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Text or chat while driving? You go to jail.

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...nmobile120.xml

And you're worried about the USA PATRIOT ACT? It's legislation like this that is responsible for "taking away our freedoms." I understand fines for cell phone use, distracted driving, etc...but JAIL time? Under the new law, could one be charged for eating and driving? How about drinking coffee? Talking to your passenger? All of those things can be just as distracting, and soon you may go to jail for doing them.

Granted, it's a bit of a slippery slope, but the government seems to be carrying around a can of WD-40 on this. In the United States it's getting almost as bad, particularly around the holidays with things such as random sobriety checkpoints...which statistically do not reduce drunken driving (I recently heard a good argument that the USSC was wrong when it determined such checks did not violate the 4th amendment...given that they are random and without probable cause, I think they do violate it).

This is where are freedoms are actually being infringed upon. It's the little things that add up over time. First it was seat belts, but we let that go because it saved lives and taxpayer dollars for those that were injured. We went along with fines for cell users too, because we knew that was dangerous. But now we're talking about incarcerating someone for up to TWO YEARS (and an unlimited fine) even if no injury occurred.

Does the punishment fit the crime?
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post #2 of 81
lets look at other distractions
children should not be allowed in cars
my sister in law has had mutiple accidents when her children drove her to lose control of the car

maybe require all parents with children in the car to take parenting classes, my sister in law push to the head of the line
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post #3 of 81
Talking on a cell phone makes you more prone to auto accidents than drinking and driving, so if you are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, why are you not allowed to drive drunk? Both are voluntary actions that put others at risk.

http://www.1800duilaws.com/article/s..._cellphone.asp
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post #4 of 81
I can't get your link working to read the specifics of this.

Jail time certainly does sound excessive for a first offense. But to whatever degree distracted driving is as dangerous and drunk driving, it makes sense for the punishments to match.

Texting while driving is insane. That's an order of magnitude more distracting than taking or making a phone call. During the time you're actively involved in texting, you're probably even more dangerous than a lot of drunk drivers are. On the other hand, being drunk is an ongoing condition for many minutes, if not an hour or more, and can't be shaken off immediately, unlike texting which might be a very brief distraction, and which can be set aside quickly if you're at least paying enough attention to notice changing driving conditions.
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We were once so close to heaven
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post #5 of 81
What % of text messages are so important that it can't wait for you to pull over? Zero? Negative 100?
post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...nmobile120.xml

And you're worried about the USA PATRIOT ACT? It's legislation like this that is responsible for "taking away our freedoms." I understand fines for cell phone use, distracted driving, etc...but JAIL time? Under the new law, could one be charged for eating and driving? How about drinking coffee? Talking to your passenger? All of those things can be just as distracting, and soon you may go to jail for doing them.

Though I think the penalty is harsh, there should be a law for this. When you are operating a vehicle, that is the only thing you should be concerned with operating the vehicle. Not operating cell phones, "adjust sat-navs, tinker with MP3 music players such as iPods or send text messages".

Guess what, I would have to recommend one who eats and drives to plan your trip ahead of time (or restructure your commuting time) so that you can at least eat something before you drive or pull over and finish your meal. I think that is common sense. I'd add drinking too, but that may be a little too far since there are cup holders for most vehicles. But eating? Too many variables.

As far as the rest of this paragraph. Get your underwear out of that bunch. The evil overlords aren't going to take your right of free speech in the automobile. This is nothing compared to Homeland Security or torture.

You sound more paranoid than we are...

Quote:
Granted, it's a bit of a slippery slope, but the government seems to be carrying around a can of WD-40 on this. In the United States it's getting almost as bad, particularly around the holidays with things such as random sobriety checkpoints...which statistically do not reduce drunken driving (I recently heard a good argument that the USSC was wrong when it determined such checks did not violate the 4th amendment...given that they are random and without probable cause, I think they do violate it).

I'm on the fence with this (random checkpoints) because I'm a former drunk and was busted many times, plus having a 16 year old nephew struck and killed by a drunk driver....

MADD. Though I believe their cause in the beginning was just, it may have gone too far. But when you give more leeway for police you get more harassment and unjustified actions.

Quote:
This is where are freedoms are actually being infringed upon. It's the little things that add up over time. First it was seat belts, but we let that go because it saved lives and taxpayer dollars for those that were injured. We went along with fines for cell users too, because we knew that was dangerous. But now we're talking about incarcerating someone for up to TWO YEARS (and an unlimited fine) even if no injury occurred.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Does three years fit the punishment for a drunk driver killing another? I might say no there. For this? If the incident involves a serious accident or death, yes. For a minor pull-over by a cop, no. But you know cops these days.

This is not a case of freedoms being infringed though (in comparison to what this administration has done with our Constitution).
post #7 of 81
BBC4's Today program dealt with this story today, and one of the things they pointed out is that this is only an issue if you are in an accident while texting.

I'm generally opposed to anti-cell-phone laws because they just plain don't make any sense (why is talking, hands-free, any different than talking to the passenger next to me?).

But texting...that's different. Wasn't there a girl in London killed a few months ago by someone texting while driving?
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post #8 of 81
It's the UK - what do you expect? I was attacked by an army thug in a Horseguards uniform when I was there last weekend. Literally.

Most of them will blame Europe, Muslims or immigrants anyway...I say jail 'em. Who cares? Little Napoleons grow to be big Napoleons and it isn't as if all the sane Brits haven't jumped ship anyway years ago - so why not turn the whole island into a prison camp? Kind of a cordon sanitaire where the US can send people to be tortured by warm beer, snooker and the Daily Mail. That should do something.

