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Legalize Drunk Driving

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posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:38 PM
Despite my hesitancy to do so, I must present the following info as a result of my research which attempted to refute the OP's argument with statistical data otherwise. Inasmuch as common sense would seem to suggest that fines, laws and jail time would act as an effective deterrent, according to this report it does not;

The following countermeasures, which have long formed the basis of punishment for
convicted DUI offenders, have not proven effective in reducing impaired driving:
• Jail or community service
• Fines


When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest. --Author Unknown. I am here for truth and not afraid to be mistaken but I refuse to be dishonest.

To be clear, the study DOES NOT suggest abolishing illegality as a deterrent, nonetheless it does illustrate the common misconception.

posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by Xcathdra

Which is why we have to continually have these debates... Sometimes I wonder if the people who push this stuff ae stoned / high / etc when they think it up.

Because that turns you into some sort of lunatic with no grasp of reality, amiright?

posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 11:40 PM

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by mnemeth1

...............But it does what it was enacted to do. It acts as a deterrent. That's all any law can do, even the death penalty. Yes?

There is very little evidence to support the notion that capital punishment deters crime. Consider Jeffrey Grogger's excellent study on the deterrence issue in an article titled The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: An Analysis of Daily Homicide Counts. The link I will provide later is a Jstor article, which requires an account to get the full article, so allow me to summarize that study with a few quotes from Grogger:

The efficacy of capital punishment as a detterrent to homicide has been debated for at least a century...In the last decade, a considerable body of research on the deterrence question has emerged in the economics literature...Such studies have generally been aggegative in nature, focusing on the relationship between homicide rates and rates of arrest, conviction, and execution in different jurisdictions or over time. This approach has yeilded ambiguous results.

Grogger concludes with:

Nevertheless, it would be incautious to conclude from the evidence presented here that capital punishments unequivocally fail to deter murder. For example, the possibility that executions may play an inhibiting role in the long-run socialization of potential criminals cannot be addressed by the data or methods used here...The analysis conducted consistently indicate that these data provide no support for the hypothesis that executions deter murder in the short term.

In the long term, and given the long history of the death penalty world wide, it would be reasonable to conclude that if capital punishment actually deterred a crime such as murder, then murder rates would be steadily decreasing year after year, which is simply not the case. Instead we find a fluctuation of murder rates, sometimes decreasing, and then sometimes increasing. Capital punishment has little to do with deterrence and is, for all intents and purposes, the spectacle of modern day human sacrifice, where the act of propitiation remains the constant, but instead of appeasing the gods, as people once used human sacrifice for, today the human sacrifice is used to appease the public.

In terms of DUI's acting as a deterrence to drunk driving, there is still much debate on whether it actually deters the act of driving drunk or not. Consider just the abstract from an article by Frank Sloan and Bridget Riley titled Effects of Tort Liability and Insurance on Heavy Drinking and Driving:

Overall, it appears that the deterrence of DUI is achieved by curbing behavior that leads to DUI, namely binge drinking. Once individuals engage in binge drinking, it appears that many policies designed to be deterrents have little influence.


The correlation between binge drinking and accidents is clear. Much data regarding this can be found here, and here.

I do not offer this data to support or refute anyone in this thread, only to question the notion of legislation acting as a criminal deterrent. If legislation actually deterred crime, after thousands of years of legislative acts, and other forms of social rules, it is arguable that today's societies would be virtually crime free. This is just not the case. Law, real law, does not and cannot deter crime. Law, in terms of justice, can only be a collective organization of the right to individual self defense, and as an acknowledgment that all people are endowed with individual rights.

Murder is an abrogation and derogation of a persons right to life, and it is against the law because of this. Reckless endangerment is also an abrogation and derogation of people's rights, and if a drunk driver is recklessly endangering people then they are acting criminally. People have the right to defend themselves individually, and it stands to reason that they have the right to come together collectively and defend themselves as a community.

This, in my opinion, is the only reason to have DUI laws, as a collective organization of defense of individuals rights, not as a deterrence to crime, but as a method in dealing with those who commit crimes after the fact. In a just society it is arguable that reasonable people have come together to form a more perfect union, and part of the reason for the union is to establish justice.

Justice is not a positive thing that can be seen, and can only be understood in the absence of justice. When a person has had their right(s) trampled upon, it is clear that there is a lack of justice in the same way that when someone has scurvy it is clear that there is a lack of vitamin C. The lack is not readily apparent, and cannot be found under a microscope, but it is there. This is how justice works, and we understand the need for it when there is an absence of justice.

