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BS: Drunk driving

Raptor 27 Aug 09 - 08:18 AM
Raptor 27 Aug 09 - 08:25 AM
Peace 27 Aug 09 - 08:34 AM
Emma B 27 Aug 09 - 08:43 AM
Emma B 27 Aug 09 - 08:52 AM
gnu 27 Aug 09 - 08:59 AM
alanabit 27 Aug 09 - 09:16 AM
catspaw49 27 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM
Emma B 27 Aug 09 - 09:26 AM
olddude 27 Aug 09 - 09:27 AM
olddude 27 Aug 09 - 09:33 AM
Midchuck 27 Aug 09 - 09:36 AM
Dorothy Parshall 27 Aug 09 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Charmion at work 27 Aug 09 - 10:19 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Aug 09 - 10:43 AM
Emma B 27 Aug 09 - 10:52 AM
Leadfingers 27 Aug 09 - 10:58 AM
Paul Burke 27 Aug 09 - 11:06 AM
Raptor 27 Aug 09 - 11:16 AM
catspaw49 27 Aug 09 - 11:43 AM
alanabit 27 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM
olddude 27 Aug 09 - 01:06 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Aug 09 - 03:32 PM
akenaton 27 Aug 09 - 03:34 PM
Ebbie 27 Aug 09 - 03:47 PM
olddude 27 Aug 09 - 04:09 PM
Stringsinger 27 Aug 09 - 04:52 PM
Sorcha 27 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM
romanyman 27 Aug 09 - 05:46 PM
ranger1 27 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM
Raptor 27 Aug 09 - 09:07 PM
Ebbie 27 Aug 09 - 11:33 PM
ranger1 28 Aug 09 - 07:04 AM
catspaw49 28 Aug 09 - 08:58 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 09 - 09:07 AM
theleveller 28 Aug 09 - 09:15 AM
Ebbie 28 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM
Joe_F 28 Aug 09 - 09:37 PM
bobad 28 Aug 09 - 09:58 PM
The Sandman 29 Aug 09 - 01:11 PM
Paul Burke 29 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM
The Sandman 29 Aug 09 - 01:37 PM
gnu 29 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM
gnu 29 Aug 09 - 04:27 PM
olddude 29 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM
The Sandman 30 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM
frogprince 30 Aug 09 - 07:51 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 09 - 12:57 PM
Peace 31 Aug 09 - 01:02 PM
Stringsinger 31 Aug 09 - 04:57 PM
Ebbie 31 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM
The Sandman 31 Aug 09 - 07:00 PM
The Sandman 01 Sep 09 - 05:58 AM
gnu 06 Sep 09 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Ben 02 Aug 10 - 12:15 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Aug 10 - 01:55 PM
Joe_F 02 Aug 10 - 06:41 PM
romanyman 02 Aug 10 - 07:18 PM
Jack Campin 02 Aug 10 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,josep 02 Aug 10 - 08:04 PM
Jack Campin 02 Aug 10 - 08:56 PM
kendall 02 Aug 10 - 09:10 PM
LadyJean 03 Aug 10 - 12:01 AM
kendall 03 Aug 10 - 07:26 AM
Mooh 03 Aug 10 - 08:19 AM
Greg F. 03 Aug 10 - 09:28 AM
Jack the Sailor 03 Aug 10 - 10:38 AM
Seamus Kennedy 03 Aug 10 - 11:12 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Aug 10 - 11:29 AM
kendall 03 Aug 10 - 11:33 AM
kendall 03 Aug 10 - 11:38 AM
Greg F. 03 Aug 10 - 12:13 PM
Jack the Sailor 03 Aug 10 - 01:10 PM
Greg F. 03 Aug 10 - 07:39 PM
Jack the Sailor 03 Aug 10 - 10:48 PM
Greg F. 04 Aug 10 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Patsy Warren 04 Aug 10 - 11:10 AM
katlaughing 04 Aug 10 - 11:17 AM
Backwoodsman 04 Aug 10 - 11:46 AM
Jack the Sailor 04 Aug 10 - 12:40 PM
Ebbie 04 Aug 10 - 01:05 PM
Greg F. 04 Aug 10 - 01:20 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Aug 10 - 01:34 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Aug 10 - 01:36 PM
romanyman 04 Aug 10 - 05:11 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Aug 10 - 05:24 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Aug 10 - 05:36 PM
Ebbie 04 Aug 10 - 05:55 PM
Ebbie 04 Aug 10 - 06:48 PM
Murray MacLeod 04 Aug 10 - 07:06 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Aug 10 - 08:56 PM
kendall 04 Aug 10 - 09:23 PM
LadyJean 05 Aug 10 - 01:08 AM
kendall 05 Aug 10 - 08:01 AM
Greg F. 05 Aug 10 - 09:04 AM
kendall 05 Aug 10 - 07:52 PM
Ebbie 05 Aug 10 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Songbob 06 Aug 10 - 01:33 AM
kendall 06 Aug 10 - 07:50 AM
Greg F. 06 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM
Jack the Sailor 06 Aug 10 - 11:18 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Aug 10 - 11:41 PM
Greg F. 07 Aug 10 - 10:24 AM
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Ebbie 08 Aug 10 - 12:45 PM
MGM·Lion 08 Aug 10 - 02:06 PM
Jack the Sailor 08 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM
Smokey. 08 Aug 10 - 04:23 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Aug 10 - 10:44 PM
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Greg F. 10 Aug 10 - 01:53 PM
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Subject: BS: Drunk driving
From: Raptor
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:18 AM

