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  1. #21
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    I live in New Mexico and here, if you have been pulled over and the cop doesn't show up to your court date, the case is dropped. Sounds crazy, but it's true. Here, in NM, there are people who have been pulled over into the high teens in terms of occurances and they are let go. It's crazy. The police force has been stretched so thin, that so many of our cops have other obligations when they are supposed to be in court, that they don't show up and the person who was driving drunk gets off.



  2. #22
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    I wonder what the fatality rate is like in New Mexico due to drunk drivers? Yikes.

    I remember driving by a guy, downtown around 4 in the afternoon, just as he cracked a beer open. Bizarrely enough, we were just passing a cop supervising some road work, so mentioned it to him and he pulled the guy over. Hope he gave him a bit of a scare. Really, how cocky is that to be openly drinking when you're driving?



  3. #23
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    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViewParadise View Post
    I live in New Mexico and here, if you have been pulled over and the cop doesn't show up to your court date, the case is dropped. Sounds crazy, but it's true. Here, in NM, there are people who have been pulled over into the high teens in terms of occurances and they are let go. It's crazy. The police force has been stretched so thin, that so many of our cops have other obligations when they are supposed to be in court, that they don't show up and the person who was driving drunk gets off.
    I was amazed that a person could buy either a quart of oit or a quart of Jack Daniels at the gas stations in New Mexico



  4. #24
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    I remember when I first moved to TX.

    I was doing a coop barn thing. Stopped at the liquor store on the way home for some vodka and tonic.

    They asked "Want a to go cup?"

    I thought they were KIDDING!?!?!?

    They weren't. And it was illegal then!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  5. #25
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    May. 25, 2004
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    Ah, here ya go...http://www.krqe.com/dpp/larry_barker...o-dwi-suspects DWI's are just rotten here. LOTS of people getting hurt and killed by repeat offenders. Personally, I am a drinker. So, not against drinking per se. But this total loosey goosey approach to offenders and especially multiple REPEAT offenders?!?!? What is the motivation to obey laws when there is no consequence?! No one is above this attitude, even if you don't drink. Think about speeding.... if you know there is a 'speed trap' area where the cops hang out, you watch yourself. If not and you are late to work?! Well, you go faster. No judgement there, human nature. Where is the motivation to keep your drunk ass at home when there are little to NO consequences?!


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  6. #26
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    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    I remember when I first moved to TX.

    I was doing a coop barn thing. Stopped at the liquor store on the way home for some vodka and tonic.

    They asked "Want a to go cup?"

    I thought they were KIDDING!?!?!?

    They weren't. And it was illegal then!
    New Orleans has that beat, still have drive throw windows for mixed drinks

    And Chicago has drive through liquior stores
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/...-liquor-sales/

    I was based in Chicago for about ten years



  7. #27
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    I work as a volunteer in our local DA's office. I regularly assist in the prosecution of DUI cases.

    "Zero tolerance" really means "zero thought." I detest this approach as it removes discretion and judgement from a situation.

    If DUI is a crime (as opposed to a civil "petty offense" or something similar) then the State must prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In TN (and in WI and TX, IIRC) the presence of alcohol in the blood above a certain level raises a presumption of intoxication. The legislature has determined that operating a vehicle while intoxicated poses an undue risk of harm to the interests of the State. Even if the blood alcohol level is below the "presumption" levels set by statute it's still possible to obtain a conviction for DUI by demonstrating that the operator was impaired to the point that they posed an undue hazard. This is usually done by the officer administering "field sobriety tests" and noting the quality of performance. If the tests are correctly performed then there is no probable cause for arrest for DUI. A person might still be cited for "public intoxication." Or, if the officer observed erratic vehicle operation, "reckless driving." Depending on the jurisdiction one can also be arrested for PI or reckless.

    Note that DUI convictions can be had not only for alcohol but also for intoxication caused by medication (whether or not the meds are legally prescribed).

    There are a number of reasons for the rise in DUI convictions. One is a lowering of BAC numbers. When I first started practice in WI in 1976 the legal limit was .15%. This had declined steadily to the present generally accepted limit of .08%.

