Winnetka Trustee Jennifer Spinney’s arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol has sparked a debate on Patch, with some people seemingly downplaying the incident and others saying they hope she’s publically shamed as a way of making others think before getting behind the wheel when they’ve had too much to drink.
Some readers commented that even though DUI is a serious offense Spinney did not hurt anyone in the process.
“Ms. Spinney will pay for this mistake. Let’s not take away from her character. She has served the Village of Winnetka for two years and made great changes in the town,” Patrick wrote. “She makes no money for her time and has fought an up hill battle doing so. Give her a break. Fortunately no one was hurt except her pride. I’m confident a lesson has been learned.”
Patch reader Brat wrote: “She made a bad decision but she didn’t deserve to be humiliated. There aren’t many people in Winnetka who haven’t driven drunk at some point.”
In 2010, adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times – that’s almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving daily, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
Patch reached out to all of the other Winnetka trustees, but only one spoke with us.
“It has nothing to do with what goes on at the Village Board meetings," Trustee Richard Kates said of the incident.
Others readers felt that driving drunk should always be taken seriously and people should not be defending Spinney’s arrest.
“I think when you get too many defenders of Ms. Spinney, it only calls attention to it more; it appears as if you're defending her allegedly driving while drunk,” Me thinks 2 wrote. “I think ALL police reports should be reported here since this seems to be our best source for activity in the community; not only Ms. Spinney, EVERYONE. That way, we'd all know and be on equal footing, and we could also be better crime watchers where necessary. I'm sure she and her family are embarrassed, but learn from it. The crux of the story is she was WRONG to have driven at all. And we should all be thankful she nor anyone else was hurt. Embarrassed? Or in jail for killing someone? I think I'd take the former.”
“She is a trustee, which means she is given responsibilities that I would hope would hold her to a higher standard. Instead she flaunts her status while drunk and expects people to give her slack because of her status,” Roxanne Conway wrote.
Many readers felt that drunk driving should be taking very serious, especially in light of two recent deaths of children that resulted from driving under the influence.
“I am glad that this woman was detained before she killed someone. Did anyone hear about the teen in Highland Park that recently killed a 5 year old? I am glad that the Skokie Police paid no attention to the threatening statements of an entitled drunk woman. It is rather refreshing to know that no one is above the law,” Lola wrote.
“The fact is she got drunk then got in a car and drove it. You know recently in Skokie a woman got high, got in a car and drove it. And what happened? She caused an accident that *killed a small kid*. I am glad this trustee is embarrassed. She should be *shame on her*! It might make another person think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence.”
In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report.