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To draft a better DUI law
The Boston Herald ^ | 11/5/05 | Randy S. Chapman

Posted on 11/09/2005 3:39:41 PM PST by elkfersupper

It is time to separate fact from fiction about our drunken driving laws. It is time to stop deluding ourselves into believing that stricter penalties are the solution. It is also time to start promulgating laws that attack the core problem, including creating a bright line that even an intoxicated person can walk.

Drunken driving is a problem in Massachusetts. It is also a problem in New York, Texas and every other state in the country. Statistically, Massachusetts’ roads are not the most dangerous in the country. There is also no proof that Massachusetts drivers are more likely to drive impaired.

-snip-

Perhaps it is time to make it illegal to drink any alcohol and drive a car.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.bostonherald.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: alcohol; dui; dwi; libertarian
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To: elkfersupper

As for the title of this article the answer is....


"TAKE OUT THE PROFIT MOTIVE" for MADD, City County or Parish, and State and we will be way ahead of what we have now. It is nothing but strongarm dirty Money motivation and it seriously divides us on many levels.

TT


51 posted on 11/09/2005 4:36:08 PM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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I'm not a driver, and I sure WAS a drinker, so I'm asking:

How does all this keep the committed drunk from out behind the wheel?


52 posted on 11/09/2005 4:36:48 PM PST by Syberyenta
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To: pageonetoo

Looks like a way for LEOs to book more overtime...heh.

Keep cops off the highway during rush hour, they just cause accidents when all the mad-sheeple slam on their brakes.


53 posted on 11/09/2005 4:37:05 PM PST by evolved_rage
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To: Utah Binger

UB, I was talking about BSD's comments, not yours. He's basically saying anyone who drinks and drives is as bad as a terrorist in the post to which I replied.

And I already HAVE a beer. 8)


54 posted on 11/09/2005 4:39:21 PM PST by LibertarianInExile (Let O'Connor Go Home!)
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To: elkfersupper
I didn't intend to lecture you, just used your comments to point out that this is hysteria, and has gotten completely out of hand.

And I agree with you 110% it has gotten out of hand. Roadblocks are a heavy step towards a police state, responsible people can't pull off the road and sleep it off, etc......, HOWEVER, I never considered suicide while sitting in a cell, but might if I had killed someones child. I have a daughter driving now, and I don't care to have her killed by a drunken driver.

This whole thing is a double edged sword, and there is NO easy answer.

55 posted on 11/09/2005 4:42:32 PM PST by dfwddr (What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money.)
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To: pageonetoo

Well said. It is really amazing to think that we have allowed this alcohol thing to get so carried away. I know a few people with serious drinking problems. Don't know the percentages to drinkers without problems, however agree that problems do exist. The statistics are very manipulated, however, to postulate a certain point of view. That's the problem.


56 posted on 11/09/2005 4:42:49 PM PST by Utah Binger (American Art in the West)
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To: TexasTransplant
Money motivation and it seriously divides us on many levels.

Yup! and it helps to find a small town to demonstrate this.

The MADD members are also the ones that run the court-ordered re-education camps, the alcohol screening enterprises, the ignition interlock franchises, etc., etc.

57 posted on 11/09/2005 4:43:10 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: LibertarianInExile

8?


58 posted on 11/09/2005 4:44:52 PM PST by Utah Binger (American Art in the West)
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To: TChad
All for drinking a too much at a party and then driving once when he shouldn't have.

...and if he kills a family just because it was "once"????

59 posted on 11/09/2005 4:46:03 PM PST by paulat
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To: elkfersupper
Yup! and it helps to find a small town to demonstrate this.Come on down to the Southern Utah border with Arizona where the Utah Highway Patrol guy sits with his binoculars waiting for all the Utah cars to come across the border from the Buckskin Bar. He has already checked out the parking lot and timed the period the cars have been there. Like fish in a barrel he picks them off.
60 posted on 11/09/2005 4:54:12 PM PST by Utah Binger (American Art in the West)
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To: porkchops 4 mahound
I'm not really against using BAC as a standard, but, it is a legitimate question, by reasonable people, to ask just exactly what is "drunk"?

Wow!! I wish I could have stated it that way. I'll bet pretty soon the illegal BAC will be .05.

