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Postby Coppermine » Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:22 pm

Omaha Red Sox wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:
Omaha Red Sox wrote:Driving under the influence of anything, whether it be alcohol, weed, a cheeseburger, a bj, a cellphone, a radio, whatever, should be handled responsibly by that particular individual.


So why not treat the operation under any of those influences equally? Why not enforce the action (reckless driving) instead of the substance (alcohol, cellphone, weed, bj, etc). Would you be less angry if someone was distracted by talking on their cell phone while eating a cheeseburger and getting some road head and they crashed into your wife and child than you would if they were drunk and did the same thing?


In answer to your question, yes, I would be just as mad if the person at fault was distracted and because of that, a horrible thing happened. I don't necessarily have a problem with outlawing cellphones, eating, etc. while driving, but there are more accidents involving alcohol than other things. Technically, I guess, we cannot be sure, but alcoholic consumption is something that can be measured, while most other distractions cannot.

AV, outlawing drinking and driving has saved lives. It is part of the problem and the law is part of the solution. Is the whole solution? Of course not. Ignorant, selfish people will always exist. How many lives are you going to save by legalizing drunken driving?


I think ORS makes an excellent point here; AV, your retort?
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Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:59 am

Omaha Red Sox wrote:AV, outlawing drinking and driving has saved lives. It is part of the problem and the law is part of the solution. Is the whole solution? Of course not. Ignorant, selfish people will always exist. How many lives are you going to save by legalizing drunken driving?


There are all kinds of bad laws that they could pass (and that already exist) which would save lives, that doesn't mean the laws are right.

And to answer your question, zero, obviously. But should lives saved be the only factor we take into consideration when making laws? Like I've been saying, drunk driving (in most instances) is already covered by other laws, there's no reason to create new laws regulating what is in someone's blood stream when the substance in the bloodstream isn't the problem...the problem is reckless driving. Someone who drives recklessly while sober is just as bad as someone who drives recklessly with alcohol in their system.
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:02 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:when the substance in the bloodstream isn't the problem...the problem is reckless driving.


This doesn't make any sense AV.

The substance in the bloodstream is what causes the reckless driving. You can contend that not all drunk drivers drive recklessly, but I think it's been proven that alcohol effects your judgement, motor skills, etc.

I can't accept that legalizing a particular practice that is known to result in fatal accidents is the right thing to do.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:13 pm

Omaha Red Sox wrote:
Art Vandelay wrote:when the substance in the bloodstream isn't the problem...the problem is reckless driving.


This doesn't make any sense AV.

The substance in the bloodstream is what causes the reckless driving. You can contend that not all drunk drivers drive recklessly, but I think it's been proven that alcohol effects your judgement, motor skills, etc.

I can't accept that legalizing a particular practice that is known to result in fatal accidents is the right thing to do.


It makes sense to me. What they have outlawed is having alcohol in your system while driving, not the act of driving recklessly. What should be against the law are dangerous actions, not substances.

Earlier, someone mentioned other things that make drivers dangerous (eating, cell phones, being tired, other distractions, etc). So where do you draw the line? Should only well rested people who are paying complete attention to the road and not listening to the radio, talking on their cell, etc be allowed to drive? I advocate for putting restrictions on poor driving...actual actions, not substances.

Read this, this guy basically shares my same point of view, although he explains it much better than I can. It's a little old, but still very relavant:

Llewellyn Rockwell wrote:Clinton has signed a bill passed by Congress that orders the states to adopt new, more onerous drunk-driving standards or face a loss of highway funds. That’s right: the old highway extortion trick. Sure enough, states are already working to pass new, tighter laws against Driving Under the Influence, responding as expected to the feds’ ransom note.

Now the feds declare that a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent and above is criminal and must be severely punished. The National Restaurant Association is exactly right that this is absurdly low. The overwhelming majority of accidents related to drunk driving involve repeat offenders with blood-alcohol levels twice that high. If a standard of 0.1 doesn’t deter them, then a lower one won’t either.

But there’s a more fundamental point. What precisely is being criminalized? Not bad driving. Not destruction of property. Not the taking of human life or reckless endangerment. The crime is having the wrong substance in your blood. Yet it is possible, in fact, to have this substance in your blood, even while driving, and not commit anything like what has been traditionally called a crime.