Btw - soon, under new legislation pending, non-EU visitors will have to pay a bond of about 2000 USD each (near enough I think) just to get in. Just so they don't stay. Personally I paid far more than that to leave and would have gone far higher....
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post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...nmobile120.xml

And you're worried about the USA PATRIOT ACT? It's legislation like this that is responsible for "taking away our freedoms." I understand fines for cell phone use, distracted driving, etc...but JAIL time? Under the new law, could one be charged for eating and driving? How about drinking coffee? Talking to your passenger? All of those things can be just as distracting, and soon you may go to jail for doing them.

Granted, it's a bit of a slippery slope, but the government seems to be carrying around a can of WD-40 on this. In the United States it's getting almost as bad, particularly around the holidays with things such as random sobriety checkpoints...which statistically do not reduce drunken driving (I recently heard a good argument that the USSC was wrong when it determined such checks did not violate the 4th amendment...given that they are random and without probable cause, I think they do violate it).

This is where are freedoms are actually being infringed upon. It's the little things that add up over time. First it was seat belts, but we let that go because it saved lives and taxpayer dollars for those that were injured. We went along with fines for cell users too, because we knew that was dangerous. But now we're talking about incarcerating someone for up to TWO YEARS (and an unlimited fine) even if no injury occurred.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Well, when it comes to new laws that take away peoples' freedoms, or allow increased government intrusion into people's lives, your usual type of response infers "if you obey the law, then you've nothing to get worried about".....

Not that I agree with these measures, but why the 180º shift?
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post #10 of 81
Hookers should not be allowed to service men that are driving. It can have serious consequences.
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post #11 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Though I think the penalty is harsh, there should be a law for this. When you are operating a vehicle, that is the only thing you should be concerned with operating the vehicle. Not operating cell phones, "adjust sat-navs, tinker with MP3 music players such as iPods or send text messages".

Guess what, I would have to recommend one who eats and drives to plan your trip ahead of time (or restructure your commuting time) so that you can at least eat something before you drive or pull over and finish your meal. I think that is common sense. I'd add drinking too, but that may be a little too far since there are cup holders for most vehicles. But eating? Too many variables.

So anyone who eats and drives lacks common sense? I'm not sure what planet you live on, but here on Earth we sometimes need to do it. I eat breakfast in the car almost every morning (just fruit) and I drive perfectly fine. I do use my hands free though, and I agree that there should be laws for phone use. I just don't think jail time is appropriate.

Quote:

As far as the rest of this paragraph. Get your underwear out of that bunch. The evil overlords aren't going to take your right of free speech in the automobile. This is nothing compared to Homeland Security or torture.

You sound more paranoid than we are...

I'm not paranoid, I'm talking about what is actually happening. Freedoms like this are being taken away every day. You can be drug tests at a checkpoint, for example, for no good reason other than the route you were taking. You can now be thrown in jail for talking on the phone. Absurd. Those are real, tangible freedoms, as opposed to the government reading my e-mails to grandma, which I could care two shits about.

Quote:

I'm on the fence with this (random checkpoints) because I'm a former drunk and was busted many times, plus having a 16 year old nephew struck and killed by a drunk driver....

MADD. Though I believe their cause in the beginning was just, it may have gone too far. But when you give more leeway for police you get more harassment and unjustified actions.



Does three years fit the punishment for a drunk driver killing another? I might say no there. For this? If the incident involves a serious accident or death, yes. For a minor pull-over by a cop, no. But you know cops these days.

This is not a case of freedoms being infringed though (in comparison to what this administration has done with our Constitution).

I'm sorry about your nephew and I'm glad your recovered, but I still think random checkpoints are wrong. They don't reduce drunk-driving. Moreover, the police aren't looking for drunk drivers anymore...they are looking for people who drink and drive, which is not the same thing. A drunk driver is not someone with a .08 blood alcohol. Sorry, it isn't. Talk to me at twice that. Hell, there are times where if I'm tired I know I'm not as alert as when I'm not and I've had three or four beers.
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post #12 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

BBC4's Today program dealt with this story today, and one of the things they pointed out is that this is only an issue if you are in an accident while texting.

I'm generally opposed to anti-cell-phone laws because they just plain don't make any sense (why is talking, hands-free, any different than talking to the passenger next to me?).

But texting...that's different. Wasn't there a girl in London killed a few months ago by someone texting while driving?


No, that is not the law. There is a separate provision for people that kill others in accidents. Under the law, you go to jail:

Quote:

Prosecutions will be brought if by using the equipment a motorist is judged to have posed a danger to other drivers, such as causing another car to swerve.

Then:

Quote:
In addition, drivers who kill while using mobile phones could be charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a 14-year jail term. In extreme cases they could be charged with manslaughter for which a life term can be imposed.
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post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...nmobile120.xml

And you're worried about the USA PATRIOT ACT? It's legislation like this that is responsible for "taking away our freedoms." I understand fines for cell phone use, distracted driving, etc...but JAIL time? Under the new law, could one be charged for eating and driving? How about drinking coffee? Talking to your passenger? All of those things can be just as distracting, and soon you may go to jail for doing them.

Well as you note the premise here is pretty frightening because of what it puts into law as a legal solution. You become a criminal not because you have done something wrong or harmed someone, but basically because you are... suboptimal.

Perhaps soon they will examine us for defect and kill us when don't pass inspection just to get the whole business over with faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Talking on a cell phone makes you more prone to auto accidents than drinking and driving, so if you are allowed to talk on a cell phone while driving, why are you not allowed to drive drunk? Both are voluntary actions that put others at risk.

http://www.1800duilaws.com/article/s..._cellphone.asp

A couple points, first it appears that relates to hand held and not hands free cell use. Secondly it appears to be generated to support the law and not the reverse. Finally before you restrict the ability of people to move about, you should have multiple sources and insure that the marketplace matches the laws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

What % of text messages are so important that it can't wait for you to pull over? Zero? Negative 100?

