It’s not the alcohol, it’s the attitude

Media reports that Derrick Begaye and his girlfriend had gone to a party. And at some point, Begaye decided he wanted to leave and told the girlfriend so. She reportedly refused.

Allegedly Begaye dragged her to his car and allegedly proceeded to beat her. According to at least one report, he said she was embarrassing him. He got into the car and drove, stopped and began beating her again. He then started driving again.

Down the road was a police traffic checkpoint. According to police Begaye approached the checkpoint traveling approximately 70 miles an hour. He drove over the cones in the road and almost hit officers, but they were able to jump behind a concrete barrier. Another vehicle stopped at the checkpoint forced Begaye to stop.

Police say Begaye had blood on his body and his clothing. When they checked his car they found a woman crouching in the passenger floorboard of the vehicle. She was also bloody and appeared to have been beaten.

Police said the woman told them:

“She said when he drinks, he gets like that”

Police arrested Begaye. He has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated domestic battery, reckless driving, open container of alcohol, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and no insurance.                     

First, drinking is a choice. If he had done this in the past then he knew that he would most likely lose control after drinking- he still chose to drink.

He also had other options. Now I just know that someone is going to come here and say that she was flirting or exhibiting some other behavior that they will say justifies her beating. I don’t care what her behavior was. No One deserves to be beaten. If her behavior was illegal, he should have called police (there is no indication in the articles as to any illegal or other behavior, except that she didn’t want to leave the party.) If he didn’t like her behavior, he had other options. He could have left without her, leaving her to find her own way home. Or he could have broken up with her on the spot. He didn’t. He chose to beat her.

Some are going to say that she disrespected him in front of his friends. Choosing not to get into a car with a drunk driver is not disrespect- it is intelligence. Choosing not to leave an area where there are other people around, with someone who she believes has a history of violence when they are drinking is not disrespect, it is intelligence.

Whatever her reasons were for deciding not to leave when he wanted to go, they were her right to make. If he didn’t like her decision- he had other options.

He was drinking. Alcohol does not cause the violence. Alcohol lower inhibitions and lessens control over behavior. What that basically means is the attitude and potential for violence  was already there, but he had lost his ability to stop himself or control the severity. Most likely even if he stopped drinking, the violence would still happen at some point.

That checkpoint may have stopped more than a kidnapping and drunk driver- he may have continued once he got her wherever they were going. Then he would be facing more serious charges.

A big thanks to Trench for the lead on this one.


1 Comment

  1. phancy said,

    September 30, 2007 at 9:10 am

    I heard Scott Hampton talk about his work with batterers. He quoted one of them as saying: “I didn’t beat her because I was drunk. I drank so that I could beat her.”

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