MADD declares drunk driving to be "violent crime".


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jimpeel
December 31, 2003, 02:41 PM
Listening to a radio spot by MADD where they ask that you tie a red ribbon to your automobile antenna as your pledge to not drink and drive and to "... remember the victims who have died as a result of this violent crime".

So look for firearms rights to be tied to drunk driving sometime soon. The standards have been lowered so far now that one drink can put you at the ragged limit or over.

The anti-alcohol agendists will soon demand that the standard be lowered to .06 at some timme in the near (I believe) future. There has been no proof that drivers, who are at the current PC level of .08, are a problem or been involved in an inordinate number of accidents.

You heard it here first.

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cratz2
December 31, 2003, 02:57 PM
Well, I have mixed opinions on drunken driving. My first knee-jerk reaction is to say, 'They're all bad!' which I generally believe but I also know that some drivers do far better than other drivers while impaired. I have one friend that has driven under some influence far more often than anyone ever should but he is a cautious driver and doesn't have a predilecition to speeding nor has he ever been prone to any sort of road rage at all. I, on the other hand, tend to drive faster than many other folks and have been known to have my 'blood boil' on more than one occasion. I'm not proud and I work on both but it's the way that I am.

Anyway, I'm not condoning drunken driving because to do so is a crime against society in my opinion. But different people can handle it differently in real world settings regardless of what any tests have shown.

As far as it being a 'violent crime'... I guess if you don't hit anything while you're out driving drunk, it's not a violent crime in my book but if you kill a kid who wasn't senselessly out in the middle of the street because of your willingly undertaken lessened abilities, then I can see rationalizing it as a violent crime. Not a whole lot different than a intoxicated person waving a loaded gun around. That's not a violent crime in my book but if you fire the gun indiscriminately and end up shooting someone with it, then it's a violent act which is against the law making it a violent crime...

Is it not?

Or am I starting to lean slightly to the left? :what:

rock jock
December 31, 2003, 02:59 PM
Jim,

I think you are way off on this one. The question w/ regard to DD is: can people drink and drive w/o presenting a danger to others? The answer is by and large no. Alcohol, even a small amount, will impair judgement. That is a fact. You can drink in a safe manner and in a safe environment, but once you get behind the wheel of a car you now present a very real potential danger of harming others. The debate part of the DD issue is at what point is does impaired judgement adversely affect the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle? Thaqt is a tough question and obviously is different for everyone, but the state must provide some objective means by which to measure intoxication, thus the BA levels. There is no evidence that possessing or using a firearm in a safe manner will hamr others or that it will impair your judgement.

ChiefPilot
December 31, 2003, 03:06 PM
We as a nation are too lenient with DUIs as it is, IMHO. Anyone who needlessly subjects others to great bodily harm, or death, by driving under the influence is a pox upon society and should be dealt with accordingly. You can imagine how I feel about those who actually do hurt or kill someone while driving under the influence....

HankB
December 31, 2003, 03:40 PM
. . . can people drink and drive w/o presenting a danger to others? The answer is by and large no. Can't agree here . . . I know any number of people who, with one or two drinks, will show more skill and judgement behind the wheel than any number of other good to average drivers who are stone cold sober - people who aren't considered to be "presenting a danger to others." (These same individuals also don't get behind the wheel unless they've had ONLY one or two drinks.)

Insert the word "excessively" after the word "drink" and we'd be in full agreement. People who drive while DRUNK ought to face serious consequences.

BTW, are you aware that 40 or 50 years ago, it was not uncommon for bullseye shooters to have a shot of whiskey (uhhh, that's ONE shot, not many. Duh.) before competing? It was thought to "steady the nerves" and make for more precise shooting.

Yanus
December 31, 2003, 03:57 PM
The solution to DD is obvious.......... pass an amendment to the Constitution banning the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcohol.

That shoud do the trick............... (sarcasm off!)

Yanus :banghead:

spacemanspiff
December 31, 2003, 03:59 PM
7 years ago i was arrested for drunk driving. i was in a blackout, have no recollection of the events leading up to it, but i apparently passed out at the wheel. i was on a side street, actually was lost, missed a turn trying to get home. rolled into a small tree in someones driveway. when police arrived and woke me up, i was still in blackout, and gave them wrong information as to my home address, employment, etc.
i came out of the blackout while they were still interviewing me, but before they administered FST. they could tell i just 'came too' and re asked the questions to which i gave the correct answers. no one was hurt, no damage to any property. the police were very nice to me, as i was in their words "the most well behaved drunk they had ever arrested".
i blew a .11, just .01 over legal limit. i could have gone with a blood test, as that would have taken at least an hour to get into a hospital and have it tested, thus my BAC would have been under the legal limit. but i didnt. i took what i knew was coming. couple thousand worth of fines and court costs, 3 days in jail (halfway house really, jails were full), and all the minimum sentencing.

that still didnt impress upon me the severity of my actions. in fact, after getting my car out of impound, i still would drive drunk. i was convinced the only one at risk was myself. i didnt think about pedestrians or other drivers on the road. i cant count how many times i drove while blacked out, nor how many mornings i woke up to discover that i must have went out driving after blacking out.

the last part of my sentencing that i completed (waited about a year after i was sentenced) was to get evaluated by a state run alcohol awareness group, and attend a MADD seminar. it was then that i realized just how much danger i posed to everyone on the road while i was driving drunk. at that point i became sick when i thought of how many times i could have hurt or killed someone because of my stupidity.

i would have never been woken up to that if it hadnt been for Officer Kornchuck arresting me on the morning of January 7, 1997.

rock jock
December 31, 2003, 04:25 PM
Wow! That's scary, spaceman. Gald you came out of it.

Jeff White
December 31, 2003, 04:42 PM
We have made great strides in reducing drunk driving since we decided to make it a priority in the mid-80s. However, as long as there are people, alcoholic beverages and automobiles, there will be drunk driving. This is what advocacy groups like MADD will never understand.

You will never eliminate it, you can only do so much. I fear that MADD won't be happy until you either have to blow into a breathalyzer everytime you start your car, or they re-institute prohibition.

As a society we have lost any semblance of common sense on issues like this.

Jeff

OF
December 31, 2003, 04:50 PM
Ideally, it would be nice if there were no prohibition on driving after drinking, only sure and stiff penalities for any consequences or failures to obey traffic laws. As was said above, I know plenty of people who can drive better after a couple drinks than others can sober. That is to say, people who's judgement and reaction time after a few drinks are still superior to that of others sober.

Shouldn't we be punishing people for their actions and not the possibility of future action? How are drunk driving laws any different, morally, from laws prohibiting, say, eating while driving? Talking on a cell phone? Being a moron? Being old?

- Gabe

agricola
December 31, 2003, 04:53 PM
GRD,

Fair enough. If a drink-driver causes an accident that results in death or serious injury, he or she should get the chair. Accidents that cause thousands of dollars (or pounds) damage should be rewarded by years inside.

Standing Wolf
December 31, 2003, 04:59 PM
remember the victims who have died as a result of this violent crime

I do remember them. I've lost a number of friends, relatives, and acquaintances to drunken drivers. As far as I'm concerned, people who drink and drive are violent criminals.

Neal Bloom
December 31, 2003, 05:13 PM
Having seen first hand the effects of alcoholism on several family members and friends, its hard to have sympathy for anyone caught while driving under the influence. As gun owners we have the discipline to safely handle and shoot firearms. People who drink should also have the discipline to drink responsibly and do not drive if they have had one to many. Same goes for firearms and alcohol. Driving, firearms and alcohol don't mix.

I don't know of MADD will start trying to tie firearms with alcohol but I know I wouldn't want to see an drunk person driving and waving a gun around.

BB93YJ
December 31, 2003, 05:52 PM
I saw the wreck that killed most of the family members of one of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving's founders. It was in Denison, Texas one summer evening on Highway 75 South about 25 Years ago. They were in a van going to Sherman from Lake Texoma to go to a movie. A drunk in a station wagon went the wrong direction on the highway and hit them. It was a grizly mess. Drunk walked away, mostly uninjured. I believe it killed seven people in the van, though I can't remember the number of dead exactly.