How many billboards are so important they need to be read at all? If causing a driver or as a driver allowing yourself to be sub-optimally driving due to distraction is a crime, then all those billboards ought to be gone. Radios ought to be removed from vehicles. Drive-throughs ought to be closed at every restaurant. Etc.

The most dangerous thing about the thinking associated with this law and many other legal decisions within our country is that they do not punish someone for harm or hurting but for merely not matching up to an idealized state that has been set into the law.

Kelo makes it appropriate for the government to take your property if someone will generate more taxes than you.

Family courts are allowed to impose profoundly ridiculous punishments not because a child is hungry or neglected but because the courts determine X dollars ought to have been given completely unrelated to honest care.

Now we see this happening with driving and clearly in the future with diet. The crime isn't harm but being less than what the government declares to be perfect.

The odd thing is that this is clearly about control because any host of factors can be pointed out that cause the same suboptimal conditions that the government ignores. I don't mean this as a boast but I've always been a bit terrified with regard to what the government allows on the road related to vision. I've always tested better than average with regard to vision though as I now head toward 40 I suspect that will change soon enough. I've gone through life wondering how the hell most people operate PERIOD let alone vehicles because in my view, they are pretty much blind.

Should I be allowed to legislate my views into law and put them in jail on top of it? What if they are required to wear corrective lenses and are found not wearing them? Should it be two years in jail for them?

Soon it appears we will be jailed if we don't earn enough, don't pay enough taxes, need to be "impaired" by life in any fashion, weigh too much, have pre-existing conditions, or don't meet some set of norms.

Nick

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post #14 of 81
The NHTSA did at a time require not just seatbelts but ignition interlocks for seatbelts.

Mandatory Ignition interlocks for alcohol content strikes me as an excellent idea if we're really concerned about safety.
post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Well as you note the premise here is pretty frightening because of what it puts into law as a legal solution. You become a criminal not because you have done something wrong or harmed someone, but basically because you are... suboptimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The most dangerous thing about the thinking associated with this law and many other legal decisions within our country is that they do not punish someone for harm or hurting but for merely not matching up to an idealized state that has been set into the law.

It sounds like we need a department of pre-crime.

post #16 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Well, when it comes to new laws that take away peoples' freedoms, or allow increased government intrusion into people's lives, your usual type of response infers "if you obey the law, then you've nothing to get worried about".....

Not that I agree with these measures, but why the 180º shift?

First, I don't always take that position. Secondly, my argument here is two-fold. 1) the punishment of jail time is excessive and 2) Things like random sobriety checks are a violation of the fourth amendment.

True, if you obey the law you'll be fine, but what about being pulled over for a 1/2 hour? What about the guy who had three beers and blows a .08 just because they tested him at the peak of the alcohol being in his system? That guy is not drunk, yet he will get a DUI. Worse, there was no probable cause to test him...it was totally random.

And let me tell you, cops are NAZIS about "DUI" now. I had a friend who was pulled over for running a stop sign (supposedly). She had two drinks, four hours before hand. She was arrested, charged with DUI, and blood tested. She didn't get the results until the day of her trial. Oh gee...guess what...she had a .03 blood alcohol...less than hald the limit. Also, the police officer called for backup on a 23 year old woman who was scared and freezing cold the night in question. She had no record and was (is) a public school teacher. Her name was in the paper (not noticed, fortunately) and the whole thing cost her $3000. And she was not guilty! In addition to getting people that are actually intoxicated off the road, this is the kind of thing that's going out there.
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post #17 of 81
About bloody time. There's been too many pedestrians and cyclists killed by idiots driving whilst on their phones.

Previously what would happen is the driver would get off with the lesser crime of using the phone introduced in 2003 or at best, driving without due care and attention. Now it looks like drivers will be made to suffer the full consequences of their stupid behaviour rather than getting off on a technicality.

And don't tell me it's the same as being distracted by external influences like billboards. The driver has chosen to operate their phone instead of their steering wheel.

IMHO we still don't go far enough in the UK. The balance is still way in favour of the car driver instead of their victims. If I was knocked off my bike by a car I'd have to prove the car driver was negligent. In many countries in Europe it's assumed that the car driver has a greater responsibility, which is only fair since they weigh a tonne and do 70+ miles an hour, to ensure they're driving correctly and so the burden of proof is the opposite.
post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Well as you note the premise here is pretty frightening because of what it puts into law as a legal solution. You become a criminal not because you have done something wrong or harmed someone, but basically because you are... suboptimal.

Texting or hand-held cell phone use while driving is wrong because it puts others at greater risk than without that behavior. The law does consider that behavior to be "wrong."

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

How many billboards are so important they need to be read at all? If causing a driver or as a driver allowing yourself to be sub-optimally driving due to distraction is a crime, then all those billboards ought to be gone. Radios ought to be removed from vehicles. Drive-throughs ought to be closed at every restaurant. Etc.

Are those examples on the same risk plane as driving while texting or talking on a cell phone?

I am guessing they are not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The most dangerous thing about the thinking associated with this law and many other legal decisions within our country is that they do not punish someone for harm or hurting but for merely not matching up to an idealized state that has been set into the law.

Now we see this happening with driving and clearly in the future with diet. The crime isn't harm but being less than what the government declares to be perfect.

Perfection?

The law tries to reduce an unnecessary, identifiable, and substantial risk that these drivers pose to others on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The odd thing is that this is clearly about control because any host of factors can be pointed out that cause the same suboptimal conditions that the government ignores. I don't mean this as a boast but I've always been a bit terrified with regard to what the government allows on the road related to vision. I've always tested better than average with regard to vision though as I now head toward 40 I suspect that will change soon enough. I've gone through life wondering how the hell most people operate PERIOD let alone vehicles because in my view, they are pretty much blind.

So campaign to raise the standards for driving without glasses being required.

