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 ...
In most states, you can be arrested for DUI if you are in the vehicles driver seat with the key in the ignition. No need to wait for them to swerve at a few targets.
I would be more in favor of a proactive approach like if the undercover guy sees someone that is obviously drunk head for the door, stop them. Sitting in wait smacks of entrapment.
My advice for people out drinking and dining in bars and restaurants is to HALT all alcohol consumption for at least an hour prior to departure. Use that time to allow your body to metabolize any remaining alcohol in the bloodstream. Have a nice dessert and hot coffee before leaving so that your brain is nice and perky for the drive home.
Mallardx, did you fail the field sobriety test such as touching your nose or walking along a painted line?
~ Blue Jays ~
I'm skeptical that bar owners pay Fresno Cops to not target their customers. Anything is possible of course, but I don't think that is what is going on here.
You bet I am comparing them. Both make a personal decision to do something they know ( or at least should know) harms and kills people. Will you claim they do not have that in common?
It's a hysterical climate of fear. The puritanical fascists on both the left and the right, the hysterical MADD crowd, the revenue raisers, and all sort of evildoers are strange political bedfellows in the DUI industry.
That is how I reason it because it is a public safety issue. If the police knew someone was going to abduct a child, commit a rape, rob a store, or commit a murder they would stop him. It's public safety. I think that if someone is obviously impaired the police have an obligation not to let him get behind the wheel and drive.
I suspect that there's a "dirty little secret" that MADD was - and is - a creation of the bar association. Lawyers NEED crime.
What are the results of lowering the drinking limit from .10 to .08? Did it save lives? Does it justify the excess cost of policing and courts and does it justify the damage done to an individual's reputation when he was functioning quite well but slightly over the limit? Yet, under the old limit?
The answers are no and no. There was no need to drop the limit from sober to slightly more sober.
I know they passed this in New Jersey with absolutely no science to support it, the state cops said as much, but rather to satisfy the harpies.
Unless you are in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and a handful of other old style central cities with convenient mass transit and roaming cab service, it is impossible to get to a restaurant or a bar by any means other than driving or on foot.
Drinking and driving is a choice.
Funny, I thought this nation was based on personal freedom, not nanny state coercion.
Personal responsibility is indeed, the the crux of this.
You are right. Persons should be responsible for their actions. However, at night, many police stops are made for motor vehicle actions that have nothing to do with unsafe driving, such as a "broken tail light" (which often isn't broken).
People have had beer, wine, and liquor with their meals for millennia. The majority of these people do not abuse alcohol, nor do they drink to a point to which they would become legally intoxicated. Yet the excessive enforcement of DUI laws places a person who is under the legal limit for intoxication at risk of arrest and trial.
When people start using their heads and do not drive when they have been drinking there will be no money for the coffers that you like to center your opposition around.
If the intent were to end consumption of alcohol in public places, it would be easier simply to prohibit its sale in restaurants and bars. In a like vein, it would be easier to ban the sale of tobacco entirely if government is so concerned about the health effects of smoking or chewing tobacco.
However, neither action, though it would be a common sense reaction if the risks of DUI and tobacco are as high as MADD and the public health community say, will ever take place. State and local governments are too dependent on alcohol and tobacco taxes. The states recently fleeced the tobacco companies of billions of dollars. Local governments receive huge amounts of fine money from DUI cases. Defense attorneys rake in several thousand dollars per case for DUI trials.
The strategy for combating alcohol and tobacco appears to be geared to maximize revenues for politicians and attorneys, rather than end the problems. At least the Prohibitionists of the early 1900s were upfront and honest. That is more than can be said for MADD and anti-tobacco groups.
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. ;-)
>08 is the BAC level at which every person is deemed unfit to drive. Impaired to drive. Deal with it or present why it is wrong. You saying so isn't enough. Yet that is all you will do. Why do you call for alcohol to be illegal? I sure am not doing so. Why are you? Afraid to admit this is about driving and not about drinking by itself?
Drunk drivers make a choice just like terrorists do, and people are hurt and killed by both. Sorry the comparison upsets you but hey, the truth hurts.
Show me why they are not the same in the areas I have likened them. OH wait, you would if you could.
You said it yourself, you don't believe. OK that is your right. But it doesn't make you right.
Then you go on to say ban cell phones. NOOOOOO just like booze you change the goalposts yourself. It isn't about the phone it is about the ddddrrrriiiiivvvvviiiinnngggg......see a pattern yet?
I notice that you didn't make the case that driving IS your right. I wonder why you went the direction you did instead of actually doing that?
YES at .08 BAC all people are treated the same in the eyes of the law....that is to say that none are allowed to drive after that level is reached. I love your spin trying to say that isn't the case.