Don't drink, and drive. Period.

Lone_Gunman
December 31, 2003, 06:03 PM
I have no problem with someone getting drunk.

But there is no reason I can think of why someone should allow themselves to get drunk in a situation where they would subsequently need to drive.

If a drunk driver kills someone, I really dont think I would have a problem with him getting the death penalty.

rock jock
December 31, 2003, 06:31 PM
Shouldn't we be punishing people for their actions and not the possibility of future action?
Not when there is a reasonable expectation that their actions present a danger to others. DD is like being intoxicated and waving a revolver around at a crowd, with the hammer cocked and your finger on the trigger. You may or may not injure anybody, but you are certainly presenting a very real threat and should be stopped.

Maimaktes
December 31, 2003, 06:56 PM
I guess what I want to know is this: when the supposedly inalienable right to keep and bear arms becomes tied or linked somehow to a D.U.I. conviction, is it going to be another one of these *retroactive*, *ex post facto* things, like the Lautenberg Amendment?

The last time I tried to drive home under the influence was 13 years ago this past Saturday, December the 27th. (I mean December 27, 1990, thirteen years and four days ago.)

I have lived almost my entire life in one of two adjacent "dry" counties. Most of the surrounding counties are "dry" too. I mean a sort of de facto Prohibition has lingered on for seventy long, gray, dreary, cheerless years of "always winter but never Christmas" hereabouts. At that time the nearest legal bar or package store was actually in an adjacent *state*, about 12-14 milles from my residence.

I'm not going to waste a lot of time pleading this or that excuse. It was a foolish thing that I did, and I'm glad no harm was done to anyone but me. But I *do* mean to say that, no, there was no accident of any kind, no schoolbuses full of children were wiped out, no one was hurt, and nothing got bent (except the law).

All I'm saying is this: I paid my fines and court costs, I sat out my time in jail, and I did *not* drive during the year-plus period during which my license to drive was revoked. I walked, or bummed rides (and, in an example of the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences, I found myself in *far* worse and more crooked company because of it -- I mean I actually got only *too* well acquainted with the worst elements of local society, sort of what passed for a small town's "underworld," so that I was actually in some danger from some of these characters; also, my mother was hovering near death for much of 1991, and I was rarely able to go to her; at that time the law made no exceptions for such things.)

As far as I'm concerned, my debt to society was paid, in full. I don't believe that there are or ever can be any sort of morally or constitutionally acceptable grounds now for reaching back into the past and imposing *new*. retroactive, ex post facto penalties on me or anybody else in a similar situation. I only did a week in jail. But I would have *gladly* done a year rather than retroactively lose my right to defend myself *for life*.

I would *never* have pleaded guilty if such a thing as permanent loss of gun rights had been any part of the prescribed legal penalties at that time.

I would have demanded a jury trial, and fought it tooth and nail, and appealed any conviction all the way to the Supreme Court if I could. (For one thing, I didn't believe I *was* guilty as charged: I'd had five beers in a period of eight hours, which, according to those weight-and-time charts, should have left me well under the the .010 BAC which was the legal limit then. I only pleaded guilty after it became clear that it was going to cost me about *three times as much* to contest the charges as to just plead guilty, even though I wasn't, really, and that there was no more than a 50/50 chance of success, at best. It is almost unheard of for *anyone* (except LEOs and judges) to beat a D.U.I. charge where I dwell. The region is controlled in an almost theocratic way by real, live anti-alcohol crusaders. There is a real, serious fanaticism about it here that simply has to be experienced to be believed.)

This sort of thing is not acceptable. MADD and their fellow-travelers are skating real close to pushing this thing too far.

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." -- United States Constitution, Article I, Section 9.

Look it up, if you don't believe me. And remember your oath. Article I, Section 9 is nowhere near as subject to misinterpretation by black-robed Sophists as the 2nd Amendment. It is *very* clear. Honor your oath, and refuse to enforce anticonstitutional, un-American laws. They couldn't print enough money to hire me to enfoce anti-Constitutional, un-American laws, and not because I think "The Job" is all that extraordinarily dangerous. (Actually, it is my understanding that a convenience store clerk, a cab driver, a logger, a miner, a railroad worker, or a high-rise construction worker is a good deal more likely to be killed on the job than a policeman.)

Offered a choice between being a jobless, homeless derelict (also a more hazardous "occupation" than police work, I'm told) and taking a job requiring me, as acondition of my employment, to violate my fellow Americans' rights, and my own sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, against all its enemies, *domestic* as well as foreign, I'd take my place on the park bench with a botle of Thunderbird in a paper bag, rather than *become* one of the Constitution's domestic enemies.

"EX POST FACTO LAW, in criminal law, is a law enacted or decreed after the commission of an act, and which retrospectively changes the legal consequences of that act. Ex post facto laws may declare criminal an act not subject to punishment at the time it was committed; *or they may retroactively increase the punishment of previously committed crimes*."

-- Funk & Wagnall's Standard Reference Encyclopedia, Volume 9, p. 3356 (emphasis added)

"Misrule breeds rebellion."

Maimaktes

jimpeel
December 31, 2003, 08:46 PM
I've lost a number of friends, relatives, and acquaintances to drunken drivers.A number of friends, relatives, and acquaintances?

I have had friends, relatives, and aquaintences die or killed by drugs, gunshot, AIDS, murder, suicide, etc but have yet, in my soon-to-be fifty-seven years had any friends, relatives, or acquaintances killed in an automobile accident regardless of the circumstances -- including drunk driving.

What is it that you and your friends, relatives, and acquaintances do that places them in such great peril as to be in the same place and time as a drunk driver with such frightening frequency?

OF
December 31, 2003, 08:55 PM
DD is like being intoxicated and waving a revolver around at a crowd, with the hammer cocked and your finger on the trigger.Is it? What if you are obeying all traffic laws and driving within the limits of the rules? There's a difference between BAC and an individual's ability. For the same reason it's not appropriate to tell someone what age their child is ready for their first gun - it's different for every child. Maturity is the indication, not physical age.

Shouldn't ability be the standard, not necessarily BAC? Why can't we just hold people accountable for their actions behind the wheel? Weaving? Moving violation. Hit something? Pay the price. Kill someone? Vehicular homicide. Or whatever is appropriate with no mitigation for intoxication. Just like they'd done the deed sober.

Discourage wreckless behavior by holding people responsilble for their actions, not setting up checkpoints to see who's naughty and nice.

- Gabe

jimpeel
December 31, 2003, 09:07 PM
I guess what I want to know is this: when the supposedly inalienable right to keep and bear arms becomes tied or linked somehow to a D.U.I. conviction, is it going to be another one of these *retroactive*, *ex post facto* things, like the Lautenberg Amendment?BINGO!

That was the premise of my thread starter and it has taken sixteen posts to get to the point of discussing the effect such laws might have on firearms rights.

Noone thought there would come a day in America wherein the Congress would pass a law that affected people who had pled guilty to a misdemeanor in their youth.

Noone thought that the Congress would pass a law that dispensed with a Constitutional right for a mere misdemeanor.

Noone thought that the Congress would pass a law -- based upon your having had a shoving match with your wife forty years ago -- which would be declared a gateway crime to murder.

In the meantime, you can beat the crap out as many strangers as you desire.

If misdemeanor drunk driving is treated the same way that misdemeanor spousal abuse has been treated, you will lose your firearms rights for the rest of your life; and then there's Driving While Impaired which includes drowsiness.

There is a move afoot to cite people for Driving While Drowsy that would treat the offense as a Driving While Impaired.

What think you, who would discuss the topic on topic, of this movement?