This is a thread to discuss the fact that Drunk Driving is a bad thing no matter who does it.

I lost 5 people who I respected and loved to drunk driving. The latest a 9 year old daughter of my college best friend.

He will never get over it. His life is ruined.

The guy that decided to drive drunk could become someone who does really great things for the next 40 years and he will still be the guy that drank and drove, a choice that was the cause of the death of Al Jelley's daughter on fathers day 2008.

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Raptor
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:25 AM

Unlike some other threads on this Discussion board I shall not ask that this be a thread where only people post if they agree with me.

I welcome others opinions and promise to try not to attack them cause they don't agree with my view.

Hell you can pick on my bad spelling.

There are some people who would choose to believe that drunk driving is O.K. if enough time has passed.

Al's daughter will still be dead in 40 years.

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Peace
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:34 AM

Raptor, there have been too many scenes for me to be objective on this issue. I think DD should be classed and dealt with under homicide, not traffic. Period.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Emma B
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:43 AM

There are some interesting statistics on the MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving) website

In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people in the US died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes
Three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives

A report on the problem of drunk driving from Texas complains that

'From time to time, to be sure, the elected representatives make dutiful bows in the direction of clamping down on drunk driving -- usually after a child has been killed, or an elderly pedestrian, or a carload of teen-agers.
But if there is a state in the nation that has a genuinely effective drunk-driving law, I am unaware of it. It's easy enough to see why the laws are so lax

At the most trivial level, it's because a great many of the people who pass the laws on drunk driving happen to be drinkers themselves; just ask the lobbyists who underwrite their nocturnal festivities.

Similarly, the people who enforce those laws -- the police and the prosecutors and the judges -- do not take drunk driving very seriously, even though it is understood to cause the larger part of the 50,000 highway deaths we manage to rack up each year.
Perhaps that's because the enforcers of the law, like the legislators, enjoy a nip from time to time.

But more likely it has to do with basic American attitudes toward drinking and driving.

One of the most basic of these may be that drunk driving is not a "crime." No "criminal intent" is involved.

Most of the people who slide boozily behind their steering wheels are not "criminal types"; they're nice middle-class folks, just like you and me."


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Emma B
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:52 AM

Penalties for drink driving in the UK

For any offence of driving or attempting to drive while over the prescribed alcohol limit, there is a MANDATORY minimum sentence of one year's disqualification.
This can only be waived in very exceptional circumstances, such as if the offence was committed in response to a medical emergency, or if the offender would be completely unable to earn a living.
A first offender will also receive a fine, typically around £300 - £400, although fines can be below £100 for offenders of limited means.

Magistrates have the power to impose longer periods of disqualification and are increasingly making use of this - in some cases 18-month bans have been imposed for BACs below 120 mg. The maximum sentence that can be imposed for driving with excess alcohol is a fine of £5,000, and a 6-month prison sentence

If an offender has committed a second offence within a ten-year period, or has a BAC over 2.5 times the legal limit (i.e. 200 mg or above), they will be classed as a "high-risk offender". They will receive a three-year minimum mandatory period of disqualification, and before they can drive again will be required to satisfy a doctor - at their own expense - that they do not have an ongoing alcohol problem.

The Road Traffic Act of 1991 introduced a new offence of 'Causing death by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs' which carried a compulsory prison sentence of up to five years.

