The presumption of innocence is something not paid much respect – or even given much thought – anymore. Everyone is guilty – of everything. No matter that you or I haven’t actually done anything.
The finger now points at every driver – and soon, at every new car buyer – who is to be presumed “drunk” without the bother of conviction.
Or even a probable-cause-free sobriety checkpoint.
Senate Democrats – and some might-as-well-be Democrats who identify as Republicans – have inserted language in the $1 trillion “infrastructure” bill peristaltically making its way through the Senate colon that would require every new car sold within 10 years be equipped with what you used to have to be convicted of DWI to have to have installed in your car:
An alcohol-detecting interlock of some kind that disables the vehicle and prevents it from being driven by a “drunk” driver – the latter to be defined presumptively as every driver.
And on the basis of ever-attenuating standards of “drunkenness,” which now encompasses the drinking of as little as a single beer or even less, in states that have lowered their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) thresholds defining it at .05 or even less (for those under 21). No evidence of actual impairment being necessary to convict.
It is to be imposed on the same principle that “masks” are imposed upon people who aren’t sick.
Since anyone/everyone could be sick – or “drunk” – it is not necessary to establish that any particular person actually is. Just wear the “mask” – and take the jab. And pay for the alcohol-detector in your next new car, which won’t be installed for free.
It is necessary to (here it comes, again) keep everyone safe . . . at the cost of everyone’s expense and dignity, which was once upon a time presumptively respected by custom and by law until the individual did something to warrant no longer respecting it.
An ancient custom, rapidly receding in the rearview.
In the first place, they all share a common antecedent precedent, which was the Supreme Court’s revocation, back in the ’80s, of the Fourth Amendment’s former protections against unreasonable searches.
The Court “interpreted” the meaning of the word to mean its opposite – thereby making it legal for armed agents of the state to forcibly stop motorists without any prior reason to suspect them of “drunk” driving and compel them to disprove the presumption of “drunkenness” before they were allowed to go on their way.
Refusal to prove one’s innocence as a condition of being allowed to proceed – as by performing various acts of Roadside Kabuki, such as balancing on one foot with eyes closed while counting to 12 backwards – constituted presumptive evidence of “drunk” driving – notwithstanding the absence of any proof of “drunk” driving beyond refusal to perform the demanded Kabuki.
In several states, refusing to cooperate in one’s own railroading was and is itself a punishable act, with consequences – such as automatic suspension of driving privileges as well as summary arrest – much the same as if one had actually been adjudicated “drunk.” A few states authorized forced blood draws if a person declines to provide evidence that can and will be used against him in a criminal proceeding. The mere threat of which is sufficient to suborn the roadside, probable-cause-free “cooperation” of most people.
And it’s all legal, notwithstanding the plain language of what was – once – the law of the land: The Bill of (ex) Rights. It offering about the same degree of protection as the warranty card that comes with your latest $20 kitchen counter appliance bought at Wal Mart.
This latest evolution of these pernicious precedents – as regards both sickness and “drunkenness” – ought not to surprise anyone capable of understanding what a precedent is and what follows from setting one. If people can be lawfully compelled to prove they aren’t “drunk” at a random checkpoint at which they are presumed to be “drunk” until they demonstrate they are not then (using the same logic) they can be presumed drunk until they demonstrate they are not every single time they get behind the wheel, their car becoming the checkpoint.
Just as they can be made to submit to a Jab – and to wear a “mask.” One size does fit all.
It is worse than the Red Queen’s sentence first, verdict afterward.
There is just sentence, first.
No verdict is necessary.
Everyone is just guilty – of whatever is asserted they’ve done or might do – and sentenced accordingly. It is an inversion of civilization, a regression to a state of pervasive suspicion in which no one is secure – having no recognized right to be let alone no matter what one does or doesn’t do.
The accusation is sufficient.
How long before they start burning witches again?
. . .
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