4v50 Gary
December 31, 2003, 09:11 PM
I wouldn't call it a violent crime. Can't forget about mens rea and actus reas concurring. Negligent, yes. Violent, no.

spacemanspiff
December 31, 2003, 09:22 PM
Is it? What if you are obeying all traffic laws and driving within the limits of the rules? There's a difference between BAC and an individual's ability. For the same reason it's not appropriate to tell someone what age their child is ready for their first gun - it's different for every child. Maturity is the indication, not physical age.
your point would stand if you could prove that alcohol affects a person to a consistant standard. but it doesnt. if the person who had a few drinks drank on an empty stomach, that alcohol is going to be more effective. if it was a shot of whiskey as opposed to a single beer that may trigger other chemical reactions that affect the person to a greater level.

i can speak from personal experience on that. on some occasions a single molson ice would be enough for my motor skills to visibly suffer. on others i could drink a fifths worth of rum/whiskey/tequila and still be good to go. in fact, i could tell the distinct difference when drinking just regular capt morgans as opposed to the special edition holiday batch of morgans spiced rum.

i've watched people drink half racks of beer and still be happy drunks, but if they were drinking just two shots of whiskey be raging mad at the world and ready to fight with anyone.

because alcohol affects different people in different ways under different circumstances, there really is no way to say that a persons ability should be judged instead of their BAC.

Jeff White
December 31, 2003, 09:23 PM
The antis will keep adding to the list of crimes that remove your RKBA until no one is qualified. Drunk driving is deadly and inexcusable, but it's not violent. I've yet to arrest a drunk driver who set out on his trip to hurt someone.

MADD has pretty much reached the limit of what the public will accept in the way of regulation. They now have to resort to stronger language to get the public to go on with their agenda.

BTW have there ever been any court decisions upholding Lautenberg as constitutional? It would seem that any high school freshman civics student could recognize it asan unconstitutional ex-post-facto law.

Jeff

Maimaktes
December 31, 2003, 09:27 PM
Well, another anti-constitutional, un-American ex post facto "law" (and its enforcement) may well cost me the full, free *exercise* of the right, but I won't lose the right itself, which came from God, and which *pre-existed* the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and is in no way dependent upon those documents for its existence.

Right now police work in the USA is *not* extraordinarily hazardous. That's largely because something like 99.99 percent of the population is compliant and docile, and figures there's usually a lot more to be lost than gained by fighting back.

But suppose just twenty, or ten, or even *five* percent cease to be compliant and docile, and figure they no longer have a thing to lose by fighting for their rights and their basic human dignity? Police work may suddenly become a lot more interesting when a *large* proportion of the population is outlawed for life, perpetually, with no hope, by the stroke of a pen, in the name of "public safety" or "stamping out drunk driving" or some other grand, noble-sounding cause or crusade.

"Misrule breeds rebellion."

Believe it.

Maimaktes

LoneWulf
December 31, 2003, 09:31 PM
Drunk driving is not a violent crime.
It is a crime of blatant disregard for the safety of others.
Drunk driving laws are way too lenient.
MADD is starting to become an extremist group.

I saw a bumper sticker with the below message, it makes me giggle.
DAMM
Drunks Against Mad Mothers :neener:

Standing Wolf
December 31, 2003, 09:31 PM
What is it that you and your friends, relatives, and acquaintances do that places them in such great peril as to be in the same place and time as a drunk driver with such frightening frequency?

An uncle was killed by a drunken driver in Nebraska nearly fifty years ago.

A kid I went to school with, then aged nineteen, was killed when the drunken driver of the vehicle he was riding in "lost control of the vehicle," as they say in newspaper circles, and destroyed himself and his passenger.

A woman I dated some years ago lost her nine- or ten-year-old daughter to a drunken driver who ran over her while she was bicycling.

A fellow I used to work with some years ago lost his father and a brother—all intoxicated—after the father "lost control of the vehicle" and wrecked their pick-up truck.

All that carnage happened on public highways, roads, and streets.

I was considerably more "open-minded," as it were, about drunken driving until I went to work in a law enforcement agency many years ago. I was a finger print guy, not a cop. I saw what the cops brought into the jail night after night after night: too drunk to stand up, many of them, and too drunk, in several cases, to remember their own names or have any idea where they were or why they were there.

They don't belong in motor vehicles on roads with the rest of us.

Bainx
December 31, 2003, 09:54 PM
HankB--there is definately some merit to your post. I don't give a damn what the sheeple say.
At a recent family dinner when offered one beer for the entire night, my brother in law shuttered and said "better not, they will throw me in prison"
So much for relaxing.

Thanks a lot, "kill joys"!

It is becoming just like smokers.....the anti smokers won the battle years ago yet, they still fight and chase the smokers and treat them like criminals.
Same with anybody taking ONE drink. You are a criminal. No exceptions; so it seems.
If I ever catch a known cop in a Red Lobster having a drink with his dinner, so help me Glock, the moment he leaves the premesis, I will call the police. I will demand they do a breath test and all the rest. Only fair, don't you think?
:confused:

Aside:
Yanus, you are absolutely correct. THE only way to fix this is to make alcohol illegal. Problem is, alcohol is the drug of choice of those who make the laws. Evaluate that, MADD ;)

cratz2
December 31, 2003, 11:00 PM
If I ever catch a known cop in a Red Lobster having a drink with his dinner, so help me God, the moment he leaves the premesis, I will call the police. I will demand they do a breath test and all the rest. That's not likely to get you anywhere you'd like to be. :uhoh:

Edward429451
December 31, 2003, 11:56 PM
I have no sympathy for drunk drivers. A drunk teenager in a stolen car killed my wife's little sister in 99. 17 years old and had her whole life ahead of her. I have two alchoholic brothers that've had more dui's than than their ages probably. You know what they say? "This one's gonna cost me 15 hundred" or some such. Paying fines aint nothing to a drunk, it's like a cost of doing business. It disgusts me.

Rock Jock is right on. It most certainly is like waving a cocked gun around a crowd. Nobody thinks it'll happen to them and then they're real sorry when they kill your family. (middle finger smilie). I've seen people get that wavering beligerant drunk attitude/motor function after two beers, let alone two shots.

I'm not against drinking. I'm against drunks, and drinking & driving. Even one drink and you should not be behind the wheel of a car. It's not responsible and there's nothing that you could say to me to convine me otherwise, see parentheses 2nd para. I do service work in peoples homes and I get offered alchohol real regularly. I always accept the beer and say mind if I drink it at home so I wont drink & drive? Thats responsible and doesn't insult the hospitality of the homeowner.

Applying gunrights restriction ex post facto to dui's is wrong in my mind though. it reeks of the same disarmement conspiracy that applying it ex post facto to domestic violence did when they passed that crap.

Weelll, it is New Years eve, and she does have some vodka up there. Do I wait for the emergency service call, or go have a drink? If I drink I might miss the work if it calls cause I wont drive then. But then again I might not get a call. Decisions decisions. Ah, what the hey. Shops closed.:neener:

Happy new year!

jimpeel
January 1, 2004, 02:43 AM
For the record, on New Years Eve, we have the employees in to have drinks and food and do some socializing. We let them drink as much as they want.

As manager of a motel, I comp them the room of their choice and they don't have to (aren't allowed to) drive home even though the town is so small that most live with 2 miles.

feedthehogs
January 1, 2004, 09:38 AM
Drunk driving or being drunk may not be an across the board violent crime, but tell that to those who were injured or killed by someone who drove drunk or was drunk and became violent and killed someone.

Tell that to the thousands of women who get the crap beat out of them from the drunk old man.

Alcohol like anything when used in moderation is not a problem. But like firearms and many other things, they are demonized when some abuse the right to be stupid.

As long as man is breathing these abuses will ocurr and the rest of us who are responsible will pay for it in many ways.

If someone is convicted of drunk driving, they have shown the pre- diposition of putting others at risk.
Should they be denied owning a firearm?

Responsible firearms ownership is shouted from the roof tops here, what makes responsible drinking any different?

Maimaktes
January 1, 2004, 01:09 PM
feedthehogs said:

"If someone is convicted of drunk driving, they have shown the pre-disposition to put others at risk. Should they be denied owning a firearm?"

I take it that your answer to your own question would be "Yes," since you are essentially echoing MADD's argument, or even making it for them.

How about retroactively -- ex post facto -- as previously discussed? That's what MADD and their new allies among the anti-2nd Amendment groups are really angling for here, the idea being to strip as much of the population as possible of the right to bear arms.