If we are a community of reasonable people, then justice must be implemented in a reasonable manner. Justice cannot be meted out in an arbitrary manner. This will only undermine the respect justice demands. Justice must be meted out in a manner consistent with individual rights. In this regard, if the severity of drinking and driving is to be handled in a just manner, then it must be handled on a case by case basis in the same way murder, theft, or rape is. We do not, or at the very least should not, conduct roadside murder tests or rape tests in order to ferret out future murderers and rapists. We deal with the murderers and rapists either as they commit the crime, or just before they commit the crime, or tragically we deal with them after the fact. This is the only way justice can possibly work. Any other attempts, such as legislative acts that pretend to deter crime, are always tantamount to a travesty of justice.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:56 AM
reply to post by Xcathdra

But then again we have something called a twinky defense.... If thats not reason enough to maintain a ban on drugs.

The so called "Twinkie Defense":

"Twinkie defense" is a derisive label for an improbable legal defense. It is not an actual legal defense in jurisprudence, but a catchall term coined by reporters during their coverage of the trial of defendant Dan White for the murders of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone. White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression. His change in diet from health food to Twinkies and other sugary food was said to be a symptom of depression. The media misinterpreted this defense as a claim that sugary food was itself responsible for White's criminal behavior. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

Twinkies were never mentioned in the courtroom during the White trial, nor did the defense ever claim that White was on a sugar rush and committed the murders as a result. However, one reporter's use of the term "Twinkie defense" caught on and stuck, leading to a persistent misunderstanding by the public that exists to this day, and was mentioned at the end of Milk, Gus Van Sant's 2008 biopic of Harvey Milk. In a bonus feature on the DVD version of The Times of Harvey Milk, a documentary on Milk's life and death, White's lawyers explain what they actually argued in court.

The actual legal defense that White's lawyers used was that his mental capacity had been diminished, and White's consumption of junk food was presented to the jury as one of many symptoms, not a cause, of White's depression.

(Emphasis added)

It is quite clearly not reason enough.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 01:41 AM
reply to post by mnemeth1

Yep, change it.
Just hope you don't encounter someone who likes your new law and cleans you up on the highway.
Back to the bottle.
Oh yeah, when did you lose your licence for drink driving?
You must have to write such a ill informed article.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 01:58 AM

Originally posted by Colbomoose
reply to post by mnemeth1

Just hope you don't encounter someone who likes your new law and cleans you up on the highway.

That person would be guilty of a form of homicide if they killed mnemeth1.

That is what mnemeth1 has been saying.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:53 AM
Before you attack this idea lets give it some thought. Has any one you driven drunk in his or her lifetime? Has any of your friends or family members? Of course. Does that make it right? Of course not. Do they deserve to go to jail? That depends. Did they hurt someone? No? Are they still your friends or family, or did you cast them out of your society with DD branded upon their wicked foreheads? Those criminals!! Drunk driving laws are hypocritical. I see officers parked outside of bars and clubs, allowing tons of trashed people drive home, without making any stops. Businesses are allowed to serve alcohol with the full knowledge that customers must transport themselves to and from their establishments. The very cop that pulls you over may very well stop at a bar on the way home from his shift, knock back a few and then drive drunkenly home to smack his wife. How do you arrest a person for being high on a legal substance, that makes you lose the ability to make correct decisions? If you drink... you've driven drunk, no doubt about it. Go turn yourself in. No? Then stop being a hypocrite and come up with some critical solutions to this problem that doesn't involve throwing otherwise good people in jail. Or, you can do what I did...I quit drinking socially at the age of 29 just because of the fact that I didn't want to drive drunk anymore. I still drink sometimes but only at home. I know people who lose someone to drunk drivers feel they have a right to justice. But unless that person has NEVER driven drunk, they must be willing to put themselves in the position of the intoxicated driver.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:04 AM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

I do not offer this data to support or refute anyone in this thread, only to question the notion of legislation acting as a criminal deterrent

of couse it does, if punishment such as jail time, or even loss of licience is brought about, can and will deter, also it stops such acts while incarcerated.

It may not be a long term solution, though the more times one breaks these laws, the harsher the punishments and the more one might then relize not to break these laws again. the statistics just show how many criminals are willing to break the laws in society and how much a problem it really is, deterants such as these can only become tougher for those who continually disreguard them, adding even more laws to any enforcements already in place for society as a whole, innocents included. do they add any value, to those that abide yes.
edit on 22-12-2010 by redgy because: space added

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 05:22 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

"A blood test, after just a few hours, would demonstrate the presence of opiates in the blood, but the quantitative values would preclude being considered "under the influence". "

That is why there are experts, courts and juries... however many, most probably, do not fight the charges once offered a plea.. a reckless is better than losing a DUI trial, the state wins by getting something most of the time.

