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OPINION

Enough -- Time to Stop the Lindsay Lohan Revolving Door

While law-abiding taxpayers have a right to be outraged at Lindsay Lohan’s whirlwind jail tour this week, they should be even angrier at the justice systems’ indifference to her commission of a serious crime. That Lohan checked into jail around 8 p.m. only to return home to Venice Beach by 2 a.m. should make everyone’s blood boil across America. 

How is this possible?! What happened to all the time, money and resources expended in prosecuting Lohan? Five hours is not a slap on the wrist, it is a pat on the shoulder. 

Lohan who has repeatedly demonstrated a complete disregard for the judicial system including showing up with expletives written on her fingernails when appearing for her sentencing, needs a final lesson learned. 

There should be no more revolving door for LiLo – those should be reserved for retail shopping, not paying for crimes committed. 

Perhaps for perennial offenders like Lohan, the excuse of reducing sentences because of overcrowding should be suspended and have the perps serve the actual time sentenced.

Aside from the colossal waste of tax payer’s money at issue, the real danger is reserved for the lessons our children glean from the Lohan circus. 

Let me be clear: Drunk driving charges are no joke. We consistently warn our children of the dangers of driving drunk and the potentially fatal risk of being a passenger in a car when driver is drunk. But instead of pointing to Lohan as an example of what should happen when a law is broken, we have to explain to our children what did not happen.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that this year alone, nearly 11,000 people will die in drunken-driving crashes – one every 50 minutes. Lohan’s alarmingly brief stint in the county lockup harkens back to a time when selective enforcement of drunken-driving offenses was more the exception then the rule, and perpetuates the clearly erroneous notion – which organizations such as MADD have fought so hard to dispel – that a DUI is akin to a speeding ticket.

Law enforcement has also played a key role in warning motorists of the dangers of drunken driving, with public service announcements and DUI blanket patrols. But here they are complicit. Transparently refusing to acknowledge their own shortcomings, the authorities are blaming Lohan’s early release on overcrowding in the Century Regional Detention facility in Los Angeles County (they had previously estimated overcrowding would cut Lohan’s term to six days). But this explanation is fundamentally flawed. To be sure, the authorities would never release an individual charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer because of overcrowding.

And overcrowding is not a sufficient reason to overrule a court order. There was no ambiguity in Judge Stephanie Sautner’s decision to sentence Lohan to serve 30 days in jail. Despite the clear and unequivocal directive by the judge, LiLo served less than one percent of her sentence. 

Finally, before LiLo ends up like the likes of Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, and Amy Winehouse, to name a few, the judicial system has to step in (clearly her family won’t) and force her into compulsory rehab, prison term and any other measure needed to save her from herself.

Mercedes Colwin is an attorney and Fox News legal analyst. She is the managing partner of the New York offices of Gordon & Rees , LLP. Follow her on Twitter@mercedescolwin.