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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
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    Default Drinking and driving

    Just read the statistics that, despite all the ad campaigns and public education, drinking and driving continues to be on the rise.

    What is wrong with people? Why does this continue to be such a problem?

    What do you think can be done?

    On a personal note, two young men in my area lost their lives recently when their buddy, who was drunk, missed negotiating a curve and wrapped the truck around a pole. I drive by the new pole and memorial crosses every day on the way to the barn.


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  2. #2
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    I honestly think that part of the problem is the phrase "drunk driving". "Drunk" to most people implies fall down, blathering drunk. NOT what actually constitutes impaired driving. Therefore, I think that a lot of people don't even realize they're "drunk driving" because they don't feel impaired after a couple of beers, a glass of wine, or whatever.

    When I lived in Italy, there were actually check points along the roads. Zero tolerance. I believe it's the same in Germany? (I think my brother told me that--he lives there) No one screwed around with it. There was ALWAYS a DD. (Our Mormon friends were awesome for this btw. LOL. How do you go out to dinner in Italy and NOT have a glass of wine?)

    Further, lack of good public transportation is an issue IMHO. Where I lived in MI, you could NOT get a cab. There was no cab service. No bus service. No public transport options. Whereas where I lived in IA, we never had to think about driving or taking those risks because we could all pile into a cab or something.

    What can we do to help?

    Here are my ideas:

    1) zero tolerance--not .08, not .10.--.00. Then people realize that they can't have even ONE and get behind the wheel. We are NOT good judges of our impairment.

    2) increase public transportation.

    3) Increase the "designated driver" campaign--it used to be all over the TV and such. When I was in college, my sorority even had a DD sign up sheet for every weekend. You were basically on call to go get people from the bars. I realize we can't do that as adults per se, but if we increased some awareness again, I think it would help.

    Here in the DC area, it's awesome because my husband and I can go out to dinner, have a few glasses of wine, and not worry about how to get home. Public transportation!

    I would bet that most adults have driven while legally impaired at some point and just gotten lucky. I know I have. You might not think you are, but depending on your weight, how much you've eaten, etc, even that ONE 16 oz beer you had can be enough to impair someone. And we usually hear about how you can have 2 beers or whatever an hour and be okay. No. Really the only totally safe way is to not have a drop.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  3. #3
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    Jul. 21, 2006
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    Default

    Just wanted to point out that plenty of people get arrested and blow less than 0.08.

    I don't know of too many jurisdictions that use field breathalyzer tests because they are notoriously inaccurate. Arrests are made based on the officer's observations of the driver and sometimes the results of a field sobriety test if the person consents to participate. The breath or blood test is administered after the arrest, provided the arrestee consents.

    A conviction, of course, depends on what the solicitor can prove at trial. If the person has given evidence against themselves, in the form of a field sobriety test or a breath or blood test, then the state's job is made much easier.

    I agree with BuddyRoo - people drive after drinking because they don't think they are too impaired to drive. Naturally, their judgment may not be accurate. The way to stop it is for people to have an alternative - public transportation; designated drivers, etc.
    Analytical thinking is the first casualty when opposing sides polarize, and that shows lack of common sense on both sides.
    Denny Emerson


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  4. #4
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    Nov. 1, 2007
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    I will not drive after I have had a drink, even one class of wine. I will also not text and drive. I will talk but only briefly and its usually to say, I am driving and will call you back.

    If I have a friend or my dog in the car with me, its my job to get us safely from point A to point B. I will not even look at my passenger while I am driving. So much can happen in a split second. Of course I drive in and around Tampa where ALL the drivers are horrible.

    I was driving from Daytona Fl to Tampa yesterday and I was keeping up with traffic at about 70-75mph. I stay in the right side lane unless I have to pass or allow for merging traffic and I was passed repeatedly on either side of my car by people going well over 90mph. They would come out of know where and zip by you. And as I watched them continue on their weaving though traffic high speed journey, I could not help to think that, I bet most of them think they are driving Grand Theft Auto, that video game. Most of the drivers that whiz past are younger than me...I am in my mid-thirties, so that would make sense that they think its a freaking video game.


