself through gainful employment. This interferes with ‘pursuit of happiness’, All that said this particular kid is a poor poster child for rights. Short of perhaps murder a ‘for life’ ruling of any kind seems premature for a minor.

    1. Doug says:

      No shades of gray… You just don’t understand the law.

  120. wicc36 says:

    He would have been given the death sentence in many countries, the idiot better consider himself lucky. If my kids acted like that and hurt others and endangered others because of lack of common sense I would take them out in the middle of the street and shoot em. Apparently his parents did not get through to him about the rights of others and his obligation there in.

  121. Joe says:

    This judge clearly overstepped his bounds. Why not just execute the kid? Answer: Because it would be unjust and completely ridiculous. This judge’s ruling is exactly that. Take his license for 10 or 15 years, but not his entire life. It’s asinine.

  122. Grace says:

    I think he should return to the court and appeal when he is about 25. The young people today need to be accountable for their actions.

  123. Ron says:

    It only takes a few pages into the Michigan Secretary of State’s 148-page “What Every Driver Must Know” booklet for this motto of all drivers’ education teachers to rear its head.
    “Please remember that driving is a privilege and not a right,” says the booklet that virtually every driver has thumbed through while waiting in line for a renewal.
    It is repeated so often, it almost becomes a statement of faith. But some iconoclasts who read Law Talk have asked “says who?”
    Well, for one –The Michigan Secretary of State which prints the states driving bible.
    The ability to drive is not considered a “fundamental interest,” according to department spokesperson Fred Woodhams.
    Woodhams says because driving is done on public-funded roadways and since the state has jurisdiction over those roadways, the use can be regulated by the state.
    Gerald Lykins, a criminal defense attorney who once served as an assistant prosecutor in Kent County, says “rights” are regulated by the U.S. or Michigan Constitutions and must be explicitly listed – such as freedom of religion or the right against self-incrimination.
    The ability of the state to regulate drivers on the road dates to the dawn of the automobile in the 1916 Supreme Court decision regarding Frank J. Kane v. The State of New Jersey.
    There Kane said New Jersey’s imposition of a $3 to $10 registration and license fee – followed by a $5 fine when he refused to comply – was, in part, a violation of his 14th Amendment rights to “due process.”
    In an opinion written by populist Justice Louis Brandeis, the court held that the state’s power was “…properly exercised in imposing a license fee …”
    In 1999, the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, in the case of Donald S. Miller v. the California Department of Motor Vehicles, ruled that there simply is no “fundamental right to drive.
    “Typically, if a right is going to be limited, restricted or revoked, there must be ‘due process’ – the right to a hearing – and there must be a good basis for the revocation or restriction,” Lykins said. “The privilege to drive is a benefit that is extended based upon certain requirements being satisfied.”
    In order to legally drive, the state requires people to be of age and have a valid operator’s permit.
    To restrict or revoke a privilege sometimes requires some form of due process, but this is not as strictly required.
    “While the ‘right of travel’ is a fundamental right, the privilege to operate a motor vehicle can be conditionally granted based upon being licensed and following certain rules,” Lykins said. “If rules are broken or laws are violated, the State reserves the right to restrict or revoke a person’s privilege. “Case law also holds that the safety of the public can outweigh the ability of the individual to drive.
    If someone has compiled a critical mass of moving violations or if the person drives drunk or high, the state holds that the person poses a threat to the people around him.
    “In the wrong hands or with an inexperienced driver, a motor vehicle can become a weapon,” Woodhams said.

  124. Greg says:

    This was “just an accident”. There are some really stupid people in Connecticut. This kid should have had his freedom removed for a year or two. Driving on a suspended license shows flagrant disregard for the law. Had he obeyed the suspension, he wouldn’t be in a position to wreck his car and injure his passengers.

    Listen to the good officer on this thread .. who saw “so much devasttion” on the roads. Being a cop is a thankless job when you have to clean up after punks like this kid, Busses will get you where you want to go, except this young man’s destination is “nowhere fast”.

    I don’t know if a bus stops there.

  125. Brian Astby says:

    This judge should be subject to summary execution to send a message about judicial over reach.

  126. chris says:

    Judges are to enforce the law, not make it. This judge clearly does not understand the constitution. Maybe the law for reckless driving should be a lifetime ban. If that is the case, then legislate it. If not, this judge may decide to make “statements” on other issues. Stealing is wrong.. maybe he will order that the thief’s hands be chopped off. Maybe that jaywalker should lose a foot.

    Its a very simple concept. Even if you had the crime/criminal, the rules need to be applied consistently and evenly.

