Skip to comments.Fresno police initiate DUI sting
Posted on 03/08/2006 6:12:23 AM PST by Enterprise
"Fresno police are taking enforcement of drunken driving laws to a new level which officers expect will bring both success and outrage. Saturday night, the traffic unit unveiled a new operation in which plainclothes police officers stake out bars and target drunk patrons. If the heavy drinkers get behind the wheel, officers in unmarked cars follow them and call in marked police cars to pull them over."
(Excerpt) Read more at fresnobee.com ...
Sorry, I don't buy that. Too many hidden assumptions, too many questionable facts.
Very few people get "cleared" on the field tests when it costs the cop nothing to administer the breathalyzer and then tell a judge he did so because you "failed" the field test.
The big trick they have is to shine a bright light in your eyes from a few inches away and they keep yelling at you to follow the light. The natural instinct, sober or drunk, is to look away from a bright light. So, they got you there as failing the field test.
Excellent! More cities ought to do what ever it takes to get drunks off of the roads.
Last year I was driving home and was pulled over. The Highway Patrolman asked if I had anything to drink and I informed him that I had 3 drinks over the course of the evening (7:00pm -- 12:30pm). He immediately asked me to step out of the car and administered the 'sobriety' tests, the 'walk the line', the alphabet without singing, and touch the nose. I had no trouble with any of these. At that point he told me he was going to administer a breathalizer and I had the right to refuse but if I did I lose my license. I took the test. He read it. He made me blow again and read it. I asked what it said and he refused to tell me and then released me. This was a Missouri Highway Patrolman. I was not impaired and he knew it but tried everything possible to arrest me. BTW he said he pulled me over for failture to signal, which was a complete lie, but without witnesses what the hell can you do. It's your word against the Gestapo.
"Every person that is hurt or killed in an alcohol related crash could be avoided."
This statement is not true and you need to familiarize yourself better with this subject.
If I am at the bar and call my wife to pick me up and drive me home and another driver, completely sober, hits us and kills me, that is recorded as an alcohol-related driving fatality.
In a nation of almost 300 million people, those things happen and add up to a distortion of reality via statistics.
Don't forget about the "counseling" industry which gets a steady stream of clients under court order.
These types of statistics are bunk.
I think you are drawing the false line with your assumption that the legally-dictated .08 BAC or even .15 automatically equates to a dangerous level of impairment for everyone. Some sort of driving skill field test would be a more effective and fair measure of driving impairment for drinkers, bluehairs, idiots, etc.
There is something fundamentally un-American about arresting people simply because they fall into a category that has an elevated crime rate (in this case, causing an accident).
When I was in High School, we had a cop come in to give a talk about drugs, drinking and driving. He said "50% of all vehicular accidents are caused by drunk drivers." I, being the smart-a$$ that I was (am), raised my hand and said "So you're saying that 50% of all vehicular accidents are caused by sober drivers?" He was not amused.
Let me try to argue by analogy: If we agree that an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of crime is committed by young African-Americans between the ages of 14-24, should we lock them ALL up to prevent crime?
By the same token, if we agree that an overwhelming majority of vehicular accidents are caused by drunk drivers, should we lock them ALL up?
Punish the crime: If someone gets into an accident while drunk, throw him/her in jail. If he/she kills someone while driving drunk, give 'em the death penality.
Punish the crime, not the fact that someone falls into a category with an elevated risk of a crime happening.
The number .08 appears artificially low to me. The old standard of .10 seemed perfectly sufficient for plucking dangerous drivers off the streets. I would imagine that most adults are briefly at .08 the moment that finish their first beer with dinner. That is why I suggest that all drinking HALT for at least an hour prior to departing a bar or restaurant.
I have a brother-in-law who is a hardcore alcoholic. The last time he was found in a stupor by the police, he had a .58 BAC reading! You read that correctly, .58 was coursing through his veins! Even though he is a loser, his tolerance for alcohol is nearly superhuman...to the point that it would easily kill a normal person.
~ Blue Jays ~
.08 was adopted across the country and in combination with other things done at the same time has shown to be part of a falling trend. Numbers show that.
I have a serious question for you to ansnwer that I hope you will answer honestly. Have you ever met with and talked with a MADD representative or are you quoting the positions of MADD based on things you have read about them? In addition, do you think every person involved in the MADD organization is the same?
