Sunday, January 16, 2011

Open Thread


DUI Lawyer warns of MADD dangers to constitution
Jared Lee Lochner Shooting Victim Arrested For Threatening Violence


  1. The number one cause of accidents is distraction.

    One test shows that people with blood alcohol of .08 (illegal amount) perform better than people talking on a cell phone. Link here

    DWI is the third of the top ten. Link Here

    Senator Bob Dole was heavily involved in the church that originally got prohibition (18th Amendment) started which severely damaged the nation, and he has changed or affected many laws, including bankruptcy, that unfairly discriminate against drinkers.

    They let those causing most of the accidents off scott free because their religion thinks beer is devil blood.

  2. The threat at the get together of victims shows that Dredd Blog should be taken seriously when it says the evolution of violence in the United States is an epidemic which cannot be stopped by the folks who started it.

  3. I agree with everything the author said about the suspending of constitutional rights for normal people, which I found to be eerily prescient of the current national hysteria over airport screening procedures prior to boarding aircraft. Being a resident of New Mexico however, I did disagree with him on one point at the end.

    The real danger to your lives, to my children’s and your children’s lives, are from recidivists. Statistically, the risk lies with recidivists — people that have driven drunk repeatedly. Which is, despite what MADD says, a relatively small percentage of those who are arrested. Problem? How do you reach those people? Can you affect the incidence of death caused by DUIs by increasing the punishment? As to those recidivists, I tell you: no.

    New Mexico, which has escalating penalties for up to 7 or more DWIs, which I find to be simply madness. I agree that increasing punishment for subsequent DWIs is not a motivator for problem drunks not to drive while drunk, but what it could do is get them off the street altogether so that can't continue killing. The madness of New Mexico law is that it allows for so many repeat offenses without curing the problem for good by imposing either life sentences or life affecting sentences of 20 years or more. If repeat DWIs were viewed as what they actually are - attempted vehicular homicide - the laws would be changed to reflect that reality. For three legitimate offenses, I would have no problem whatsoever in imposing a life sentence, with the second offense being a stern shot across the bow of maybe 5 years in prison and a substantial fine ($25K) in lieu of another 5 years (many repeat DWI offenders are broke, since their drinking causes employment issues as well).

    As it is, New Mexico, which has one of the highest DWI rates in the nation, provides for only 3 years in prison with 2 years being mandatory and a fine of up to $5K for the seventh offense! In a state where many of those DWI offenses are "wrong way" incidents as well (driving blithely down the interstate at high speed in the wrong direction, usually at night, while intoxicated) - with predictable results - the punishments here are just a complete joke.

    I agree that recidivists are the main problem and that there's little that can be done to make them stop - other than long mandatory prison terms to remove them from the population. The reason it will never happen? Same as anything else: MONEY! There's simply too much money in the nightclub and alcohol industry to risk upsetting things by getting serious about preventing DWIs. In a country that applauds so much carnage in senseless foreign wars, who would expect anything less?

    By the way, I'm inclined to view cell phone use and texting in the same light. We had a head on fatality just a few months back where an idiot in a pickup truck was texting and swerved to hit a compact car coming in the other direction at over 50 mph. The young mother, who was coming to work on her scheduled day off because she had taken her daughter's first birthday off earlier in the week, died gruesomely and instantly, while he walked away with scratches. I don't know what he was charged with, but it should start at vehicular homicide at the very least.

    Here's another link to an infamous case that happened shortly after I moved here. A five time offender who told friends that he knew he would die in a DWI accident someday, got his wish and took out five out of six in the other car as well. The driver's name? Fittingly, Dana Pabst.

  4. The 14th Amendment forbids unequal treatment of citizens. Those causing the most deaths, most accidents, and most injuries are NOT drivers who have been drinking.

    So, disaffected, your premise is flawed. You must, to be just, apply it to cell phone users and tired drivers, the top two causes, before you apply it to drinking drivers who are in third place.

    Motherfu****s Against Distracted Drivers is a more legit organization than MADD. The founder of MADD left to work for the liquor industry once the religious bigots took MADD over about the same time they took over the GOP.

