Skip to comments.To draft a better DUI law
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.
Perhaps it is time to make it illegal to drink any alcohol and drive a car.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bostonherald.com ...
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.
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?
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
...and if he kills a family just because it was "once"????
Wow!! I wish I could have stated it that way. I'll bet pretty soon the illegal BAC will be .05.
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.
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?
There is a new group forming called DAMM. (drunks against mad mothers)
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.
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.
They can have my liquor when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!
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.
You got that right, Tex.
I doubt that YOU can have a good time, whether with or without alcohol.
Always have a sober driver
This is what Air Force members are expected to do.
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!"
If he had killed a family he would be responsible for killing a family. However, he didnt kill anyone, so he isnt even slightly responsible for killing anyone.
His actual crime was to increase the publics 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 dont concentrate on the road. The presence of these drivers on the road increases everyones risk, yet our legal system rarely touches them. Yet in this guys 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.
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.
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).
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.
It's sad, really, the sheer number of people in this country are just plain scared to death of freedom
Ah...friendship, friendship, such a perfect blendship...
Why don't you two trolls get a private room?
Thank you, MADD!!!
elkfersupper, you should start a ping list.
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?
"elkfersupper, you should start a ping list."
I'll second that.
"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.
Author: Randy S. Chapman
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.
"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 dont concentrate on the road. The presence of these drivers on the road increases everyones 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.
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.
I'll third the proposal, but I want to be first on the list!
"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?
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.
I just love this:
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.
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.
I'd be willing to bet, however, that in your specific case you far exceeded a blood/alcohol level of 0.08%.