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Should a driver who kills someone while sleep deprived receive the same penalties as those who kill while driving drunk?

Asked at the post office, 645 Vt. on August 7, 2003

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“Yes, probably. They shouldn’t be driving while sleepy because they need to be awake and paying attention to operate a vehicle. In a way, it’s like driving drunk.”

“Probably not. It seems like it’s more irresponsible if you go out and drink than if you are just lacking sleep, which could be for health reasons.”

“There are some sleep-deprivation conditions that are not voluntary and are medically oriented. The problem with laws is that some laws are the equivalent of having a hammer. When you have a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. This strikes me as one of those laws.”

“It’s not intentional, like where people choose to drink. Therefore, I don’t think it should be punished the same.”

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