43
   

I just don’t understand drinking and driving

 
 
JeffreyEqualityNewma
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 May, 2012 10:18 am
I’ve often wondered how effective the ankle bracelets are that can track the alcohol consumption of offenders.

On another note rumor has it Mr. Swift could possibily get off with only probation and fines. Just sayin.
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Jul, 2012 08:52 pm
It doesn't look like much happened in court today.

It was reaffirmed that Swift was waiving his right to a speedy trial and another pre-trial hearing was set for August 20th.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Jul, 2012 10:35 pm
@JeffreyEqualityNewma,
JeffreyEqualityNewma wrote:
I’ve often wondered how effective the ankle bracelets are that can track the alcohol consumption of offenders.

On another note rumor has it Mr. Swift could possibily get off with only probation and fines. Just sayin.
In my personal opinion,
this case is better treated as an accident,
turning our attention away from the intentional drinking,
so as not to put anyone thru hell; I feel sad for Tom Swift.
I wish him the best outcome.





David
0 Replies
 
JeffreyEqualityNewma
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Jul, 2012 09:40 am
@firefly,
Thanks for the info. I was curious how it went yesterday. Seems his attorney is postponing this as long as possible. Avoid the inevitable I guess.
hawkeye10
 
  -3  
Reply Tue 3 Jul, 2012 01:20 pm
@JeffreyEqualityNewma,
JeffreyEqualityNewma wrote:

Thanks for the info. I was curious how it went yesterday. Seems his attorney is postponing this as long as possible. Avoid the inevitable I guess.


Pretty much this indicates that I am right, that the state is not offering much for a plea deal. At his age there is a reasonable chance that he will not live out his prison term, every day a freedom before he goes in is a win.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Jul, 2012 01:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
Interesting way to describe "winning."

The rest of us, who aren't being prosecuted for drunk driving, are winning a hell of a lot more than he is.

The rest of us, who don't have the stain on our souls of having killed someone through our reckless behaviors, are winning a hell of a lot more than he is.
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 3 Jul, 2012 01:33 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
Interesting way to describe "winning."


Offer any rational man of his age the choice between a day of freedom now and a day of freedom 10-15 years from now and they would take the day now. Thom is likely to be alive 10-15 years from now true, but much less likely to be in good health and fully able to enjoy the day. A younger rational man probably would take it later, because it would be more enjoyable with out the debt to society hanging over his head.
0 Replies
 
jcboy
 
  10  
Reply Tue 3 Jul, 2012 09:04 pm
@firefly,
I was curious what went on in court yesterday. Thank you!

It seems some people have a short-term memory. Since Thom’s incident I know of three people who have gotten DIU’s in the last six months.

My sister in law watched Antonio tonight so Marco and I went out to meet friends for cocktails. We live so close to George’s it cost us 16.00 roundtrip for our cab ride. A friend of ours walked out with us and towards his car, I tried stopping him and told him to give me his keys and get in the cab with us but he wouldn’t listen. There wasn’t anything I could do to stop him. I did my part.

I called to make sure he made it home safe, he did, but I’m still going to give him hell tomorrow when I see him.
jcboy
 
  5  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 07:11 pm
@jcboy,
Oh boy even in Tampa they know Thom from this thread. Hey don't blame me for posting news. Someone just came up to me and called this thoms blog.
jcboy
 
  3  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 11:49 am
@jcboy,
A little bit of info I found out last night from a reliable source. As it turns out Mr. Lancaster was also intoxicated while riding his bike home that night.

Not sure how this will effect Mr. Swifts trial though.
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 7 Jul, 2012 12:15 pm
@jcboy,
jcboy wrote:

A little bit of info I found out last night from a reliable source. As it turns out Mr. Lancaster was also intoxicated while riding his bike home that night.

Not sure how this will effect Mr. Swifts trial though.



The law does not care, but it should. I'll bet that his bike was not legal either, but again the state does not care, as evidenced by the carges worth 30 years as well as the pretty clear indication that the state is not offering much for a plea deal.

When two drunks crash on the road it should not be considered all the fault of the one with the bigger vehicle...but effectively that is how the law reads.
0 Replies
 
MMarciano
 
  8  
Reply Sun 8 Jul, 2012 05:29 pm
@jcboy,
It’s not easy to reason with anyone who has had too much to drink. We offered a cab ride, they refused. That’s all we can do. They’re adults and some will have to learn the hard way.
FOUND SOUL
 
  7  
Reply Mon 9 Jul, 2012 02:42 am
@MMarciano,
Nor can you let it eat at you, either of you.

You know the old saying ? "Yeah, but it won't happen to me" ... No matter what you suggest, that's the thought.

