I am writing in response to the article "Drunk Driver in Fatal Crash Given Suspended Sentence" {Metro, May 28}. What's almost as frightening as having to worry about being injured or killed by a drunk driver is the fact that a convicted drunk driver, who simply kills with a car instead of a gun, may never serve a day in jail thanks to our sympathetic judges. Just as disturbing is that the maximum possible sentence in this case would have been 18 months.

Community service -- compared with the cold reality of a dark jail cell -- hardly seems an effective deterrent.

It is a sad reflection on our society -- where the loss of human life means so little -- and a sad commentary on our elected legislators, who apparently are unable to comprehend fully the impact of the permanent loss of a family member.

Rather than worrying about how many stadiums to build, lawmakers had better wake up and get their priorities in order. One day they too may find that a loved one has been killed by a drunk driver and that the person responsible for the killing is back behind the wheel with another chance to kill.

PAUL M. GOLDBERG

Rockville