Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Today’s Mesopotamia West Stupid:


Shorter Frank, who really does deserve his very own category:

MADD supports bad law because impaired drivers might not be drunk, they might just be crazy or have crappy tires. If the Canadian justice system just locked people up and threw away the key then no one would drive drunk. Unless they were bad parents. In that case they should lose their house. Or something like that.

Honestly, you have to read it to really appreciate the serpentine twists and turns of whatever masquerades as logic inside his head.

54 comments:

counter-coulter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
counter-coulter said...

I realize that I'll probably take some heat for it, but I think that Frank's view, while inelegant, makes a larger point.

My Libertarian side agrees with the sentiment that people should be punished for their actual actions rather than their potential to commit an act.

If the same DUI "logic" is to be applied for all potential acts then why not lock people up for using their cell phones or being angry while driving. Statisically speaking, people are now more inclined to get in accidents while on their cell phones or by "agressive" driving then they are by alcohol imparement. The number one cause of accidents are still "driver distration" so why not start arresting people that have the potential of being distracted? You know, the ones that are putting on their makeup in the rearview mirror while chauffeuring their kids to the mall? Just my 2¢

Dave said...

Actually, the law is based on the intent of the driver, not the actions alone.

Impairment due to alcohol or drugs has been proven to slow the reaction time of a driver and create a dangerous situation. That's not bad law.

What is bad law is that the person yapping on a cell-phone actually has to violate another highway traffic law to be charged with driving without due care and attention.

Statistically, a higher percentage of those who are legally impaired will have accidents over those who are not. Driver distraction may be a major cause of accidents but the severity of accidents where alcohol is involved is much greater.

Crazy Frank's reckoning that a person might be ill is not a defence. Impairment is impairment. If the person knowingly cannot operate a motor vehicle safely that person is not allowed behind the wheel. That's why there are three statutes, only one of which specifically mentions a blood alcohol content.

The bad tires argument is moot. If your tires are bad and you know it, you are driving an unsafe vehicle and can be charged for it whether you cause an accident or not.

Sparky said...

I agree about punishing for actions instead of 'potential' actions. That said, DUI is an action--whether there's an accident or not.
I also agree that there are those that can handle their booze better--that their reflexes aren't as stunted with the same amount of alcohol in their system as others. Most oof us remember parties in our 20's--BBuddy 1 would have 4 beers in an hour and not be terribly tipsy while Buddy 2--after 2 beers--is riding the porcelan bus.
However, the law can't distinguish between people--someone somewhere passed a law that stated that this percentage of alcohol in anyone is an offence should that person be driving.
After all that, to state that MADD likes bad laws because DUI is 'more punished' than non-alcohol related transgressions is perposterous.
How about those people that are up in arms regarding people who talk on the cell phone start their own campaigns to ban the usage from cars and implement stiffer penalties--that's how MADD did it.
Is a free country. Go to it!

Ti-Guy said...

Honestly, you have to read it to really appreciate the serpentine twists and turns of whatever masquerades as logic inside his head.

I gave up after the first paragraph.

LuLu said...

I gave up after the first paragraph.

Sure, make me do all the hard work.

counter-coulter said...

Dave said...
Actually, the law is based on the intent of the driver, not the actions alone.


I would disagree with this premise. The law is about BAC, not the "intent" of the driver. The person who’s going out to a happy hour with some people after work has no intention of impairing himself or herself beyond the ability to drive. But rather the law makes the blanket assumption that anyone who drinks alcohol and reaches a certain BAC level is by definition impaired regardless of any actions taken.

Driver distraction may be a major cause of accidents but the severity of accidents where alcohol is involved is much greater.

I'd like to see the statistics that back up this statement. Also, the "alcohol is involved" is a dubious statistical claim. By law, police will classify an accident as "alcohol related" if anyone involved in the accident has alcohol in their system (not only the driver that's at fault or any driver for that matter). This means that if I'm driving sober and I hit someone walking out of a pub, that would qualify as an "alcohol related" accident despite the fact that I, the driver, didn't have a drop to drink.