What have we done by permitting government to criminalize the content of our blood instead of actions themselves? We have given it power to make the application of the law arbitrary, capricious, and contingent on the judgment of cops and cop technicians. Indeed, without the government’s "Breathalyzer," there is no way to tell for sure if we are breaking the law.

Sure, we can do informal calculations in our head, based on our weight and the amount of alcohol we have had over some period of time. But at best these will be estimates. We have to wait for the government to administer a test to tell us whether or not we are criminals. That’s not the way law is supposed to work. Indeed, this is a form of tyranny.

Now, the immediate response goes this way: drunk driving has to be illegal because the probability of causing an accident rises dramatically when you drink. The answer is just as simple: government in a free society should not deal in probabilities. The law should deal in actions and actions alone, and only insofar as they damage person or property. Probabilities are something for insurance companies to assess on a competitive and voluntary basis.

This is why the campaign against "racial profiling" has intuitive plausibility to many people: surely a person shouldn’t be hounded solely because some demographic groups have higher crime rates than others. Government should be preventing and punishing crimes themselves, not probabilities and propensities. Neither, then, should we have driver profiling, which assumes that just because a person has quaffed a few he is automatically a danger.

In fact, driver profiling is worse than racial profiling, because the latter only implies that the police are more watchful, not that they criminalize race itself. Despite the propaganda, what’s being criminalized in the case of drunk driving is not the probability that a person driving will get into an accident but the fact of the blood-alcohol content itself. A drunk driver is humiliated and destroyed even when he hasn’t done any harm.

Of course, enforcement is a serious problem. A sizeable number of people leaving a bar or a restaurant would probably qualify as DUI. But there is no way for the police to know unless they are tipped off by a swerving car or reckless driving in general. But the question becomes: why not ticket the swerving or recklessness and leave the alcohol out of it? Why indeed.

To underscore the fact that it is some level of drinking that is being criminalized, government sets up these outrageous, civil-liberties-violating barricades that stop people to check their blood – even when they have done nothing at all. This is a gross attack on liberty that implies that the government has and should have total control over us, extending even to the testing of intimate biological facts. But somehow we put up with it because we have conceded the first assumption that government ought to punish us for the content of our blood and not just our actions.

There are many factors that cause a person to drive poorly. You may have sore muscles after a weight-lifting session and have slow reactions. You could be sleepy. You could be in a bad mood, or angry after a fight with your spouse. Should the government be allowed to administer anger tests, tiredness tests, or soreness tests? That is the very next step, and don’t be surprised when Congress starts to examine this question.

Already, there’s a move on to prohibit cell phone use while driving. Such an absurdity follows from the idea that government should make judgments about what we are allegedly likely to do.

What’s more, some people drive more safely after a few drinks, precisely because they know their reaction time has been slowed and they must pay more attention to safety. We all know drunks who have an amazing ability to drive perfectly after being liquored up. They should be liberated from the force of the law, and only punished if they actually do something wrong.

We need to put a stop to this whole trend now. Drunk driving should be legalized. And please don’t write me to say: "I am offended by your insensitivity because my mother was killed by a drunk driver." Any person responsible for killing someone else is guilty of manslaughter or murder and should be punished accordingly. But it is perverse to punish a murderer not because of his crime but because of some biological consideration, e.g. he has red hair.

Bank robbers may tend to wear masks, but the crime they commit has nothing to do with the mask. In the same way, drunk drivers cause accidents but so do sober drivers, and many drunk drivers cause no accidents at all. The law should focus on violations of person and property, not scientific oddities like blood content.

There’s a final point against Clinton’s drunk-driving bill. It is a violation of states rights. Not only is there is no warrant in the Constitution for the federal government to legislate blood-alcohol content – the 10th amendment should prevent it from doing so. The question of drunk driving should first be returned to the states, and then each state should liberate drunk drivers from the force of the law.
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:28 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:Earlier, someone mentioned other things that make drivers dangerous (eating, cell phones, being tired, other distractions, etc). So where do you draw the line? Should only well rested people who are paying complete attention to the road and not listening to the radio, talking on their cell, etc be allowed to drive? I advocate for putting restrictions on poor driving...actual actions, not substances.


