Legally “Drunk” vs. Actually Impaired . . .

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If your car is hit by a sober driver who was pecking at his cell phone rather than watching the road, is the damage done any less severe than it would have been if your car was crashed into by a “drunk” driver?

What if the “drunk” driver doesn’t crash into you – or at all?

Does he deserve punishment because he might have? Why is his punishment for this might have – which is based on almost hysterical assertions about the effect of practically any amount of alcohol on all drivers – more severe, usually, than the punishment meted out (if any) to the distracted/addled/incompetent but sober driver who actually did crash into something?

These are reasonable questions. Unfortunately, the answers usually – officially – given are the apotheosis of unreasonable.

First, there is the matter of the arbitrary definition of “impaired.” It weirdly encompasses the person whose actual driving cannot be faulted – which ought to call into question the assertion of impairment – but who is found to have even trace amounts of alcohol in his system.

At the same time, driving that is prima facie impaired – evidence for which being the crash that just happened – is generally written off as an “accident.” A ticket may be issued. It is rare that the offender is arrested – as is almost always the case when a “drunk” driver is identified.

Even if nothing has been crashed into.

It is very odd, this arbitrary leniency and understanding on the one hand – and the harsh, intolerant attitude toward the other.

The “drunk” chose to drink and then drive, some will argue – and that makes him guilty of willfully endangering others.

But – leaving aside the problem of his not actually having harmed anyone yet – and the very debatable question as regards the “endangering,” given the legal definition of “drunk” is so attenuated that a person can meet the criteria after having had a sip of beer (e.g., “zero tolerance” for those legally old enough to drive but not legally old enough to drink) – how is this more punishment-worthy than the actions of the person who chooses to not pay attention, as by pecking at his cellphone, and for that reason drives through a red light and does hit someone?

It is not necessary to refer to an attenuated legal standard;  to make hysteric assertions about what might have occurred. This person did run the light  – and hit someone. There is no “endangering.”

There is actualing.

It would be ridiculous to question the rightness of holding the offender responsible for the damage he caused. But isn’t it something meaner than ridiculous to “hold responsible” a person who isn’t responsible for causing any damage to anyone?

He broke the law, yes. Step on a crack – break your mother’s back. It’s got nothing to do with whether mom’s back was actually broken. Many people have difficulty with this distinction – between right and wrong and legal and illegal. Sometimes, they are the same – but often, they are not. And it is often the case that something which is “illegal” is also right – from a moral point of view.

For example, it is illegal in some areas, to sell your neighbor fresh milk from your cow, because it is not “approved” by a government bureaucrat. But it is perfectly right to engage in such free exchange.

Conversely, that which is legal is often very wrong, from a moral point of view. There are many obvious examples, including that it was once perfectly legal to own other human beings.

Just as obviously, it was right to ignore that law – and very wrong to punish people for violating it.

There is a weird moralistic aspect to the opprobrium – and punishment – heaped upon the driver who drinks, even if he is only “drunk” in the sense of having more than an arbitrary amount of alcohol in his system.

One can pass every roadside sobriety test but if one fails the breath test one is still subject to arrest for “drunk” driving. More telling is the fact that it is utterly beside the point, in terms of the law, whether the person’s driving was competent or not. Indeed, it is irrelevant in court as a defense against the charge of “drunk” driving.

That is very weird indeed.

It is like convicting a person of robbery who didn’t steal anything.

One need not even have been drinking – or driving – to be convicted of “drunk” driving. An open container is sufficient. Or that you were drinking – even though you are now sleeping . . . in the back seat. The car parked. No need to establish that you just parked. The engine can be stone cold; you could have a time-stamped security camera video of yourself leaving a bar and walking to your parked car, getting in the back seat and curling up. It cuts no ice with the law, which deems you just as guilty of “drunk” driving, even if you never even sat in the driver’s seat.

Never mind that you couldn’t possibly have crashed into anything given the fact.

Hence moralistic – rather than moral.

A moral standard would not be arbitrary and selectively punitive. It would demand accountability arising from any species of inept/reckless driving that resulted in harm caused to another person or someone else’s property – and never mind why.

Who cares why?

What matters – what ought to matter – is that it did.

Or did not.

Hypotheticals – feelings – ought not to enter into it.

That they define it is a measure of the weirdness – the unfairness – of the thing. It is also why other weird and unfair practices – like “mandating” that the healthy pretend they are sick – have spread like a virulent disease.