Also I have some training pamphlets to argue on how long this or that stays on ones system, but eh, ok.. lets say after a day there is not enough to ascertain opiate presence, great.. you won't get charged. Unfortunately you don't get a choice as to when your blood is drawn, and if some DA decides you were under the influence.. fight it, your experts versus the states.. winner take all.

That's another thing people don't get.. fight my arrest and I get over time win or lose. Can't win em all during a career, win some lose some.. after years and years wins and losses don't mean crap compared to a fat paycheck with an extra $2k.

If you win a trail because your expert out explained the states, fantastic.. 4 out of the next 5 people charged with the same thing will take a deal and pay the man.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:33 AM
So then.......... you guys are anarchists. Fine.

Laws do act as a deterrent. Of course I think I'm fine to drive after a few drinks. But I don't.
Why? Because I don't want to spend the night in a jail and I don't want my reputation sullied.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:38 AM

Originally posted by xynephadyn
I know several middle class well meaning people who's lives were completely destroyed by gettings dui's- all while they were barely over the legal limit. I agree that dui laws should remain intact, but the legal limit needs to be reassessed- aswell as the punishment. I mean they allow restaurants and bars to sell liqor. This isnt the 18th century- we dont have a horse and buggy- most people drive. If they allow legally people to consume more than 1 drink at an establishment, and dont "pay" for a person who is too drunk a drive home for free by a taxi service (other than holidays) then who are they kidding.

I'm one of these people you described and couldn't agree more with your comments. "Destroyed" yep. I don't think it was fair to get a dui only slightly over the limit, was not feeling at all impaired, exhibited no wreckless driving and was pulled over simply for a broken tail light. My lawyer said I did fine on my field sobriety tests but later come to find out that the purpose of those are for LEO to gather evidence against not so much to let someone off. They are pretty much pointless to take, not even mandatory, might as well just blow. Yes, I too agree that dui laws need to remain intact however I think the BACs of 0.08-.1 ish ought to be de-criminalized quite a bit (another in this thread also posted same opinion) especially if the person has not been wet n reckless, no harm done nothing. Anyway, let me tell all you people, where ever you stand on this and as long as the current laws stay the same, just don't do it drive on 2 beers like me even if you aren't trashed either. The article was spot on about losing $50,000. Lost my job that I loved and was very good at, am so broke can't afford xmas this year, cannot get into canada for like 7 years, only just got my full license back 2+ years after dui, one more year of probation... it's just not worth the risk, hassle, bad reputation, time, money of getting caught even if you aren't a danger & fit to drive.

You kind of got me thinking about if a drunk on a horse can get a dui... also on what modes of transport can/cannot, such as bicycle-yes. boat-yes. skates? skateboard? skis/snowboard? Too bad they can't just already invent the cars that autopilot home eh.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 07:03 AM

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
Laws do act as a deterrent. Of course I think I'm fine to drive after a few drinks. But I don't.
Why? Because I don't want to spend the night in a jail and I don't want my reputation sullied.


But what about the risk of mangling yourself or some family? Surely as a decent person, that also acts as a deterrent for you?

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:47 AM
Why do good people drink and drive?

The fact is that good law abiding people who drink, wind up driving under the influence from time to time, and even those who don't drink wind up driving under the influence of medication.

The reason is that drinking impairs judgment. We do stupid things when we are under the influence, and one of the stupidest things we do is get behind the wheel of an automobile and drive.

If you take a good look at the statistics, DUI laws don't solve the problem, and the ever harsher laws being created are probably more of a problem than a deterrent.

We have become a society that kicks people when they are down. When are we most likely to drink to excess, when everything is going wrong, we self medicate. What does society do to us should we make a mistake under impaired judgment and drive a vehicle under the influence? They hammer us. They drive a stake through our lives, financially, professionally, and socially. They don't care what the consequences are to those people's lives, with children and bills, and everything, the people who run our justice system coldly and cruelly ruin people's lives. Even though the person caught by the system had done nothing wrong to anyone, and the odds that the driver would have done any harm is extremely minute. The punishment is unjust, far in excess of the crime committed.