Never mind the Constitution. That's just a meaningless scrap of parchment scribbled on by some old-timey guys in powdered wigs and knee socks who snorted snuff and drank a *lot*. It doesn't mean a thing compared to the need to stamp out drinking now so everybody can always be perfectly safe all the time!

Anybody who was *ever* convicted, or who ever *pleaded* guilty (whether they really were, or just didn't have the financial resources to fight the charge, and considered the legal penalties in effect *at the time of the offense* bearable), in history, as far back as records can show, shall be denied the right to own and carry guns now and for the rest of his life, perpetually.

Especially never mind *this* inconvenient part:

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

-- the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 9.


Speaking strictly for myself, I was always a *lot* more careful about guns and shooting than about cars and driving, because I *cared* a *lot* more about guns and shooting than about cars and driving. To me a car has always been a necessary evil, a bottomless money pit and an opportunity for endless government meddling which I really wish I could do without; while a gun is a positive good, which I am unwilling to live without. Even as a little kid, I never wanted to play with toy cars or trucks; I wanted to play with toy guns.

As for my D.U.I. thirteen years ago, it never would have happened if I had not been trapped living in a "dry" county. However, I have learned my lesson, and since then I have done all my beer drinking at home, alone, behind multiply locked and braced doors and blacked-out windows. That good enough -- *safe* enough -- for ya? Or do you still think both of me should be shot?

I'm pretty fed up with all the car-gun analogies and comparisons anyway. "We register cars and license drivers -- so why not register guns and license gun owners?" I've been hearing that for going on thirty years.

I don't really believe a car is very much like a gun, or that relative carelessness about one necessarily translates into or correlates with relative carelessness with the other. I know a lot of excellent motorists, and teetotalers too, who can't handle a gun safely.

They *will* not keep their finger out of the trigger guard (hardly any of 'em seem to have gotten the word about that), they *will* not watch where they're pointing it, they think ejecting the magazine from a semiautomatic pistol unloads it (they have no idea there is or might be a round in the chamber), they think it's okay to shoot blindly through a door at a sound, etc.

Yet they manage to pass a driver's test, and often go for years between traffic accidents. I imagine some of them can operate electric hedge-clippers or a propane grill safely too. But they're a disaster waiting to happen with a gun, particularly with a handgun. (Some of them do have some rudimentary familiarity with rifles left over from Army Basic Training.)

I wish people would get it that the vast majority of people arrested for drunk driving *did not kill or injure anybody*, or even have any sort of accident at all. They just got pulled over, got made to to do a bunch of stupid human tricks, couldn't do some of them quite well enough, and got arrested and thrown in jail. Something like 90 percent don't have the money to mount any sort of effective legal defense, and just plead guilty to get it over with sooner, *as long as the penalties are acceptable/bearable, and not disproportionately harsh*.

"Misrule breeds rebellion."

Maimaktes

jimpeel
January 1, 2004, 04:09 PM
Now. Let's take the discussion to the next level of absurdity.

About a year ago -- I believe in New York -- a guy was sitting in his own driveway of his own home having a few beers and listening to the stereo of his new $40,000 SUV.

The neighbors called the cops because the music was too loud. When the cops get there, they arrest the guy for drunk driving.

The cops admitted that the car was not running, engine was cold, and there was no evdence that he had taken the car anywhere. The guy was convicted and fought it all the way to the NY Supreme Court.

The court upheld the arrest on the grounds that even though he had not actually OPERATED the vehicle, he was in CONTROL of the vehicle by virtue of his sitting behind the wheel with the key in the ignition.

Here is a guy who never DROVE drunk; but he now has a drunk driving conviction which may, at some time in the future, be used to deny him his firearms rights for the rest of his life.

If you will recall, New York is now confiscating the vehicles of those found driving under the influence so one has to wonder about the motives of the arresting officers and the court in this case. A new $40,000 prize holds a lot of incentive.

For those of you who have a visceral hatred of drunk drivers:

Is this man as guilty of drunk driving as the drunk driver who takes a vehicle upon the public ways; and how do you justify his being punished as though he had?

If the day comes that those who have been convicted of this "violent crime" are denied their firearms rights, should he be among those people?

What level of danger did this man pose to himself of society as a whole?

Is he guilty of a violent crime?

cratz2
January 1, 2004, 04:26 PM
Not defending or speaking against the ruling in NY but in my understanding, if the car is not running and the engine and exhaust are cold, he was not DUI or DWI. If the car was parked on a public street or anywhere else generally publicly accessable - other than in the driveway of his own house - then he should be capable of being arrested for public intoxication.

To be arrested for being in one's vehicle while on one's own property... I don't get that. And as the confiscation, if any money other than a nominal amount for 'administrative fees' going to anywhere other than the city/state facility for rehibilitation of drunk drivers seems to be a serious conflict of interest.

IMNSHO! :cuss:

BryanP
January 1, 2004, 05:35 PM
This is one of those hot button issues that people have a hard time viewing in a detached manner, sort of like child molestation. Oh, and if you like to have a few drinks and then drive and you don't like me comparing you to a child molester, too bad.

I've never had a close encounter with a drunk driver. One did total my parents car, miraculously leaving them only shook up. Another crossed the center line and murdered the wife of one of my best friends - he got to watch since he was driving another car and was following her. I have no sympathy for them. "I was stupid!" "Yeah, now you're stupid and in jail. If there was justice you'd be stupid and dead."

Maimaktes
January 1, 2004, 06:20 PM
BryanP,

Yes, I was stupid to try to get home after drinking five beers in eight hours thirteen years ago, rather than just abandoning my car in another state and hitch-hiking home with some stranger late at night, even though the weight-time charts said I should have been safely under the then-legal limit. (Nor was it ever *proven* I was otherwise, as I refused the breathalyzer test, believing, with good reason, that the test was inaccurate, or even rigged.)

I like to think I'm a little smarter now. Smart enough to do all my beer drinking at home, alone (I am a recluse), behind multiply locked, braced doors and blacked-out windows anyway.

But you still want me dead -- retroactively executed, 13 years after the fact -- is that it? Or, failing in that, just retroactively stripped of my most important and basic human and constitutional right?

Did I mention before that not only was no one hurt, killed, or seriously put out (except for me), and that there was not even an accident of any kind?

BTW, mere child molestors (as well as regular grown-up rapists, bandits, burglars, arsonists, car thieves, drug dealers, pimps, and hit-men) are *far* more likely to catch a break than anyone charged with D.U.I. in the courts around where I dwell (I wouldn't call it living).

Personally, I don't have any children, don't want any, and can't even bear to be anywhere near any, and get pretty sick of every new infringement on the rights of adults being justified by saying it's "for the children."

I don't like dogs either.

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed." -- U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 9.

"Anybody who hates kids and dogs can't be all bad," -- W.C. Fields

"Misrule breeds rebellion."

Maimaktes

I'mSpartacus!
January 1, 2004, 07:27 PM
I am a father of young children. I would want to kill someone who would get drunk and then run over one of my kids or crash into us.

Heck, get your right to have a gun taken away if you drink and drive? I'd confiscate your car and sell it for funding more cops to catch more drunk drivers, toss the pot smoker out of his cell and toss the drunk driver in there as well. Drunk drivers deserve NO right to drive and if a state makes it a felony and your gun rights are taken away, so be it!

If someone can't be trusted to get behind the wheel sober I wouldn't trust them with a gun. :cuss:

BryanP
January 1, 2004, 08:12 PM
Maimaktes, it's called judgement. If you drink, then you wait. If you have to sleep it off in the back seat of your car then that's what you do. Just like you don't handle firearms after drinking.

And no, I don't want you dead. I was referring to someone who has injured or killed someone. In the case of my friend the !@#$% who murdered his wife was already dead of alcohol poisoning, he just didn't have the decency to crawl off and die without taking someone else with him.

chickenfried
January 1, 2004, 08:34 PM
what I don't like in this thread is a lot of posters not differentiating between driving drunk and driving after drinking alcohol. One is illegal and irresponsible the other is not.