This infection goes way back – and the cure will take a general re-awakening to the value of ancient, palliative ideas, now largely forgotten, such as the importance of producing a victim to establish a crime – and that people should only be held accountable for the harms they cause others.

Not because others fear harms that haven’t been caused.

. . . 

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  1. My Brother told me a story of an Bar in his area that was being targeted by the AGW’s as patrons left were immediately pulled over and harassed. One night all the patrons had a plan; first person who left staggered to his truck and got in and drove away who was immediately pulled over. When the AGW’s interrogated him he was sober as a judge. The AGW’s said we watched you stagger to your vehicle, he said yup, tonight I was the designated decoy.

      • Good point! But if students can request an exemption for religious reasons, the implication is that the request will be granted at least some of the time. If so, on what basis would one request be granted and another denied? For example, is the university going to grant the request from an evangelical Christian but deny the request from a scientologist? Or vice versa? To favor some religions over others would require a lot of explaining.

  2. DUI is just an excuse to create an reason for interaction with drivers not breaking any laws. How do you disprove the “signs” a driver displayed to the interpretation of the roving pig?

    Beyond that, we are a nation of “could have” laws. Coupled with ever increasing severities of the “crime”, is it a wonder we have the highest prison population in the world?

    All sold to us as “protection”, but is in fact control.

  3. How about that big ship stuck in the sand in Egypt? Ain’t that sumthun. lol

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.

    I heard a radio news story that all Americans will be vaccinated with the first shot by the end of the year or a time frame of that sort.

    100 percent, eh? Sounds fishy to me.

    !00 percent vaccination is going to be a nightmare for some, you might die after receiving a potential Covid kill shot.

    Some will refuse, off to the FEMA gulag for you, then to be jabbed. It is illegal to rebel, be a dissident, an outcast from the holy vaccinated population, you’ll be happy after you are vaccinated and don’t die, so get over it.

    In fact, it does translate to some Americans dying from the vaccine because it has happened. A genetic modification of the human genome can have disastrous consequences, a few who experience and develop anaphylaxis then shuffle off their mortal coil will be accepted as a normal result, reference Madeleine Albright and her ‘it was worth it’ quote. Madeline’s crocodile tears deserve more merit, your life, not that important.

    All lives matter, but some lives don’t matter that much. If it happens to be you, too bad.

    You will submit, there will no resistance, any attempt will be futile. Your job, should you choose to submit to the imposition of will and you will, is to go to the vaccinating place and take the jab. The psychological training, propaganda, you receive will convince you to be compelled to go and get that vaccine, whether it kills you or not, just do your part. If you don’t get the vaccine, grandma is gonna die. Well, she’s gonna die someday no matter how you cut it.

    You have a moral obligation to the rest of humanity to be vaccinated, otherwise refusal will be a crime and the Vaccine Inquisitors will decide your fate.

    The elites and the powers that be and the big club members want you to take the vaccine just to see what happens to you.

    One death is a statistic, 6 billion will be a tragedy of biblical proportions.

    I once was hired to care for adult clients who were either mentally or physically handicapped. One client was an abused child and more or less lost his mind. Part of the job was to dispense pharmaceuticals to the clients. I made sure the abused child grown up to an adult got his drugs, no question, a dangerous individual and big enough to beat you to a pulp when he was not drugged. You have no idea what a wretched situation it really was, it was scary and not my fault.

    “I want my momma, you get out of here before I hit you.” Words I remember all too well, all I was trying to do is gently coax him to get ready for another hard day on the planet. He’d had had enough of the likes of me, wasn’t going to hear any of it.

    A county sheriff’s department transported him to the living facility for handicapped individuals, the two sheriff department employees stopped for lunch and never let the poor soul relieve himself. He got free of custody and smashed out every window in the sheriff department’s vehicle. Mistreat somebody, expect a surprise stupid prize, not what you want to see, however, you got what was coming to you.

    A sad tale to tell.

    I resigned and never looked back.

    It is unethical to conduct experiments on people without due diligence, proper study. You first conduct a study on test animals, pigs, dogs, sheep, goats, horses, cattle, chickens, rabbits, monkeys, chimpanzees, baboons, any of them. Immunize those creatures first, the onto the human population.

    Was enrolled in a human physiology course in college, the class dissected a live dog in a physiology lab, canulated the carotid, opened the rib cage, watched the lungs expand and contract, watched the heart beat. The dog was diseased, a fate that can’t be avoided, death, you do an experiment, hook up the electrocardiogram and let the graph paper roll.

