Drinking and Driving Hypocrisy

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by minerva, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    this is not meant to excuse those who drink and drive or diminish the seriousness of drinking and driving. I want to know why certain people think that those who drink and drive need to be punished so much more severely, regardless of whether they cause an accident, than those who engage in all these other behaviors, which on average cause more accidents. is it perhaps that there is a cottage industry built up around "reforming" or punishing those who drink and drive? there are too many people who benefit from the current system? a drunk driver you can send for a year's worth of therapy to "reform" him - thus benefitting those who offer the therapy classes. with a distracted driver, what can you do? send him to a year's worth of therapy to tell him/her not the fiddle with the radio while driving? I just don't get why there is a double standard, when if you look at the statistics, drunk driving isn't even the most dangerous forms of human behaviors when it comes to driving.

    notice, not mention of drinking and driving.


  2. Knave

    Knave Member+

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    If you follow your link, it's #3.

    And it's also listed in your quote as "Impaired driving".

    You didn't even read the stuff you linked and quoted, did you ...
  3. fatbastard

    fatbastard Member+

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    I say we fine rain, that will improve safety :)

    I'm firmly in the "it's an industry, and an excuse to harass people - more than it is a serious problem" camp.

    If I bought for a second the 0.10 - now 0.08 or lower - limits actually meant you were drunk and/or impaired I might be more okay with the concept, but unless you're displaying signs of impairment on the road, it's stupid and arbitrary.

    The entire concept of random checkpoints truly disgusts me as a human being, and is seriously unAmerican. Or too god-damned American, depending on how you look at it.
  4. CHICO13

    CHICO13 Moderator Staff Member

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    There's this little entity called MADD that wields ungodly power. The reason the BAC legal limits keep dropping is twofold, one MADD, two big bucks for the jurisdictions. Maybe when someone starts up MACT (mothers against calling and texting) will things balance out.


  5. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    you don't have to follow the link. it's #3 in my post as well. I'm not that dense. the comments at the bottom I meant to apply only to the second quote.
    and in that quote, "impaired driving" is in a list of what the NYS Police characterize aggressive driving by, rather than identified as one of the causes of car accidents. clearly, drinking and driving is one of the top 5 causes of car accidents. I am not denying that. what I want to know is why the penalties are so much more severe for drinking and driving than all those other forms of human driving behaviors that are just as bad, and in some cases worse.
  6. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I don't expect too many soccer moms to be getting busy any time soon with the MACT idea. it's much easier to be a sanctimonious hypocrite and point to your one little pet peeve issue and go after those people. I mean who's going to sympathize with the cause of DUI offenders? I've already been called an assohole on this board for simply asking why the penalties are so much harsher for DUIs.
  7. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    You're absolutely right. If you don't care about this one thing, then you have no right to advocate about that other thing. Watertight logic.
  8. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    I think you need to replace 'on average' with 'in total'. Or is there a statistic on how many people drive drunk, text or speed without getting caught or causing accidents (note: txting for example would be much easier to cover up).
  9. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    I said no such thing. you're not very good at reading comprehension are you. but hey, at least your logic is air tight!

    just sayin...
  10. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    precisely the problem. even after an accident occurs, it's hard to prove that the person was engaging in distracted driving. with alcohol, it's much easier. so great, we (as a society) decide to punish those who drink and drive simply because we can prove that they had been drinking and driving much more easily?
  11. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    what I said was that you will come across as a sanctimonious hypocrite if you single out one particular human behavior related cause of accidents for harsh punishment, while ignoring all the other ones that cause just as many accidents, if not more.
    it's like singling out armed robbery with a single action revolver for harsh punishment, while ignoring armed robberies with semi automatic pistols.
  12. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    You merely implied it.

    ANYHOO, it could be that incidents of drunk driving accidents aren't higher because MADD and its ilk have been successful in reducing drunk driving?

    [​IMG]

    In fact, that's probably the case. So in effect, you're criticizing MADD and other advocacy groups for getting their message across.
  13. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    honestly, I don't know how much of that decline is due to MADD. my guess is, most people are unaware of the costs associated with a DUI until they find out the hard way - by either getting one, or a close friend or family member getting one. and chances are, after that, they will never do it again. so MADD has probably been effective at reducing the number of multiple-DUI offenders, but probably not much of an effect on first time offenders. another interesting stat to go along with this one would be the number of DUI arrests over the years.
  14. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    Probably at the core of the whole problem of me not understanding you is that in Europe we don't punish DUI as severely as you folks do. You get fined or lose your license, but if you kill someone while driving drunk you are less likely to go to jail than if you kill someone driving soberly.
  15. minerva

    minerva Member+

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    less likely?? I guess it must be the different rules. but yeah, here in the US, it's basically a slap on the wrist for many human behaviors associated with distracted driving (which kills more people than drunk driving), but will the the book thrown at you for a DUI. even within society in general, some employers will not hire you if your background check will show a DUI - depending on the position. much like the anti-smoking crowd, MADD has successfully stigmatized drinking and driving (despite the fact that it is actually rather, perhaps too, common). and of course, it's a serious thing and shouldn't be taken lightly. but the existing penalties are too severe (in my mind).
  16. That Phat Hat

    That Phat Hat Member+

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    Well, you're only looking at the legislative advocacy - MADD also does a shit ton of school events and PSAs. So even if would-be drunk drivers are unaware of local DUI laws, they still see the messaging and feel the social stigma.