    Many states have "streamlined" the process to permit faster case handling.

    Many DAs have adopted a much stricter standard for reducing charges as part of a "plea bargain." Again, in my early days as an attorney, it was common to bargain a low level DUI charge to "reckless driving," with a big fine, a weekend in jail, and royal butt chewing by the judge. With increased scrutiny by groups such as MADD DA's are more careful as when election time rolls around they might find some highly motivated people working against them.

    Police officers and prosecutors are better trained in detecting and presenting cases.

    It's true that a community's view of alcohol use can have a significant effect on DUI prosecutions, if only because a jury hearing a DUI case will be drawn from that community. And a defendant has a Constitutional right to a trial by jury.

    I'm no fan of drinking and driving. I see way too much of the aftermath and its consequences. But neither am I fan of "jack booted storm troopers." Or of "legal lynching."

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    6 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
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    Aug. 2, 2004
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    Whidbey Is, Wash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
    I don't know of too many jurisdictions that use field breathalyzer tests because they are notoriously inaccurate.
    Not sure where you heard this, but the portable breath test administered roadside is just as accurate as the machine at the office. It is not evidentary, cannot be used in court (in this and most states) and is another test officers can use roadside in addition to all the ones you've seen on TV. If you had heard this, it might be because officers have become DEPENDENT on the pbt instead of their observations, or they aren't proficient in their field sobriety tests, or can't detect DUI-drugs and when the pbt comes up .000, they kick an impaired driver loose.


    Here are some scary statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (I think the stats might be 2007?): 32 million people reported they drove under the influence of alcohol in the past year and 11 million people reported they drove under the influence of an illegal drug. The survey did not include prescribed medications.

    I just attended a class for Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, a Nat'l Highway Traffic Safety Administration program. From what I learned in that class, which incidentally took place just after marijuana legalization passed in this state, dui-drugs is going to surpass dui-alcohol in the upcoming years, or alcohol used in conjunction with drugs.

    Also, I live in a military town, and there are no question asked rides through the different commands, duty vans the base supplies, taxis parked or cruising at every bar...and people still drive. Lowered inhibitions and feeling of invulnerability leads these drivers to think they can safely drive.

    Another scary statistic? A driver will drive impaired 60 times before he/she is actually caught (on average).
    Last edited by TheJenners; Nov. 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM. Reason: typo
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  9. #29
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    When someone is drinking, their judgement is impaired-thats the whole point of drinking and why we don't have a lot of Kool-Aid related accidents. People are NOT able, reliably, to determine their level of impairment because the part of their brain responsible for that judgement is impaired! People THINK they are fine...and that is the whole problem. And the risk is there EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    As far as I am concernred, people can drink til their liver rots and they throw up parts of their stomachs (coffee ground emesis), at home, in a bar, where ever, but get behind the wheel even after one? You should be done with driving. Just as a domestic violence felong will help you forfeit your right to own firearms.

    I don't know where you live G, but jury trials are very rare here for DUIs, They plead them to reckless endangerment. And the retarded attorneys think theyare doing their clients who really need help a big favor but avoiding the charge and any possibility of help. That kind of misguided enabling is one giant cause of the problem-conviction of DUIs also leads people to treatment and life changing decisions, which they would NOT have done if their attorney just bargained them down. Sure, they ahve the right to make bad decisions, we all do, but we also get to face the consequence of those decisions. The client that killed two people had had plenty of previous arrests for drinking that her attorney helpfully got her off on. Thankfully, he was not her attorney at trial.

    And a happy thought that around 1300 children are killed each year by drunk drivers. And many of these drivers are REPEAT offenders.....


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  10. #30
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    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    DWI Deaths 2010.... 28 per day

    10,228 people died in drunk driving crashes


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  11. #31
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    Aug. 7, 2005
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    Georgia
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    When I am ruler of the US anyone drinking and driving will do some time first time they are caught....maybe three months. They don't have to be falling down drunk either.
    Second time they get maybe 2 years.
    Third time well off to the cell you go forever.