    I once toured the medical research facility for test animals at the Mayo Clinic complex in Rochester, Minnesota. There was a chimpanzee in one of the research areas of isolation. The chimp was sitting there observing the members of the tour. As soon as we all turned around to leave the research room, the chimpanzee jumped to the bars that caged him and would have attacked anybody from behind. I”d be jonesin’ to get out of that cage, slap the snot out of anyone who looked like the people who incarcerated me and did experiments on my sorry worthless hide.

    The basements of the Mayo Clinic modern building has every kind of diseased human specimen or organ there is. Row upon row of some human tissue in a jar there, the shelves stacked high. Saw it with my own lying eyes.

    I doubt Bill Gates has ever heard of the Mayo Clinic. har

    Bill Gates, idiot nonpareil, should be apprehended and tried for crimes against humanity. A kangaroo court will suffice.

    More people than you really need anymore, a few mistakes are excusable, tragic, can be tolerated, results in tyranny, but who cares.

    Back in ’76 had a job as a gandy dancer, the foreman, the timekeeper, an assistant foreman and a few other railroad employees happened to be smack freaks. The timekeeper also collected the board money, the first week was 20 dollars, was supposed to be 12 dollars each week afterwards. The gang was going to work until freeze up. The timekeeper saw a goldmine in 20 dollars from 60 workers paying 20 dollars each week. He spent the money on heroin and never paid any grocery bills funded by the workers to have two meals cooked and a sandwich for lunch. It was too good to pass up an opportunity to have 60 people supply the funds to support your habit. The weekly board cost never did go to 12 dollars.

    All of the chicanery was discovered and the gang was disbanded. The grocery stores contacted railroad authorities about the problem.

    In all fairness, the timekeeper was a Vietnam vet who saw too much, couldn’t handle anything after that. A PTSD victim. Time to blame the dumbfuckery of the US gov and its ambitions to obliterate the entire planet, I dunno who to blame.

    Did have report to a medical facility to receive a hepatitis shot. Had no idea what in the world was going on until it finally dawns on you what really was taking place.

    Ended my career as a gandy dancing railroad worker.

    It was not the end of the world, just a new beginning.

  4. Since this article turns 21 this month I thought I’d share it.

    Mothers’ Prerogative

    by Govco

    Attorney Lawrence Taylor once said, “the greatest single threat to our freedoms today is a group of American housewives.” More accurate words have never been spoken.
    Taylor was talking about Mothers Against Drunk Driving, better known as MADD. Why would he single out this particular group? Because according to Taylor, “we know that throughout history it is the well-intentioned zealots — those who believe strongly in the rightness of their cause — that are most willing to impose those ideas upon others.”
    Let’s examine a few of the “ideas” that have been imposed by the Supreme Court with the help of MADD. These were originally known as the DUI Exceptions to the constitution.
    The Fourth Amendment, thanks to mom, now says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects shall not exist.” Mother has blessed us with Nazi style checkpoints staffed by soldiers in full Battle Dress Uniform, smelling our breath, checking our eyes, and making sure our papers are in order.
    The Fifth Amendment has been modified to read, “Any person may be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; shall be compelled to be a witness against himself; and private property may be taken for public use, without compensation.”
    Mommy dearest has even given us the “Forcible Bloodletting” exception. If you refuse to provide the police with self-incriminating evidence, they are allowed to hogtie you and open your veins.
    The new version of Amendment Six tells us that “the accused has no right to a jury trial or the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” And lastly, according to mother’s revised Eighth Amendment, “Excessive bail and fines shall be inflicted, both cruel and unusual punishments as well as imprisonment shall always be imposed.”
    But wait a minute. There are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights and so far mom has only addressed four. Lucky for us, mother holds to the notion that a woman’s work is never done.
    It seems those dusty little liberty-bunnies are always dirtying up the house of tyranny. This time, mom found some under the bed in the little Billy’s room. She got really mad. Not mad at Billy, she was very angry because the congresscritters didn’t eat all those nasty little liberty-bunnies.
    Now mommy has set her sights upon the Second Amendment. In fact, she plans to march on Washington on her very special day because she feels the Second Amendment “has become untenable.”
    Magnus Mater tells us, “We, the mothers, are calling on Congress to enact common sense gun control legislation by Mothers’ Day 2000. Come May 14th, we mothers will go to Washington, D.C. either to celebrate sensible legislation or to protest bipartisan ineptitude.”