M@ said...

I don't think it's unreasonable for a government to limit the public use of dangerous things like fast-moving, heavy vehicles on public roadways. They do have some level of responsibility to keep the publicly-owned venue for those vehicles relatively safe, and ensuring that the people operating them are skilled enough to pass a test, and sober enough to operate them, seem like reasonable responses to that responsibility.

Also, there is evidence on Frank's blog that it's quite legal to blog in excess of .08% blood alcohol, and for all our sakes I hope Frank chooses to write more asinine posts from home in preference to driving while drunk.

Chet Scoville said...

Getting drunk and then getting into your car is an action. I don't see what's so complicated about that.

counter-coulter said...

Chet Scoville said...
Getting drunk and then getting into your car is an action.


So is getting in your car and talking on your cell phone. What's your point?

Ti-Guy said...

So is getting in your car and talking on your cell phone.

Hasn't that been banned in Newfoundland? I think that'll be coming to the rest of Canada soon.

I'd like to ban cell-phones in public (not to mention cars) altogether, but that's just my liberal fascism getting the better of me.

pretty shaved ape said...

An ex of mine complained bitterly about getting a ticket. Apparently the cop saw her cross the center line, driving erratically. After her indignation settled, she admitted she was putting on her makeup in the rearview. Sympathy - zero. I work in the service industry to prop up my profligate lifestyle. When customer bonehead has a few nips, climbs behind the wheel and fucks up, I am also held liable. I've been reprimanded for refusing to serve patrons that I knew damned well would get into a car and drive off.

Lifting the glass is an act. Turning the key is an act. They just don't go together. Ban cell phones in cars too, I've seen way too many near misses and close calls with idiots jabbering on their stupid sticks. As for BAC blanket assumptions under the law, fine with me. I'd rather trust that limit than put the choice in the hands of the vehicle's pilot. Again, many years of professional experience have shown me that drunk, stupid assholes will lie to themselves and others.

I've taken the keys from a regular only to watch them stagger into the lot, retrieve the spare key from the wheel well and screech out of the lot, offended that his consummate driving skill was in question. I called the cops and nearly got fired for my trouble. You want the liberty to put my life and the lives of others in peril, fuck that, that's not libertarian, that's bloody ignorant and selfish.

Drink yourself stupid and call a cab. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

LuLu said...

Having put myself through school waiting tables, I am in complete agreement with PSA. Too many people are convinced that "they're just fine" when they are, in fact, completely fucking impaired.

That's why that particular term is used so often - it's not just your reaction time that's impaired, it's your judgement as well.

Dr.Dawg said...

What you two just said.

Perhaps the libertarians among us might like to hitch a ride with one of these drunken fools.

The Seer said...

1. Drunk driving is no longer about being drunk. Most physicians would diagnose "intoxication" with a blood alcohol level of .15. Actual impairment is barely noticeable at .08.

2. For what it's worth, you start falling down at .22. You have to see this kind of thing to understand the concept. Someone will be standing, having a normal conversation, and all of a sudden she falls down, pick herself up and keeps talking. First time you see it, you can't figure it out. Then, three or four seconds later, she falls down again, picks herself up and keeps talking. This gets your attention. Three or four seconds later, you know she's got a problem. At .40, they take you to the emergency room, because they don't want you to die in their jail.

3. We've seem an improvement in "drunk driving" standards as a result of a coalition between MADD and similar groups and the municipalities. The MADD types would, if they had the power, bring back prohibition, or, if you're a Canadian, bring prohibition to Canada. They are religiously opposed to demon rum.

As far as the municipalities are concerned, you have to know two things: A. Most municipalities have pressed their tax powers to the full limit of what the traffic will bear; and B. if you apply "user fees" to persons arrested for "drunk driving" you can squeeze a cash flow of $3,500 US out of a drunk driving bust. (To do this, you calculate the hourly cost of a patrol officer or two, a breath machine operator, a jailer, the police car, jail and all the equipment involved, and add on the cost of the judge, court room and probation officer, and get the judge to assess all these costs as a part of the sentence.) The rule of thumb is one DUIL per officer per shift, and you recover the cost of your police department. More than one DUIL per officer per shift, you're running your police department at a profit. (If all you do is DUIL, you easily can make two DUILs per patrol officer per shift, but because of the top heavy character of most police departments, patrol officers have to do better than two per shift to turn a profit.)