Is every democrat the same? Do all democrats call for the same things? Do all pubs? Think now before you over generalize to the point of absurdity!
You make several good points.
My favorite, taking a humorous look at the use of statistics, is to take a cop press release from a few years ago and turn it around on them. It went like this: 32 percent of drivers in accidents tested positive for marijuana.
Oh, you mean, two-thirds of people causing accidents didn't have the benefit of marijuana in their system. Is that what explains the discrepancy?
Generally, the answer I got was, don't be a smart-a**.
Oh, I'm a smart ass when your stats aren't persuasive or backfire.
PR people don't like when that happens. The Baltimore NAACP put out a press release saying blacks from all levels of society were being profiled and stopped on I-95 whereas only the dregs of white society were stopped. And, you know what, they said? The blacks don't do any more drugs than the whites. The same percentage were found to have drugs in the car.
So, I ask the lady if she really wants to put out a press release that says all levels of black society are involved with drugs at the same percentages as the white dregs.
"That's not what it says," she screams.
It wasn't study after study that caused the drinking limit to be dropped. It was first the harpies that (vote and) want a limit of 0.00, followed by the federal blackmail. Some states went to .08 before it was a federal mandate.
Setting the limit to .08 along with additional education has indeed helped saved lives. The costs should be on the backs of the offenders. AN individual did the damage to their own reputation with their own choice.
You can claim nothing supports the move. History disagrees with you.
"The Boston University study compared the first five states to lower their BAC limit to .08 (California, Maine, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont) with five nearby states that retained the .10 limit. The results of this study suggest .08 laws, particularly in combination with administrative license revocation, reduce the proportion of fatal crashes involving drivers and fatally injured drivers at blood alcohol levels of .08 and higher by 16% and those at BAC of .15 and greater by 18%."
".08 was adopted across the country and in combination with other things done at the same time has shown to be part of a falling trend. Numbers show that."
"in combination with other things" is the most rational thing you've yet posted.
Include among those other things the smoking bans which are driving down bar business.
Because you have so many new factors introduced around the same time, you can't point to one, like going to .08, as the cause for a fall in drunk-driving deaths.
Increased personal responsibility, arrest avoidance, using back streets, smoking bans, reduced tobacco use, lower alcohol content in traditional brands, all these things factor into the decline.
The sad problem is that while we're arresting people at .08 and .09, it's the chronic .22 that's still out there, won't reform and causes accidents. It's the .15s to .30s doing the damage, just as before.
"at blood alcohol levels of .08 and higher"
You don't tell me what happened between .08 and .10. How many arrests? vs. How many accidents involving .08 to .10.
What you are showing me is the impact of fear, not the impact of arresting marginal drinkers.
You can be in a car without being the driver.
So do you mean to say that the rule of law and its enforcement means Nanny state coercion?
The punishment that people get for breaking the law is what to you? Improper? Wrong?
Cops are supposed to seek out criminals that is their job right?
I love how you seek to stress the RISK of trial but you dismiss the RISK of DEATH! Think about that for a while will ya? Its called a list of priorities.
About intent....exactly, that shows my point that this isn't about drinking, it is about D R I V I N G.
I agree that states rely on tax on booze and cigs....I say end that side of it and make violators pay the costs instead. Easy choice to make to not have to pay for this right? All you have to do is not drink and drive. Simple eh?
Ever met anyone involved in the MADD organization?
That's a state propaganda page. This is not an example of a person a 0.08 causing an accident.
But let's play with your data anyway. This page states:
Drivers with a BAC greater than .08 who were killed in crashes were 10 times as likely to have a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated.
In other words, people who are killed in crashes are much more likely to be both above 0.08 and repeat offenders.
At .08, all drivers are impaired to the point that critical driving skills are greatly diminished. Studies indicate that at a .08 BAC level, a drivers steering, braking, speed control, lane changing, gear changing and judgments of speed and distance are all significantly impaired.
No citation given.
The average DUI offender is:
caught driving with a BAC level of .16 percent
Double the legal limit! Doesn't this seem to indicate the problem is not at 0.08?
This is why you always send out a "decoy" - a friend who hasn't been drinking, stumbles out to his car and draws the heat way. ;-)