That does not change the existence of *this* risk that the legislature or whoever it is in England (Parliament?) decided to regulate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Should I be allowed to legislate my views into law and put them in jail on top of it? What if they are required to wear corrective lenses and are found not wearing them? Should it be two years in jail for them?

The maximum jail term is a bit excessive.

I'm unconvinced of the deterrent value of many laws.*

*The sentencing part at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Soon it appears we will be jailed if we don't earn enough, don't pay enough taxes, need to be "impaired" by life in any fashion, weigh too much, have pre-existing conditions, or don't meet some set of norms.

Nick

Um.

No.
post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

They don't reduce drunk-driving. Moreover, the police aren't looking for drunk drivers anymore...they are looking for people who drink and drive, which is not the same thing.

It is to MADD, they are the ones lowering the BAC. As I said, they've gone too far. Even to the point that a doctor will inform the DOT of a patient who claimed he drank 6-10 beers at home and then suspend his license.

A Sixpack A Day Keeps The License Away

Quote:
Keith Emerich began experiencing an irregular heartbeat early this year, so he went to the doctor for help in February. During the exam, the 44-year-old man from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, gave the doctor a health history, including the answer to a question about his daily alcohol intake -- "six to ten beers a day." One of the things the doctor suggested might be good for his heart rate would be to cut back on his drinking. Emerich says he immediately cut back, restricting his drinking to the weekends.

But in April, Emerich got a big surprise from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation -- his driving privilege was being suspended in May, with "substance abuse" given as the reason for the suspension. The doctor apparently informed PennDOT of Emerich's admission during the exam. Emerich has not been behind the wheel of a car since May, pending a hearing before a judge scheduled for the end of this month.

Pennsylvania law does provide for suspension of a driver's license if a doctor reports a patient to be too impaired to operate a vehicle -- while a doctor's note is hearsay, it still constitutes sufficient cause to suspend driving privileges.

Still think eating is wrong while driving IMO though...\
post #20 of 81
This is a cultural thang.

In South Africa and Portugal, for example? —Drink and drive. Don't feel too bad, it's not social anathema like it is in the UK and the US.

In the UK, texting while you drive is really frowned on, probably because it's really, really dangerous and it gets bad press. Clearly things are different in the US.

I'm a cyclist and I can promise you: people talking on the phone is bad enough. But texting?

It is impossible to concentrate, text and simultaneously operate a vehicle designed to be operated with two hands. You can't do it. It's dangerous. You're putting peoples' lives at risk when you do it. You're not giving up any rights if you're punished when you're caught other than the right to act like a selfish, irresponsible dickface.
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

First, I don't always take that position. Secondly, my argument here is two-fold. 1) the punishment of jail time is excessive and 2) Things like random sobriety checks are a violation of the fourth amendment.

Not according to the Supreme Court, and conservative icon Rehnquist:

Quote:
In the 1990 case Michigan v. Sitz, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the magnitude of the drunken driving problem outweighed the "slight" intrusion into motorists' protections against unreasonable search effected by roadblock sobriety checkpoints. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Rehnquist ruled that the 25,000 roadway deaths due to alcohol were reason enough to set aside the Fourth Amendment.

Government spying on American citizens is also unconstitutional. But for some odd reasons, you seem to support that.

Drunken morons behind the wheel represent a far greater everyday threat to Americans (25,000 killed each year, and 500,000 injured) than the fictitous specter of "Mohammed X with a package of dynamite", which the powers-that-be have been using as a pointed stick to scare the people into accepting unAmerican principles of intrusive big-brother style of government. Your priorities are topsy turvy....

Quote:
True, if you obey the law you'll be fine, but what about being pulled over for a 1/2 hour? What about the guy who had three beers and blows a .08 just because they tested him at the peak of the alcohol being in his system? That guy is not drunk, yet he will get a DUI. Worse, there was no probable cause to test him...it was totally random.

And let me tell you, cops are NAZIS about "DUI" now. I had a friend who was pulled over for running a stop sign (supposedly). She had two drinks, four hours before hand. She was arrested, charged with DUI, and blood tested. She didn't get the results until the day of her trial. Oh gee...guess what...she had a .03 blood alcohol...less than hald the limit. Also, the police officer called for backup on a 23 year old woman who was scared and freezing cold the night in question. She had no record and was (is) a public school teacher. Her name was in the paper (not noticed, fortunately) and the whole thing cost her $3000. And she was not guilty! In addition to getting people that are actually intoxicated off the road, this is the kind of thing that's going out there.

Have you ever lost a loved one because some drunken klutz was too anesthetized from his common sense to abstain from driving for the evening?

At .08 BAC, a driver is 11 times more likely than the non-drinking driver to be involved in a crash.

Two more beers? Up to a six-pack now? The likelihood of having an accident is now 48 times higher than the abstainer and the driver has just now passed the 0.10 BAC level.

Two more? Hey, you've already had a six pack, two more couldn't hurt, right? Except two more beers could put your BAC close to 0.15 at which point you are 380 times more likely to have an accident.

People who get behind the wheel incapacitated by lush and kill someone (25,000 per year in the US) deserve harsh sentences, in my book anyway.

It takes the actions of selfish idiots who have to have their own way, then mess up, which screws everything up for the rest of us.

Anyway, people who are under the (weird) impression that they have to "consume alcohol to have fun" have a real psychological problem.
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #22 of 81
SDW, I think you're a bit off base on the .08 thing. I had a friend with a good breathalyzer in college that we would screw around with. I definitely wouldn't want to be driving at .08. It seems like a reasonable rule to me.

The literature indicates no increased risk as BAC up to .05, and around, as sammi jo said, 10x at .08, and the literature I quickly scanned indicated and odds ratio of 40 at BAC above 0.15

There's also literature indicating an interactive effect between alcohol and sleep deprivation (awake 18-21 hours).

