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#1 of 66 Old 01-15-2009, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My neighbor/friend's sister gets updates from the Iowa SOR and she said that there is a sex offender living in our building (we're in an apartment) he is RIGHT next door to my friend (and her 3 kids 5 and under) and I'm across the hall but on the other side of the building (hard to explain, we have private entrances and Friend and I share a hallway and then her private entrance goes to the south of the building, mine to the north...her interior door to the north, mine to the south) this guy does NOT have access to our hallway.

Anyway, so he's there...he's from out of state so I can't get a whole lot of information about him, other than the conviction was in 2006, he'd have been 23 or 24 and it was 'sexual exploitation of a minor' thats all I get, no age of victim no sex of victim.

So now what do I do?? What about letting the kids play? My neighbor has a better yard than I do so we let the kids play on her side a lot...but that's like 15 feet from this guys door...we CANNOT play on my side our apt grounds share grounds with a quarter horse breaking business, my side is full of unbroke quarter horses, they are dangerous sometimes.

Moving isn't really an option, we don't have the money, we don't have anywhere else to move to...we're stuck.

This guy just moved in earlier this week...

Ugh, this freaks me out...

It might all be a moot point...I'm going to see if I can beg a couple people I know at the sheriffs office to get me the info and go from there, if it's him with his 17 y/o gf...well but by the grace of God go I ...but if it's a REAL sex offender??? thats completely different...no matter HOW 'rehabilitated' he is/how he paid his debt to society, I don't care...you can't fix that, I don't believe you can fix that at all...you just can't...

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#2 of 66 Old 01-15-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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I don't see that you can do anything other than supervise your kids.

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#3 of 66 Old 01-15-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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You know mama, I would be a little freaked out if I were in your shoes too. But the truth of it is that this guy is simply a known potential threat.

There are lots of other unknown threats that our children have to be protected against, including sex offenders who have never been caught, or have not yet made their first move and are simply waiting for the opportunity.

Your job as mom is to make sure your kids never present that opportunity. I highly recommend reading "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin De Becker.

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#4 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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This is why I don't like sex offender registries... if people are not safe to be in society they should be locked up, if a perpetrator wants to hurt a child they will find a child no matter what directories their names are on are.

Given that he wasn't in jail very long and the label is vague, it was probably either a minor offense (like having a consentual relationship with a 16 y/o girl- which is rightfully illegal and definitely qualifies him for an idiot of the year reward but is definitely different than a serial pedophile) or the case was weak and he made a plea deal. I don't know which. Try running his name and state through google news to see if you get any hits.

Generally children are abused by people they and their parents know (moms BF, uncle Joe, pastor Sam, teacher Sue, etc). Stranger abuse is relatively rare, and there are things kids should know (good touch/bad touch, it's always ok to tell mommy and daddy anything, correct labeling of both girl and boy body parts, etc) that can help with intervening if something inappropriate happens. A big part is making sure the lines of communication are there, your child feels safe telling you anything, and your child is equipped with the language to tell you want is happening.
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#5 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Chimpmandee View Post
You know mama, I would be a little freaked out if I were in your shoes too. But the truth of it is that this guy is simply a known potential threat.

There are lots of other unknown threats that our children have to be protected against, including sex offenders who have never been caught, or have not yet made their first move and are simply waiting for the opportunity.

Your job as mom is to make sure your kids never present that opportunity. I highly recommend reading "Protecting the Gift" by Gavin De Becker.
Bold mine.

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#6 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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We had an offender live next door to us for a few months. It totally freaked me and my neighbors out. We talked with the kids about it, told them they were not to go into the house for any reason, and we got the bus stop changed so they weren't waiting at the house.

When we talked about it, we didn't mention 'sex offender' to the kids - just that he was a man who was not safe, and that they were to tell us if he talked to them, and they were to just come inside if he did try to approach them.

I wouldn't consider moving because a sex offender moved in. He could easily move out, and someone else move in. Talk to your kids, and be aware. Read Protecting the Gift - it has lots of good information in it.
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#7 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 01:41 AM
 
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A big "yeah that" to much of what was said. Don't do anything different; any random guy who lived in that apartment *could be* a sex offender, and you shouldn't be relying on a criminal registry to tell you what is safe for your kids.