  127. Rich says:

    I don’t think any state allows you to get a drivers license and legally drive on public roads without first passing a written and driving test. Therefore driving is not a right, it is a privelege. Priveleges can and should be taken away when the person abuses the rules that every driver must follow. To many people lose their lives because of selfish people who don’t follow the rules. I would like to see judges mete out this kind of punishment for thsoe who drive while intoxicated. Seems to me that they are the ones that need to be taught a lesson such as this judge meted out.

  128. Kevin says:

    It’s Bush’s Fault.

    1. michael says:

      Hey, it’s Rhode Island! Tire blow outs and termites are also frequently blamed on Bush in the Ocean State.

  129. rob says:

    How many of you are the same person you were at 17? This is idiotic, when you impose something for a lifetime you are saying that when this 17 year old kid is 40 he is going to be the same person and should suffer this punishment as a different person when he is 50, come on get real. This will do nothing but harm society. We need to drive to be contributing members in society and by imposing this sentence on this child the judge is contributing to the decline of society. This kid will not be able to recover from this if this sentence sticks and probably turn to commit more crimes in the future. Oh and I am not a bleeding heart liberal, I am a lifelong conservative. This is just wrong!

  130. Bigdog says:

    The judge overstepped his boundaries! This will be overturned…This isn’t about kids in coma’s, your kids or my kids….this is about the law.

  131. KOB says:


  132. onlyanamerican1 says:

    This kid will just move to another state…the lifetime ban is only good for driving in RI and it’s such a tiny state and easy to detour around…he will become a problem for mass or conn soon.

  133. JoeBlo says:

    What difference does it make? The kid was driving on a suspended license to begin with. How’s a lifetime ban on driving going to actually keep him from driving and keeping the general public out of danger? Jail time is what needs to happen, not administrative BS.

  134. Dude says:

    This is ultimately how a collectivist mentality works. The punishment is unreasonable for the individual, but its OK because the good of the state justifies any injustice done to an individual.

  135. Tony Romo says:

    What about this poor teen’s feelings?
    Have we considered how this ruling will make the teen feel?
    I think if the teen says he’s sorry, it should all be OK.
    We all need to feel good about ourselves.

  136. Texasbil says:

    He was driving with a suspended drivers license! He needs to be removed from the highways permanently. Why do we need to wait till he kills someone? He has almost done already. Give the judge some points for making people stand up to their responsibilities. He does not deserve a license.

  137. BikerBen says:

    To quote Mike Quill, who founded the Transport Workers Union, when a judge ordered the union back to work, “The judge can drop dead in his black robes.”

  138. Obama lied says:

    without a doubt, one year from now this 17 year old punk will be a little democrat, voting for democrats. so yea, ban his #$ss from driving for life…give him a felony, and strip him from voting democrat, the party of corruption and lies.

  139. maxtor says:

    that will never stand!! that is a violation of the boy’s rights. his right to a fair and impartial law. if the judge imposes a llifetime ban on all then he would not be impartial but just imposing on him and the next kid that comes along he fines and lets him go then this kid has got the judge over a barrel and he is fixing to shove it in him. a good attorney could rip the judge to peices.

  140. Mabus says:

    Driving is a privilege, that the government can easily take away whenever it chooses.

    I totally agree. Barack Obama should revoke the driving privilege’s of all the whites in America, since many didn’t vote for him, and even better, preventing most from voting against him in November!

    Of course, Rick Santorum could win the presidency, and would certainly revoke the driving “privileges” of all those damn gays, so they can’t drive to their lovers houses, or encounter other human beings. Gross! He could revoke the driving privileges of blacks too, just in case they decide to vote him out next election, or try to go buy some birth control somewhere.

    Man, I sure hope the government lets me go buy some pizza for lunch tomorrow. (There is NO “right” to buy pizza in the constitution, or for that matter, state laws, either.) I’ll call City Hall tomorrow morning and ask them if it’s okay. I hope they don’t want any, I already have to give a few pieces to the cops so they’ll graciously let me take the rest home….

    And it’s ashmed thta I have to get permission to drive on all those roads….hell, MY tax dollars paid to build them AND upkeep them. Oh well……. I just hope the government officials don’t want to watch me have sex next time, since there’s certainly no “right” to privacy…….

  141. ando says:

    His sentence is meaningless. He is already driving on a suspended license. All this means is that he gets a ticket, which he will not pay, which will become a bench warrant, which he will give him a few days in jail, which will not stop him from driving.

  142. stoptouchingthatmabel says:

    He is only seventeen and is already a menace to society. Good move there are too many idiots driving one less is a start.