As long as you offered, you can live with yourself. Don't let it eat you guys up, of what "could be", based on "what's happened"...

Keith424
 
  9  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2012 05:37 am
@FOUND SOUL,
That's right and if they don't have the money for a cab we have rainbow rides that will take them home for free!

A DUI will cost you about ten grand! And you're lucky that's all it will cost you!
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jul, 2012 12:52 pm
@Keith424,
Quote:
A DUI will cost you about ten grand! And you're lucky that's all it will cost you!


It also a damn shame by that logic that it does not cost ten grands to drive when highly emotionally upset, or when dead tired or when............or in any way that your driving skills had been reduced by the same amount as a BAC of .08.

Even talking on a cell phone by some studies, not texting, will reduce your skill level by that amount.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Jul, 2012 12:11 am
@BillRM,
Is there a safety related difference
between talking to your passenger
and talking on your cell fone ?
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  4  
Reply Sat 14 Jul, 2012 08:52 am
@BillRM,
Quote:
It also a damn shame by that logic that it does not cost ten grands to drive when highly emotionally upset, or when dead tired or when............or in any way that your driving skills had been reduced by the same amount as a BAC of .08.

Why? Heavier penalties wouldn't have stopped you from driving while impaired by those conditions, any more than they stop many people from driving drunk. People, like you, who drive irresponsibly, and who've informed us they've driven irresponsibly, while impaired by various factors, such as those you've mentioned, aren't considering the risks they pose to their own life and the lives of others, so why should financial cost be a factor? Isn't human life more important than money?

People shouldn't be driving in impaired states. And, I agree, it's a damned shame you weren't heavily fined or penalized each time you chose to do something that stupid and irresponsible.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Sat 14 Jul, 2012 09:06 am
One man's thoughts...
Quote:
Jeff Ward
July 13, 2012
When Are We Going to Take Drunken Driving Seriously?

Do me a favor. Go to your local Patch website and type “DUI” in the search field. Astonishing isn’t it?

But the irony is, because it’s the most often reported story, we don’t pay much attention until someone with a relatively high profile gets nabbed. Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point were the inevitability of drunken driving has become a given.

And I’m just as guilty as everyone else. It took the recent Patch news story on the Batavia girls high school softball coach who resigned as a result of a DUI charge to make me seriously start thinking about this persistent problem.

It brought back one my frequent conversations with former Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti, who made a very interesting point about our cultural mindset. He said, while most of us are quick to say things like, “It’s illegal to drink and drive,” it really isn’t.

The truth is, you’re well within your rights to have a few beers at a bar or enjoy a bottle of wine at a restaurant as long as you don’t cross that magic .08 blood alcohol level line.

Barsanti cogently noted, “The real problem is there’s a certain amount of drinking and driving people in this country are willing to tolerate. That’s the difference between the U.S. and Europe.”

So let’s take a closer look at exactly what .08 means.

Using my 180-pound frame as a point of reference, I would have to consume six 12-ounce beers, five 5-ounce glasses of wine, or five mixed drinks in a two-hour period on an empty stomach before I’d hit the legal limit.

Maybe I’m just a lightweight, but if I drank five Bloody Marys in two hours, I’d probably pass out. I’d certainly be in no condition to drive. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to get behind the wheel of a car after imbibing just half of the amounts I described.

And science backs me up.

For example, at the .05 BAC level, drivers start to suffer from lowered alertness as well as minor muscle control loss which includes the ability to quickly focus their eyes. A 20- to 29-year-old with a BAC of .05 is 20 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

Even at the .02 level, most drivers demonstrate a loss of judgment, a decline in visual function, and their multi-tasking capacity heads right out the window.

So Barsanti (now a judge) was dead on. Though we consistently make noise about getting tough on drunk drivers, it’s difficult to do that when our basic premise is you can go ahead and drive impaired—but only up to a point!

So what’s our reaction to all this? Not much!

While the police do their best to get these inebriated folks off the road, because the courts generally proceed as if driving is a right and not a privilege, it takes multiple DUIs before we’ll take someone’s license.

The DuPage and Kane County state’s attorneys are so frustrated by chronic DUI offenders who know how to play the aforementioned system, they’ve resorted to “No Refusal Weekends,” where motorists are randomly stopped at pre-announced check points.