Oh, and if you like to have a few drinks and then drive and you don't like me comparing you to a child molester, too bad.

BryanP
January 1, 2004, 08:36 PM
I was not making a direct comparison, I was making the point that many people (including myself) have a hard time being detached and objective on this subject. The "too bad" statement was because I figured someone would take offense at even an oblique comparison.

jimpeel
January 1, 2004, 08:42 PM
[really p---ed off screaming on]
CAN WE GET BACK ON TOPIC, NOW, KIDS? I DIDN'T START THIS THREAD SO YOU COULD HAVE A P---ING MATCH AND NAME CALLING CONTEST! IF YOU HAVE SOME INANE, CHILDISH NEED TO CALL EACH OTHER NAMES AND WISH EACH OTHER DEAD, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE THREAD AND TAKE IT TO PMs! I'M TIRED OF THIS CRAP GETTING THREADS CLOSED.

GROW UP!
[screaming off]

Calm down, deep breath, place the fingertips together, repeat after me ... ohmmmmmmmm ... ohmmmmmmmm ... ohmmmmmmmm ...

Lone_Gunman
January 1, 2004, 08:49 PM
The extra large red letters was really really obnoxious, and the "grow up" at the end almost seemed ironic.

jimpeel
January 1, 2004, 09:33 PM
Good! It was meant to be obnoxious.

I'm tired of trying to have a decent discussion on matters and name callers getting my threads shut down because they can't stay on topic and start calling each other names. It took sixteen posts before I got the first reasonable discussion on the thread subject without a giant segue.

I'm tired of feeling like I am back at the old Time Magazine Pathfinder boards. Hell, the flames in Dresden were mild compared to that place.

Do you have anything to say on the subject of the thread besides calling me names and being annoyed over big red letters?

Do you have any answer to the interrogatories I posed above? I reiterate:

Is this man as guilty of drunk driving as the drunk driver who takes a vehicle upon the public ways; and how do you justify his being punished as though he had?

If the day comes that those who have been convicted of this "violent crime" are denied their firearms rights, should he be among those people?

What level of danger did this man pose to himself or society as a whole?

Is he guilty of a violent crime?

I will await the answer of anyone mature enough to address these questions.

Lone_Gunman
January 1, 2004, 10:29 PM
I am sorry I found the large red letters obnoxious, I didnt mean it personally.

On the subject at hand: No I don't consider drunk driving a violent crime.

But yes, I think the punishment for it should be very stiff, and a long prison term (ie, life) or even the death penalty really would be appropriate if a drunk kills an innocent person.

Getting drunk, or even taking a drink, is never a requirement. Everyone knows this. You don't have to do it, and no innocent person should have to pay the ultimate price just so you can have a drink.

Making gun possession illegal for a convicted drunk is not really fitting, since guns didnt really play into the issue. But it is kind of hard to stick up for someone with such callous disregard for his fellow man.

I don't think people in general should be denied gun ownership even if they are convicted of a violent crime. If they are still dangerous, they should be kept in jail. If they arent dangerous, then buying a gun should be fine. If they are dangerous and released anyway, it is easy enough for them to obtain guns without having background checks, etc.

As far as the guy sitting drunk in his uncranked vehicle is concerned, I would say as long as the car isnt moving, he isnt drunk driving. However, I guess a very strict interpretation of the law might suggest he was still "operating" the vehicle. I am kind of surprised they got a conviction out of that though. I do not know how much of a threat he was to the people around him; for all I know he may have been planning to start driving right when the police showed up. Even so, I would not consider it a violent crime, and would not limit his gun rights as punishment.

Maimaktes, you make it sound as if you were the victim in your drunk driving case. I do not mean to sound paternal, but why would you drink if you knew you were going to have to drive in the first place?

Maimaktes
January 1, 2004, 10:41 PM
Well, ImSpartacus, do you mean you're in favor of doing all that stuff *retroactively*, to someone who long ago paid his fine, did his time in jail and on foot, DOES NOT drive after even one beer anymore, and has not for a dozen years, and who DIDN"T crash into you or run over your kids or anyone else's? In complete disregard of Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads: "No Bill of Attainder of ex post facto Law shall be passed"? That's what I'm talking about.

Maimaktes

Maimaktes
January 1, 2004, 11:13 PM
LoneGunman,


Why did I take the chance at all? Well, the short answer would be that it was how things were done at that time in that place by anyone who wanted to drink anywhere but at home behind closed doors, and that I was overconfident. I actually thought I was "lucky" in a literal, superstitious sense.

The longer answer (which would be long indeed) would involve a complex and unusual confluence or intersection of social-political-legal-cultural-geographical circumstances which dictated that anyone who wanted to have a beer in a social setting other than a private party in someone's home would have to first drive 12-14 miles over a two-lane country road to the nearest legal bar to do it, and then would have to get home somehow.

There was essentially only one route the would-be social drinkers could take, and it was heavily patrolled and staked-out. A deputy could pretty much take pot luck -- just follow any randomly selected car making its way back to town, follow it too close, with his high beams on, wait for the homebound driver to weave ever so slightly as he adjusted his rearview mirror to keep from being blinded, and then turn on his blue lights, pull you over, order you out of the car, make you go through a lot of strange calisthenics and circus tricks (my fave was counting backward from 100 by sevens __ I passed that one), and if he didn't think you did them well enough, you were elected for a free ride to the hoosegow and free room and board on the county. (Actually I was on "work-release" for four of the seven days I served after pleading guilty, and had to pay a $10 a day work-release fee to the jailer. I thought of it as paying ransom.)

I was never the sort of person to habitually run in a pack. I was pretty much of a solo act even then. "Designated drivers" could *very* rarely be arranged, and when they could be they were generally far drunker than I. It was actually a joking term in common use then and there -- "the designated *drunk* driver." I could at least follow a straight line, and stay on my side of the road, even if my reflexes were slowed a bit and my balance was a little worse than usual (it was never very good at any time).

Anyhow, that bust 13 years ago convinced me that I was *not* lucky, or not anymore, and that whatever luck I ever had had run out, and so I abandoned all hope of participating in the social aspect of drinking, and resigned myself to solitary, closeted -- or *barricaded*, rather -- drinking career thenceforward. And so it is to this day, in a "dry" town, where you might as well be a heroin junkie or a crackhead as a beer-drinker.

But it's okay: I don't *want* to have any kind of social life anymore; I don't *want* to be around people anymore; I've got a 19-inch TV to watch old movies on, and this computer to editorialize on, and everything is as cool and copacetic as it can be here in the dark heart of deepest, darkest ayatollah-land.*

Cheers,

Maimaktes

*Islam, not Christianity, is the real teetotaler/alcohol-prohibition religion.

Derek Zeanah
January 1, 2004, 11:41 PM
I'm not sure we have our definitions right, and it doesn't seem that a lot of clear thinking is going on regarding this topic...

I wonder if the issue isn't one of impaired driving more than intoxicated driving. My grandfather was legal to drive, then one day he started driving on the wrong side of the highway and didn't notice. My squad leader in Germany was made to blow into a breathalyzer for 20 minutes until a blow came up barely over the limit, then the MP's took him in. (They were screening everyone as they left the post).

I'd prefer to eliminate all of the former drivers, and say OK to the latter type drinkers.

I think it's reasonable to assume that some drivers can be at the legal limit and yet still be performing at better than your median driver can perform. If so, is it a problem? (Some will say yes). If so, is it a problem that there are dangerous drivers out there who can't really function while sober?

I say have policies that deal with people who can't drive safely. Who cares if the passenger is drinking, or the 300lb driver is on his second beer in 5 hours? Get rid of the 80-year-old who's lost her peripheral vision, has poor reflexes, and is beginning to show signs of Alzheimers....

jimpeel
January 2, 2004, 12:22 AM
Thank you for your measured response. I don't often throw a tantrum but thread hijacking, especially by name callers who will get the thing closed when I am attempting to glean a reasoned response to what I believe is a threat to firearms rights, just p---es me off

I don't think people in general should be denied gun ownership even if they are convicted of a violent crime. If they are still dangerous, they should be kept in jail. If they arent dangerous, then buying a gun should be fine. If they are dangerous and released anyway, it is easy enough for them to obtain guns without having background checks, etc.
Hear, hear! I believe likewise.

