But in an out-of-state drunk driving crash case, a judge went too far in his post and violated the Constitution with his unusual terms of his sentence. A driver was found guilty of drunk driving and, therefore, faced sentencing. She and many in her community as well as the country were surprised that her sentence would include mandatory Bible study.
When the defendant got behind the wheel of her vehicle and drove drunk, that careless decision caused her to drive the wrong way down a road and crash into an oncoming car. Two unsuspecting victims were seriously hurt. The defendant's blood alcohol content measured in at four times the legal limit. That's significant. It's easy to see why the judge would take the offense seriously.
Serious or not, however, no criminal offense warrants the required participation in or reverence of a particular religion -- not in this country, where religious freedom is of such high value. Law and religion, despite what some people might believe, do not go hand in hand. An Alabama judge, for example, lost his post for refusing to remove the Ten Commandments from the front of his courthouse several years ago.
Besides the Bible study, the defendant in this most recent drunk driving case was also sentenced to 8 years in prison. Hopefully, that will send a strong enough message to her without the help of writing a required report on a book in the Bible.
Source: Think Progress, "Judge Sentences Drunk Driver To Bible Study," July 6, 2012