    We, as mothers, endorse the following:

    Sensible “Cooling Off” Periods and Background Checks We believe that it is only common sense that sensible “cooling off” periods and extensive background checks be required of any individual who wants to purchase from any person or place weapons intended only for killing or injuring humans.

    License Handgun Owners and Register All Handguns We call on Congress to require all handgun owners to be licensed and that they be required to register their weapons with the proper authorities. It makes sense.

    Safety Locks for All Handguns Guns, like every other consumer product sold in America, have to meet minimum safety standards. Gun manufacturers should have to design guns with locks built in, and with other common-sense devices like loaded-chamber indicators and child-proofing.

    Limit Purchases to one-handgun-per-month We believe that it is only common sense to end straw purchase transactions where individual who may legally purchase a firearm is hired to purchase firearms for Gun traffickers. These guns are sold on the illegal market and eventually wind up on our nation’s streets, killing our kids.

    No-Nonsense Enforcement of Gun Laws We call on all officers of the law to assume a no-nonsense approach in enforcing existing gun laws and to join us in our mutual crusade for stronger legislation.

    Enlistment of Help from Corporate America We call on all child-friendly, nonviolent stores, companies, and corporations to sponsor us in these pursuits by advertising our message that guns — in the wrong hands — is simply unacceptable. We call on the like minded to work with community law enforcement agencies to offer swaps of meaningful goods and services for guns. And that the guns be destroyed by the proper authorities. In turn, we, the mothers, will patronize all child-friendly, nonviolent sponsors who join us in this mission.

    Our aim is to recruit — from all walks of life — mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, godmothers, foster mothers, future mothers, and all others willing to be “honorary mothers” in this crusade. Our goal is to educate and mobilize the mothers of America to this cause. Our commitment as voting citizens is to realize our goals by Mothers’ Day, 2000.
    Is mom the greatest threat to our freedoms? You be the judge, but I think she says it best when she admonishes, “any constitutional amendment can be regulated for public health and safety.”
    Perhaps, after the mommies return home from Washington, the Bill of Rights will be further refined to say, “A well regulated Militia, being anathema to the security of a police state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be tolerated.”

  5. As an aside, this article reminds me of one of my old, favorite internet haunts, Modern Drunkard Magazine, featuring the illustrious author Frank Kelly Rich.

    Eric, at times, reminds me of him and MDM as well.

  6. Excellent article as usual Eric!

    And yes, thanks for having the courage to scribe the truth and reason that others fear.

    Which is precisely the reason these laws begin. Fear that you’ll die the victim of a drunk driver? No. Fear of the hysterical people with their contagious, pernicious and uncontrolled emotions. A politicians fear of being at the receiving end of “My daughter was killed by a drunk driver! You have to do something!”. Such a politician will nearly always completely fold in this situation, exuding shame and penitence for a crime he did not commit. And then he’ll join other politicians in creating laws that will condemn thousands that have never, and would never have, killed or hurt anyone.

    But it’s no more to the point, at times, than “My dad died of COVID!” or “My daughter was killed by an AR-15!” (Free floating/roaming, Class V sentient AR-15, of course). “You have to do something!” So something is done, and it’s always an erosion of freedom, and doesn’t actually address the root cause of anything.

    Sometimes the drunkening might have been a decisive factor in a tragedy. Sometimes not. But in the end, should you have had a detectable amount of ethanol (or a litany of other substances) in your blood, you’re ALWAYS going to be at fault, whether you were or not.

  7. I got kicked off a jury once (DUI case) for raising the issue of impairment versus BAC.
    Lesson #1:
    “Trial by jury” appears to mean “trial by those who have been instructed how to vote, and will comply with those instructions,” i.e. “follow orders.”

    • Got that right, turtle, I’ve been called for jury duty a couple of times (too old now to get called again) and always hoped I’d get on a trial where I could do that. They make you fill out a questionnaire when you show up and then get an orientation where you’re told you have to follow the judge’s instructions no matter what, which is pure illegal BS. I nodded and played along, really hoping I could get on a trial to either negate a drug charge or convict a crooked cop. Never got the chance, one of my life’s little disappointments.

      • So, if there is even one guy with the balls to disobey a direct order, I guess that is what is known as a “hung jury.”