    Also, in Ontario, Canada, the formation of MADD was associated with a decrease in drinkingdriving fatalities in the period between 1982 and 1996 ranging from 19% to 23%.

    Look at it this way. There are three things that discourage people from drinking and driving. One is the potential for injury or death. Then there's fear of punishment and the social stigma against the "drunk driver". The first hasn't changed since the late 70s. The latter two have, and that's due in huge parts to advocacy groups.
  17. laasan

    laasan Member

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    can you please back that up. I find it difficult to believe. I don't think there's much of a difference in most cases, but less likely? really don't think so.
    oh, and the eastern Europeans are much stricter with DD then the western Europeans.
  18. Auriaprottu

    Auriaprottu Member+

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    Huh? How is it sanctmonious or hypocritical to deal with those things you know you can deal with?

    Why is this such an issue to you? Plenty of important stuff to cover out there.
  19. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    If the accident happened because the one responsible was very negligent, for example by driving way too fast, you could get a high sentence. If you were so drunk that that the judge deems you not fit to take responsibility for your own deeds you'd be charged for that, but not for driving recklessly, and the punishment would be lower. I doubt that if you wouldn't go into public service or driving vehicles around regularly a DUI offense would keep you from a job. If it were multiple, sure, but one most certainly not.

    I am sort of aware on the severe punishment of that in the US, but there are so many other things, like letting your 20 year old son or brother drink a beer, that seem ridiculous to me, that I must have shelved it away and forgotten it when I entered this discussion.

    Still, the fines here for driving under the influence are higher (you are likely to walk for at least a month) then operating your phone (20€ fine, even for looking at the time on the phone or setting it up to play music). 10 kmh over the limit will cost you 20€ or so, 20 will lose you your licence, as will running a red light. I think that is appropriate.

    For DUI the treshold is .5 promille, but if you have more than .3 and are involved in any accident you have to cover all the damage for all belligents, no matter whether it's your fault or not. We have no policy concerning open containers, the person sitting shotgun could be taking shots of tequila, the police could do nothing if you were sober (but would certainly make sure you are).
  20. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

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    I was talking of Germany. In Eastern Europe they are probably stricter than even in the US, but it is arguably more of a problem there and here. Germany is probably unique even when compared to Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France or the Netherlands in that regard, and most certainly compared to Scandinavian countries for example.

    A law student told me that once, and I don't have the time to really look for a source for it, maybe a short google search will yield something, and maybe it is not completely true. The way explained it to me was that driving, say 30 kmh above the speed limit and then killing somebody was worse in the sense of being neglegent, or fahrlässig, than getting very drunk, because by then you are of unsound mind, or unzurechnungsfähig, by the time the accident happened. If you got really drunk, according to German law you are sort of reduced to the legal responsibility of a mentally ill person, shielding you from grave punishment.

    Now this may seem totally weird to Americans. But consider that Breivik, the basta.d that killed the teenagers in Norway last year, was also declared mentally ill and is therefor unlikely to be in prison for very long. He will serve his time in a mental institute, most of which tend to be less of a punishment than prisons (but then our law system is not made for punishing people, but to create incentives for you and others to not to repeat your deeds, as well as shielding society from harmfull people. The main goal is not punishment, but rehabilitation.
  21. JBigjake

    JBigjake Member+

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    Drinking and Driving

    Of course, it is.
    Oh well, the threadjack is now its own thread. Against my better judgement, ...


    Perhaps, if you ever get to spend a few hours discussing DWI and fatalities with a pre-eminent scholar in the field of alcohol studies, you'll be better educated:
    http://www.intoxikon.com/Executive_Director.html
    http://www.intoxikon.com/TOX file links/FACTS on DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED2 -2010.pdf
    Note Table 1.
    http://www.colorado-dui.com/parts/Images/Intoxicated Driving.pdf

    Perhaps, Minerva, in the interest of full disclosure, you should answer this question.
  22. JBigjake

    JBigjake Member+

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    Drinking and Driving

    "You must spread ..."
  23. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator Staff Member

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    I see enough texting while driving ads up hear to think otherwise.
  24. JBigjake

    JBigjake Member+

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    Drinking and Driving Defenders

    You know, Moms are against pedophilia as well. The opposition is organized by NAMBLA. Perhaps they will organize against MADD, as well.
  25. Demosthenes

    Demosthenes Member+

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    Re: Drinking and Driving Defenders

    I agree with Minerva; the penalties for texting while driving should be much harsher.

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