Unfortunately, there are those on the anti-firearms side of the equation who are actively trying to find more and more reasons to make firearms unavailable to more and more Americans.

Up until GCA'68 there was no restriction on a former felon having a firearm and that was how it was from the inception of the country. Hell, the prisons in the nineteenth century, when the released a prisoner and issued them thrie property, gave ex-cons the rig they were wearing when they were arrested. It was simply part of their property.

Then came GCA'68 wherein the Congress, by legislative fiat, eliminated a Constitutional right without so much as a "Howdy do" to the Supreme Law of the Land. Constitutional amendment? Too bothersome.As far as the guy sitting drunk in his uncranked vehicle is concerned, I would say as long as the car isnt moving, he isnt drunk driving. However, I guess a very strict interpretation of the law might suggest he was still "operating" the vehicle. I am kind of surprised they got a conviction out of that though.This was, after all, New York where they are cash strapped and confiscate cars for darn near any reason, fine people $6,000 for having an ashtray on the counter of their business, fine pregnant women for sitting on the subway stairs for a couple of minutes, etc. Bloomberg is a money hungry Democrat in Republican clothes. His policies will bankrupt NYC monetarily. The moral bankruptcy occurred years ago.

WonderNine
January 2, 2004, 12:32 AM
I drove home last night, about 3am. Pretty damn drunk, but my tolerance is high. Vodka, beer, cognac, wine, ect.... a well I made it home as usual.

w00t

jimpeel
January 2, 2004, 12:38 AM
I wonder if the issue isn't one of impaired driving more than intoxicated driving. What about the current movement to rule driving while drowsy as being "impaired"? Several states have now passed laws that hold to answer drivers who fall asleep at the wheel including prison time for causing an accident. Actually, make that "accident" because the time is growing near when nothing will be considered an accident. The "someone must pay" attitude will eventually win over all things. Take me for example:

In 1972, I accidentally left my infant daughter on the roof of the car and drove two blocks. It was an accident, and in those days, it would have been seen as exactly that. I realized what I had done when her bottle fell off the car. She was unharmed but my nerves were shot. No, I was not drunk, drinking, or in any way impaired. My wife was also in the car.

These days, doing the same thing, we would have been called in to the nearest snitch line, cited for child endangerment, our children removed and placed in foster care for their "protection", investigated, and likely ended up in jail or, at the minimum, large fines and monitored custody of our children.

Monkeyleg
January 2, 2004, 11:57 AM
"A well-funded, well-organized campaign is afoot to make it as difficult to
drink a beer as it is becoming to smoke a cigarette. This 'neo-prohibition'
has advocates in the news media, academia and most certainly in government.
Sandy Golden, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Kids, has
said, 'We're 10 to 15 years behind the tobacco people, and we want to close
the gap.' You thought it was absurd when city and state officials told you
that you could no longer smoke in a bar. Just wait until they tell you that
you can't drink in one, either."

- Radley Balko of the Cato Institute

Edward429451
January 2, 2004, 02:34 PM
Since I stated that I have no sympathy for drunks etc, I'll take a stab at your questions, jimpeel..

Is this man as guilty of drunk driving as the drunk driver who takes a vehicle upon the public ways; and how do you justify his being punished as though he had?

I think it would be an absurdity to think that this guy is guilty of drunk driving. There's no justification for punishing him as if he had. It's all about the guns & money & control. I think it's wrong for people to drink & drive but I wont be stupid about it.

If the day comes that those who have been convicted of this "violent crime" are denied their firearms rights, should he be among those people?

Hale no.

What level of danger did this man pose to himself or society as a whole?

Zero based on available information. If a guy can't sit on private property in a vehicle sipping a beer enjoying his new vehicle, tweaking his stereo, cooling off from an argument with the wife or whatever, then the police state is here and it's time to lock & load.

Is he guilty of a violent crime?

I dunno, did he beat his wife before going out to sit in his vehicle?;) Sitting in a vehicle is not a violent crime unless you live in a police state.

I don't even think drinking & driving is a violent crime. Stupid maybe. Irresponsible, but no violent crime can occur unless there is a victim.

I drove home last night, about 3am. Pretty damn drunk, but my tolerance is high. Vodka, beer, cognac, wine, ect.... a well I made it home as usual.

Is Wondernine guilty of a violent crime? No, he's guilty of stupidity because he knowingly created a potential hazard to others in his community by driving drunk. He thinks his tolerance is high and that he can handle it. He also thought that he could drunkenly spin a loaded pistol and catch it. He tasted a bullet for it. Mr Murphy rears his ugly head just when we think he wont, so much for thinking. Should Wondernine be disbarred the use of firearms? An emphatic NO. The man has no victims, so leave him alone and hopefully he'll grow to be more responsible. If he ever creates a victim, then he should be dealt with on a case specific basis.

Sorry Wondernine, wasn't trying to beat on you. Just trying to make a point and clarify my position.:)

harpethriver
January 2, 2004, 02:49 PM
Drunk driving is a violent crime. The combination of alcohol and automobiles kills many more people than guns. The weak laws we have on the books regarding DUI further the thought that if you wish to kill someone and get off lightly, do it with an automobile after you've had a few drinks. DUI laws are not strictly enforced because we've allowed it to become a socially acceptable thing to do. Additionally, our money hungry government(on all levels) is absolutely addicted to the taxes generated by the practice of drinking and driving. This isn't a personal freedom issue, it's a personal responsiblity issue! Put a crack house on a neighborhood corner, and watch the residents scream for law enforcement to do something. Put a bar on the same corner serving those who will drive in and drive out and the government will make sure it stays in business.

Jeff White
January 2, 2004, 02:56 PM
In Illinois there are only two laws in the vehicle code that are enforceable on private property, DUI and handicapped parking. You can go out on the back 40 and drive as fast as your car can go......just don't do it while intoxicated.

DUI, despite it's bad consequences is not a violent crime. I don't think any driver starts out to injure or kill someone. You have to look at the intent here. If you get you gun and go rob the liquer store, you are committing a violent crime, you intend to kill or injure anyone who interferes from the start.

I am unaware of any case where the driver said, I'm going to sit here and drink until I can't see, then I'm going to go out and run into a soccermom driving her minvan full of kids to Dairy Queen.

The laws are fine the way they are. DUI that involves seriious injury or death can usually be charged as a felony in most states. Most states also have laws that make subsequent DUI arrests felonies. So they already carry the penalty of RKBA loss.

I don't know that MADD was even thinking about RKBA when they decided to start calling DUI a violent crime. I think they are just turning up the rhetoric, because most people are accepting that we've probably done all we can do in stopping DUI. They are just yelling louder so they can push their next set of legislative goals. Like I said in my first post, when these activists start down the road, they have never looked at what they can reasonably accomplish. Everything is judged by one is too many. Kind of hard to do that in a society with 300 million people.

Jeff

mercedesrules
January 2, 2004, 03:19 PM
Drunk walked away, mostly uninjured.

Everyone should start drinking before driving to minimize injury.

Matt G
January 2, 2004, 03:44 PM
Jim Peel has posted on this in the past (at TFL), I believe. I'll confess that I've come to the conclusion that we'll just have to disagree on this subject.

I'm sort of biased against drunk drivers, now, having worked some major accidents where innocent people were badly hurt because someone made the decision to endanger the safety of the public at large, by getting into a car and driving while drunk. Honestly, I can actually see the point of MADD when they call this a crime of violence. If I were to begin firing shots from a high-powered rifle randomly down the street while drunk, and someone got hurt, you're damned skippy that would be labeled an "act of violence."

You can NOT be "on the ragged edge of intoxication" with just one standard drink. I also know of no jurisdiction that's moving to .06 BAC.

Bainx
January 2, 2004, 04:43 PM
The standards have been lowered so far now that one drink can put you at the ragged limit or over.