      • If you don’t want to serve on a jury, just tell the judge that you believe in the “Fully Informed Jury” concept. You’ll be outta there in no time.

      • My fave of all time was a black guy on trial for cheating the cops. He sold them bits of drywall claiming nothing more than “It is Good Shit”.
        I would have freed him in a second and made the cops pay out of their own funds for damages.

    • I was struck from a jury for stating I would not convict anyone accused of drug dealing as I thought it was a waste of taxpayer dollars to have such a case of criminalized exchange between consenting people.

      So to all of you who want out of jury duty, just call the law stupid. I wanted to be on that jury to vote not guilty.

  8. Eric:

    You may be the only journalist to have the balls to speak this kind of heresy. This is the same as treating a perfectly health person as a presumptive Typhoid [now Covid] Mary.

    Excellent work.

    • I can see the pearl clutching saaaaftey freaks now. Yes “Do Something” to a politician is code word for take away my liberties!

      And as usual with govt they are shoving a 1 sized fits all approach to an issue that has lots of variables(just like wu flu). Essentially the ptb have made it so 1 or 2 drinks and you will be “legally” drunk yet those 1 or 2 drinks are going to effect a 115 pound female a lot different than a 270 pound male. They are also going to affect someone who drinks once a year differently than someone who drinks every other night. None of those variables are taken into account just what the ptb claim you blew into a machine.

      Similar to how a 12 yr old’s experience with covid is going to be different than a 90 yr old with stage 4 lung cancer and a heart issue. The ptb treat both the same and demand the 12 yr old stop their life because the 90 yr.old who has 3 months left to live may only live 2 more months because he or she catches covid. And for those that say what if that was your family member. Been there done that with my wife’s 95 yr old grandfather last may, who we never got to say goodbye to and still haven’t had a memorial service for because of saaaaaftey.

  9. What will the local governments do when autonomous vehicles are driving people to restaurants and bars? No more revenue from that pipe line. As Clinton used to say maybe *sin* taxes on alcoholic beverages at the local level? How about a gun tax for keeping and bearing arms? How about a property tax you can’t possibly pay? Or perhaps the police departments become politicized by now having *environmental* police to write tickets for CO2 emissions, *Racial* police to respond to complaints only from certain groups against another group (The Kulaks). It’s coming to a Marxist city near you. Finally the *Hate Speech* police to fine and imprison you for speaking your mind or coming on as a guest for a conservative talk show on Fox (Just happened this week)

  10. In pre-MADD, pre-legal cannabis days, I was pulled over one evening. While I was handing my license to one deputy, a second deputy spotted my friend in the passenger seat trying to swallow a joint. The deputy went berzerko, vigorously slamming the window with the butt of his flashlight and hollering to open up.

    When my friend complied, they rolled him to the ground, forcibly extracted the joint from his mouth, handcuffed him, and carted him off to jail.

    Meanwhile, two open tallboy bottles of beer, sitting in plain sight on top of the dash, were of no consequence.

    Today, the exact opposite could be true. Where I live now, possessing a joint is not an offense. But an open bottle of beer might well get you arrested, and your vehicle towed.

    Gov is insane.

    • Hi Jim,

      Here’s another: Back in high school, I had a buddy who owned a ratty old hatchback Nova SS in primer gray. He swung by one afternoon to showoff the new intake he’d put on and said, let’s go for a drive! I said sure. He’d had a few; there were beer cans all over the floor. He gets to the stop sign that leads out to the main road and just punches it. The car fishtails and burns rubber . . . right in front of a cop who was coming from the left. He lights us up, my friend pulls over. Shit. Well, the cop was cool. After a lecture about the burnout – and him asking me if I’d been drinking – which I had not been – he tells me to swap seats with my friend and drive the car home and sin no more.

      This was the ’80s.

      I miss them.

      • Back then, likely the County Board of Supervisors where you lived at the time (Virginia, right?) weren’t hammering the sheriff’s department to become less “protect and serve” and more “MULCT every last dime possible.” Nowadays, the car would be towed, IMPOUNDED, the tow company being owned by the sheriff’s brother-in-law. Your slightly soused friend would be busted for DUI, and guessing he too was a juvenile, his parents would be hit with exorbitant costs for his detention in “Juvvy”, let alone the fines, court costs, “rehab” classes, and whatever else they can think of that someone “connected” in that County is earning money off.