4. The strange thing about this is that it turns law enforcement "on its head." Your "down & out" types are protected by the rule about blood and turnips. You end up conserving your police resources and targeting the drivers who can afford the $3,500.

counter-coulter said...

The Seer said...
1. Drunk driving is no longer about being drunk.

[...]

3. [...] The MADD types would, if they had the power, bring back prohibition, or, if you're a Canadian, bring prohibition to Canada. They are religiously opposed to demon rum.


These go to my point exactly. That current DUI laws are not about removing dangerous drunks from the streets, but rather they're about revenue generation and a group of people who disagree with a perticular act.

For all those that gave their anecdotes about the drunks with which they had such problems, how many of those would you say were at .06 or .08 or .10 or .20? Could you tell the difference? And how many had left your bar or restaurant that seemed perfectly fine but would blow a .08 or better? The reality is that, without a breathilizer right there at the bar, you have no way of knowing.

The truth is, is that all those that are involved in serious accidents (accidents where people are injured) and have been drinking tend to blow more than twice the legal limit already(~.20). So whom exactly are we protecting by continuing to lower the legal limit? It's one thing to be quip and say things like "if you're going to drink, call a cab" but then provide no real means of allowing people who have been drinking to get home safely. Cabs are very expensive and buses don't run that late, so where are the real options? How come it is only on occassions like New Years Eve where the public in general realizes that people drink and need a ride home that they offer free "sober cabs" or run the buses late?

Also, don't confuse taking issue with DUI law as being "pro-drunk driving", it is not. For those that knee-jerk and yell "lock 'em all up" seem to be nothing more than enablers for the likes of MADD that, as seer correctly points out, basically want to end drinking in general.

counter-coulter said...

Dr.Dawg said...
Perhaps the libertarians among us might like to hitch a ride with one of these drunken fools.


What a wonderfully flippant and irrelevant remark. So should one assume that if you want to keep abortions legal that you are therefore "pro-abortion" and want abortions to be performed around the clock?

KEvron said...

"the likes of MADD that, as seer correctly points out, basically want to end drinking in general."

you've said it, and seer has said it. now if you could just show me where madd says it....

KEvron

The Seer said...

Did I mention that if you're not an alcoholic you're going to pass out between .18 and .20?

The Seer said...

Kevron:

The reason we know MADD is not concerned with public safety is that lowering the limit to .08 is, from a public safety point of view, counter-productive. It floods the courts with people who are not drunks and are not dangerous and do not belong in the courts. It both dulls the senses of court personnel and deprives them of the resources they need to respond to people who actually do drive while intoxicated and do present a public safety problem. With these numbers, what you get is "one size fits all."

KEvron said...

"Did I mention that if you're not an alcoholic you're going to pass out between .18 and .20?"

"practice, practice, practice"?

KEvron

KEvron said...

"Kevron:

The reason we know...."


we "know" this, do we? with a presumptuous correlation like that, you're bordering on a couple of logical fallacies.

KEvron

The Seer said...

"practice, practice, practice?"

Actually, yes. As both a prosecutor and defense attorney.

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
you've said it, and seer has said it. now if you could just show me where madd says it....


MADD and its offshoots have long been recognized as an anti-alcohol organization.

Here's what their executive director has been quoted as saying:

"The only safe amount of alcohol when you are mixing driving and drinking is zero, double zeros, no alcohol," said MADD executive director Tina Pasco.

counter-coulter said...

The one link above is missing a piece: here's the correct link.

Bonus Quote:

"[MADD] has turned into the new 'Women's Christian Temperance Union.'"
-- Al Franken

counter-coulter said...

Here's the money quote from Candy Lightner, who helped create MADD:

Ms. Lightner left MADD and is concerned that the organization that she herself created is changing its focus. "It has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I ever wanted or envisioned," she says. "I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving."