As of 2002, drivers convicted of causing death by driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs are required to pass an extended test before being allowed to drive again.

The maximum penalty for causing death by driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs was increased to 14 years in 2004.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: gnu
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:59 AM

I would like to see, in addition to any discipilary action, a mandatory medical assessment for alcohol addiction (tendency) and treatment upon the first offense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:16 AM

Emma, I am not sure where you live. You quoted the UK laws without comment. Are they more relaxed than the US laws or are they stricter?


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM

So who is supposed to argue with you here Rap? I guess though since the last figure I read said that 37% of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol, then 63% involved sobriety. So my chance of a fatality is less if I'm drunk!

I've had 11 people I knew/know involved in drunk driving incidents, 3 on the wrong side, 5 dead and two left in severely life altered states. One of the ones on the wrong side now does school and group programs with the father of the boy he killed almost 30 years ago.

Did you ever drive drunk or high? Just wondering..........


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Emma B
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:26 AM

I live in the UK alanabit and sadly have to report that yet another friend of mine (the third since the laws came into force) has just lost their licence for a year.

I posted the legislation without 'comment' this doesn't mean that I don't have strong personal feelings about causing death while under the influence' which may easily have happened to any of the friends I mentioned if circumstances had been only slightly different :(

As a Brit I'm not sure about the laws in the US but, in conversation with American friends, they seem to be more lax.

It would be interesting for Peace or gnu to outline the legislation in Canada too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: olddude
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:27 AM

I lost my dad to drunk driving when I was 14. He was a big , friendly, man who never had a harsh word to say about anyone. It was not uncommon back in the 60's to stop after work for "a couple of beers" .   He hit an icy patch, ran into the guard rail at 20mpg. No seat belts back then either. Since he was one block from home he walked home. Came in said he was fine, then suddenly fell over and he died in front of me. The steering wheel broke a vessle in his stomach and he bleed to death internally.   

I had a friend next door, he was my brother for all purposes in this life. We grew up together, never apart.   Loved the guy, one time when my girlfriend dumped me before the Christmas dance in High School, his girl friend called me up and asked me to take her to the dance.   I told Al, what the heck is this about, he smiled and said you were so down that I just wanted you to go so I told her to call you. I of course refused but that was Al,   always looking out for me and so many others.

Al liked to drink. I would go to the parties with him and always drove because I rarely drink anything and if so it is no more than a single beer ... But one time I came home from college. I was really sick, Al called and wanted me to go with him to a party. I couldn't because I was sick.   Where we lived had a very bad curve on the highway.

Well exactly 2:12 Am I heard a terrible crash. I ran downstairs and saw that my friend Al had missed the curve and drove the car right down my front steps and into the side of my house.   He had been thrown through the front windshield.   I held him and asked God to take me and leave this good person alone but it doesn't work that way. He was dead. In the back seat of the car was another good friend David. He had been killed instantly .. I was covered in blood.

Al's mom was like my second mother. She and her husband never woke up even when the authorities came to take them away and the car.   I did not wake them. I did not want them to see him ... She never forgave me for not waking her. Told me I was cruel and a horrible person. What she thought was cruel was an act of love. I could not let her see that. She moved away and I never saw her again even when her husband died I only heard about it. That is what drunk driving did to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: olddude
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:33 AM

In both cases by the way, the coroner say they were very drunk. Both my dad and Al ... way over any safe limit if there is even such a thing. Sometime at night I dream of what would have been if my dad had lived, how much music I lost with him, how much fishing, how he would have adored his grand kids. How much I miss Al, he was going to ask his girl friend to marry her. He even put the down payment on the ring. When he was killed Annie flipped out, she then came down with an eating disorder that came close to killing her. In and out of hospitals. Even today I heard she is not well. Breathtaking beautiful woman, never married, she died inside when she lost him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Midchuck
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:36 AM

The only good thing about drunk driving is that virtually everyone - barring the most hard-core chronic drunks - agrees that it's a bad thing. You don't get that much of a consensus on most issues. You could add "drunk driving" to the old quote about "Son, try everything in life except incest and folk-dancing."

Use of cell phones - particularly handhelds - and especially texting on them, however, produces very comparable casualty rates, and many people who consider themselves careful and law-abiding drivers do that constantly. I think we need strict laws there as well. But many politicians and other "important" types are among the worst offenders, so we aren't likely to get them.

Peter.

