Parents Of DUI Victim Say Laws Need To Be Changed - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/16/04

Parents Of DUI Victim Say Laws Need To Be Changed

Traeacy Staunton's parents wonder what kind of justice system lets repeat drunk drivers get out of jail over and over again.

"The system needs to be checked again, looked at and something else will have to be done to these people. It's time to stop looking at DUIs and calling them accidents. These are not accidents. These people set out with one thing in mind, to go from A to B and they're going to do the way they want to," says her father, Anthony Staunton.

Her mother, Marie, says, "Maybe there should be treatment there for them, but if they can't go for this treatment or they won't accept it, they should be banned for life from driving."

It took the death of the Staunton's 20-year old daughter Traeacy to get Michael Kramm off the road.

In December, 2002, Kramm was drunk, and slammed into the back of a car Traeacy was riding in. Kramm had already paid a fine for an earlier DUI in Biloxi, and another charge was pending in Texas. While awaiting trial for Traeacy's death, Kramm got out of jail on bond and that scared the Stauntons.

"That was our biggest fear. That from the time we left here last January until the time we came back for the trial, that somebody else would end up in the same situation that we're in with Michael Kramm," says Marie.

Last week, a judge sentenced Michael Kramm to 25 years in prison.

"My hope would be that they would learn something from it and that life isn't just a thing that can be taken away so simply. There's people here that want to live that are sick that have cancer or terminal illness and would love to live, and there's somebody like Traeacy that has a life ahead of her, and he could just go ahead a take a life like that," Marie says.

byMarcia Hill

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