You want to talk about ILK? The same folks that argued against the .08 change argued against the change TO .10 so take your straw man and go on with your bad self.
Lots more people are killed by sober drivers because there are alot more sober drivers driving. This hollow foolisness Is like saying more white people drive than black people....WELL DUH there is more white people!!!! Take these weak rants somewhere else, I have no need to play this game with you.
Yep, if someone spills a beer on you, you're going to jail and your car is going to be confiscated.
I have never met anyone in MADD and I am sure most of them are well-intentioned. So are most members of most other organizations that become eventually concerned only with their own preservation.
When drunk driving was treated like a minor faux pas, it made sense for the aggreived to petition for stricter penalties and enforcement.
Now, MADD, like the labor unions and the NAACP exist purely to continue their grievances whether it makes any sense or not.
What was the reason you were told as to why you were pulled over?
IF he refused to show you the results of your test then by all means go file a complaint against him. He had to radio in about the stop as part of his operating procedure so there would be a record of your stop.
Take your getsapo stuff to whazirastan and cry me a river. It really gets old.
Every person that is killed by a driver that has been drinking could be avoided by people not driving when they drink. That is absolutely a true statement. For if noone was drinking and driving there would be noone killed or hurt by a driver that had been drinking.
If that guy wasn't drinking you would not have been involved in a drinking and driving crash now would you?????
What part about that don't you get?
Surely you can do better when trying to minimize what drinking and driving does do???????
Ok then Halve the statistics based on your argument. Do you find them acceptable then?
So you want all people to come to the DMV hammered and drive a closed course to establish how much they can drink and still drive? Do you really find this possible?
.08 is established thru study to be impairment and all 50 states have adopted that level as ground zero.
If there's one thing I have no sympathy for, it's drunk drivers.
How do you offer that the crime can be established as actual? How do you prove it in order to inflict those punishments?
LMAO @ .58
The cops around here would have taken him to the hospital for a blood test for drugs.
Read the links I posted before. Those numbers have fallen since the changes were made also. Argue all you want to but it is a choice to drink and drive, and if you do accept the punishment you get just as you would have to do if you robbed someone and stuck a knife in them. Crash into them and you kill them just as dead.
You've finally outed yourself. Congratulations.
The question is whether it makes sense to target minimally intoxicated drivers when statistics make it clear that it is those with much larger BACs who are the problem.
If you want zero to be the legal limit, then just admit it. Don't pretend that "science" makes 0.08 a rational limit and then come around in 5 years and claim "science" means it must be 0.05.
You don't have a freak'in clue what you are talking about. No one has advocated driving drunk. Apparently, you don't understand or can't appreciate the difference between driving drunk and driving with a BAL in access of an artifical limit that may or may not correlate with a person's ability or inability to drive a motor vehicle. With regard to your other remark to "Mallardx," I have news for you: Cops lie all the time and as a result, they often require people to "blow" even if they pass the field sobriety tests. How do they gey away with it? Like I said, they lie, i.e., "He had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath," "she was unable to walk a straight line," "he slurred his words," etc. The cops can get away with lying because often they are the only witness other than the accussed and who are you going to believe, a cop or a "drunk guy." Well, my city finally did something about the lying cops and installed audio/video equipment on the cop cars. And guess what? The number of arrests are way down, and the number of convictions are way up.
The links I posted show the info you wanted. Just to be clear it is not an accident when drinking is involved. Accident implies unavoidable and that has already been debunked. it's a CRASH not an accident because a simple choice could have avoided the wreck.
You can claim it is all fear all you want to. Go on and live your life thinking that people do not die and get maimed as a result of this choice. It happens is far to large a number to call it acceptable.
Come walk in my shoes for a while...Ill show it is far more than fear....its reality.
No- don't be absurd or disingenuous -- you know that states have been strongarmed by the feds to adopt that BAC level. And statistics, which are routinely bent and twisted to support all means of government intrusion, are no reason to arbitrarily incarcerate and ruin the lives of harmless individuals. I have driven for 20 years at a variety of BAC levels from zero to above .08, and my accident rate at all levels is zero - those are some additional statistics for you. And if you think real hard I bet you come up with an idea for a mobile unit to test driving skill and reaction.
This site you cite above states that one is 3-5 times as likely to die in a fatal single driver crash at 0.02.
Why isn't 0.02 an "established by science" limit?
yes they are much more likely than the .00 level JUST like the ,08 are more likely also.
You can go claim no citation all you want to, but that doesn't make it true. There are many studies that show impairment established at .08. Deny them all if you wish, its your dime.