KEvron said...

"MADD and its offshoots have long been recognized as an anti-alcohol organization."

linkee no workee.

"Here's what their executive director has been quoted as saying...."

conditional to driving, so doesn't support the claim.

"[madd] has not turned into the new 'women's christian temperance union.'" - KEvron

KEvron

KEvron said...

"Here's the money quote...."

yer killin' me, c-c. yer freakin' killin' me....

KEvron

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
yer killin' me, c-c. yer freakin' killin' me....


*quietly sips herbal tea*

KEvron said...

"here's the correct link."

oops! just saw this.

some "interesting" rhetoric in that article. i prefer my phd's be more clinical in their literature. the examples of their rhetoric don't really suggest to me an effort to pursue prohibition, and, given their tone, i suspect there's some missing context there.

still, i have no problem with isea of madd taking a teatottler's stance; it's not the most sinister of philosophies, afterall. and i don't see a real corollary between their supposed teatottler stance and their efforts to effect legislation wrt driving while impaired. in fact, to suggest one on such flimsy evidence seems like poisoning the well to me.

KEvron

KEvron said...

*quietly sips herbal tea*

dood, one line, and without any elaboration whatsoever? i won't even go into how, when she began her campaign, her oppenents said pretty much the same thing about her.

yer killin' me....*

KEvron

*does this idiom translate into canadian?

KEvron said...

"MADD is not concerned with public safety"

sorry, i just can't let this one go:

what complete and utter bullshit.

KEvron

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
i won't even go into how, when she began her campaign, her oppenents said pretty much the same thing about her.


Come on Kev, seer and I stated that "MADD ... basically want[s] to end drinking in general"

Then you asked for "proof" of this. I provide a direct quote from the founder of MADD who leaves because of their neo-prohibitionist views and that they seem more interested in alcohol itself rather than drunk driving. Hardly "poisoning the well".

The link that I provided shows how MADD has been working to lower the BAC to as low as .04 in other states and has been able to pass "zero tolerance" policies for under 21 drinking (regardless of whether or not their even driving) in other states.

*does this idiom translate into canadian?

I thought that you maybe you would recognize the expression from our AAR days when actor used to slip those in to posts to show bemusement with a situation. Maybe I used it incorrectly. :/

BTW, I'm not Canadian, I'm Minnesotan -- which is maybe close enough.

KEvron said...

"Then you asked for "proof" of this. I provide a direct quote from the founder of MADD who leaves because of their neo-prohibitionist views"

zero elaboration from here.

"teatottler" does not mean "prohibitionist". i personally know many the former and likely none the latter. nor does "zero tolerance" mean "prohibitionist".

so, she called them "neo-prohibitionists" (i'll be so happy when were done with that increasingly meaningless prefix), but she may well have been using the word in the same it's been used here: at best, in error, at worst, as hyperbole.

"I thought that you maybe you would recognize the expression"

oh, yeah, i recognized it. ah! the salad days! but i meant my own idiom, "yer killin' me". you're a yank, so i'm sure you know it. okay. gonna say it again. okay, yer killin' me.

because yes, you're poisoning the well. and i don't object to it for madd's sake, bub.

KEvron

KEvron said...

"zero elaboration from her."

KEvron

KEvron said...

"which is maybe close enough."

heh! a co-worker is from maine. i'm always asking questions about life in canada! i kill me.

KEvron

KEvron said...

forgot to add this:

"The link that I provided shows how MADD has been working to lower the BAC to as low as .04 in other states and has been able to pass "zero tolerance" policies for under 21 drinking (regardless of whether or not their even driving) in other states."

still doesn't suggest prohibition.

dood.... yer.... killin'....

KEvron

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
"teatottler" does not mean "prohibitionist".


Teatottler is a term that you used, not Ms. Lightner who specifically used the term "neo-prohibitionist" when describing the organization that she created. There's nothing wrong with using the prefix "neo" when refering to reappearance of a culture.

nor does "zero tolerance" mean "prohibitionist".