The whole idea of criminal registries just screams to me that there's something SERIOUSLY wrong with the way we handle crime and criminals... we're just flat-out admitting that, if anything, imprisonment makes people MORE likely to commit crime, not less. And drug offenders are now registered in much the same way... a friend of mine from college served three years in Federal prison for transporting drugs across a state line for personal use, and when she was living with her parents after release, a neighbor of theirs (who was a cop) came knocking on the door, asking her mom "It says you have a drug offender living here! What gives?" Her mom, bless her (and I don't often use that term... I'm an atheist) said "That's my daughter, not a criminal" and closed the door on him.
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#8 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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I am so glad to see so many calm, reasonable responses here.

There is a registered offender living in a complex at the end of our street. The neighbors tipped me off to him when we first moved in and they saw my then 4 year old playing in the side and front yard.

When I looked it up I saw that the conviction was more than 10 years ago and was for a crime involving an adolescent. I can't remember what the wording was but it screamed statutory rape rather than a violent act or abusing a small child.

Not one of my neighbors (5 different families) let any of there children play outside at all unless a parent is present because of this guy. These kids are all 7 and up, old enough to aware of their surroundings.

I just feel like that is crazy.

I agree with the PP's. Supervise your kids. Don't live in fear.

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#9 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 01:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JamesMama View Post
My neighbor/friend's sister gets updates from the Iowa SOR and she said that there is a sex offender living in our building (we're in an apartment) he is RIGHT next door to my friend (and her 3 kids 5 and under) and I'm across the hall but on the other side of the building (hard to explain, we have private entrances and Friend and I share a hallway and then her private entrance goes to the south of the building, mine to the north...her interior door to the north, mine to the south) this guy does NOT have access to our hallway.

Anyway, so he's there...he's from out of state so I can't get a whole lot of information about him, other than the conviction was in 2006, he'd have been 23 or 24 and it was 'sexual exploitation of a minor' thats all I get, no age of victim no sex of victim.

So now what do I do?? What about letting the kids play? My neighbor has a better yard than I do so we let the kids play on her side a lot...but that's like 15 feet from this guys door...we CANNOT play on my side our apt grounds share grounds with a quarter horse breaking business, my side is full of unbroke quarter horses, they are dangerous sometimes.

Moving isn't really an option, we don't have the money, we don't have anywhere else to move to...we're stuck.

This guy just moved in earlier this week...

Ugh, this freaks me out...

It might all be a moot point...I'm going to see if I can beg a couple people I know at the sheriffs office to get me the info and go from there, if it's him with his 17 y/o gf...well but by the grace of God go I ...but if it's a REAL sex offender??? thats completely different...no matter HOW 'rehabilitated' he is/how he paid his debt to society, I don't care...you can't fix that, I don't believe you can fix that at all...you just can't...
depending on the laws, it could well have been him and a 17yo. I would get more info on the laws in your state before I did anything further.

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#10 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 01:50 AM
 
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I don't blame you for feeling uneasy, but the guy has got to live somewhere.

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#11 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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But the truth of it is that this guy is simply a known potential threat.
Exactly.

For every known sex offender near you, there is at least one unknown. I'm more worried about those who have yet to be caught...

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#12 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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I see Protecting the Gift has already been mentioned, but I wanted to invite you to join us in discussing it in the Book Clubs forum.

Here's the first thread for it:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1020434

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#13 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Call your local police department and find out what local laws require. I know that some states require the offender to notify their immediate neighbors, i.e. going door to door with a flyer. If your area requires it and he didn't do it it could be a violation of some sort.You might be able to get him removed from this location. It might be worth at least checking.

If that isn't an issue at least you know. Best wishes mamma.
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#14 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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wise mamas have given you good advice. Have you thought about going over and saying 'Hi' (sans kiddos) given his age, he probably did have a 17 y/o GF. BUT my SBIL is a registered sex offender and I didn't think anything of it because it was because his GF was young and he went on to rape my best friend. anyways, meet the guy, see if he has a GF meet her, same you should do with any new person that may have contact with your kids.

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#15 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Our one neighbor is a sex offender, he received a M2 (misdemeanor 2) and house arrest for sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl in town when he was a pizza delivery guy. I found that out because I talked to his probation officer on the phone. He's not even listed on the sex offender website in our state, go figure that one out. His brother was a sex offender too, but he went to jail for molesting a cousin. Their mother is a sex offender as well, but never reported as far as I can tell. So, I guess i can say I have more than one offender next door. What can I do? Not much. Just watch my kid so that he stays far far away from them.

I recommend the book also, Protecting the Gift by Gavin De Becker. It's an awesome book. A lot of insight!