61 posted on 11/09/2005 4:57:50 PM PST by saminfl
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To: pageonetoo

Did I say it should be illegal? I think people who spend hours everyday in front of the TV have a serious problem too, but I would hardly suggest that it should be outlawed.


62 posted on 11/09/2005 5:10:25 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: LibertarianInExile
Are you really saying that people who drink and drive are as bad as TERRORISTS?

To the people whose loved ones they kill, they're no different from terrorists. They don't really give a damn who they kill, because if they did, they'd never get behind a steering wheel after they've been drinking. Why don't you ask the New Jersey mother who police came upon sitting on the roadside last summer, cradling the head of her decapitated 6 year old daughter, who'd just been killed by a drunk driver? Do you suppose she would have felt worse if the little girl had been killed by an Islamowacko homicide bomber?

63 posted on 11/09/2005 5:16:39 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: GovernmentShrinker

There is a new group forming called DAMM. (drunks against mad mothers)


64 posted on 11/09/2005 5:45:12 PM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: microgood
I am not sure what problem that is suppossed to be solved by this, but it sure isn't Drunken Driving. It is kind of like going from .1 to .08, no reduction in drunken driving, just more harassment of law abiding citizens.

My concern is that the continual lowering of the BAC is going to erode the social stigma of drunk driving. I can remember when driving drunk was not that big of a deal to many people, kind of a "boys will be boys" attitude, even on the part of police. I do think that the rightfully directed social disapproval directed at drunk drivers has been very beneficial in reducing the incidence of impaired driving. With the continual lowering of the BAC, and the resulting arrests of people who probably are not impaired (as most would define it), I am afraid that once again it will become an "everyone does it" type of event.

I have not seen any studies, but it seems to me when I read about accidents caused by drunk drivers, they fall into one of two categories. Either the driver's BAC was "nearly x times the legal limit" or he/she "had been charged with driving under the influence x times in the past two years" or something to that effect. I just don't see a lot of accidents caused by drivers with a .03 BAC! I really do think that the social disgrace associated with a drunk driving charge has been a powerful force in reducing the rate of such driving, and I hate to see that diminished. For that reason, I just don't think these proposals are likely to be that effective long term.

65 posted on 11/09/2005 5:49:24 PM PST by GraceCoolidge
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To: GovernmentShrinker

No, I asked a question and even if you're intervening on someone else's behalf, you're supposed to answer it.

So here we go again: are YOU really saying that people who drink and drive are as bad as TERRORISTS?

I'll tell you what, let's go with your hypo. Let's ask the victim of the average drunken driver what they think, and we'll ask the victim of the average terrorist what they think. I'm pretty sure the victim of the average drunken driver will be silent--because I would take bets that the average drunken driver makes it home scot-free, and nobody is killed and there is no victim. And it probably happens in your neighborhood every day. What these laws do is harshly criminalize behavior that so many people get away with, and they lose respect for the law entirely as a result. And it doesn't solve the problem. I'm not saying we shouldn't be HARSH, not at all, but where we are it should at least solve the problem.


66 posted on 11/09/2005 6:27:59 PM PST by LibertarianInExile (Let O'Connor Go Home!)
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To: elkfersupper

They can have my liquor when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!


67 posted on 11/09/2005 6:47:13 PM PST by FierceDraka ("Out here, due process is a bullet." - John Wayne, "The Green Berets")
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To: LibertarianInExile
SAM KINNISON! YES!

Thanks for the clip. I downloaded it and emailed it to my home address, to be converted to mp3 and enjoyed with my girlfriend and a few stiff drinks.

68 posted on 11/09/2005 6:53:01 PM PST by FierceDraka ("Out here, due process is a bullet." - John Wayne, "The Green Berets")
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To: Utah Binger
Don't let BlueStateDepression get to you, Binger. I'll drink with you, and he's barred from the bar. LOL
69 posted on 11/09/2005 6:55:47 PM PST by FierceDraka ("Out here, due process is a bullet." - John Wayne, "The Green Berets")
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To: TexasTransplant
Bunch of Worthless Dickwad seatbelt ticketing tax collectors

You got that right, Tex.

Cheers! (glug!)

70 posted on 11/09/2005 6:57:45 PM PST by FierceDraka ("Out here, due process is a bullet." - John Wayne, "The Green Berets")
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Anyone who can't have a good time without drinking alcohol has a serious problem IMO.