Back to what I said earlier, this is irrelevant. I am not suggesting that we legalize reckless driving or that driving distracted is any less dangerous. What I am saying is that, out of all of the distractions that can occur while driving, the consumption of alcohol is one that citizens can control and one that has been a terrible problem in the past and currently. Because people can control this activity (getting behind the wheel after drinking too much) and because this activity kills more than its fair share of innocent people, so should special attention be paid to this activity.

Police will not catch very many reckless drunken drivers before they have an accident if this were the only law which could be broken, as you are suggesting.

If you and me were having drinks together in a bar and I reassured you that I was not too drunk to drive would you believe me? Doesn't matter, because I believe it. Everyone who has ever been wasted I'm sure has had that feeling of invincibility. When one is faced with this feeling, but then remembers the consequences of this, he/she (me) will likely (hopefully) decide not to drive.

It can sometimes be a fine line, I will grant you that, but I would much rather be safe than sorry. I, for one, and you, too, as you stated, have nothing to worry about. I do not feel as though my rights are being violated because I know that it is irresponsible for me to practice drinking and driving.

I will read the article later when I have more time.
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Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:03 pm

Omaha Red Sox wrote:It can sometimes be a fine line, I will grant you that, but I would much rather be safe than sorry. I, for one, and you, too, as you stated, have nothing to worry about. I do not feel as though my rights are being violated because I know that it is irresponsible for me to practice drinking and driving.


Even if my rights aren't specifically being violated, as far as I'm concerned, the violation of anyone's rights is the violation of everyone's rights. The federal government has time and time again unconstitutionally taken control of people and what they do with their bodies.

Omaha Red Sox wrote:Police will not catch very many reckless drunken drivers before they have an accident if this were the only law which could be broken, as you are suggesting.


Why not? How do they catch drunk drivers now before they have accidents? They would catch just as many. If you are driving down the road swerving and unable to maintain your lane, or rolling through stop signs, etc (which is how most drunk drivers are noticed and pulled over) then you are driving recklessly whether you are sober or drunk. Police would, and should, still be able to pull over anyone they see speeding, swerving, or otherwise driving recklessly, only the charge should be the action of the driving, not the fact that their blood stream has some arbitrary amount of alcohol in it.
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Postby The_Met_Threat » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:22 pm

Im just trying to understand this, but AV, all you are arguing is that there should be no DUI's and drunk driving should fall into Reckless Driving (Reckless Driving causing injury or death in some cases), just like talking on your cell phone and driving all over your place would get you Reckless Driving right?
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Postby Art Vandelay » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:24 pm

Yes.
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:26 pm

Art Vandelay wrote:Why not? How do they catch drunk drivers now before they have accidents? They would catch just as many. If you are driving down the road swerving and unable to maintain your lane, or rolling through stop signs, etc (which is how most drunk drivers are noticed and pulled over) then you are driving recklessly whether you are sober or drunk. Police would, and should, still be able to pull over anyone they see speeding, swerving, or otherwise driving recklessly, only the charge should be the action of the driving, not the fact that their blood stream has some arbitrary amount of alcohol in it.


It is much easier on an officer of the law to enforce a law that is measurable than one that is a judgment call.

You would be exchanging a much more volatile solution to one that is much less confusing, making it much less effective.

Back to the rights violations; we are only discussing one topic here AV and I feel you are looking at this differently than I am. I am looking at this specific topic, while I think you are generalizing.

I do not feel you should have the right to endanger lives by drinking and driving.
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Postby Madison » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:43 pm

Art Vandelay wrote: Like I've been saying, drunk driving (in most instances) is already covered by other laws,


So by this logic, you're also against the new "hate crimes"? I mean murder is murder, yet now we have added "hate crimes" to murder when it's proven that something was done to someone simply due to their race, religion, sexual preferance, etc. Since murder, torture, etc, is already against the law, you don't think additional punishment, or a harsher punishment should be given to those who do it out of hate?

If somone chooses to drink and drive, I believe the punishment should be worse than simply a "reckless driving" charge. That person chose to put other people's lives in danger, buy putting themselves in a position that impaired their ability to handle a car.


Can't wait to see what you have to say when you have to blow into a machine before being allowed to leave a bar, and your blood alcohol level has to be below .08 in order for you to leave. And yes, that will be here relatively soon.
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