On June 21st, 2019, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy was behind the wheel of a Dodge pickup when he killed seven motorcyclists. And after a lengthy trial, one filled with controversy, he was acquitted on seven charges of negligent homicide in August of 2022. 

Fast forward to the present day and Zhukovskyy and his attorneys have asked the state of Massachusetts to reinstate his driver's license after it was revoked during the trial. Something that's horrified the victims' families, along with many others, and for good reason. 

I won't be commenting on the trial, nor the verdict or any parties involved in the defense or prosecution.

But I will say that based on the historical evidence of Mr. Zhukovskyy's driving record, which was presented at trial, it's my opinion that he should never be allowed to drive a vehicle again. Nor should anyone with such a list of prior offenses. 

Detailed in an extremely infuriating timeline from local news outlet WMUR 9, Mr. Zhukovskyy was routinely involved in traffic citations, arrests, and accidents that involved drugs, alcohol, speeding, negligence, and other instances of driving while impaired. Between 2012 and the time of the deaths of those seven motorcyclists, Mr. Zhukovskyy was involved in around seven other incidents, including a crash in Baytown, Texas, where "Officials said he was driving a Mack truck hauling a trailer with cars on an interstate when it flipped on its side after hitting a guardrail." He was not cited for the crash after claiming a car cut him off.

This incident was just 18 days before the crash that'd take those motorcyclists' lives.  

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There were other prior arrests and citations for driving under the influence, having drug paraphernalia on him, and one guilty plea for "speeding, possessing drug paraphernalia, giving false information and driving with a suspended license" due to a prior DUI. 

During the trial, it came out that his license should've been revoked and that "Connecticut officials put information about [a prior different OUI] charge into a state-to-state computer system. Not enough information was entered to automatically trigger the suspension of his driver’s license, said Massachusetts officials, requiring a manual review of his status as a driver in Massachusetts. As of June 23, the review had not yet been done," according to WMUR 9. 

The head of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Erin Deveny, resigned during the trial after the failure to revoke his license emerged. And the NTSB also released a 1,300-page report on the crash and its findings.

Which brings us to today and Mr. Zhukovskyy asking the courts to reinstate his driving privileges. I italicize privileges as driving isn't a right. It's not something that's given to all Americans or even all people around the world, and those privileges can, and should, be taken away when someone willfully disregards other people's lives.

I don't care what you do in the safety and security of your own home. People can, and do, drink and use recreational drugs safely. But as soon as you take that behavior out into the world where others can be affected by your decision-making, that's when you lose those privileges. Others shouldn't be affected by your decisions.

Based on Mr. Zhukovskyy's prior decisions behind the wheel, as well as the state saying he should've had his license taken away due to a prior DUI ahead of that fateful day, he absolutely shouldn't get his license back.  

I don't see why his acquittal of a separate set of charges would change the outcome of that initial revocation. Do you?

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