I doubt that YOU can have a good time, whether with or without alcohol.

71 posted on 11/09/2005 7:08:02 PM PST by A. Pole (The Law of Comparative Advantage: "Americans should not have children and should not go to college")
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To: BlueStateDepression
I think the real question here is...


"How long have you been against freedom?
72 posted on 11/09/2005 7:16:21 PM PST by Issaquahking (Been there, done that, got more than just a T shirt!!!)
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To: thoughtomator

Always have a sober driver
___________________________________________________
This is what Air Force members are expected to do.


73 posted on 11/09/2005 7:16:52 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: GovernmentShrinker
Anyone who can't have a good time without drinking alcohol has a serious problem IMO

I agree; but, that is a dangerous policy to set into motion. There are very few things that can be justified on the basis of a needs test. Unless you want to live the life of a slave; you must be tolerant of how others choose to entertain themselves. For whatever it is that gives your life meaning, I am sure that we can find a majority that would dissapprove. To live life you must be willing to accept and tolerate risks.
74 posted on 11/09/2005 7:27:44 PM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: BlueStateDepression; elkfersupper
OH YES freedom loving people oppose airport security. BWAA HAHAHAHAHA

Laugh if you want, Blue, but since my one air trip since 9/11, I have lost any and all desire to fly to where I need to go.

Want to see a dictatorship in action on American soil? Easy - just step into any large airport in the country, and you lose your 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendment rights - just by setting FOOT in the BUILDING.

Anymore, I'll drive. I don't have to worry about being singled out for a cavity search, I can say what I want as loudly as I want, I can smoke all I want, and I can carry weapons.

And as for roadblocks, liberty-loving people should feel sick over them because their continued existence throws the presumption of innocence and the freedom to be secure from unwarranted searches right out the Constitutional window.

"Those who will trade Liberty for Security deserve neither!"

75 posted on 11/09/2005 8:00:10 PM PST by FierceDraka ("Out here, due process is a bullet." - John Wayne, "The Green Berets")
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To: paulat
...and if he kills a family just because it was "once"????

If he had killed a family he would be responsible for killing a family. However, he didn’t kill anyone, so he isn’t even slightly responsible for killing anyone.

His actual crime was to increase the public’s risk from his driving. I understand why that is considered a crime, but in fact people do that legally all the time. They drive when they are exhausted, they talk on the phone, they don’t concentrate on the road. The presence of these drivers on the road increases everyone’s risk, yet our legal system rarely touches them. Yet in this guy’s case, the legal system destroyed his life.

I suppose I agree with the author of the article. I believe that drunk driving should be illegal, but the recent MADD inspired punishments seem excessive and inappropriate. In particular, first-time DUI offenders should be permitted to drive to and from work.

76 posted on 11/09/2005 8:09:00 PM PST by TChad
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To: porkchops 4 mahound
BAC was put in place because a large portion of the folks stopped for DWIs passed all of the field agility and other tests, and had to be released, even though the officers could smell/tell the subject had been drinking.

I would have thought it was put in to dispell complaints (possibly valid) of officers arresting people for DWB. On the other hand, the 0.08 nonsense is just plain wrong and should be abolished.

77 posted on 11/09/2005 8:58:26 PM PST by supercat (Don't fix blame--FIX THE PROBLEM.)
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To: TChad
His actual crime was to increase the public’s risk from his driving. I understand why that is considered a crime, but in fact people do that legally all the time. They drive when they are exhausted, they talk on the phone, they don’t concentrate on the road. The presence of these drivers on the road increases everyone’s risk, yet our legal system rarely touches them. Yet in this guy’s case, the legal system destroyed his life.

A just society shouldn't focus energies on punishing someone who does something a teensy weensy bit bad while ignoring people who do things many times worse.

Compared with all of the other things that may affect a person's driving, the effects from a 0.08 BAC on a typical person are within the realm of statistical noise. Though some effort may be made to measure them, there are so many confounding variables (e.g. someone is more likely to drink after a long day than before one) that meaningful measurements are impossible.

Given that there are many things people do which pose a bigger risk (e.g. thinking about their upcoming date with a boy/girlfriend, or the movie they just saw, or the discussion they just had, or whatever; not to mention putting on makeup, eating a gyro, driving while sleepy, etc.) I see no legitimate basis for prosecuting drivers for a 0.08BAC.

