I would quite like some feedback on this post, since I wonder, am I alone in noticing these things?
Today a friend went to court on a DIC charge, (his second, the first 23 years ago), and got 7 months loss of licence, and $600-odd dollars to pay in fines and court costs. He was only marginally over the limit, but he took his medicine with stoicism, and had a friend arranged to drive him all the way back to Whangarei. The offence and hearing took place here in Tauranga.
We have probably known him for all of those 23 years, and in that time he has married, and raised a fine young family of 3 children, as well as supported his wife through three years of tertiary study, all under his own steam, and all the while contributing, via his taxes, to the state coffers. And not once, requiring support from the state. His children will grow up to be productive New Zealanders, should they inherit their Father’s work ethic.
Give the judge her due, she treated him as a first offence. This seems entirely reasonable given the time which has elapsed since his original first offence. And I’m not suggesting here that he shouldn’t have to pay the penalty for his misdeameanour (I can’t bring myself to call it a crime, since it was in essence, victimless).
However, when it was all over, and we knew the outcome, I had a strong sense of injustice. And it wasn’t over the sentencing itself. The injustice to my mind, is when he has to apply for a restricted licence (after the initial month stand-down) and it costs him another $1500 for a lawyer to file the application for him, so that he can continue to work and support his family. If he were sitting on his butt collecting the dole or ACC or sickness benefit or whatever they care to call it these days, he wouldn’t need to apply for a restricted licence, since he wouldn’t need it to go to work. There are so many “politically correct” “anti-discrimination” policies these days, that no one seems to have the balls to ask why our hard-working fathers are discriminated against in this manner. Why should he be worse off, than a beneficiary in the same circumstances? And why should the system be so complex that he has to use a lawyer to get permission to feed his family?
I’m not trying to be down on beneficiaries here. I’m just upset that someone who works so hard, should be put at such a ridiculous disadvantage. It seems that now that we have “equal rights” etc, and women can be judges, prime ministers etc etc etc, we have somehow undermined or demoted the good fathers in our society. Ok, he screwed up on the night, but can’t he be accorded something in the way of recognition? Couldn’t the system better accommodate our hard-working menfolk?
I’m not sure how to fix it, but something is very definitely wrong about that.