The most recent literature on this topic comes from Germany.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...ubmed_RVDocSum
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post #23 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Not according to the Supreme Court, and conservative icon Rehnquist:

I know what the USSC decided. I mentioned it already. I simply disagree, Rehnquist or not.

Quote:

Government spying on American citizens is also unconstitutional. But for some odd reasons, you seem to support that.

That's highly debatable. You're also using a bit of a weasel word when you call it "spying." The government isn't spying on me. They might read my e-mails or AI postings if I use the words "bomb," "president" and "Taliban," but they are not "spying" necessarily. It's all open to interpretation, but that is what I'm thinking in terms of answering your question.

Quote:

Drunken morons behind the wheel represent a far greater everyday threat to Americans (25,000 killed each year, and 500,000 injured) than the fictitous specter of "Mohammed X with a package of dynamite", which the powers-that-be have been using as a pointed stick to scare the people into accepting unAmerican principles of intrusive big-brother style of government. Your priorities are topsy turvy....

That argument is so dumb it's actually infuriating. It's a little like the Democrats wondering when we can "stop talking abotu all this terrorism stuff" so we can get back to the "real" issues like Education and Health Care. It's totally naive. The threat is real, whether or not you agree with US foreign policy, George Bush, the Iraq War, etc. And terrorism is not a "slow drip" kind of thing anyway. When it happens it might damn well be another 3,000 people that get killed in an instant. Or 25,000. Perhaps you'll change your tune then? No, you won't. Then it will either be another Republican/BushCo/Neocon Conspiracy or at least due to their incompetence. We won't hear about the false specter of terrorism then, I will guarantee that.

The short version? Both issues are problems and neither can be ignored.

Quote:

Have you ever lost a loved one because some drunken klutz was too anesthetized from his common sense to abstain from driving for the evening?

No. Thank God.

Quote:

At .08 BAC, a driver is 11 times more likely than the non-drinking driver to be involved in a crash.

I don't accept that. I just don't. I've also seen info saying driving skills are affected at .03, and that is bullshit too.

Quote:

Two more beers? Up to a six-pack now? The likelihood of having an accident is now 48 times higher than the abstainer and the driver has just now passed the 0.10 BAC level.

OK, I may have gone far in saying "twice that amount." .10 is probably a decent standard.

Quote:

Two more? Hey, you've already had a six pack, two more couldn't hurt, right? Except two more beers could put your BAC close to 0.15 at which point you are 380 times more likely to have an accident.

Fair enough. Those people are "drunk" and should not be behind the wheel. We don't disagree.

Quote:

People who get behind the wheel incapacitated by lush and kill someone (25,000 per year in the US) deserve harsh sentences, in my book anyway.

Now that's a different issue.

Quote:

It takes the actions of selfish idiots who have to have their own way, then mess up, which screws everything up for the rest of us.

Anyway, people who are under the (weird) impression that they have to "consume alcohol to have fun" have a real psychological problem.

Another different issue. I agree that if one must drink to have fun, there is a problem. That said, I enjoy drinking. And I know that at even at my body weight it's possible for me to have two or three beers and blow a .08. And with those three beers, I am not too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle.
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post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't accept that. I just don't. I've also seen info saying driving skills are affected at .03, and that is bullshit too.

Well, the epidemiology on the subject consistently says that you are incorrect. Just because you don't want it to be true doesn't mean that it isn't. The epidemiology on the subject also does not claim a BAC of .03 affects your risk of an accident.

An interesting bit from the discussion section of the article I linked to the abstract of:

Quote:
The estimation of the global alcohol-related
accident risk including the effect of correlating factors gives
information about the effect of alcohol under the typical
circumstances of DUI driving. Controlling for other risk
factors isolates the effect of alcohol. As expected, the global
alcohol-related accident risk is larger than the isolated risk
indicating that alcohol is consumed by drivers in situations
which are per se dangerous (like young male drivers at
night) and where both factors add up. On the other hand,
the structure of the risk function is comparable: an effect of
alcohol cannot be shown for BACs below 0.05%. At larger
BACs, accident risk rises exponentially with a relatively small increase for BACs below 0.08%, a larger increase
below 0.16% and a dramatic increase above 0.16%. This
structure is also quite comparable to that of risk studies conducted
in other countries at other time-points, e.g. the Grand
Rapids Study of Borkenstein et al. (1964). However, at the
region between 0.05 and 0.16%, alcohol-related accident
risk in the German Study is larger than in the Grand Rapids
Study, probably due to an increased traffic density or increased
demands exerted on the driver by modern traffic or
European traffic as compared to traffic in the USA. Finally,
as some of the drivers in the German Roadside Survey refused
a breath test and BAC values had to be estimated for
some of the drivers of the accident studies, the resulting estimates
were shown to be conservative: Most probably, the
alcohol-related accident risk is larger that described here
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post #25 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Well, the epidemiology on the subject consistently says that you are incorrect. Just because you don't want it to be true doesn't mean that it isn't. The epidemiology on the subject also does not claim a BAC of .03 affects your risk of an accident.

An interesting bit from the discussion section of the article I linked to the abstract of:

Care to support that? Your quote certainly doesn't, unless it's here somewhere:

Quote:
an effect of
alcohol cannot be shown for BACs below 0.05%. At larger
BACs, accident risk rises exponentially with a relatively small increase for BACs below 0.08%,
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post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Care to support that? Your quote certainly doesn't, unless it's here somewhere:

Yes, yes it does. You picked out the right bit too.

Here are the most pertinent figures.