    I know a family that was on a happy family holiday and a drunk driver hit them killing the mother and the two daughters. Left a man without his wife and daughters and a young boy without his mom or his sisters. Neither the dad or the son will ever be physically and probably emotionally as they were before.

    Know another guy, a drunk, who caused two accidents. First time one person was killed, second time two were killed. He did do a little time after the second time.

    I resent drunk drivers with a passion although I've never lost anyone close or even had anyone involved in an accident with a drunk but it gives me cold chills to think that I could. How dare they risk innocent people because they want to have that glass of wine or those couple of beers or whatever.

    Yep...when I am ruler I'll stop all that stuff.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


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  12. #32
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    Jan. 10, 2008
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    I agree with toughening punishment and enforcement for DUI/DWI, but not with the zero tolerance for any drinking whatsoever. I agree totally that the problem is that your judgment is impaired as you continue to drink, so you may think you're fine but not be... However, a lot of things can impair your driving ability as well--prescription drugs, fatigue, etc. I know I've realized while driving that my contacts were blurry or my cold medicine was making me woozy or I was too tired, and I was more impaired at those moments than I would have been after one or even two drinks. Not to mention momentary impairments to your driving--something that catches your eye, texting/cell phones, spilling coffee, a child in the back seat, glare from the sun or oncoming headlights... There are so many things that a driver can do, knowingly or out of ignorance or thoughtlessness, that makes that driver dangerous. And there's such a discrepancy in how much alcohol a person can consume and still be functional/aware/of average reflexes, that it seems impossible to tell people "you can't drink anything before you drive" when we allow them to judge their own level of fatigue, distraction, ability to handle bad weather, etc. There's just such a wide range of drivers out there, sober or not, that really the best solution seems to be to drive defensively and really penalize the people who choose to drive recklessly, whether that recklessness is caused by alcohol or drugs or fatigue or cell phones or just being a perfectly sober asshole.


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  13. #33
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    My point in starting the thread was that given what we know about how much alcohol contributes to fatal car accidents, why do more and more people continue to drink and drive?

    I would have thought that some of the drunk driving campaign and public education would have had some impact at some point and, at least, the numbers of people driving drunk would start declining. To hear they are still going up is disheartening, at best.

    There are so many things that can affect one's driving skill, so many that you don't have control over, such as the glare from the sun, why on earth wouldn't you want to minimize the risks you can?

    I don't think making the penalties stiffer would help because as long as the perception is that having a few drinks isn't a big deal, stiffer penalties will just mean less people get any penalty at all.

    Someone drives drunk 60 times before they're caught? Wow.


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  14. #34
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    Feb. 27, 2005
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    My youngest sister was killed by a drunk driver in a head-on collision when she was a senior in college. My (now Ex) husband popped open a beer in his vehicle on the way to the funeral...some people just don't get it, and think *they* aren't going to be impaired. He comes from a family of alcoholics, is an alcoholic, and his son is on the way to becoming one as well. I'm a non-drinker...never have been....and I have no tolerance for people who drink and drive, especially when they've only had a couple and still think they are unimpaired and will argue that point.


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  15. #35
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    How or may be why do you expect people to stop drinking and driving when alcohol consumption is so promoted and glorified by media and society in general. Even on my local news I see right after a drunk driving story one about the crowds on 6th street and all the fun they are having.

    You see it in movies, music, TV shows, and commercials. Young people are told don't drink and drive but look how much fun we are having, don't you want to have fun too. Bring up the names of women from the temperance movement and you will be booed. Don't they understand why it was started? They were trying to save the families that were destroyed by alcoholics.

    I don't drink, I don't "get it". Are people's lives so sucky that they can only unwind, relax, have fun with alcohol? Why would you want to do something that will make you feel miserable the next day? If you don't drink then your considered a pariah.

    The people making the laws, enforcing the laws, and bring judgement are all pro-alcohol. That is why there is still so much drinking and driving. People are making money from it that is why it continues. Selling alcohol is more important than saving lives.