OK, I see where this is going, so if this is what you want to choose to believe than so be it. But the idea that MADD is concerned with anything other than a path towards a .00 BAC and making drinking nigh impossible is contra-factual.

On a different note:

and i don't object to it for madd's sake, bub.

I realize that you live in CA, but I was wondering if you ever lived on the east coast? I ask because you'll use the espression "bub". I grew up in So Cal, but I was born on the east coast and the only place that I'd ever hear that is when I'd go back east. Just curious.

KEvron said...

"Teatottler is a term that you used, not Ms. Lightner who specifically used the term "neo-prohibitionist" when describing the organization that she created."

yes, we both selected our own terms to describe madd. she called them "neo-prohibitionists". and i'm a liberal fascist. i suppose i should have used use "abstinant", as that was the message i got from the nefarious ad campaings mentioned in the article. nothing about the campaign struck me as prohibitionist in intent.

and yes, yes, i did note that she started madd. that doesn't prevent her from hyperbole, though.

and i still have yet to see anything from madd themselves that even suggests they hope to pursue prohibition.

"OK, I see where this is going"

or maybe not, and maybe we need to establish some basics: do we agree that by "prohibition" we mean something similar to our volstead act; that prohibiton would be legislated? do we agree that driving while intoxicated should be illegal? do we agree that there should be a drinking age? do we agree that driving should be considered a privilege rather than a right? and if so, do we agree that this privilege way come with terms? my answer to all is "yes", and i've been assuming, perhaps mistakingly, that we agree on these terms. i'm not being sarcastic; i've met a few libertarians in my time, and know that they come in all colors.

"if this is what you want to choose to believe than so be it."

what "choose"?! it was stated as fact that madd is working toward prohibition. no proof of this was given, just some hyperbolic conclusions.

"But the idea that MADD is concerned with anything other than a path towards a .00 BAC and making drinking nigh impossible is contra-factual."

seems they are on the first part, i ain't buying the second part.

there very likely are individuals within madd who believe in enacting prohibition, but i'm not convinced that this is the goal of the group.

KEvron, off to bed, deal with the typos

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
do we agree that by "prohibition" we mean something similar to our volstead act; that prohibiton would be legislated?


This is what I was talking about this with the direction of the discussion. Where it was going to devolve in to a semantics splitting affair over the definition of "prohibition". Seer qualified his comment with the "if they had the power" and I stated that their and anti-drinking group. I believe that the statements and links that I supplied support that claim; you choose to call those claims hyperbole. So be it.

do we agree that driving while intoxicated should be illegal?

This is the real crux of the matter isn't it? Who defines "intoxicated" and how does it apply to driving law?

MADD has been successful in blurring the line by using the term "impairment". According to MADD's own statements, they consider someone impaired who's at any level above .00 BAC and that driving with any level of impairment is dangerous in their view. In fact, I saw several people on here interchange the term "impairment" with "intoxicated".

So that leaves one to wonder what is MADD's end game in all of this. What are they truly after? I believe that a reasonable person can conclude that MADD is pushing towards a "zero tolerance" policy as it pertains to drinking and driving. The results of which would be a chilling effect on all that go out and have a drink. I'm not talking about the "drunk" sitting at the end of a dingy bar, I'm talking about families; ones where dad has a beer and mom has a glass of wine with their dinner. Now, from that, has MADD helped to clear the streets of dangerous drunks or are they criminalizing currently legal behavior? I believe that it is the latter and that it with what I take issue.

theo said...

As a slight aside to the issues presented here. As I recall from memory (so I'm probably wrong) half of all fatal accidents involve alcohol. Whatever the percentage may be, that means the percentage that did not involve alcohol still involved death and destruction. What caused that? The driver inattention issue? Isn't that another way of saying "Lousy Driver"? I, for one, would be curious to know just what percentage the "Lousy Driver" represents in the alcohol related accidents. Probably a tough one to track but I suspect it would be a high percentage.