Indeed, I see no basis for prosecuting anyone for DUI unless there was some basis, prior to the police involvement, to suspect them of it (e.g. they were seen to be driving incompetently, or they got into an accident, or something).

78 posted on 11/09/2005 9:09:35 PM PST by supercat (Don't fix blame--FIX THE PROBLEM.)
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To: supercat
Well said supercat.

To the other lovers of liberty and sanity on this thread; Don't let the jackbooters get you down. FreeRepublic has a larger number of government worshippers than you'd think given just the name and stated goals of this site.

It's sad, really, the sheer number of people in this country are just plain scared to death of freedom.

79 posted on 11/09/2005 10:33:01 PM PST by zeugma (Warning: Self-referential object does not reference itself.)
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To: zeugma
To the other lovers of liberty and sanity on this thread; Don't let the jackbooters get you down. FreeRepublic has a larger number of government worshippers than you'd think given just the name and stated goals of this site

True, unfortunately.

It's sad, really, the sheer number of people in this country are just plain scared to death of freedom

Exactly right.

80 posted on 11/09/2005 11:17:42 PM PST by A Jovial Cad ("If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting." -General Curtis LeMay)
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To: BlueStateDepression; dfwddr
"I really don't see how they are suggesting prohibition. I beleive(Sic) they are talking about driving after drinking."

Thank you.

Ah...friendship, friendship, such a perfect blendship...

...(snicker)...

Why don't you two trolls get a private room?

81 posted on 11/09/2005 11:35:34 PM PST by A Jovial Cad (This is Free Republic, not DU, after all...)
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To: elkfersupper

Thank you, MADD!!!

elkfersupper, you should start a ping list.


82 posted on 11/10/2005 6:32:36 AM PST by JTN ("We must win the War on Drugs by 2003." - Dennis Hastert, Feb. 25 1999)
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To: traviskicks

ping


83 posted on 11/10/2005 6:38:06 AM PST by JTN ("We must win the War on Drugs by 2003." - Dennis Hastert, Feb. 25 1999)
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To: A Jovial Cad
I see that you've noticed that trolls seem to travel in pairs. I've seen it on other topics as well. :-)

Uh, about your nick... For some reason, I keep thinking that I've seen the phrase "a jovial cad" somewhere in relation to anagrams, but I can't remember what it was. I can't seem to come up with any single words that fit it. Care to hit me with a cluebat?

84 posted on 11/10/2005 7:21:45 AM PST by zeugma (Warning: Self-referential object does not reference itself.)
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To: JTN; albertp; Allosaurs_r_us; Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Americanwolf; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; ..
You know, there was a study out a while back that compared talking on the cell phone to drunk driving and I believe that it found cell phone use impaired more than the legal limit for most states, or around there, forget exactly. I'd like to see studies measuring tiredness, age, sex, and individual variation compared to increasing alcholic beverages. Obviously, I'm against drunk driving, but it depends what you define drunk driving as...




Libertarian ping! To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here.
85 posted on 11/10/2005 7:28:29 AM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/janicerogersbrown.htm)
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To: JTN; elkfersupper

"elkfersupper, you should start a ping list."

I'll second that.


86 posted on 11/10/2005 7:48:40 AM PST by VRing
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To: Alberta's Child

"Drunk driving" isn't nearly the problem it is often made out to be, and the issue would nearly disappear if people were simply prosecuted for violating motor vehicle laws on a regular basis regardless of whether they were sober or drunk at the time.



We have a winner! Are you a mind reader?


87 posted on 11/10/2005 8:53:24 AM PST by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: elkfersupper

Author: Randy S. Chapman

http://www.malawyersweekly.com/boe.htm

Chapman is the president and CEO of the law firm of Chapman & Chapman, which concentrates in criminal defense work. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as well as the Superior Court/Massachusetts Bar Association Bench/Bar Committee. Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court at the request of Bar Counsel appointed him a Commissioner. A former prosecutor in Essex County, he is currently legal analyst for New England Cable News. Chapman is a graduate of U. Mass Amherst and Suffolk University Law School.



Kinda gives perspective to the article.....


88 posted on 11/10/2005 9:05:04 AM PST by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: TChad

"I understand why that is considered a crime, but in fact people do that legally all the time. They drive when they are exhausted, they talk on the phone, they don’t concentrate on the road. The presence of these drivers on the road increases everyone’s risk, yet our legal system rarely touches them."