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#16 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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I understand how you feel My neighbor is a registered sex offender. Rape by force. So no children involved, but granted that I am a rape survivor and I had been alone at his house before..that made for some not so fun times after my discovery. After calming down and thinking about it, I don't perceive him as such a threat any longer. he is married, had two children and is well known in the community (we live in a very small town). Nobody seems to know about it. I just really don't socialize with them, are always out with my dogs after dark and just be aware. We will be moving out of here in 2 weeks and I am so happy about it.
Sorry, I have no advice, just sympathy,
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#17 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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My neighbor two houses down is a sex offender too.
I would make your children aware. Tell them they are not to go to Mr. Joe Somebody's house or be alone with him at any time. Other than that though, there isn't much to do. Unfortunately.

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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#18 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have protecting the gift...just haven't been able to read it, kids and all that.

I've showed James his picture and told him he is The Bad Man and James is not to go near him.

My uncle is a registered sex offender and HE actually makes me a wee bit nervous...and I've known him my whole life (Internet crimes...think to catch a preditor on Dateline)...I work with a guy who is a RSO but his was a 17 y/o gf thing...that I totally get (DH was 21, I was 17 when we were together...but OUR relationship was legal, Iowa's age of consent is 16 and then you can go 5 yrs older).

He's on the other side of the building so it's been bitterly cold so I haven't been out much...I'm thinking of calling the police department and seeing if they will tell me what the deal is...if it's a consentual sex deal then I don't really care...but if it's actually something scary...

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#19 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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I watched Little Children last night after I read this post. You might want to rent it. It sure brings up some interesting thoughts on it. I still cant figure out what I would do.
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#20 of 66 Old 01-16-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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I know of a guy who found out there was a sex offender in his apartment complex so he contacted the management about it and it turned out that the management did not know that he was living there and that he was not on the lease. They kicked him out.
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#21 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 02:44 AM
 
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Here's a thought about singling this person out to your kids...

Ok, now they've been warned. They know not to go in THAT guy's house. So, who here remembers being a little kid? Mommies know everything, right? Mommy said "Don't go in THAT guy's house," but she never said anything about THIS guy! Must be safe, right?

Information frequently swamps our instincts. Teach your children to trust themselves, but also watch and supervise. If they're older, and they may be on their own in the neighborhood, you can give them the information, but also discuss it in context, so that they understand that even if they know this one thing about this one person, there's a lot they DON'T know, and they should always pay attention to how people and situations make them feel, regardless of what someone's told them.
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#22 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've done the 'stranger danger' and the only people they are alone around are people I 100% trust (my parents, my IL's, my best friend and her DH, my other friend and her DH) the people that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt would NEVER harm my kids in anyway...the people that would lay down their lives for my kids...this guy just caused me to further reiterate the "STRANGER DANGER" part...

DS is only 4 so he's not outside alone usually, sometimes he'll go out with my friends kids while we stay inside and watch them out the window.

We've done the 'good touch/bad touch' telling him that NO one is to touch his privates unless he needs them to (poops, he can't wipe his own butt just yet)

There are 12 apartments in my complex...one of them is a former classmate of my friends sister and she vouches for her 'safeness', one is my friend, one is my friends sister, one is a former teacher of DH's who he assures is 100% safe...there are a couple on the far west side that I don't know but the kids would never be down there...too far away.

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#23 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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nothing else than what has been stated.

except i never do stranger danger with my dd. instead i use the blanket 'no one' wihtout my permission. so at 6 my dd has gotten used to asking me if she can eat teh snack my friend is offering her if i am not within eyesight. i make the assumption that everyone is a sex offender and prepare for it. but i live my life as if every one is NOT.

so apart from supervising there is nothing much you can do.

i live in an area where there are a lot of sex offenders around. and of course i totally buy into the unknown ones.

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#24 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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I have some knowledge of Sex Offender laws, espeically dealing with the new Adam Walsh Act.

I do believe Iowa has some very severe Sex Offender laws. (BTW, my Uncle is a Police Officer in Iowa).

If you can post what his classification is, I can tell you a bit about it. Also, how close is a daycare/child care facility or school to your apartment?
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#25 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JamesMama View Post

Anyway, so he's there...he's from out of state so I can't get a whole lot of information about him, other than the conviction was in 2006, he'd have been 23 or 24 and it was 'sexual exploitation of a minor' thats all I get, no age of victim no sex of victim.
Sexual Exploitation of minor

A) Minor is a child under the age of 18
B) Sexual Exploitation means that he could do have done a number of different things. It is a catch all phrase. It could be anything from possessing child pornography to encouraging a child to engage in any type of sexual activity.

