The State Police Association of Massachusetts would like to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, the Troopers who responded to the scene and who conducted a thorough investigation, as well as the members of the public who assisted and continue to assist Trooper Clardy’s family and the Massachusetts State Police. We support the Court’s recognition that it was the defendant’s decision to drive his car recklessly and negligently at an excessive speed, and find him guilty of manslaughter and motor vehicle homicide, among other charges.
Trooper Clardy was an exemplary officer, a devoted husband, attentive father and a leading member of his community. The defendant’s actions were the very definition of wanton and reckless conduct and today’s decision is the first step in securing justice for Trooper Clardy and his family.
Vehicular crashes and vehicular assaults have and continue to claim the lives of far too many of our citizens. As the cultivation, sale and adult use of marijuana expands, so must the laws governing the detection and prosecution of impaired driving. Nationally, the percentage of fatally injured drivers with drugs of all kinds detected in their systems has risen from just under 28% in 2005 to over 40% in 2015. The end result of a deadly crash due to impairment from marijuana or any other substance is the same. The lives taken are the same. The dangers are the same.
As marijuana use increases in Massachusetts, we can expect to continue to see an increase in impaired driving as well. An update to the laws of the Commonwealth is greatly needed. Currently before the legislature is An Act implementing the recommendations of the Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving (H.71). Not only does this bill allow for judicial notice of the impact of THC on motorists’ ability to drive, but it further puts measures in place to aid in the detection of impaired operators and to assist law enforcement in efforts to identify and remove impaired motorists from the roadway before tragedy strikes.
The State Police Association, in partnership with the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, Massachusetts Coalition of Police, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police, urge the Governor and Legislature to take swift action to strengthen the Commonwealth’s impaired driving laws.
Corey J. Mackey
President, State Police Association of Massachusetts