The "standards" are even lower than that. I was listening to my police scanner the moring of Jan. 1 and heard units being dispatched to aprehend a driver described by "the plantiff [read do-gooder, MADD mother or what ever]" stated that the vehicle was "all over the road".
The officer who made the stop replied to the radio base "must be a lousy driver or something....there is absolutely nothing wrong with this guy or his car". Police acting on HERESAY.
I heard another one a few weeks ago where the radio dispatcher said "plaintiff stated that a man bought some beer and got into a car with teenagers in it and drove off". Again, going on HERESAY, they wasted resources to stop and question a law abiding citizen.
It is getting out of hand. If you don't believe it, get yourself a scanner in listen in!:fire:

Matt G
January 2, 2004, 05:24 PM
If you can identify the complainant, and the complainant takes the time to identify himself or herself and gives phone number, address, etc, making a stop based on a citizen's statements is sufficient. Often, with a cell-phone call-in, we'll ask the citizen complainant to stop with the officer, to be accountable for it. One does not need Probable Cause to make a traffic stop, but only Reasonable Suspicion. P.C. is needed to take legal action, such as issue a citation or make an arrest. Many cops hold themselves to the standard of P.C. only when making a stop.

Think of it this way-- if you walked into your house and found a stranger just pulling his hand from your wife's jewelry box, and you called the cops and gave them a description of the person you believe to be a burglar, you'd want them to stop and detain the person, should they find him. Maybe they arrest on sight. Maybe they detain and identify him, and release him until a warrant can be served. But they'd be making a stop on "HEARSAY", and rightly so.

BTW, many a car goes by with a lame violation that we never stop for, until the need arises. In TX, No Front License Plate or No Tag Light are favorites. They're absolutely legal stops, but they're a little lame. That said, the Supreme Court has ruled that there's no problem with these "pretext stops," so long as the violation existed. Very possibly, Bainx, your local cops used such a violation for those stops. Or they may have stopped on the caller's say so. Many "drunk drivers" are really sleepy drivers, that wake up FAST when the red and blues come on. It's frustrating to the cop, but many many times, a traffic wreck may have been averted. Sleepy drivers can be damned dangerous. Wake 'em up, talk to them, and off they go, no worse for wear, and not crossing the centerline anymore.

jimpeel
January 2, 2004, 05:50 PM
Jim Peel has posted on this in the past (at TFL), I believe. Nope. I've never broached this subject before. The "violent crime" ads are new, within the past couple of months.You can NOT be "on the ragged edge of intoxication" with just one standard drink.The drop to .08 has place many people in jeopardy of a DUI. A person of 90-100 pounds taking one drink wouldn't be legally intoxicated at .10 but would be at, or over, the limit at .08.I also know of no jurisdiction that's moving to .06 BAC. I never stated that there were any jurisdictions that were actively pursuing a .06 limit. I said: The anti-alcohol agendists will soon demand that the standard be lowered to .06 at some timme in the near (I believe) future. But remember, when it happens, you heard it here first.

Jeff White
January 2, 2004, 06:08 PM
Here in Illinois we have to have probable cause to make a stop. Unless the person on the cell phone will coe in and fill out a statement and agree to go to court on the probable cause, we won't make the stop. Complaints where there is no statement to be signed are dispatched make your own case. It's up to the officer to develop PC. Often we'll find one of these drivers and follow them and be unable to develop PC, and they go on their merry way. DUIs are often dismissed around here if the officer can't prove he had probable cause to make the stop.

Just an anecdotal observation, I have seldom stopped the classic drunk driver, weaving all over the road etc. who was actually drunk. My luck they have dropped their cigaret, spilled their drink, distracted with the kids or too old and blind to see well enough to drive at night. The scary thing is I've arrested some drunks who blew .28, .29 and I wondered if they'd be legally drunk when I got them to the station for the breathalyser.

Jeff

Maimaktes
January 2, 2004, 06:34 PM
Harpethriver,

The DUI laws are enforced with the utmost fanatical zeal in the "dry" counties around where I live. This region is dominated by real, live , hardcore anti-alcohol zealots and cracking down hard on drinkers in every way possible is *very* politically popular here.

Laws against *public intoxication* are also zealously enforced, and "public" is *very* broadly defined.

Even in those rare cases where an actually sober designated driver can be arranged, it doesn't necessarily put the inebriated passenger in the clear legally. Very often the passenger will be arrested for public intoxication.

People have been arrested for public intoxication as soon as they stepped out onto their own porches to speak to police responding to loud music complaints. In some cases people who never even crossed their own threshholds, but who merely opened the doors a crack to speak to the police were arrested for public intoxication.

Altogether it's a lot like living in Iran or Saudi Arabia here.

I may be a beer drinker, and some people might even call me a drunk, but I'm not a drunk driver. I no longer drink and drive. Not for thirteen (13) years now. Really. I could just be lying, but I'm not.

I do all my drinking at home, alone, behind multiply locked, reinforced, braced doors and blacked-out windows. I was careful to select an apartment far above ground level, specifically to make it that much harder to peep into.

A couple of years ago a woman here, a single mother, was sitting in her easy chair in her own living room drinking a beer in front of her TV. A cop peeped in through her open drapes, saw her drinking the beer, and, having been previously informed by a snitch that she (otherwise legally) possessed a .38 revolver, demanded entry, and when she let him in, he charged her with "wanton endangerment" (or "reckless endangerment," I forget the difference) of her own child, because she was drinking and there was a gun on the premises (locked in a cabinet somewhere -- I mean she wasn't sitting there twirling it or dry-firing it at the TV; the cop never even saw it until they'd turned the house upside down looking for it).

Her revolver was confiscated/forfeited , she was taken to jail, and her child was put into the custody of the Child Protective Service or whatever that's called. For drinking a beer in her own living room, while being a gun owner. So I keep the blinds drawn, and black vinyl sheeting stapled over the inside of them; I keep the doors locked and I don't answer knocks at them; I don't even answer the door buzzer or use the intercom, rare features in my region, and big selling points at first, until I realized that to even respond to the buzzer with the intercom was to give away the fact that I'm at home. *Sometimes* I'll answer the phone.

As for my December 27, 1990 D.U.I. arrest, after I saw that I could not afford to fight it and pled ("pleaded"?) guilty (though I did not and do not believe I was guilty, technically) I paid the fines and court costs, and did the days in jail, and went for the year-plus without driving that were the legal penalties in place at the time.

Nobody then ever said anything about waiting until 13 or 20 or however many years later and then saying,"Well, because of that long-ago *misdemeanor* charge you pled guilty to, we are now going to reach back into the past and heap *new* penalties and legal disabilities on you, that were no part of the law at the time of the offense, and that you were never cautioned about; specifically, because you long ago pled guilty to a charge that involved the irresponsible use of alcohol and a car, from now on you will be forbidden to possess any sort of firearm or ammunition whatever, for life."

I've heard tell that the courts have rejected challenges to the Lautenberg Amendment, challenges based on the fact that it's an ex post facto law specifically and unambiguously forbidden by Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution.

The courts get around that by just *saying* it's *not* an ex post facto law (though it sure does match *my* encyclopedia's definition of one) or punishment because, in their view, being retroactively stripped for life of the right to keep and bear arms is *not a punishment*, because it only prohibits someone from doing or having something *from now on*.

I wonder if they'd say that a lawyer being disbarred was not a punishment, because it only prevented him from doing something (practicing law) from now on? Or that a doctor being stripped of his license to practice medicine, or an artist being blinded, or a once-virile man being castrated, or a once-beautiful woman having her face disfigured and her beauty destroyed was not a punishment?

"No Bill of Attainder of ex post facto Law shall be passed." -- United States Constitution, Article I, Section 9

"Misrule breeds rebellion."

Maimaktes

jimpeel
January 2, 2004, 07:07 PM
It is getting out of hand. Thanks to the many snitch lines that now exist with more on the way. They even make it easier on cell phone users. They post signs that teell them to call *eats--- and snitch off whomever they wish for whatever they feel like.