The other thing to take into consideration, is that the guy could have had a more serious charge, and the prosecutor and child's mother didn't want to go to trial and entered into a plea agreement whereby he plead to a lesser charge which carries minimal to no jail time, instead of putting a child through the trauma of re-living what happened, being cross examined by an aggressive defense attorney, having to go public with everything.

Do to the way our laws are written you really wont get much information on the victim, as to age or gender because the information of the victim is protected.
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#26 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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Hey have you been to the sex offender registry website yourself? http://www.familywatchdog.us

If you type in your zip code, little dots pop up like chicken pox. If there isn't one living next door, there's a good chance there's one down the street or next door. I mean it would by like trying to avoid raindrops while walking outside. REALLY sad that there are so many sick people out there, but honestly you can't hide from them. Even if you move, you'll probably still be close to at least one. I think you've done the right thing in just education your kids on what's bad and what to look out for, and to stay away from him. That's really all you can do. *hugs*
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#27 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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A big "yeah that" to much of what was said. Don't do anything different; any random guy who lived in that apartment *could be* a sex offender, and you shouldn't be relying on a criminal registry to tell you what is safe for your kids.

The whole idea of criminal registries just screams to me that there's something SERIOUSLY wrong with the way we handle crime and criminals... we're just flat-out admitting that, if anything, imprisonment makes people MORE likely to commit crime, not less.
I am for Sex Offender registeries, because they make known to parents that there is a person in their neighborhood/area to be on the look out for with your children. I prefer to know that the person next door to me was convicted of a sexual crime against a child, this way I can keep an extra watch on this person and my children. I do agree parents need to teach their children about stranger dangers, and what is good/bad touching, but when I know that there is a person who poses a high risk of danger for my children, I can point that person out to them and tell them they are not to interact with that person as they are a dangerous person. There is a lot of research out there that shows that a sexual offender is not really treatable, but you can not just lock every single person up for their life for sexual offense.

And in all honestly, a lot of the Sex Offenders out there were never in prison, many of them, especially those whose sex offense was trivial (ie possession of child pornography) get put on probation/community control. So, I think that the statement that jails make criminals commit more crimes is inaccurate.
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#28 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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Good luck with your husband's transplant. I said a little prayer for him!

As for the sex offender, I have to agree with most of the PPs. You have the talk, you supervise them, you tell them to stay together, but you also need to keep in mind that as so many PPs have said, their greatest risk is someone they know and trust. Hugs!

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#29 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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Hey have you been to the sex offender registry website yourself? http://www.familywatchdog.us
That's a third party website (someone is using it basically to gain revenue from ad sales)- the actual governments national sex offender registry is http://www.nsopw.gov/Core/Conditions...ookieSupport=1
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#30 of 66 Old 01-17-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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And you know he would be an even bigger idiot to re-offend right where he lives.

We have 3 living within 3 blocks of us...So my kids don't go outside to play unless I can watch them or another parent can or they are in a super large group.

I think it's important to know what the charges are too. Like one of them took dirty pics and posted them and while that is reprehensible the risk to my kids is lower unless I see intenet offender out taking pics.

I think most of the offenders I worked with offended against children who were living in the same home with them or they were invited in as family friends. Not to say that we shouldn't be afraid of the stranger in the bushes but I am more afraid of the wolf I let might let in the front door.

My sister actually had a guy who had offended against children of the same age and gender as her kids living in her apt complex. She was only prompted to look at the registry after she caught him peeking in her windows. He was stealing her half smoked cigarettes. Well like a month after she got an icky feeling about him, someone broke into her apt. She couldn't tell if anything was missing but the sliding glass door was broken. She called the police and this idiot had left prints and he was arrested. Luckily, she was taking precautions and she wasn't home when he broke in. (cuz she probably would have killed him--) But anyhow, they moved on base and she feels much safer cuz my bil is gone a lot. Until she saw his picture on the registry she just thought he was peeping on her. Really scarey.

but most offenders have a "type" and most offenders think about their crimes and how not to get caught. For most it would be too risky to grab a kid in their complex cuz they know the first door the cops will knock on is theirs as the resident registered s.o. It's the indiscriminate ones with impulsivity issues that are rarer and more like this guy who just decided to do it that close.

I had also told her to alert the cops when she found him peeping but she felt embarrassed and that she was making too big a deal out of it because of her own past victim status.

I really hate being right in my nephew's case, but they were safe thanks to her good instincts.

I do believe that for some treatment is helpful but it's like smoking cessation or anything else.

We don't give up on ppl with drunk driving charges for example on their first offense. We don't catch everyone who drinks and drives. But hey if you can avoid being out after last call on Sat night, it doesn't hurt. Same thing.
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