      • Eric I miss the 80s big time . I got pulled for 110 in a 35 in the middle of the night by A Va trooper..but the coop was cool gave me a good ass reaming and let me go. Try try that today.

  11. I saw a guy beat the OWI rap at a jury trial. He declined the breathalyzer when he was arrested, so they had no physical evidence. The cop then had to get on the stand and try to prove the guy was drunk based on his perceptions and the roadside physical feats test (stupid human tricks). He demonstrated the one where you stand on one foot and say the alphabet while touching your nose, or something like that. The six jurors, all older people and mostly chubby, recognized that they couldn’t perform this feat while dead sober so the defendant’s failure at it proved nothing.
    The guy lost his license for a year, which is automatic if you refuse the breath test, but did not get the OWI and all the aggravations that come with that.
    The cop, a Nazi-esque Indiana State Police trooper I had always thought was an asshole, was spitting nails. ISP was always sending us press releases bragging on his “stellar record” of busting drunks. Not this time, buddy.

    • Some DUI attorneys advise exactly that; to refuse the breathalyzer or blood test that state laws require post-arrest; but doing so carries its own risks:

      1) In most states, if you’re not already on parole/probation, especially for DUI, you can get a “provisional” license to continue driving while the matter is adjudicated, or you serve your probation, but this is NOT allowed if you refuse the test but are convicted of DUI anyway.

      2) As the poster pointed out, a post-arrest refusal typically has less severe legal and financial consequences than a DUI conviction’ but there ARE consequences. Even if your DMV record was “clean”, you’ll face a REVOCATION, more severe, legal-wise, than the SUSPENSION that often accompanies a DUI or “Reckless” conviction. If your license is revoked, for,, say, a YEAR, it means the consequences of being busted for driving w/o it are much more severe. And when the time is up, you still have to schedule a hearing with the DMV, and often the outcome is that you get a provisional license, with the restriction added that you may NOT refuse the roadside breath test and/or the DUI limits are the same as a juvenile or DUI convict. Plus, in some states, the court can seize the vehicle involved.

      3) You can, unless you’re in that class legally required, refuse the roadside breathalyzer test, even in “100% compliance” campaigns, as well as the tests of coordination and/or divided attention. These do NOT serve a “gatekeeper” function, i.e., the cop will induce you to “pass” them, While the PAST (as it’s known in CA) is fairly cut-and-dried, and reasonably accurate (just not legally admissible), if the cop is demanding you perform the tests, (s)he’s already decided to make the bust, I’m sorry to inform you, it’s a matter of establishing PROBABLE CAUSE. This is why it’s just “name, rank, and serial number” with them. As the jury of six that let Amy’s friend off realized, most folks that are elderly, handicapped, or seriously out-of-shape can’t do them either, even cold sober and wide awake. If you perform these “tests”, you will inevitably “fail”. Me, I’d require a video recording of it in order for the test to be admissible that the cop had probable cause, but courts have long taken their word for it. Also, NEVER admit that you’re “tired”, or you’ve popped any meds recently, and especially “had just a few”. Sure, if you’re Adam Sandler and want to re-shoot “The Longest Yard”, THEN you can ask the officer to hold your beer.

      Of course, the best advice is to just don’t “drink” and drive. On the few occasions when I’ve “tippled”, I’ve used a BAC calculator, along with my judgment, to make sure I was “ZERO” before I got behind the wheel. That’s IF I didn’t have a designated driver, using my “Beloved Snips”, in quite the disapproving mood, to drive my drunk ass home. I’ve even extended this to just taking certain meds once I got to the office, as IF there were something bad that happened on the way, like an accident, I wouldn’t want whatever is coursing in my blood to become a problem. Sorry, folks, that the realize of dealing with MADD and the Police State. Which is why I’m a long-time “member” of DAMM – Drunks Against MADD Mothers.

    • I refused once, and the cops were pissed as hell. It was listed as an “Implied Consent” DUI and there is no record of any impairment. This was the early 80s and I lost my license for 6 months instead of 4 and the SR22 insurance lasted for half the time as a real DUI.

      If I was a little older and wiser I could have fought it and maybe won.

  12. Who knew….30 years ago…a seemingly benign, good intentioned group like MADD, would turn into the monster it became.

    • Its founder was Candy Lightner … from Commiefornia, natch.

      ‘Lightner left the organization she founded in 1985 amid allegations of financial mismanagement. MADD was accused on spending too much money on fundraising instead of on programs.’