I think the policy and the science mesh quite well, and the DUI limit is eminently appropriate.
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post #27 of 81
I'm convinced that the low-quality of the cellular voice signal has a lot to do with the way it impairs concentration -- more so than the act of putting it to your ear. You'd be surprised: your brain threads together a lot of the poor voice quality to the point where you don't consciously notice it, but it's clearly taking some brain power. I would be interested to see a study that measures the clarity of a voice audio stream with the amount of driving impairment.
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post #28 of 81
One of the problems is society's failure to recognize that alcohol is a psychoactive drug ... a highly addictive, incapacitating and toxic substance, and rather than treating it with respect and moderation, the act of getting intoxicated (to the point of incapability) is widely regarded in society as something that is laudable, or something we must all do in order to be "sociable" or use in order to have fun at parties. A glass of wine or whatever... I have no problems with that, but what's this big deal about getting drunk.... to the extent that 10s of millions do it regularly? Once you've done it once, it doesn't get any better that that... so why are people repeating the same, sad state? I don't know of anyone who enjoys blinding headaches, the sensation of the room spinning round, the thunderous roar of the cat slinking across the carpet, or vomiting, etc. etc. Alcohol abuse is also the most effective way (I've ever seen) of transforming perfectly normal, well adjusted, decent human beings into complete assholes. Furthermore, I am sure that most people here who have had the experience of some boorish drunken sot lurching over and slurringly attempting to make "conversation" while engulfing one in alcohol fumes find the encounter at the very least annoying..... and his state of drunkenness "pathetic".

By rights, society's incessant paranoia about recreational drugs in general should have rendered alcohol (and tobacco) abuse as one of the nations most severe drug-related problems... but because of tradition, denial and other factors, it's more comfortable to sweep it all under the carpet and pretend that everything's OK.

Sounds familiar huh.
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post #29 of 81
Is driving with hands-free kit dangerous?

Quote:
A company is banning its drivers from using hands-free mobile phone devices, citing research that says using them is as dangerous as drink driving. Is that right?

It's the UK's largest transport company and from January FirstGroup is banning its 135,000-strong workforce from speaking hands-free on the phone while behind the wheel.

Driving with mobile phones was banned in the UK in 2003, but it's not illegal to use a hands-free kit.

FirstGroup says it's banning the devices in response to the "growing body of evidence" against them. In particular, research that suggests it's easier to drive drunk than to drive while using a phone, even when it's hands-free. Is that right?

According to a study by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) drivers are four times more likely to have an accident while using any mobile phone.

Reaction times were slower than those under the influence of alcohol and it found the risk of an accident was raised for up to 10 minutes after a hands-free call had been made, suggesting a driver remained preoccupied long after a call ended.

"Drivers found it easier to drive drunk than to drive while using a phone, even when it was hands-free," says a TRL spokesman.

Maybe splinemodel is right...either that or people just can't walk and chew gum at the same time anymore.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post

This is a cultural thang.

In South Africa and Portugal, for example? Drink and drive. Don't feel too bad, it's not social anathema like it is in the UK and the US.

I wonder what the difference is in accident rates compared to other countries? Unless there are offsetting cultural differences -- oh, like everyone tends to drive at 15 mph* on big, largely traffic-free streets -- I think South Africa and Portugal have some wising up to do in this particular area.

*24 kph, if you prefer.
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post #31 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Yes, yes it does. You picked out the right bit too.

Here are the most pertinent figures.





I think the policy and the science mesh quite well, and the DUI limit is eminently appropriate.

I should clarify: Statistically, I understand. It's valid to claim what you and sammi have. But I'm talking individually here. One cannot claim that I'm 11 times more likely to experience a crash if I'm at .08, especially if other variables are added (fatigue, other concentration factors, etc).
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post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Texting or hand-held cell phone use while driving is wrong because it puts others at greater risk than without that behavior. The law does consider that behavior to be "wrong."

I believe I was replying to a response where the person was saying that the person was reading the text message, not punching it into the phone. I would agree that punching a text message into a phone while driving in not right. However I don't claim it is right because it requires X% of attention, but requires your hand leave the wheel for extended periods.

Quote:
Are those examples on the same risk plane as driving while texting or talking on a cell phone?

I am guessing they are not.

Reading a text message and reading a billboard clearly both require your eyes leaving the road. While my view is not one of an expert on this(nor is yours), I would bet that if a study were done on reading a text message, reading a billboard, adjusting or manipulating radio controls, or eating while driving would all increase risk from not doing these activities at a minimum, and would likely increase the risk to a similar degree.

Quote:
Perfection?

The law tries to reduce an unnecessary, identifiable, and substantial risk that these drivers pose to others on the road.

There are times however when the ability to mitigate this risk is not possible due to life being life instead of an idealized state. These laws do not appear to take norms into consideration and instead legislate an idealized state. Is the average person likely to have some sort of distraction involved when driving, be it a radio, children, other adult passengers, etc. Yes they are and as such to call such a state impaired is a misnomer.

Quote:
So campaign to raise the standards for driving without glasses being required.

That does not change the existence of *this* risk that the legislature or whoever it is in England (Parliament?) decided to regulate.

There is risk inherent with the activity. The law should attempt to mitigate additional risk that falls outside of norms which would then be considered excessive.

About eyesight..

Only about 35 percent of all adults have 20/20 vision without glasses, contact lenses or corrective surgery. With corrective measures, approximately 75 percent of adults have this degree of visual acuity while the other 25 percent of the population just doesn't see very well, Dr. Johnson says.

If I made a law that attempted to limit driving to only those with naturally occurring 20/20 vision, it might mitigate more risk, but would harm the population in general since it was so restrictive. As a nation we had a similar debate about speed limits. There are times where we should simply be allowed to shoulder the additional risk instead of hoping for a perfect result.

Quote:
The maximum jail term is a bit excessive.

I'm unconvinced of the deterrent value of many laws.*

*The sentencing part at least.

Lost me there.

Quote:
Um.