First, any chronic drunken driver worth his margarita salt pays attention to the papers and, armed with the knowledge of exactly where the cops will be, avoids them.

And second, no matter what any judge tells you, it’s patently unconstitutional to pull someone over without probable cause. Despite some politicians best efforts, we’re still innocent until proven guilty.

Then MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) chimes in and, though their hearts are in the right place, their draconian breathlock focus on first-time offenders only makes matters worse when the repeat offender that’s the real problem.

Ironically, Barsanti also told me that, when folks do complain about No Refusal Weekends, they never cite the Constitution. They claim the state’s attorney is impinging up on their “right” to have a few cocktails with dinner.

So how do we change this prevailing mindset? Personally, I believe the key to that shift lies in Barsanti’s brief allusion to European DUI laws.

In Sweden, if you blow a .02 that will get you a DUI. That means just one beer on an empty stomach and you’re facing a fine that amounts to 10 percent of your annual income as well as a one-year license suspension.

If your BAC level is determined to be .10, it’s a minimum of six months in jail at hard labor, even for your first offense. Your license isn’t suspended – it’s permanently revoked. Get caught a second time, and you’re off to the pokey for two years.

And the statutes are very similar throughout the EEU.

Word to the wise! If you ever avail yourself of a European rental car, the local gendarmes specifically target those vehicles because they know most Americans have no clue about these DUI laws.

The bottom line is, though these statutes seem unduly harsh, they work, because the fact that, drinking any amount and driving is illegal, has been indelibly imprinted upon the average European’s mind.

Now, before you say this shift would doom restaurants and bars to extinction, please remember that we’re talking about a culture that allows their children to have a glass of wine with dinner. But as a Swedish friend told me, there’s always a designated driver who doesn’t touch a drop.

“They may have drunks sleeping in the parks in Stockholm,” she said, “but no one drinks and drives in Sweden.”

So with such an obvious solution staring us straight in the face, in light of that insistent Patch DUI coverage, I keep wondering when we’re going to start taking this problem seriously.

I say, let’s follow the European example and make it illegal to drink and drive.

About this column: Jeff Ward is an opinion columnist who writes for Patch and a variety of area newspapers.
http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/jeff-ward-when-are-we-going-to-take-drunk-driving-seriously
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Jul, 2012 09:15 am
Quote:
New Federal Law Targets Drunk Driving
The legislation includes money for developing in-car alcohol-detection technology and incentives for states to create new drunk-driving programs.
By Claire Martin

Research into new devices that automatically detect a driver's blood-alcohol level -- as opposed to requiring the use of a breathalyzer -- got a boost last week when President Barack Obama signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century bill, known as MAP-21. The law will kick in $24 million in funding for these advanced technologies over the next two years and will provide grant money to states for promoting anti-drunk-driving laws.

“The safety provisions included in MAP-21 could truly set in motion the elimination of drunk driving and save tens of thousands of lives each year,” Jan Withers, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said in a press release.

States will be encouraged to mandate ignition interlocks for all drunk-driving offenders; these devices require drivers to pass a breathalyzer test before their car's engine will start. According to MADD, such laws have reduced alcohol-related driving fatalities by more than half in Arizona and Oregon. "Research unequivocally proves that every drunk driver should receive an ignition interlock device to save lives,” Winters said.

Meanwhile, some groups have been pushing for in-vehicle alcohol-detection devices in all cars -- not just those driven by convicted drunk drivers. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program, a joint effort between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, is one such group. It says that the technology could save 7,000 lives each year if installed in all new vehicles.

But there's at least one opponent to this idea. The New York Times reports that Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, complained that lawmakers are being pressured to go above and beyond what's outlined in MAP-21. "There is a growing mountain of evidence showing that their true goal is to put alcohol-sensing technology in all cars as original equipment, set well below the 0.08 level," she says.

As of yet, no state laws require alcohol-testers in new vehicles. Some states require ignition interlocks for drunk-driving offenders to be set below 0.08, because DUI offenders are often subject to much lower blood-alcohol restrictions than the national limit.
http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/autosblogpost.aspx?post=bd5b603f-68b0-44eb-9c39-6502123ee9f3
Ceili
 
  3  
Reply Sat 14 Jul, 2012 10:25 am
The legal rate in B.C. and Alberta is now .05. If you are caught with that amount or more, you lose your license immediately and your car will be impounded till the court date. Which could be up to a year from the date of the incident.
0 Replies
 
 

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