      As of December 30, 2018, Utah became the first state to lower the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent for drivers over the age 21.

      • I’m guessing the lowering of that limit to .05 had nothing to do with saftey and more to do with losing “revenue” since drinkers out for a good time have many avenues to keep out of trouble now that maybe 15 or 20 years ago weren’tas easy. Lyft, uber, cell phone to call a cab, a sober friend or family member. This is more about trying desperately to make criminals out of everyone than it is about safe roads.

        • It’s a de facto means of Prohibition. The .05 limit can be reached by a small woman after ONE drink, and all but the most robust with TWO. FWIW, you can only buy rather weak beers and some wines at a Utah grocery store; a decent IPA and all hard liquor has to be bought at a state-contracted liquor store. I’ve heard that during all the panic over the “Rona”, most of them were shut down, period, or their hours were severely curtailed.

    • Intentions when applied to restrictions of rights are irrelevant. My advice is to look even harder at someone who appears to have “good intentions” when proposing a clamping-down of some sort, either legal or otherwise. You will often find a Karen, or her evil husband Karol, behind the “good intentions”, just seething to take away my rights. MADD sounded good in 1985, but only to those who thought the police state was a good thing, and all we needed was more police state to “stop the madness of drunk driving”. Anyone who had a run-in with Officer Unfriendly would have advised saying NO to MADD even then, since rights once trampled upon never return. The second level of this question of MADD and drunk driving law enforcement is, follow the money and cui bono? Scum sucking lawyers and municipalities saw it as a hard cash goldmine for them, so of course they were for it!

    • Alter,

      “Who knew….30 years ago…a seemingly benign, good intentioned group like MADD, would turn into the monster it became.”

      A fellow named Lawrence Taylor. He said, “we know that throughout history it is the well-intentioned zealots — those who believe strongly in the rightness of their cause — that are most willing to impose those ideas upon others.”

  13. An argument I’ve often made, if half the fatal car accidents are caused by “drunk” drivers, then obviously half of them are caused by sober drivers. Using their own logic, we should all be compelled to take at least one shot before driving. Especially since one could logically conclude that some of those “drunk” driver caused fatal accidents were likely caused by a sober driver dong something stupid in front of them. Like stopping for no apparent reason while the “drunk” driver was wiping some snot out of their eye, because there was no apparent reason not to wipe the snot out at the time. I’ve seen far more dangerous driving while texting than I have driving while “drunk”. None of which is either here nor there, as Eric is dead on that no one should be punished because of what some psychopathic member of the “ruling class” thought they saw in their crystal ball.

    • Thanks, John!

      I wish the principle – no harm, no foul – would apply generally. People who oppose this idea will argue – correctly – that bad things will happen. Bad things always happen. The question is whether more bad things will happen to more innocent people – i.e., people who’ve caused no harm who are punished because someone worries they might have – or whether the people responsible for doing bad things are held accountable for doing them, while those who haven’t done them aren’t done harm.

  14. Do not bear witness against yourself. Do not blow. Do not sobriety test. Identify only by name, address, date of birth. Remain silent.

    • If you refuse, legal presumptions kick in. These presumptions effectively become irrebuttable. You get a moral victory, a ten thousand dollar fine, and a loss of license for six months, followed by a massive increase in your insurance premium. Heads they win, tails you lose.

  15. Eric,

    “ One need not even have been drinking – or driving – to be convicted of “drunk” driving. ”

    You left out the part about DUI convictions not requiring a vehicle capable of being driven.

    NY case where a guy was sleeping in a car on cinder blocks.

    And don’t forget DUI on a horse, bicycle, wheelchair, lawnmower, motorized bar stool, or children’s toys.

    • Had this happen in my college town. Cops would sit outside parties waiting for someone to go out to their car to get something and then bust them for dui. Tried it with me but no keys on you and they can’t claim you were going to drive. Cop was pissed. Thank god for Ford’s coded entry system on my T-Bird.

      • In no state can a DUI charge be sustained merely for having car keys/fobs and being in its immediate vicinity. That won’t stop the cops from arresting the ignorant if they’re inebriated; their arrest quota gets filled and the DA can likely make SOMETHING of it.

        However, if you say, “well, I’ve had too much to drink, so I’ll get in the back seat and sleep it off”, they can still make a DUI charge stick, on the legal theory that you’re in the vehicle and it’s “under your control”, even if the keys aren’t in the ignition and it’s never moved. In fact, the keys don’t even need to be in your pocket!