    Sorry to go a bit off topic there.

    Moral is..they think they are untouchable. Each game comes with 3 lives before you die. ...... unfortunately, not in real life.


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  5. #5
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    Default

    People know before they have that first drink what transportation is available for them to get home. If there isn't public transportation for where they need to go, it's not like it's a surprise after they've had a few. There are so many ads these days for companies that will drive your car home for you, as well. If you know you are going out and going to have a few, why not arrange that? It's not even that expensive.

    There are so many ad campaigns for designated drivers, there are graphic talks in high school after consequences of driving after drinking, and yet, not only does drinking and driving continue to be a problem, it is actually on the rise.

    I agree with zero tolerance. It's easy to feel in control when you've had a few and impossible to judge what would 'blow over'. It would make everything a lot more black and white if the policy was simply NO drinking at all for the driver. Then no one could argue that they thought they were fine to drive.


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  6. #6
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    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.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  7. #7
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    Jul. 21, 2006
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    I'm not quite sure what y'all mean by "zero tolerance."

    Do you mean that a person should be arrested if found to be driving after having consumed a legally available substance? How would such a law be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose?

    And how would you go about enforcing that law? Would it be OK to stop someone without probable cause or articulable suspicion just to check?
    Analytical thinking is the first casualty when opposing sides polarize, and that shows lack of common sense on both sides.
    Denny Emerson


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  8. #8
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    I guess that's thing the thing BuddyRoo. While it's lovely to share a nice bottle of wine for a special occasion, if you don't have options to get home, then you don't drink. Or you have the wine once you get home. Personally, I really enjoy a good bottle of wine or a nice martini. That's been a hard thing since I've been single, not having someone to share the driving with if I go out for dinner. I'm always the DD now.

    What if you had that drink and were then involved in a car accident that killed someone? That would be a million times worse than not having a glass of wine with dinner.


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  9. #9
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    Jan. 24, 2007
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    small town, Ohio
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    It's kind of amazing how our very small town has found a solution to this problem. There is no public transportation here. BUT a small group of people (largely the teenage kids of parents who might be out having a drink) are willing to pick up and transport people from local bars home. They make money and are providing a service. There are almost no drunk driving arrests around here now because after one drink almost everyone realizes they need a ride home and there is one available.
    I think making rides home affordable and available is key.

    My husband goes out from time to time. I've told him I will be happy to drive him back to his car the next day if he gets a ride home but if he gets picked up for drunk driving don't even bother to call me, you can rot in a cell.

    He won't drive if he's had even one.

    It's really cool how responsible we have become as a community to stop drunk driving.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway


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  10. #10
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    I'm using zero tolerance to mean nothing to drink. Maybe there is a better way to put that.

    In our area, we have RIDE checkpoints. The police set up an area and pull every car off the road to check for drunk drivers. That's where the statistic comes from. They found more drunk drivers through the RIDE program this year than last year.



  11. #11
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    Oh of course it's not worth it, CS. It's just that I don't think you can measure impairment by 1 glass or 2. Mileage varies. But given our current laws, it gives people a false sense of security.


    pAin't--Yes. That's what we mean. Zero alcohol can be present. In some European countries, they actually have check points along the roads for this. Everyone that goes through the checkpoint is stopped and tested. Zero tolerance.

    But again, the public transport piece goes hand in hand.

    We are not very good at knowing if we're okay or not. While it's legal to consume, it's not legal to be impaired. Yet impairment covers a pretty large spectrum. And I think that is why so many people end up with a DUI when they THINK they're fine. I think that a zero tolerance law would save otherwise responsible people from DUIs that were totally unintended and save others from being harmed.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


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  12. #12
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    That's awesome IGR. I've told my kids that I'm cool with them drinking (once they are old enough) but NEVER, EVER get in a car with someone drinking. I hope they take it to heart when I say I will pick them up - NO questions asked - and get them home safely.