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  16. #36
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    I've no love for drinking and driving. When someone puts their comunity at risk by this behavior earn universal condemnation.

    BUT universal condemnation does not trump the Constitution.

    If an officer fails to appear to testify against a drunk driver the charges will be dismissed. In such a case the officer should be sanctioned by his department for deriliction of duty. Far too often this does not occur. The citizens of the community in which such things occur should take note and ensure that police authorities understand the serious of such things.

    Trials are rare for DUI's. If the evidence is good most are plead out. If it's not there is usually a dismissal at the preliiminary hearing stage or perhaps a failure of the grand jury to indict. But jury trials do happen and can go both ways, depending upon the evidence. And the skill of the lawyers.

    I'm seriously troubled by the "lynch mob mentality" of some posters, here.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  17. #37
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    Dec. 1, 2007
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    I was hit by a Drunk driver when I lived in OK. Luckily I was in an old (all metal) Chevy truck came out with only 1 fracture. My BIL was being driven when their car was hit by a dd and his driver was killed In both cases, neither driver had a license - revoked for repeated dd offense. So unfortunately, the serious offenders are not deterred by loss of a license With a prison system that is already over crowded, I don't know what the answer is
    Epona Farm
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    I'm seriously troubled by the "lynch mob mentality" of some posters, here.
    Perhaps I'm missing some subtext in the posts, but I don't see anything that I would consider "lynch mob mentality".

    I hear people feeling that it's too bad people continue to drink and drive. I hear people saying there continue to be a lot of reasons that people still persist with this behaviour. I hear people saying it's really sad that people continue to get hurt because people value having a few over not killing someone. I hear people being at a loss as to what the solution is to get people to stop driving drunk.

    Where is the lynch mob? No one has said people shouldn't drink. People shouldn't drive and drive. As far as I know, that sentiment does not violate any constitutional right.


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  19. #39
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    Mar. 18, 2005
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    It is specially hard to handle when you get "that call." Back in 1994 I recieved the nightmare phone call that NO relative should ever have to get. My cousin couldn't reach my parents so she called me. Her Sister had been killed in a car accident in CO Springs, CO (they live in KS). I had to track my Dad down and tell him his Neice was dead and we had to head for KS right away. After an 11 hour drive we got there. The next morning we found out from the CO Springs police what happened. Her purse was found at her apartment, she was in her car as a passanger in the backseat with three guys. Everyone but her had acohol in their sytems including the driver whom was over the legal limit. The driver lost control at 127 MPH (dodge Stealth) up in the mountains when the car came to rest it had traveled 327 yards off the side of the mountain. Everyone died but the driver. When the driver woke up in the hospital and was told everyone had died his exact words to the nurse were "At least it wasn't me." Needless to say he went to prison. He is the only person whom can tell us what actually happened and how she ended up with theese guys and the one driving her car. To this day he refuses to say anything even refused in court.
    I used to drink and drive and so did hubby. Untill I got that phone call. Now if we go out one of us drinks the other doesn't and drives or we stay home and have a few cocktails. I even took my cousins story infront of the victem impact panel in our county.


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  20. #40
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    Nov. 2, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Comeshine, I don't know where you live, but the first few suggestions you had aren't feasible in a lot of places. There isn't public transport everywhere, there AREN'T services to drive you home. What if you just want to go out to dinner with your husband or wife and have a glass of wine? How do you KNOW that you're okay? Or not? You don't necessarily. And the services just aren't everywhere. If my husband and I wanted to go out for dinner and have a drink, we had ZERO options other than say...inviting someone else along. Not so cool on your anniversary dinner when you want to pop open a bottle of good wine. (as an example)

    I really think the zero tolerance is the way to go and I like a good glass of wine. Or a beer.
    It's pretty simple. Only one of you has a drink. Except for when I was in vet school, I have never lived anywhere with public transportation. If I am out with DH or my best friend, only one of us drinks. It's just part of being responsible.

    I see little difference between driving drunk and firing a loaded weapon in to a crowd. I think it's a shame that penalties aren't harsher for accidents caused by drunk drivers.


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