  143. linda says:

    he was driving on a suspended license. what makes this judge think he won’t drive with NO LICENSE…….kids like him need to an ass whippin from mom and dad and some supervision with it

  144. klg1956 says:

    Hey kid, just move to CALIFORNIA, you can drive without a license, without registration, without insurance….it’s the land of nuts and honey!

  145. Pat Matterly says:

    Surely someone has brought it up already, but I’m not about to read through 368 comments to find out: It’s a virtual lock that Topa will be driving again well before he’s 21, probably before he’s 18 unless he has a birthday coming soon. He’ll do so either with or without a license — and whether or not he remains in Connecticutt.

  146. Mike Luddy says:

    Because of the National Drivers Register, when you are revoked in one state, you are ineligible to drive in the other 49. All states participate.

    The lifetime ban is not unreasonable, if there is a process allowing the kid to demonstrate he is now being responsible and can petition the court for reinstatement.

  147. CC says:

    This story is being reported inaccurately. The judge revoked Topa’s license indefinitely. The judge did not issue a lifetime ban on driving. Those words were never used. There is a very significant difference. Very sloppy reporting here.

  148. HTuttle says:

    He should have claimed he was an illegal alien, then they’d have given him a new car and said have fun driving!

  149. newjerseybt says:

    Obviously taking a license (driving is a privilege) away from this 17 year old moron is not going to stop him until he kills a child and then it’s jail time. This idiot kid’s bad behavior is just a microcosm of what America has become. All the way to the Chicago mob Whitehouse.

  150. Wes says:

    The kid can use public transportation to commit crimes like the rest of his Democrat peers. By the way, a lifetime ban will NOT prevent him from driving. He will continue to drive regardless of the judge’s order/.sentencing.

  151. Tom Genin says:

    Judge made no difference anyway. What’s the difference between driving with a suspended license, or no license at all?

  152. K S says:

    the kid HAD a suspension ALREADY–and that didnt stop him…i think the judge did the right thing. now, if this kid wants his liscense back–he will have to pay to go to court and get it–mmmaayybbeee that will finally hit home that he is an idiot driver. and maybe (but not likely) mommy and daddy wont pay it for him…make HIM work for it…

  153. rr says:

    No big deal I lost my license for life twice now… I am a licensed driver again….

  154. Matthew says:

    No person should be singled out to “send a message”. Each individual deserves to have justice meted out to him according to his crime.

  155. ConservativeProf says:

    This kid was already driving on a suspended license. I suspect he’ll do it again. Then, he will go to jail, and it won’t matter if he has a license or not.

  156. I P Standing says:

    No big deal ,,in florida .the state ,,cops,,AAA all figure half the drivers have no license or insurance,,as soon as they float into the country or leave the trailer park they drive,,

  157. Gringo says:

    Finaly a judge that sends a giant message to these teenage “Clowns” who think their are Parnelli Jones….

  158. Freeland Dave says:

    To me this sentence is a miscarriage of justice and paints our judicial system in unfavorable light.

    I do feel the punishment should have been harsh to make the point that such activities are not condoned in a civilized society.

    But I also recognize, mainly from examining the histories and activities of my own life at that time of my youth, and completely understand that the mind of a seventeen year-old male isn’t the same as that male will have when he’s thirty, fifty and seventy.

    I wonder, did this judge ever do anything that would be considered to be harmful to himself or others when he was seventeen years of age?

    Perhaps he just didn’t get caught and that makes him feel that because didn’t get caught in his activities that it’s somehow OK.

    If I were this judge, with all due respect to the office he holds, I would offer the counsel that he should resend his sentence and re-sentence this young man with punitive action and when doing so himself recall what he himself did in his daily activities at that point in his own youth.

    I have met many people in the course of my lifetime and have never yet encountered one that behaved absolutely perfectly 100% of the time especially when they were young and, with the vitality of youth, felt they were invincible and immortal.

    To exact a lifetime punishment of not ever being able to legally operate a motor vehicle for the remainder of his life, when we commonly accept that operating a motor vehicle is a right, and not the privileged it actually is, s a disservice to all of us and should not be allowed to happen.

  159. FCKU says:

    I can point out thousands of drivers that should have their licenses taken away for life.

  160. devilmademe says:

    If he was driving on a suspended license (the same as if he was unlicensed, isn’t it?) then it’s obvious that not having a state issued permission card is not going to stop this kid’s future illegal behavior.

    Let’s impose Sharia penalties – slice off one hand and one foot … make it difficult for him to drive. Perhaps castration might relieve his anxiety.

  161. Reason says:

    Lifetime license revocations sound like a great boon to the horse breeding industry. Someone check this judges business interests! 😀

  162. jimboster says:

    Lyle? Damn. No wonder 6he kid turned bad.

