Focusing on the Innocent


Mention the subject of drunk drivers who have been arrested time and again, and Reidel Post is bound to get furious.

So many times, the stories end with an innocent motorist or pedestrian being hurt or maimed. Post, the executive director of the Orange County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, wants tougher laws and less sympathy for those who drink and drive.

There “need to be swifter sanctions for the repeat offenders, ones that will not allow them back on the roads,” even for those drunk drivers who did not injure anyone, said Post, 40. “They need to know that [drinking and driving] is not fun and games. It’s about life.”


She emphasizes that she passes no judgment on Ronald W. Cram, arrested Wednesday for the 12th time on suspicion of drunk driving, because he has yet to be convicted and therefore should be given the benefit of the doubt. Still, being arrested on alcohol-related charges once is one time too many, she said.

Post believes rehabilitation for repeat offenders is a good thing, but said it shouldn’t come at the expense of the safety of the public at large.

“Oftentimes, rehabilitation leaves us bargaining with people’s lives,” she said.

Also, concentrating on rehabilitation misdirects the public’s sympathies, she said. Post urges people to think less about the driver and instead imagine the would-be victim as someone’s mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a child.

“We need to look at this type of behavior and say, ‘My goodness, these behaviors, these actions, could harm or take away our loved ones,’ ” she said. “It’s not always the other guy that’s affected by drinking and driving. Sometimes, it’s our own family.”

If Cram was driving with a blood-alcohol level of .27 percent, as alleged at the time of his arrest, Post said, “it’s appalling.”

“I don’t want to be sharing the roadway with individuals who are inebriated,” she added. “It’s scary.”