Bainx
January 2, 2004, 07:21 PM
Think of it this way-- if you walked into your house and found a stranger just pulling his hand from your wife's jewelry box, and you called the cops and gave them a description of the person you believe to be a burglar,
Assuming I found signs of forcible entry into my house and feared for my life, I would not call the cops until I blew his butt away with a .45 JHP. Plain and simple.


Thanks to the many snitch lines that now exist with more on the way. They even make it easier on cell phone users. They post signs that teell them to call *eats--- and snitch off whomever they wish for whatever they feel like.
Roger that.

Andrew Rothman
January 2, 2004, 07:51 PM
There are four separate issues being discussed here, and they are getting mixed up and blurred and causing a lot of hard feelings:

1. Drinking

Wanna drink? Go ahead.

2. Drinking and driving

Don't do that. It's irresponsible. The problem with drinking is that one of the first casualties is the ability to determine how drunk you are. No, BAC is not a direct indicator of ability to drive or of impairment, but it's an objective measure. Sorry. Responsible people don't do that.

And that 90-lb person with one drink at .08? Sorry. That may be impaired. Don't drive, fool.

3. Ex Post Facto Laws

Everyone here believes they are wrong. So let's drop it.

4. Is DWI "violent"?

Of course not. It's an attention-grabbing word for propaganda purposes.

But it is premeditated. Drinking and driving is DELIBERATELY increasing the risk to those around you. It's a crime of premeditated negligence with a fair chance of leading to horrible consequences.

Free travel is a right. Driving on public roads is a privelege. Sorry, but that's the law. That means that you have to follow the rules, whether you agree or not.


Wondernine, you are an inconsiderate jerk to drive while drunk, and smug to boot in saying that it was okay because no one got hurt.

Heck, 99 times out of 100, firing a gun in the air is perfectly safe. But it's a damn fool thing to do that shows complete disregard for the people unfortunate enough to share the road with you.

I hope you grow up and start acting like a responsible person soon. And remind me not to shoot at your range. If you drive drunk, you must shoot drunk, too, right?

LawDog
January 3, 2004, 12:40 AM
BTW, mere child molestors (as well as regular grown-up rapists, bandits, burglars, arsonists, car thieves, drug dealers, pimps, and hit-men) are *far* more likely to catch a break than anyone charged with D.U.I. in the courts around where I dwell (I wouldn't call it living).

Man, I need to move to where some of y'all live.

Let me tell y'all what it takes to get a DWI conviction in the last two counties I have worked in.

The first DWI case is bonded out on the condition that the driver seek alcohol counseling. At the completion of the course, the charge is dismissed.

You catch the drunk S.O.B. driving a second time, and he'll be offered a plea bargain to Deadly Conduct by the over-worked DA's office. Fine and Time Served if he accepts.

The third time you find the bugger weaving about in a generally east-bound direction while occupying the west-bound lane of US287, the court will bring down the Heavy Guns of Deferred Adjudication -- if he keeps his nose clean for a certain period, the case will be dismissed. If he screws up, the case will be tried.

So...he's out again. And for the fourth time, you catch him obviously bloody drunk behind the wheel of his vehicle. He Has Screwed Up, so obviously his last DWI will now be tried in court.

IF the DA doesn't offer another plea bargain you will now finally have a DWI conviction.

After four bloody arrests you finally have a DWI conviction.

It's a Class B misdemeanor - which technically carries a sentence not to exceed 180 days in the county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $3,000.

Which translates as two weeks Work Release (released from jail at 7AM, pretty please come back to jail at 6PM and spend the weekends), Fine and Court costs (+/-$500).

In order to catch a felony conviction (required for any impact on your civil rights) you need to have three convictions for DWI in the last ten years.

Which means you need to get caught DWI about seven to ten times in the last ten years.

:fire:

LawDog

RR
January 3, 2004, 03:01 AM
jimpeel wrote:

"So look for firearms rights to be tied to drunk driving sometime soon. "

They already are in some states. Drunk driving convictions are used to deny CCW. In some states, the 3rd, 4th, or 5th offense is deemed a felony thereby forever barring firearms ownership under both state and federal law.

Lawdog-the laws ain't that easy in some states. On second offense, minimum jail of 30 days-no plea bargains. Mandatory jail for second offense and above. Catch two DWIs in five years, no work permit to drive for one year. 3rd DWI they take your vehicle. Caught above the legal BAC limit, the law prohibits the judge from accepting a non DWI conviction without a trial. You cannot substitute inpatient treatment for the jail time. 5th offense-very good chance you will go to prison.

Does any of the above deter DWIs? Nope.

spacemanspiff
January 3, 2004, 03:47 AM
alright jimpeel, i got one for you:
two friends went to a park for the afternoon, had a six pack of beer. they were going to be there for several hours, and werent going to drive. police patrols had no problem with people drinking, but asked if either one was GOING to drive at some point. the obvious answer was "yes". that got the driver a DWI, even though they werent in the vehicle, keys werent in ignition.

charges were dropped before it made it to court.

clubsoda22
January 3, 2004, 05:11 AM
drunk driving should not be a crime, reckless driving under the influence should. If a cop sees someone driving erraticly, he pulls them over, if they are drunk, then they can be charged. No more of these dragnets.

harpethriver
January 3, 2004, 02:05 PM
Maimaktes- you miss my points. DUI laws may be rigorously enforced in your neck of the woods, but in most of this country enforcement is a joke because it is socially acceptable to drink and drive, and as an added bonus, it adds a lot of $$$ to the tax coffers. When someone points a gun at me, loaded or not I assume that gun is loaded and that act IS an act of violence. When someone drinks and gets in a vehicle and drives lives are placed in danger. That IS an act of violence. If you, me or anyone else wants to drink we must do so with the understanding that we've just given up the privelege (it's not a right) to drive a motor vehicle on public roads! We are free to drink all the alcohol we want, and neither MADD nor anyone else is preventing us from doing so. What MADD does want to prevent is obvious.

Maimaktes
January 3, 2004, 05:37 PM
Harpethriver,

The laws are *so* rigorously enforced that almost everyone around here who drinks at all has at least one D.U.I. arrest/conviction on his record. To even be charged with that around here is almost *inevitably* to be convicted. Well, to get technical, something like 99 percent just plead guilty when they realize they can't afford to contest the charges. That was what I did.

Of course, if I had known then that someday long afterward, powerful forces would be trying to impose the ex post facto penalty of loss of my right to self-defense for life, I would have figured I couldn't afford NOT to fight it tooth and nail. I would have sold everything I had, and borrowed money and gone deep into debt to fight it, and appealed it as far and as high as I could, if I had known.

The anti-2nd Amendment forces have let it be known that one of their strategies is to expand the list of "prohibited persons" (persons prohibited from owning guns) as much as possible, by including anyone who ever, in history, was convicted or who pled guilty to any *misdemeanor* (NOT felony) offense considered "domestic violence," be that ever so broadly and vaguely defined. That was the Lautenberg Amendment, and it was just the beginning.

The word has been out for some time that they also want to expand the list to include anyone who was ever convicted or pled guilty to any *misdemeanor* offense of *non*-domestic violence, for instance a fist fight in a parking lot when they were in high school. And they want to prohibit (from ever again owning guns) anyone who ever was convicted or who pled guilty to any "crime of violence," be that ever so broadly and vaguely defined.

And now we have MADD, which long ago ceased to be primarily concerned with reducing drunk driving, and became a neo-(alcohol) Prohibitionist outfit, calling D.U.I. a "crime of violence." It's not too hard to connect the dots here and to see where all this is heading. MADD is teaming up with the anti-2nd Amendment groups.

The idea is to make it illegal for as much of the population as possible to own guns -- to *criminalize* as many gun owners as possible. Those who are only too happy to throw all the people with ancient "domestic violence" or D.U.I. convictions to the wolves to lighten *their* sled, to treat them as so many sacrificial lambs to appease the wolves, saying "Yes, eat *them*, don't eat me," well, their time is coming too. Throwing the others to the wolves may buy them a *little* time, but the wolves *will* get around to them too, no matter what perfect, spotless, squeaky-clean choirboys (with never a skidmark in their briefs) they may have been all their lives.

"Misrule breeds rebellion."

Maimaktes

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