In fact, the concentration on DUI has actually caused the roads to be more dangerous. People forget that driving is a serious activity and they now fail to take the proper care. Society seems to think that if you aren't drunk, then all driving is safe.

My solution, prosecute all drivers causing damage to property or other persons to the same standard. Then all driving would be treated with the appropriate care.


89 posted on 11/10/2005 9:28:47 AM PST by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: LibertarianInExile

A lot more Americans are killed by drunk drivers every year, than were killed by terrorists on 9/11. In 2001 (to choose the 9/11 year as an example), 17,448 people died in alcohol-related vehicle accidents, and 33% of those (about 5,800 or almost twice as many as killed by the 9/11 attacks) were not intoxicated themselves. Apparently you are willing to dismiss the seriousness of this, on the grounds that the majority of drunk drivers in a given year don't manage to kill anyone (though many cause serious/permanent injury and/or major property damage, even when they don't kill).

By the same theory, we shouldn't worry at all about the thousands of Muslim men in this country who are enthusiastically attending religious services and lessons where they're brainwashed about the supposed glory of committing homicide bombings or other forms of terrorism, since the vast majority of them won't ever get around to actually doing it.

I think that any societal custom that is resulting in thousands of deaths of innocent people, is cause for great concern.


90 posted on 11/10/2005 10:45:34 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: VRing; JTN; elkfersupper

I'll third the proposal, but I want to be first on the list!


91 posted on 11/10/2005 10:47:17 AM PST by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

"A lot more Americans are killed by drunk drivers every year,...."

"17,448 people died in alcohol-related vehicle accidents,..."

Which is it? Drunken drivers or alcohol related? Why specifically change definitions in the middle of a claim?


92 posted on 11/10/2005 10:49:22 AM PST by CSM (When laws are written, they apply to ALL...Not just the yucky people you don't like. - HairOfTheDog)
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To: traviskicks

Trouble is, drunkenness is on top of all those other factors, not an alternative. And drunkenness has an effect of causing people to unrealistically underestimate the risks associated with many of the other factors, an dthus be less cautious than they otherwise would be. IOW, yes a 75 year old driver is statistically equivalent to the mildly intoxicated middle aged driver. But the 75 year old whose had a drink or two, is not only more impaired than before, but also less able to perceive the degree of risk associated with either form of impairment. An unintoxicated 75 year old is usually well aware that his/reflexes aren't what they used to be, and that he/she needs to be extra careful while driving. A mildly intoxicated 75 year old will often be oblivious to those facts.


93 posted on 11/10/2005 10:57:49 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: elkfersupper

I just love this:

http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/07_02/madd_dog.htm


94 posted on 11/10/2005 10:58:07 AM PST by AlexandriaDuke
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To: ARCADIA

I didn't propose prohibition. However, I do think our legal system needs to be changed to hold intoxicated people (alcohol or any other drug) 100% responsible for their actions, just as if they had not been intoxicated. That is not currently the case. I also think that any private individual or company should be free to "discriminate" on the basis of alcohol/drug usage. For example, as far as I know, there isn't any place in this country where a landlord can legally prohibit any alcohol use on his/her rental property and promptly evict any tenant who violates the policy.


95 posted on 11/10/2005 11:05:49 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: CSM

You're splitting hairs. The overwhelming majority of alcohol-related vehicle accidents are directly caused by a drunk driver. No doubt a few are caused by a drunken pedestrian stumbling out into the path of a vehicle driven by a non-intoxicated driver, or a drunken passenger grabbing the arm of a non-intoxicated driver, but that's an insignificant portion of the problem.


96 posted on 11/10/2005 11:09:43 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: elkfersupper
Drunken driving is a problem in Massachusetts.


97 posted on 11/10/2005 11:13:23 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: CSM
Are you a mind reader?

Maybe. LOL.

98 posted on 11/10/2005 11:33:05 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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To: dfwddr
Thanks for the sobering (pun intended) story.

I'd be willing to bet, however, that in your specific case you far exceeded a blood/alcohol level of 0.08%.

99 posted on 11/10/2005 11:36:12 AM PST by Alberta's Child
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Comment #100 Removed by Moderator


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