(Full disclosure: I have driven drunk quite a lot. It was all a generation or more ago, and I was young and stupid - as opposed to old and stupid, but more conservative, as I am now - and it was not taken as seriously then as it is now. And I was terribly lucky, as were those on the highway with me. But I have never used a handheld cell phone while driving a vehicle. If only because cell phones didn't exist when I was young enough to think I was invulnerable.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:04 AM

A vehicle is a dangerous weapon, more dangerous than the guns people worry so much about. To injure someone while drinking and driving is, IMO, assault with a deadly weapon; to kill someone is premeditated murder.

That is how I see it. Unequivocably.

I understand that drinking is an addiction. I chose at about 18 to never use any mind-altering substance - I knew I was flaky to start out, I need every brain cell functioning as well as possible. But I had the advantage of growing up in a non-addictive household.

In those cultures where drinking alcohol is an acceptable rite of passage, encouraged by peers, adults who indulge, and mass advertising, we are each and every one culpable in that we allow that advertising. Prohibition did not work but better education might. That is also the responsibility of each of us. So is changing the laws.

When I think of "better education", I am not thinking of diddly classes on addictions. I mean an education which speaks to the real needs of each individual and does not set kids up for failure in Kindergarten with ridiculous concepts of what a child must learn in order to be a "success" and little consideration of individual differences.

The use, and overuse, of alcohol is often self-medication for difficulties which were not addressed at age 3. The child who was considered dumb - who was really deaf or could not see adequately, or was suffering from some form of abuse or.... Oh, hell, I could write a book; Maybe I will find the time for that someday.

And I have not yet lost anyone close to me to a drunk driver.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: GUEST,Charmion at work
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:19 AM

I don't believe the problem is entirely that people take drink too lightly; I think it's *driving* people take for granted, especially in North America. Our communities are built for car travel and the driver's licence is our standard accepted identification document for an adult. A fully fit adult who lives anywhere but a dense downtown (e.g., Manhattan or Cabbagetown) and never drives is either poverty-stricken or strange. People who drive drunk get behind the wheel automatically without regard for the complexity of the task of driving; it never occurs to them to use public transit. Why? In many cases, because public transit is just inconvenient enough, and car ownership not so terribly expensive, that their lives are built around their cars and they can't imagine not using them for any kind of journey.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:43 AM

Well, there is a certain tension between this thread and the various eulogies to Senator Edward Kennedy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Emma B
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:52 AM

Drinking and Driving: The Laws in Other Countries

Other countries have different laws than the US. Some are more lenient and some are harsher. In Australia, the blood alcohol content is .05, and lower (.02) for new drivers and those with learner's permits. The punishment for drinking and driving in Australia includes fines, suspension of license, imprisonment, and medical assessment before a driver's license is reinstated.

In some countries, drinking and driving is punishable by death. A first time offense in El Salvador leads to execution by firing squad, while a second offense in Bulgaria also leads to execution.

In France, drinking and driving is punishable by the equivalent of a $1,000 fine, imprisonment for one year, and loss of license for three years. Finland and Sweden automatically sentence drunk drivers to one-year jail sentences including hard labor. In Norway, a drunk driver is jailed for three weeks with hard labor and loses their license for a year. If they do it again, they lose their license forever. In South Africa, drinking and driving results in a ten-year prison sentence or the equivalent of a $10,000 fine and, in some cases, both.

Some countries are more creative in their attempts to keep the inebriated off the road.
Turkey, for example, punishes drunk drivers by taking them 20 miles from their town and making them walk back with a police escort.
In Poland, drunk drivers are subject to jail, fine, and even worse, mandatory attendance at political lectures.
In Malaya, if a man is caught driving drunk he is jailed. If he is married, his wife is jailed, too"


But my favourite quote.......

"In Canada, the first drinking and driving offense warrants loss of license for one year and the equivalent of a $600 fine. The second offense warrants two weeks in jail and loss of license for two years. The third offense warrants three months in jail and loss of license for three years.

After the fourth, they might just send you to America.! "


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:58 AM

At least in UK Pavements (Sidewalks) are the order of the day , except in the VERY rural areas , whereas in USA they are ONLY found in towns , and certainly NOT in most residential Urban developements .
Same goes for Buses ! ONLY in major City centres so if you want to go down to the Mall , its in the Car , rather than a stroll for a mile or so !
These days in UK , its a walk down to the Pub , and a Designated Driver if you are going any distance !


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Paul Burke
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 11:06 AM

while a second offense in Bulgaria also leads to execution.
Capital punishment is illegal in the EU.