Ah well, given the potential geo-political problems that go with Peak Oil, personal driving may well be something that goes the way of the Dodo Bird. Then I can take up bicycling with a reasonable degree of safety from the incompetents I see every day behind the wheel of an 1800 kg truck being used for daily urban transportation. I know, I'm selfish.

counter-coulter said...

theo said...
As a slight aside to the issues presented here. As I recall from memory (so I'm probably wrong) half of all fatal accidents involve alcohol.


Just this morning here on Minnesota Public Radio they had someone on that gave the latest statistics of "alcohol related" accidents as a percentange of overall accidents and that was 34%. Now she didn't state how many of that 34% were fatal or even if the driver at fault had alcohol in their system and if so at what level. But she did get a chance to prattle off the "driving at any level of imparement is dangerous" line before going. This is the problem with these kinds of statistics; everything is lumped in to one pile of "alcohol related" but no breakdowns are given. Interestingly enough the main story that lead to this was the increase in the accident rate from last year with the root cause being driver distraction (read cell phones and general fucking off).

Sparky said...

As another aside, my cousin just retired after 25 years of service in the police force of our local city.

95 percent of the domestic disputes he responded to during his service stated that alcohol was a contributing factor somehow.

In other words, someone was drunk.

95 percent.

So we should prohibit alcohol at the home 'cause that'll stop 95 percent of police calls.

I kid.

The BAC number was derived somehow. I don't know where that number came from, nor do I really care.

I've seen people drink a 6 pack over dinner and carry on coherent conversations through the evening.

I've seen people have a half glass of whatever and be in the bathroom doing what drunk people do in bathrooms (never a plesant experience for anyone involved) and then pass out.

For the law to state 'well, if you can handle your alcohol better than Joe over there, you can drive with a higher BA level' would be absurd, and I think we all can agree on that.

The law must make a judgement--a 'stake in the ground' that states a limit for everyone.

I don't know if the current Blood/Alcohol limit is the best it can be--I'd prefer to see it lower--approaching 0 myself, but that's just me.

Most of us also probably have some sort of 'drunk driver' story we could tell--I've lost people close to me due to someone elses DUI.

So I support MADD. I will continue to support MADD with donations until they either 'jump the shark' (by my standards), or no one drinks and drives ever again.

ALW said...

As posted at Frank's blog:


I don’t follow you here. As a libertarian, I believe we should all be entitled to do whatever we please, so long as our actions don’t directly violate the rights of others. This is why, for example, I don’t think it should be illegal to get totally hosed over and above the .08 BAC limit. But once you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, third parties are now at exponentially greater risk, since the BAC level of .08 has been chosen, presumably, because on average it results in a level of impairment which raises the probability of an accident to a level which puts the rights of others at risk.

Now you might argue that many people get behind the wheel of a car and drive home with triple that BAC and don’t hurt anyone. And you might also argue that some people drive with .03 BAC and kill and hurt someone. But both of these arguments miss the point: it’s about probability of risk, not actual outcomes. And where a particular behaviour creates a high probability of risk to innocent third parties, I see nothing wrong with state action intervening to protect the public interest.

Here’s an analogy for you. Suppose people walked around with revolvers, playing Russian roulette by pointing and ‘shooting’ at random citizens on the street. Would this be okay? Even if only one in six people gets shot, can we really say this behaviour isn’t in any way harmful or risky to the five out of six who only hear a ‘click’? I don’t think so. More to the point, we know for a fact that 1/6 of the time, this type of behaviour is going to lead to physical harm. The same applies with drunk driving: some percentage of the time, there will be consequences. The cause and effect isn’t spurious; they are directly linked.

Sheena said...

It is "teetotaler" you dumb asses. Lord knows why *I* can spell it...

Mike said...

Well, IU have to agree with the seer, Counter-coulter and alw on this one.

For me the big tip is MADD's involvement in zero tolerance for under 21 drinking period, whether driving or not. That pretty much means its not just about drunk driving anymore (the DD part of MADD). Frankly, I would prefer 18 or 19 year old to learn their limits in alcohol while they are still somewhat afraid of a car. After 21, you think you have driving mastered and a little drink won't hurt right? MADD is working against their supposed purpose with zero tolerance. They are turning people away from them who need to hear the kind of message alw wrote.