    You might want to read the links in my post and get the national facts about distracted driving and tired driving before you jump on their misguided "resurrect the 18th Amendment" bandwagon.

  5. Randy,

    You might want to read mine once again as well. I'm not calling for special treatment either. I think all the road blocks and stops for no reason other than than to assess for DWI are BS as well. All I'm saying is that in cases where legitimate DWI offenders are caught - and they're caught all the time for reckless driving etc. - the penalties should be such that they either get their attention or not on the first offense, then simply remove them from society for a good long time thereafter.

    I also have no problem whatsoever applying the same penalties to cell phone use while driving ( I have a cell phone jammer in my car that takes care of that problem for vehicles in my close vicinity, often quite humorously). Indeed, that's the only thing that will stop this growing scourge before it becomes far and away the biggest killer.

    Distracted driving? That one's a little harder to prove. In obvious cases I suppose it could be prosecuted, but the fact is, almost everyone who drives could be said to be "distracted" to some degree or another. So the term "distracted" needs to be better defined.

    At the very least, if I were a traffic cop, I'd be pulling over the cell phone users and giving them a ticket every time (it's illegal here) and pulling over the obviously distracted drivers and giving them something to be truly distracted about. Both are easy to spot without profiling or stepping on anyone's rights, either by direct observation through the windows or by the way that they're driving. However, I still have a little more sympathy for the mom with a minivan full of kids than I do the suit with the cell glued to his ear. Now when that same mom's also got a cell glued to her ear (and the Disney DVD playing on the overhead monitor) as well as the van full of kids, all bets are off.

    Americans' are one of the few people in the world who think they're fucking car is a living room/kitchen, and it needs to stop, one way or another.

  6. "Distracted driving? That one's a little harder to prove."

    It has already been conclusively proven time and again.

    The website I linked to is bona-fide. They have been working with national safety officials.

    The other one lists the 6 top causes of accidents, DWI being #3, distracted drivers being #1, tired drivers being #2.

    But like global warming deniers, the MADD people do not want to be bothered with the facts.

  7. That one site Randy links to has this report of an official test conducted scientifically:

    One recent simulator study compared drivers using cell phones and drivers impaired by alcohol. Cell phone users had slower reaction times than drivers with .08 BAC and slower reaction to vehicles braking in front of them.


  8. It has already been conclusively proven time and again.

    Once again, you're reading into it. "Distracted" as a legal term is simply too vague, and could conceivably be applied to almost anyone. Imagine a cop who testified thus: "As I followed the defendant, I observed them repeatedly and for long periods checking their rear view mirror watching me. They were obviously distracted, as they could not have been watching the road in front of them." Well duh!

    I can't imagine how you'd write a distracted driving law that wouldn't be an open invitation for abuse. Also, from what I've seen so far, local cell phone laws have had little to no effect, probably because so many cops use cell phones while driving too. Cell phone driving has now become pervasive and culturally approved. I can't imagine it ever being contained now, absent a technology change.

    Maybe hands-free devices will become ubiquitous, which would at least provide a minimal benefit. The trouble with technology in this case of course, is that for every added "benefit," it usually provides two or more additional "problems;" ie, additional things to distract you while driving. At least the cars themselves are getting more crash-worthy.

  9. Dredd,

    This can be found on their "who we are page":

    "FocusDriven is supported by the National Safety Council, which was the first organization to call for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving.

    The FocusDriven board also extends a great deal of gratitude to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Secretary LaHood formally announced the formation of FocusDriven at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2010.

  10. disaffected,

    "Maybe hands-free devices will become ubiquitous, which would at least provide a minimal benefit."

    The data show that it is the busy mind wherein the distraction lies. Hands-free devices offer no solution.

    Wish they did but they don't.

  11. Guys! There has to be a reason who more folks die of car use that gun use!!??

    For myself, the huge iceburg floating in the water right now, other than the impending super storm to hit California, would be the Swiss banker who goes on trial for leeks, and the documents ha has now placed in Jullian Assange's hands, sure to be exposed sometime soon.

    Ah, so, the corporate run MSM cannot keep all their cats in the bag, so to speak.