No.

Um yes. We see this in a number of areas.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #33 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

One of the problems is society's failure to recognize that alcohol is a psychoactive drug ... a highly addictive, incapacitating and toxic substance, and rather than treating it with respect and moderation, the act of getting intoxicated (to the point of incapability) is widely regarded in society as something that is laudable, or something we must all do in order to be "sociable" or use in order to have fun at parties. A glass of wine or whatever... I have no problems with that, but what's this big deal about getting drunk.... to the extent that 10s of millions do it regularly? Once you've done it once, it doesn't get any better that that... so why are people repeating the same, sad state? I don't know of anyone who enjoys blinding headaches, the sensation of the room spinning round, the thunderous roar of the cat slinking across the carpet, or vomiting, etc. etc. Alcohol abuse is also the most effective way (I've ever seen) of transforming perfectly normal, well adjusted, decent human beings into complete assholes. Furthermore, I am sure that most people here who have had the experience of some boorish drunken sot lurching over and slurringly attempting to make "conversation" while engulfing one in alcohol fumes find the encounter at the very least annoying..... and his state of drunkenness "pathetic".

By rights, society's incessant paranoia about recreational drugs in general should have rendered alcohol (and tobacco) abuse as one of the nations most severe drug-related problems... but because of tradition, denial and other factors, it's more comfortable to sweep it all under the carpet and pretend that everything's OK.

Sounds familiar huh.

You know, I think you sound awfully judgmental for liberal!

Why do people drink? Lots of reasons. It's not just to get drunk, but having several drinks does take the edge off. It lowers inhibitions, which people feel they need sometimes as well. I personally like the taste of beer, wine, etc. Nothing like a few drinks and a good cigar! And why do I like those? Because they are better than weed, baby! I feel fucking great after a good cigar!

Yes, I get annoyed by drunk people sometimes, but to be honest I'm more annoyed by the strictly sober-without-a-good-reason folks too. These are the people that claim they don't "need" alcohol to have a good time. But then they go to parties and what not where people are drinking, and they look like stiffs because they are not having a good time. I do know people that don't really drink and have a perfectly good time as well. But more often than not people that "don't drink" for no apparent reason come off as judgmental asses.

OH...and BTW: Getting wasted at a tailgate is a good time. Don't knock it until.....



Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Is driving with hands-free kit dangerous?



Maybe splinemodel is right...either that or people just can't walk and chew gum at the same time anymore.


I've seen reports where they mount cameras to monitor people's eye movements and head movements while they drive and talk. Even with hands free, people look at things other than the road more. I know for a fact that I am more distracted while on the phone. That said, I don't think it should be illegal. I'm perfectly fine with banning texting and talking without a handsfree system....I just don't think people should go to jail for it.
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post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Reading a text message and reading a billboard clearly both require your eyes leaving the road. While my view is not one of an expert on this(nor is yours), I would bet that if a study were done on reading a text message, reading a billboard, adjusting or manipulating radio controls, or eating while driving would all increase risk from not doing these activities at a minimum, and would likely increase the risk to a similar degree.

Reading a billboard has you looking out of your car with your eyes focused at a distance. Reading a text message has you looking down (typically, unless you hold the phone up high, directly in front of your face), eyes focussed for near vision, reading smaller, often more involved text.

I remember trying to use Google Maps on my old phone with a display which was not much more than half the size of the display on my iPhone. I pulled off before trying to bring up the map in the first place, but I soon gave up on even trying to follow the map while driving, and pulled over (not easy to do in downtown Boston) for nearly every check of the map I had to make.

Besides, you don't send messages back to billboards. That's the biggest part of the problem of someone texting while driving -- composing messages, not just reading them. That's WAY more distracting than reading a billboard or picking a radio station. I'd be willing to be that during the time a person is composing a text message while driving he's a good bit more dangerous than someone with a 0.08 BAC.
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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Nothing like a few drinks and a good cigar! And why do I like those? Because they are better than weed, baby! I feel fucking great after a good cigar!

I never could understand the cigar thing. I have smoked them myself and most times I get a 10 to 15 foot radius of loneliness around me. They stink. At least from other people (smokers too). You can't inhale them and the only place you can enjoy them is in a cigar bar or outside.

Now weed...personally I have been through the mill with experimenting drugs. Never did heroin or heavy stuff. But the heaviest "substance" was and always will be alcohol. By far the worst hang-over of any recreational substance. And I have seen the destruction it makes of people inside and outside. I agree with some of Sammi jo's observations on it as far as how society has made it "safer" and more accessible than others.

But weed is harmless if you just follow the rules of behavior. Don't let it or any substance take over your life. Smoking, eating or snorting (not the best way at all to enjoy THC, but it can be done), marijuana should be legalized and the people who enjoy it should. Just as drinkers have been to "take the edge off".

By the way, here's an unofficial driver's test with the driver under the influence of weed. Interesting...
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...nmobile120.xml

And you're worried about the USA PATRIOT ACT? It's legislation like this that is responsible for "taking away our freedoms." I understand fines for cell phone use, distracted driving, etc...but JAIL time? Under the new law, could one be charged for eating and driving? How about drinking coffee? Talking to your passenger? All of those things can be just as distracting, and soon you may go to jail for doing them.

Granted, it's a bit of a slippery slope, but the government seems to be carrying around a can of WD-40 on this. In the United States it's getting almost as bad, particularly around the holidays with things such as random sobriety checkpoints...which statistically do not reduce drunken driving (I recently heard a good argument that the USSC was wrong when it determined such checks did not violate the 4th amendment...given that they are random and without probable cause, I think they do violate it).