    I just find it heartbreaking every time I read about someone else who was killed because someone got behind the wheel drunk. Why is it that the drunk driver is usually not the one killed, either?


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  13. #13
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    BuddyRoo - have you seen the commercial where they show a person's view of the road through the beer glasses?



  14. #14
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    If we want to deter people from drinking and driving, then we need, as a societly, to take a firmer stance against it, starting with increasing penalties drastically.

    I agree with a zero alcohol in the system policy. Too many people are "designated drivers" and think they can still have a drink or two.

    If you are caught drinking and driving, you should lose your license for the rest of your life-some countries in Europe do lifetime loss of license after the first offense and as a result, people are much less willing to take chances. If you are caught driving without a license, the penalty for that should be much higher as well.

    If you cause a fatality while drinking and driving, it should be an automatic murder 1 charge...you CHOSE to drive, making anything that happens afterward premeditated.

    DUI right now brings basically a slap on the wrist, even to repeat offenders. If the penalty is a joke, nobody takes the crime seriously.

    Bars could hire DD's, like pizza joints hire delivery boys to help people get home, etc.


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  15. #15
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    My rule when my daughter was in high school was that I would pick her up, no questions asked, no consequences, if she didn't have a safe way to get home. I made the offer to her friends as well.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Shine View Post
    BuddyRoo - have you seen the commercial where they show a person's view of the road through the beer glasses?
    No, but I really don't watch TV much. I'm limited to Sponge Bob and iCarly when the kids are home and the History Channel when hubby is home. Rest of the time, I don't watch TV.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  17. #17
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    I was so lucky as a kid that my mom had a "no questions asked" policy. She made it VERY CLEAR to me that no matter where I was, no matter what time of night, if I needed a ride home, I had one.

    I have made that clear to the kids too. All they ever have to do is call me and I will make sure they get home--whether I get them or send a car if we're far away. I even went to the point of telling them how to figure out where they are--dig through mail to find address if you have to!

    I had that convo at a bday sleepover with all of SD14's friends. Told them it's not worth it. You just call me and I will find a way to get you home.

    My mom did a great job driving that home to me.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  18. #18
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Absolutely zero tolerance. Public transportation or not. And I live in probably one of the worst states for this (except maybe new mexico). We measure miles in six packs, people get 10-11 DUIs (spposed to be three and then its a felony but judges plead it down allthe time). Two state troopers were killed recently by drunk drivers. Did the state get concerned? Hell no. A legislator informed us that DUI laws would "ruin Montana's culture" because people couldn't get to bars. And bars are the social hub of our little communities.......just beyond words how completely and totally ignorant people can be. IN TREATMENT clients are told that "everyone gets a DUI"....!!!!

    Unfortunately I have done many, many evaluations of DUI offenders, went to court for a woman who killed her sister and another guy. I know she would have cheerfully taken a bullet to the head to have avoided that. My best friends sister,a freshmen in college then, was killed by a drunk driver and he got three months probation...

    Absolutely zero tolerance, lose license and any chance of EVER getting insurance. And get treatment too!

    You can use legal substances but not in every circumstance, which is why there is public support for drug testing (want your airline pilot pleasantly buzzed?). Societies have to get serious about it, but because so many "enforcers" have alcohol/drug problems themselves, that is unlikely.


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  19. #19
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    Apr. 29, 2006
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    http://avira.ask.com/web?l=dis&o=APN...s&locale=en_CA

    Here's the commercial.

    That is so sad L2.

    For those who asked their kids to call them if they needed a lift, did they ever take you up on it?



  20. #20
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    Nov. 1, 2007
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    I called my parents once to be picked up from a party where I could not drive home. They came and got me. My dad was pissed! I handed him my keys, he handed them right back and said, "your driving yourself home, follow me". I was shocked. He actually made me drive my car behind him. We both drove with our flashers on at about 5mphs.

    I still shake my head on that one.



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