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MADD declares drunk driving to be "violent crime".

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jimpeel, Dec 31, 2003.

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  1. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    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.
     
  2. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    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:
     
  3. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    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.
     
  4. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Member

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    And the problem is....what?

    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....
     
  5. HankB

    HankB Member

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    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.
     
  6. Yanus

    Yanus Member

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    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:
     
  7. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    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.
     
  8. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    Wow! That's scary, spaceman. Gald you came out of it.
     
  9. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    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
     
  10. OF

    OF Member

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    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
     
  11. agricola

    agricola Member

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    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.
     
  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    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.
     
  13. Neal Bloom

    Neal Bloom Member

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    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.
     
  14. BB93YJ

    BB93YJ Member

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    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.
     
  15. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    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.
     
  16. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    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.
     
  17. Maimaktes

    Maimaktes member

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    Ain't tellin'.
    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2003
  18. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Standing Wolf

    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?
     
  19. OF

    OF Member

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    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
     
  20. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Maimaktes

    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?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2003
  21. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't call it a violent crime. Can't forget about mens rea and actus reas concurring. Negligent, yes. Violent, no.
     
  22. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    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.
     
  23. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    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
     
  24. Maimaktes

    Maimaktes member

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    Ain't tellin'.
    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
     
  25. LoneWulf

    LoneWulf member

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    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:
     
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