        And yes, cops DO lie in wait at events where alcohol flows in order to snag easy prey.

        • Douglas,

          “ In no state can a DUI charge be sustained merely for having car keys/fobs and being in its immediate vicinity. ”

          Something about the law, a ham sandwich, and a guilty plea.

          I think the guilty plea is the sustainability part.

          • I think I cover the “ham sandwich” part. Only a fool, or one that had a very bad attorney, would plead “guilty” to ANY criminal charge, let alone a DUI. Comes down to my standing advice re: encounters with cops:

            1) record, Record, RECORD the encounter with your cell phone, preferably using an app that immediately uploads the video to “the Cloud”, in case your phone is seized and/or damaged by a cop angry that he’s being recorded.

            2) NEVER talk to the cops, period, decline to answer questions. If pressed, tell them you demand your attorney be present. Yes, they’ll be pissed that you want to “lawyer up”, but doing so is NOT an admission of guilt.

            3) If you’re innocent, you’ve no reason to bargain that status away by agreeing to plead to a lesser charge, like a “wet reckless”, for example. Yes, attorney’s are expensive if you’re in a jam like that, but compared to the grief that will come down on you for agreeing to plead to a crime(s) you didn’t commit, better to find a way to pay for competent representation.

            • Douglas,

              Considering that better than 90% of all cases plead out …

              Isn’t ham and Swiss on rye kosher?

              “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.

              Turns out that the Bard was wrong. All that was necessary was to make them officers of the court.

        • I used to live near a bar in the early 80s and would watch the cops show up a few minutes before closing time and hide behind a garage about a block away, just waiting for their next victim.

          • Hi Copperhead,

            I didn’t get into it at length in my article but there is an aspect of this business that deserves elaboration: Varying capability. Everyone’s driving skills are not equal and everyone is affected differently by alcohol. A person who is an exceptionally skilled driver is less meaningfully impaired by two or three drinks, say, than a sober person who is an exceptionally poor driver – who is always an exceptionally poor driver.

            This is not politically correct, of course – but that does not make it less true. Yet the exceptionally poor driver who wrecks due to their inability is treated gently; often not even ticketed. It was just an “accident.” But the highly skilled driver who has the bad luck to get stopped at random with every other car on the road at a “sobriety checkpoint” is nailed to the wall for being found to have .05 percent BAC. It’s as absurd as it is vicious.

            I don’t care how many drinks a person has had – provided they haven’t run into anything. That they “might” is no different than this equally obnoxious argument that I “might” be sick and thus must wear a Face Diaper.

  16. The attitude of such thinking and actions has long been with the human race. Think of it as a modern version of witch trials. Absurd accusations, impossible defense in light of the absurdity and cruel and unusual punishment.

    Reason, logic and a sense of proportion are things that only rational people can command. The world is marinating in the irrational. Anyone that questions the irrational is deemed a lunatic, heretic or conspiracy theorist. Question any of the Official Stories and out you go.

    The Criminal Justice System isn’t supposed to make sense. You are to Submit and Obey. Why? Because it’s not about criminals, it’s not about justice. It all about The System. Eliminate these arbitrary and capricious laws against sin (drugs, gambling, prostitution, etc) and all you have is actually trying to capture REAL criminals. 80% of The System we have now could be eliminated. These folks would actually have to engage in productive, voluntary activities to eke out an existence. We can’t have that.

    By the way, here’s the story of the last woman to be tried as a witch in Virginia.

    • Both largely from the same source. Yankees. AKA Puritans, who decided that they could use the force of law to insure we all went to heaven, by dictating our behavior. Per THEIR standards of course. They just don’t worship the same God now that they once did. Never mind that 650,000 Americans were killed in the process of implementing the “final solution” to our sins in the War Between the States. Placing the omnipotent government in charge that we have suffered ever since. It’s not by chance that much of the male bovine organic fertilizer we now receive comes from New England.

      • JK,

        Anyone who is even SEMI literate in the Bible could tell you that keeping The Law WON’T get you in to Heaven! Though I can’t recall the chapter and verse right now, there is a verse that says all of our RIGHTEOUSNESSES are as filthy rags! In other words, even our good deeds stink as far as God is concerned; we need grace, and that can only be found by placing faith in His son, Jesus. But yeah, keeping the law is not near enough, and anyone who knows the Bible will acknowledge this.


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