Sheena Blair DUI

Moving Sheena's Spirit Forward

Sheena Blair DUI - Moving Sheena's Spirit Forward

A request

I was just asked to speak to a group of Washington State Patrol troopers on Friday January 30th. I was asked to give them kind of a pep talk to motivate them before they go out hunting for DUIs.I have done this a couple of times and I really LOVE being asked to do this. I will tell them about Sheena and how and where she and Tony died. I will tell them what that horrid knock on the door is like from OUR side of the door. I will also share with them that they are intervening in these impaired driver’s lives BEFORE they kill someone………They are actually blessing them with a second (sometimes MORE) chance. In THAT they are actually angels. Not all of them may LOOK like angels but in our hearts that’s exactly what they are. Looking forward to speaking to these law enforcement officers.

Governor’s Press Conference April 16, 2013

Carol and I were invited to attend Governor Inslee’s press conference about NEW DUI legislation HB 2030. We were treated SO kind and SO respectfully and we SO are proud of The Governor’s leadership of HB 2030. We would also like to thank OUR representative Dawn Morrell  (D-25) for prime sponsoring this vital public safety bill.

We set up a couple interviews with local TV stations who were VERY kind to us and did a magnificent job of covering this press conference. I have those on this site later this evening.

There are a couple of pictures I will post here now that show a side of this day that didn’t make it on the news, but is at LEAST as important to US as anything else that happened today. Governor Inslee asked to meet with us in his office before the press conference began. He didn’t NEED to do this, he did it to thank us for all we have done in the past and all we are doing now to help move this bill forward. THEN he brought all the key Representatives and Senators in and introduced them to us personally. AGAIN, he didn’t HAVE to do that, he did it out of the goodness of his heart.

Thank you Rep Morrell, thank you Governor Inslee and a special thank you to Jaime Smith the Governor’s communication director for setting all this up.

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DUI Working Group Emergency Meeting April 9, 2013

This morning I attended Rep Roger Goodman’s DUI working group. This meeting was VERY well attended. Prosecutors, judges, Interlock device companies, law enforcement, defense lobbyists, county/city advocates, treatment representatives, victim families and LOTS of TV cameras.

The main topic of discussion was HB 1482, stalled in the House rules committee. There was an update, a summery and we also learned that Governor Inslee was going to meet with the respective caucuses to encourage it’s movement.

GOOD for you Jay!

We also discussed felony DUI and the associated costs of putting these potential killers in prison. Estimates of from 150-200 million dollars to jail them all. it would be necessary to build a new prison to house 1200 (at 3 DUIs) or 800 (at 4 DUIs). That’s a LOT. We also talked about jailing DUIs for 12-72 hours after arrest or until their hearing. THAT also costs money………..We talked about a lot of other issues MOST of the time with a news camera pointed at our face. ALL of the media outlets used this quote from a comment I made:” But Frank Blair, whose 24-year-old daughter Sheena was killed by a drunken driver in 2010, said that costs can’t measure loss.”“At some point these people need to be removed from society because they kill us,” he told the group.

I overheard Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim tell a news crew that it is unfortunate that it takes two horrible DUI murders in a week to draw attention to this issue and revive a bill which if enacted would go a long way to addressing these issues. I agree Amy. So now the bill has the VERY strong support of the Governor and massive support among voters. But at what cost………

After these meetings and four media interviews, I do as I always do when I’m in Olympia. I walk through the Capitol building and gaze with AWE at the beauty of that building. I was on my way to do just that when I encountered one of the judges who always attends the working group. We had a little talk in those marbled halls. I mentioned how much I have learned from them, about the practical application of laws we discuss and what IS and, of course what is NOT constitutional. What is helpful and what does NOT work and what is  burdensome . I now have a better idea of what to support and what to NOT support. (LOL!!) Because of their position, there are things they can NOT talk/ask about. I try to sit next to them because, like today, they will lean over and say “Frank ask about this, or Frank, say that”. I told him that it can get frustrating and discouraging doing this work especially after a week like this. He told me try my best to not get discouraged, jaded, disgusted or numb. he said the MOST important thing is to keep coming back, to keep moving forward. To NOT lose sight of why we are doing this stuff, and that we ARE making progress. I am not at liberty to share his name here because I don’t have his permission and I do NOT want to risk getting him in trouble. He did more in that ten minutes to inspire us to keep moving forward than he’ll ever know.

Apparently it takes three dead, innocent people and two horrendously injured people in a week to draw attention to this DUI bill and HOPEFULLY move it forward. I KNOW what these people are going through right now. My heart absolutely breaks for them. Their agony inspires us and maybe pisses us off enough to accomplish something that MAY help stop DUI murders. It’s a HELL of a high price. NOBODY is more aware of that price than us. Bless the Schulte and Williams families and ALL that went before and those (I PRAY) less that will inevitably, sadly follow.

T’was The Night Before St Patrick’s Day

Last night Carol and I went out with the Target Zero Team Home Safe Bar Program. We spent the whole evening in the City of Puyallup and there were a LOT of people who were celebrating. We were riding with TWO police Chiefs. Chief Jeter from Puyallup and Chief Cheesman from Fircrest. There were also two Liquor Control Agents with us as well.

A couple things stood out. Most of the bars were packed. Carol went around to the tables, mostly talked to young folks. She handed them a Target Zero Team slim jim and asked who the designated driver was and then let them know that there were fifty patrol officers JUST in Puyallup looking for impaired drivers. The good thing is that more than half HAD a DD.

One of the Liquor Control Agents found herself in a bit of a quandary. An impaired man approached her and asked her to dance and offered to buy her dinner….. So does the fact that he asked her to dance show impairment? She quietly asked the servers to cut him off and we left. And had a GOOD laugh.

Later we were standing in front of Bumpies when we noticed an SUV driving down the street without his lights on. The bouncer laughed and wondered if that guy knew he was driving like that in front of TWO Police Chiefs. I looked over at Carol and was wondering if a patrol officer had seen him. At that second a police car went ZOOOMM right after him. He got pulled over. Here’s a clue. Driving without your lights on at night is like holding a steak in front of a starving lion to a DUI patrol officer.

I also talked with the Puyallup Police officer who arrested the wife of the Mayor of Puyallup. It IS who I thought it was. I told him that it took a lot of guts to DO that. He just kind of laughed and told me HEY, drive sober or get pulled over. Simple. No matter WHO it is.

The Twisted Kilt on Meridian had a HUGE heated tent in the ALLY with a live band and hundreds of revelers having a great time. The owner told us that he PAYS for cab rides if someone is persistent and he thinks would pose a danger. He felt that it’s more important to keep the community safe than the few bucks to get someone home safe. We see some bar owners who are NOT good stewards of the hospitality business but this guy is NOT one of them. ROCK on.

As we were leaving there was a young man and his girlfriend getting into a taxi, he was QUITE “Irished up”. Chief Cheesman and I shook his hand, Carol hugged and thanked him. He said as he was trying to get into the back seat, ” Are you KIDDING?? TWENTY bucks? Hell I could drink THAT up in ten minutes!! Ten thousand bucks and a DUI??? Twenty bucks?? Think it OVER DUDE!” I agree. Think it over dude,