This is where are freedoms are actually being infringed upon. It's the little things that add up over time. First it was seat belts, but we let that go because it saved lives and taxpayer dollars for those that were injured. We went along with fines for cell users too, because we knew that was dangerous. But now we're talking about incarcerating someone for up to TWO YEARS (and an unlimited fine) even if no injury occurred.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Anybody that drives and texts at the same time is a moron and deserves to go to jail.
Anyone that drives that doesn't devote there full attention to driving needs to go back and read the Rules of the Road. There are probably more accidents caused by people not paying attention while driving than any other cause. I don't think I even need provide a link to prove that. Just common sense.
Oh and one other thing driving is not a right it is a privilege that you have to earn
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post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So anyone who eats and drives lacks common sense? I'm not sure what planet you live on, but here on Earth we sometimes need to do it. I eat breakfast in the car almost every morning (just fruit) and I drive perfectly fine. I do use my hands free though, and I agree that there should be laws for phone use. I just don't think jail time is appropriate.



I'm not paranoid, I'm talking about what is actually happening. Freedoms like this are being taken away every day. You can be drug tests at a checkpoint, for example, for no good reason other than the route you were taking. You can now be thrown in jail for talking on the phone. Absurd. Those are real, tangible freedoms, as opposed to the government reading my e-mails to grandma, which I could care two shits about.



I'm sorry about your nephew and I'm glad your recovered, but I still think random checkpoints are wrong. They don't reduce drunk-driving. Moreover, the police aren't looking for drunk drivers anymore...they are looking for people who drink and drive, which is not the same thing. A drunk driver is not someone with a .08 blood alcohol. Sorry, it isn't. Talk to me at twice that. Hell, there are times where if I'm tired I know I'm not as alert as when I'm not and I've had three or four beers.

You should not drive when you are tired either. I have heard that people that drive while tired or sleepy cause as many, or more fatal accidents than drunk drivers.
Sometimes though, we have all driven while tired.
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post #38 of 81
[QUOTE=SDW2001;1186588]You know, I think you sound awfully judgmental for liberal!

Why do people drink? Lots of reasons. It's not just to get drunk, but having several drinks does take the edge off. It lowers inhibitions, which people feel they need sometimes as well. I personally like the taste of beer, wine, etc.

So do I, a glass or 2 of wine with a meal, or a real beer (not the massmarketed chemical crap masquerading as beer) is most enjoyable... and as I said in my post that you decried as "judgmental", I have nothing against drinking in moderation. There is even medical evidence that a small regular intake of alcohol can be beneficial and even extend life expectancy. But there is a fine line between what is good for you, and what can screw one up royally.. and it seems that many folk are unable to distinguish that.... just like there is a fine line re. the amount of alcohol people consume that makes them either behave socially, or like complete jerks. Alcohol is a real Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde substance.. and kids (who regard themselves as immortal anyway) think its safe it because its legal, advertised, and manufactured by big household name companies which sponsor sports and whatever.

Quote:
Nothing like a few drinks and a good cigar! And why do I like those? Because they are better than weed, baby! I feel fucking great after a good cigar!

OK, here's my judgemental 2 cents: Cigars (and cigarettes etc.) smoking is a disgusting habit, antisocial, pollutes the air that other around them have to breathe with a noxious potpourri of poisonous gases and suspended particles, the odor gets everywhere, it is a fire hazard (how many instances has smoking been the cause of people being killed by house or forest fires caused by some short-sighted idiot flicking ash of out his car window, or smoking in bed? Having said that, I don't think for a minute that it should be banned, because we all know that making something illegal will only encourage its use amongst kids who think its "cool" to break the law, while simultaneously creating a whole new area of trade for organized criminal gangs.....

I don't smoke anything... (something to do with having a sense of self -preservation)... but what is it about a cigar that is better than weed? If that is really the case, why aren't cigars illegal?

Quote:
Yes, I get annoyed by drunk people sometimes, but to be honest I'm more annoyed by the strictly sober-without-a-good-reason folks too.

Give me a boring teetotaler any day that some lush-head who can't string a sentence together, and then resorts to fists to get his point across, before puking up his last meal.

Quote:
These are the people that claim they don't "need" alcohol to have a good time. But then they go to parties and what not where people are drinking, and they look like stiffs because they are not having a good time. I do know people that don't really drink and have a perfectly good time as well.

Nobody needs any chemical prop to have a "good time".

Quote:
But more often than not people that "don't drink" for no apparent reason come off as judgmental asses.

I think anyone in a state of sobriety who witnesses typical drunken behavior will make scornful or derogatory comments. It is hard not to be judgmental in such circumstances.. after all, drunken loutishness is pretty dreary at best.

Quote:
I've seen reports where they mount cameras to monitor people's eye movements and head movements while they drive and talk. Even with hands free, people look at things other than the road more. I know for a fact that I am more distracted while on the phone. That said, I don't think it should be illegal. I'm perfectly fine with banning texting and talking without a handsfree system....I just don't think people should go to jail for it.

Neither do I. People should be aware that it is dangerous, and they are being assholes for putting the lives of other road-users lives in danger....
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post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I should clarify: Statistically, I understand. It's valid to claim what you and sammi have. But I'm talking individually here. One cannot claim that I'm 11 times more likely to experience a crash if I'm at .08, especially if other variables are added (fatigue, other concentration factors, etc).


But that's a whole different conversation. As far as the policy goes, you (and me, and anyone else), the individual, are irrelevant. It's simply not feasible to assess what BAC is appropriate for every individual driver in this country. We must go with what makes sense from objective, population level data, and that's .08. Thems the rules, and we all know what they are, and have a corresponding obligation to heed them or risk the potential consequences.

As far as random stops without any actual reason to stop somebody, well I tend to agree with you.
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post #40 of 81
Speed limits are an interesting auto safety subject too.

We know with mathematical precision the additional number of people that will die or get into accidents from raising the speed limit a certain amount. Yet states have raised them anyway because of other interests.
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