12 August 2006

Drunk Driving

A very interesting POV. But let's keep in mind that Mel is rich and famous and maybe most importantly, truly and deeply hammered.

Unless you carry a breathalyzer with you, you don't know how high your BAC is. Mine was only .01 over the limit, and I passed all the roadside tests. All I did was drive over the speed limit, which is what I do when I'm sober. I couldn't imagine being thrown in jail for a year over that. (Now I simply take a cab or walk, but public transportation is almost non-existent or very expensive outside of cities).

There have also been new studies that show driving just over the BAC limit is better than driving while talking on a cell phone (even the hands free models) And who sets the BAC limit? It's currently .08 in most states, but are you really impaired at that limit? That's three beers. I don't even feel drunk after three beers, which is why there are so many DUI arrests, I think. Is this limit being pushed on us by the insurance companies and politicians that want to show how tough they are? In Washington, they told states to lower their BAC to .08 or lose highway funding. It wasn't just science that lowered the limit, it was blackmail.

It's too hard to tell if someone is incapable of driving a car, the real purpose of the law. I don't think BAC alone is the answer. How accurate are breathalyzers? If they're going to give harsh punishments, they should be as accurate as possible, but they wouldn't give me the more accurate blood test when I was arrested. And a .08 for me can affect me differently than it does other people. My arresting officer said I didn't seem drunk, but I admitted to having a few drinks so he had to go through the process. He almost let me go. Maybe that blood test would have put me under the limit. Unfortunately, if you blow over a .08 then you're automatically convicted, and no amount of testimony will get you out of a conviction in my state.

I'm surprised you're not nervous about mandatory sentencing, considering your other political views. A mandatory sentence would give me the same punishment as someone who blew a .20. Are we saying that all cases are exactly the same and that judges can't be trusted to give a just punishment? As an aside, are you in favor of the three strikes and you're out laws?

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