  163. vincepage says:

    My advice would be to appeal to a court in Hollywood, where the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton receive sentences measured in hours for repeatedly endangering others on the road.

  164. Lee says:

    EVEN IF someone died in this accident, a lifetime ban is STILL not appropriate for a 17 year old.

  165. rawheadrex says:

    What would really be punishment is sentencing the youth to a life sentence of watching Lifetime Movie Network. That turns testosterone into an acid that dissolves manhood.

  166. JAY says:

    I wonder what the judge has done in his life that warrants a life time ban.
    Power corrupts. This judge needs a recall.

  167. JYM says:

    Isn’t there some thing in the bill of rights, the 8th amendment i believe. Lets be honest here, 17 year-olds are stupid, and i think he should have his license suspended, but revoked for life? that will ruin his life.

  168. SirGareth says:

    Here’s how he can get his license back in a heartbeat. Have him assume a Hispanic name, teach him to use the dialect, get him black hair dye, and a sunlamp. He can then call himself Juan Mendoza and go to California claiming he is an illegal. They issue his license immediately.

  169. Rolando says:

    Did someone forget: second offence, one, in a coma for weeks, two others injured. I’m not for giving him a 3rd chance to hit or kill me or my family. Do you want an irresponsible kid dring around looking to take a wack at your family? Oh, sorry , he didn’t mean to hit anyone.

    A good swift kick in the ass should be liberally applied also. Maybe several.

  170. John says:

    Good God. Innocent people are murdered and the killer gets less. Give me a break

  171. Mr. Wee Wee says:

    Mr. Wee Wee sez “yOu gO girl” and STAND FIRM BEHIND Barack!

  172. go_figure7722 says:

    I laugh at the comments saying he will/he won’t get his license back, etc. There’s millions of drunks who’ve had their license revoked but that didn’t stop them from driving, sometimes from the courthouse where they were convicted.

  173. Robert Frost says:

    Let him drive…but only let him drive a GM Volt. Then he will be playing Russian Roulette everyday!

  174. Frank Z says:

    Do I get to sue the judge when this kid robs me at gunpoint?

  175. gk says:

    Since when does some court determine they give permission who can drive and who can’t? Who made them God? Government can not interfere with a person’s ability to earn a living. The fed government should be protecting our rights from these hill billy police precints and keep the people free! I think local courts and police can get so corrupt that federal action would be necessary.

    1. John says:

      Yup, when I think Rhode Island, I totally think “hill billy”.

  176. Eyeball says:

    To extreme punishment. You can’t take away a person’s ability to drive to work.

  177. nraendowment says:

    The penalty is excessive and won’t withstand appeal.

  178. JS says:

    The judge’s decision will be overturned. He cannot impose a sentence based on his own feelings, and that’s what this decision was.

  179. Al says:

    A youth makes a juvenile decision that causes tragedy, so the Judicial Branch sends a message to the peasants. Yet, Wall Street and the banksters ruin millions of lives wtihout remorse and the Judicial Branch becomes a cowardly and craven mass of silence.

  180. Carlos of Texas says:

    If this were the Venezuelan Republic instead of a poor imitation, the People’s America, the judge would be in jail with the offender for such an imbecilic ruling.

  181. shannan says:

    I believe it’s the parents responsibility to “send messages” to our children. This kid will oneday grow up and probably be a parent as well. From this mistake as a kid, he can teach his children.

    I think this is too harsh of a punishment.

    I made lots, and lots and lots of mistakes when I was younger….I didn’t have parents that talked to me about “right and wrong”….Now-at 40 y/o, I’m a great parent who guides my teenagers in the right direction through sharing my mistakes of the past….

  182. guest says:

    When you are a danger to others in the public place, that is where the line is drawn between personal liberty and public safety. It is just common sense, whether it is air travel, automobile, bus, or train. Regardless of whether you operate, or ride as a passenger.

    If he needs to go anywhere, pay for the service of taxi, limo, bus, train, plane, or he can walk all the way.

  183. jedimonkeylizard says:

    Reasons for Revocation

    A revoked license means long-term loss, usually amounting to three to 10 years, with no guarantee that you will be allowed to resume driving again. This is determined by a hearing officer with Operator Control (part of the Division of Motor Vehicles). Usually, your participation in a drug and alcohol education program or a driver safety course determines your fate.

    Your Rhode Island driver’s license can be revoked for any legal reason.

    While a 3 to 10 year Revocation is Stated in the above quote….a Lifetime Revocation isn’t disallowed. Nor is there anything in the sentencing guidelines that prohibit it in RI Law.

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