Our nation has set up an elaborate system that makes travel by car pretty much a prerequisite to survival, or at least financial survival. This system is a deadly killer. Even by the current cherry picked stats, you are twice as likely to get killed in an accident not alcohol related, than by someone who is under the influence. If honest statistics on the matter could be obtain, you are probably ten times more likely to be killed in an accident that does not involve someone driving under the influence.

People love their automobiles, and they don't want to face the reality of how dangerous they are, so they concentrate on blaming people who drink and drive, so that they can continue to cling to their delusions.

It is an ugly fact that we have a large industry that thrives on the existence of crime. Their livelihood depends on criminals, and that business is dwindling. In the early 1990ties crime in the U.S. under went a steep drop, and has been on the decline ever since. Surprisingly, most people don't have a clue about this.

Safety laws such as DUIs are the savior for these criminal justice systems that need criminals in order to earn their living. These safety laws, along with the war on drugs, family law, and vice laws have become very critical to people who earn their living through the justice system. This is a very bad situation, because most of these activities that have been criminalized are victimless crimes. Even though no one is hurt, no damage is done, people lives and reputations are destroyed. This is not justice.

Our rights and liberties are being stripped from us by these types of crimes that aim to legislate personal behavior. There are better solutions, but they aren't as profitable, so they are not put into place.

In the meantime, our court systems have become very corrupt, and the situation continues to get worse. Sadly, too many people are completely programmed by the system into willingly surrendering their rights, and once again, the situation continues to get worse.

Most of the prosecutors who commit misconduct, the study found, do so repeatedly. Why? Because they get away with it. They almost never get caught. And when they do get caught, there aren’t any personal repercussions. Disciplinary action is so rare as to be practically unheard of. And civil liability isn’t going to happen, because they have absolute immunity for their official conduct.

The study concludes that “the scope and persistence of the problem is alarming. Reform is critical.” It’s not a problem just of a few rogue prosecutors. It’s a problem of the judges who don’t deal with it, a system that doesn’t deter it, offices that don’t stop it. It’s the problem of the good prosecutors, whose authority and trust suffer by association. It’s the problem of the innocent, who find themselves convicted time and again because the prosecutor sought a victory rather than justice. It’s the problem of the guilty, who are denied their rights to due process and constitutional protections. And it’s the problem of the criminal justice system, which relies entirely on prosecutors doing their job right in order for the system to function at all.

The sad reality is that this is probably putting the problem very mildly. I have know a few lawyers in my time, and many who have had dealings with lawyers, and the whole profession seems almost devoid of ethnics.

When I read this thread, it is clear that far too many people spend to much time watching law and order shows, and they live their lives more and more heavily sheltered.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:58 AM
Here is some more disturbing information on the subject.

From where did these statistics come? Years ago, the statistics kept on traffic fatalities included a category for "alcohol-caused" deaths. To justify such things as sobriety checkpoints, lowered blood alcohol levels and automatic at-the-scene DUI license suspensions, however, these statistics were subtly changed to "alcohol-related". Not "caused", but related.

This meant that a perfectly sober driver who hit and killed an intoxicated pedestrian, for example, would be involved in an "alcohol-related" incident. Similarly, a sober driver who is struck by another sober driver carrying an intoxicated passenger chalked up another "alcohol-related" death. Further, if the officer believes the driver to be intoxicated but chemical tests show he is not, the death is nevertheless reported as "alcohol-related". In fact, if the tests indicate the presence of any alcohol at all, say .02%, the fatality will be chalked up as "alcohol-related".

So what are the real numbers? The Los Angeles Times also decided to investigate the validity of these statistics. In 2002, NHTSA’s figures claimed 18,000 deaths on the nation’s highways attributable to drunk driving. The Times found that only about 5,000 of these involved a drunk driver causing the death of a sober driver, passenger or pedestrian. (Research by other groups, such as "Responsibility in DUI Laws, Inc.", indicate the figure is actually under 3,000.) 5,000. A fraction of the number being used by the government and political pressure groups like MADD.

And yet the total number of MVT deaths remain, which means that DUIs are only a small part of the problem. A small part being used to hide the truth.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:11 PM

Originally posted by mnemeth1

Is the public made more safe? Obviously the law does next to nothing to deter drunk driving. Just like drug laws and gun laws, DUI laws are another form of “pre-crime.” They are laws that attempt to prevent actual crime (hurting someone) from occurring.

Punishing someone that hasn’t hurt anyone or damaged anyone else’s property by their actions is wrong.

Drug laws and Gun Laws are two completely different things and both seperate in enforcement and structure than DUI laws.