Meaning I suspect they are more about drinking now than drunk driving.

KEvron said...

"The BAC number was derived somehow....

The law must make a judgement--a 'stake in the ground' that states a limit for everyone."


there it is.

"it’s about probability of risk, not actual outcomes....

The cause and effect isn’t spurious; they are directly linked."


there it is.

the privilege is subject to many conditions (the ex lost the privilege for a while after she confided in her doctor about a fainting episode. so it goes). madd's efforts are consistant with that concept.

KEvron

KEvron said...

"This is what I was talking about this with the direction of the discussion. Where it was going to devolve in to a semantics splitting affair over the definition of 'prohibition'."

balderdash. "as seer correctly points out, basically want to end drinking in general." you even provided evidence to support the claim.

i didn't buy it when the chimp told us that they hate us for are rights, and i'm not buying that line now. and i'm not buying the argument that their about alcohol and not about drunk driving. the two positions are not mutually exclusive.

KEvron

KEvron said...

"their"? "are" what am i, a rightwing troll?! sheesh....

KEvron

KEvron said...

"I don't know if the current Blood/Alcohol limit is the best it can be--I'd prefer to see it lower--approaching 0 myself, but that's just me."

given that we know that alcohol impairs, and that different people experience different levels of impairment, it seems rather arbitrary to say ".08 isn't too impaired". i'm with you: the lower, the better.

KEvron

KEvron said...

btw, c-c, no hard feelings, okay? i could care less if i've soured things with seer, but you and i have a well established rapport. i'm trying to be as delicate about this as a lummox like me can be.

KEvron

KEvron said...

not really relevant.

KEvron

counter-coulter said...

KEvron said...
btw, c-c, no hard feelings, okay?


None whatsoever. I didn't read anything in your posts that I felt were a personal attack on me, but then again I'm not really known for my reading comprehension :-).

I figure that we see MADD's agenda differently and I'm perfectly willing to leave it at that.

Groovy Jesus said...

This is a difficult area, because ultimately any law you pass in this area will have detractors. You have three basic options:

1) Screw it. Let people drive drunk. Whatever.
Upside: Simple, cheap to enforce.
Downside: Lots of drunk idiots driving, no way to control them.

2) Set a limit such as the one currently used, which applies across the board to everyone, and is low enough that no one who is within the limit should suffer any degree of impairment.
Upside: Provides a solid, objective standard which applies equally to everyone.
Downside: People with high tolerance for alcohol don't get to drink as much as they otherwise could, iff they're driving.

3) No limit, people are arrested for driving badly, regardless of blood alcohol level.
Upside: I can tie one on and still drive home, as long as I am either able to hold my booze, or just really lucky.
Downside: Provides no objective standard, meaning you can get arrested basically because a cop doesn't like how you drive. Or, you know, is in a bad mood and wants to take it out on someone.

It seems to me that while libertarians might have a problem with the second, any law which requires essentially arbitrary, entirely subjective evaluations made in the field is likely to be far more problematic for them in the long term.

I, for one, do not like the idea of any law that allows police to simply arrest a person because they don't like his or her driving - and I'm neither a driver nor a libertarian.

Measuring blood alchohol seems a sensible compromise. After that, a line has to be drawn - and it should be drawn at a level low enough that no one will be impaired at or below that level, since otherwise the law will not do its job.

It is a fact that alcohol promotes not only poor judgment and reflexes, but risk taking behavior. Everyone is better off keeping it off the road. If that means people drink at home with their families, so be it.

As an aside, I don't support any legal drinking age. Cultures where kids drink a glass of wine with dinner at age 8 or 9 tend to produce a lot less alcoholics than ones where alcohol is super-special-secret-adult-juice. Telling kids that something is only for adults is the best way to ensure that they'll go overboard with it.

I mean, think about it... You're lumping drinking in with porn and driving. Which teenager isn't going to draw the conclusion that drinking is cool?