Monday, January 22, 2018
Opinion

Teen charged with three DUIs now has time to ponder predicament

At no risk whatsoever of misinterpreting this, c'mon, admit it, the first two thoughts that ran through your mind when you read about the self-inflicted plight of Kimberly McCarthy, who seems to be auditioning for Tampa's village idiot, were:

A) Whew, thank goodness this isn't my kid.

And B) Whew, thank goodness this isn't my kid.

Ms. McCarthy is currently residing in the Hillsborough County hoosegow, largely because she is 18 going on dumber than a sack of bong pipes.

In what has to be something of a dubious mug shot record for Tampa, McCarthy successfully managed to get arrested three — count 'em, three — times over the course of 18 days on charges of driving while intoxicated. In all, McCarthy has accumulated charges of careless driving, violating her learner's permit, not wearing a seat belt and driving with an open container, which happened to be filled with rum. Incredibly, two of her arrests occurred within 48 hours of each other. Well, at least she's persistent.

Memo to Kimberly McCarthy: Stop watching Dudley Moore's Arthur — right now!

But what makes McCarthy's curious journey through the legal system even more surreal is the defendant's out-of-body explanation for her behavior.

After her March 12 DUI arrest, Tampa's answer to Foster Brooks explained she thought she was in good shape because "I didn't know smoking marijuana and driving would be a DUI, I just like smoking marijuana."

I bet that 18-year-old, sullen, monosyllabic sea slug of a son or daughter residing in a toxic waste dump of a bedroom down the hall of your house is looking downright angelic right about now.

Indeed what made McCarthy's twisted observations of DUI laws even more flighty was that she said this on March 12, which happened to be the occasion of her third (!!!!!!) trip to a holding cell.

Not to be too terribly presumptuous here, but don't you think if you had been busted the first time for driving under the influence and the coppers had found 12 Xanax pills and marijuana in your car, you would at least have a basic working knowledge of what it takes to get charged with DUI?

Scarier still is that McCarthy has expressed a desire to become an aeronautical engineer so that she can build planes, which is as good a reason I can think of to never want to fly again.

While facing a slew of charges that will probably not help her future employment prospects, in one vital respect, Kimberly McCarthy could be viewed as one of the luckiest young women on the face of the planet.

For although the rather dense McCarthy has managed to turn the streets of Tampa into her own personal demolition derby, amazingly no one has been seriously hurt — or killed.

So wary of the prospects of a Kimberly McCarthy getting behind the wheel of a car was Hillsborough County Judge John Conrad that he could not bring himself to release the woman on bail, or confine her to house arrest, or order her to wear an ankle monitor.

Good for him — and the rest of us.

It's a fair question. What is it going to take for McCarthy to grasp the seriousness of her behavior? A body bag? A funeral? A bus ride to the Lowell Correctional Institution for women?

At least she has some time to think long and hard about the answer.



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