By your logic we should also allow people to wildly fire a gun in the center of a busy playground is perfectly acceptable and should not be stopped until a bullet actually kills a child.

The public must be treated as adults and be given the adult responsibility to decide on their own if they are capable of driving without hurting themselves or anyone else. The State should not play the role of the nanny looter.

Adults are given exactly that responsibility everytime they start up the car and drive. are you talking about?

They are only charged with a DUI when they drive drunk...and then only if they are obviously driving recklessly enough and a Cop happens to be in the vicinity and notice

I lost a childhood friend to drunk driving. She was the girl who lived next door. It was just about this time of year as a matter of fact. Her father was driving her home from a friends house and a drunk man swerved over and hit them head on. She died instantly, the father didn't walk again.

My mother lost her 3 year old sister when a drunk leaving a bar ran up onto the sidewalk and ran her mom was 5 years old and holding her hand when it happened. The guy didn't even stop.

Steady as clockwork someone in the USA dies from a drunk driver about every half-hour, 24 hours a day.

I guess what I am saying is that I have little patience for this particular line of BS.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:13 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

Laws do act as a deterrent. Of course I think I'm fine to drive after a few drinks. But I don't. Why? Because I don't want to spend the night in a jail and I don't want my reputation sullied.

Social norms should not be confused with law, nor should legislation. Legislation is not law but merely evidence of law. If legislation were actually law the courts would not have any legal justification for striking certain acts of legislation down. Law, all law, is discovered not made. "Man made law" is anarchy, and who gets to enforce their man made law goes to the biggest bully on the block. That is not law. All law is universal in its applicability.

The legislation of DUI may deter you from committing a crime, although I suspect that what actually deters you is your profound respect for the rights of others, but it demonstrably does not deter the offender from driving while drunk. There is no universality in this. What remains universal is that people have the right to reasonably protect themselves from reckless drivers, and failing that they have the right to put justice in once there is a demonstrable absence of justice.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:19 PM
It's not a deterrent to doing it the first time. It's a measure to keep those who have the tendency to drink and drive, from doing it a second time, once they are caught. How often do people drink and drive? All the time. Just drive around town after any football game, and you'll see cars veering around on the highways. The deterrent is to fine those who are doing so, so that they realize how much it will cost them if they do it, and keep them from doing it (and being on the road drunk) in the future.

Got a speeding ticket? Many people have. What do you do after you get one? You drive the speed limit. I know I do. You are nervous and unhappy about the money you had to pay, and you don't want another. The fines become stiffer, and you can eventually lose your license to drive at all. Which is the same with DUI fines. But on a larger scale. Once you get one, a sensible person will no longer do this - they don't want / can't afford it a second time. Or to lose their license, go to classes, etc.

If that deterrent wasn't there, people could drive drunk with impunity - until they cause an accident, or run over your child. You are suggesting people are smart enough to realize what the costs will be before their first incident, and will act accordingly. You don't know people very well, do you. They are not smart enough NOW, and they will be more dangerous if they are never called on their stupidity until they do something tragic. I understand the OP is raging against "the system.." he hates the thought of someone making out in any form money-wise. Well, there is no other way around it. Until people are smart enough to gauge the ramifications of drinking and driving and act accordingly (and we are a loong way off from that), there must be a deterrent in place to curb the desire to do so.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Originally posted by fleabit
Got a speeding ticket? Many people have. What do you do after you get one? You drive the speed limit. I know I do. You are nervous and unhappy about the money you had to pay, and you don't want another. The fines become stiffer, and you can eventually lose your license to drive at all. Which is the same with DUI fines.

This is nicely put together. I wanted to post something like this, too -- indeed, after a couple of tickets I tend to not speed. I have a friend who got a few and the results were painful enough he's resolved to never speed. He was driving me to a train station and I was almost late for the train, I asked him to go faster and he refused.

So there. Deterrents work.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:47 PM
reply to post by mnemeth1

Very thought provoking as always my friend.

I do have to say, from personal experience, i have seen a couple of times these DUI laws misused, not on me personally, but on people i talked to. I do find those times, and they will happen, extremely offensive to me as a citizen. I guess you can't really prove that they save anyone's life, but then you can't prove they don't. I do personally feel, in a situation where no one is harmed, the state has no business punishing anyone, in that respect i am 110% with you.

posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 04:37 PM
omg so billions of dollars in fines and taxes are generated a year and you want them to make it legal - lol

and official in denver was once asked why they didnt build more parking spaces and the answer was they handed out 4 million a year in parking tickets

making money > spending it to do the right thing

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