Wikipedia:

i>Capital punishment in Bulgaria was abolished on December 12, 1998 with the last execution having been carried out by firing squad on November 4, 1989. The Parliament of Bulgaria had introduced a moratorium on July 7, 1990 and protocol number six of the European Convention on Human Rights came into force on October 1, 1999.

So I don't know where that came from. In fact, that whole site seems to trigger my bullshit alarm.

The point is that whatever the laws, it's the enforcement that counts. The South African one, if true, is a case in point. Drunken driving is practically the norm in many parts there (witness: the Boy who spent 4 months in SA a few years ago). France at least until very recently seldom enforced drink driving laws; I suspect the same is true in Ireland outside the cities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Raptor
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 11:16 AM

Spaw

When I was in High school a friend of ours had hit someone while driving and we found out is was another friend of ours dead.

It ruined both lives.

Unless I'm not driving I drink iced tea. I won't even have one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 11:43 AM

Good for you Rap.....and I'm glad to say I don't either. But that's been only since 1974 when I was 25. Before that, I am not proud to tell you that I drove and rode motorcycles both drunk and stoned......and on a very regular basis. I don't know why I didn't kill or maim someone or why I'm not dead myself. I do remember the last time I did drive under the influence in '74. I won't forget it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 12:55 PM

Thanks Emma. The last time I drove under the influence I was working in a Swiss hotel in 1995. I drank two small beers after I had finished my set when the manager asked me to drive the barmaid home. It was only a matter of a couple of kilometres and in South Switzerland you are more likely to run over a fox than to even see another vehicle. To this day I do not know whether I was actually "legal" or not. I do know for sure, however, that if I had been asked earlier to drive the barmaid home, I would not have drunk any beer at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: olddude
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 01:06 PM

They always called it accidents back then ... at least today they call it what it really is. It was common for people to drive drunk and it was common for people to die driving drunk. How many times I have wished my dad didn't do that and my friend Al didn't do that. With Al I always drove because I didn't drink.. I blamed myself for years ... all the questions, why did I have to be sick, why didn't I go anyway, why was I not there to drive, he would be alive. It took me years to get over the fact that I wasn't there, I wasn't in the car. Al made the decision to drive and it cost him and my friend Dave his life. It was my dad's decision to drive drunk and it cost my dad his life ...

I speak out, no I scream about drunk drivers ... the cost to me and my family from it is beyond measure in terms of pain. Like I said I will still at times wake up with tears wondering what could have been if it were not for some drinks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:32 PM

Here's a story that happened when I was a college student, about 40 years ago.

Some utility workers had dug a hole in a nearby street. At the end of the day, the work wasn't finished, so they put barricades around the hole with flashing lights. About 9 or 10 o'clock that night, a drunk driver plowed through the barricades. His left front wheel had gone into the hole and his car was now resting on its frame. He couldn't drive out.

This happened on a busy street in the middle of a college campus. A crowd of students, mostly male, had gathered around. The driver was much older—not a student. When I arrived, he was asking the students to help push his car out of the hole. They were saying, no, it's impossible.

I went back into my dorm, less than half a block away, and called the police. I described what I had seen, and gave them my name, address, phone number, and the exact location of the accident. Then I went back outside.

When I arrived, the students had pushed him out of the hole after all. The drunk got back in his car and drove away. He drove down the left side of a two-way street until he got to a busy intersection, and then he took a right turn (!) and disappeared.

I asked one of the students who had pushed him out, "What did you do that for?" He answered, "I just wanted to do a good deed. Now maybe he won't get in trouble." (!!!!)

Before the driver got away, I wrote down his license number. (I hadn't done so when I made the phone call.) I stood and waited for the police to arrive. I stood there over half an hour (alone, because the crowd had dispersed—and in cold weather), and they never came! They never contacted me, either, although I had given them complete contact information!

It goes to show what attitudes were like in those days—and might still be, for all I know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:34 PM

Funny how people change their behaviour, just by being forced into THINKING about the possible consequences.

In the part of Scotland where I live, people always drove to the pub and then drove home on "automatic pilot". It was very common, and folks used to laugh at the various vehicles adorning the ditches on a Saturday or Sunday morning.......Today it is unacceptable to drink and drive and anyone trying it will soon be reported to the police, but it is literally years since I saw a drunk driver.

Its like smoking, a social no-no.

Personally, I've driven under the influence many times when I was younger, but rarely drink nowadays, and NEVER when driving.

Mr Kennedy's real crime was not drink driving....but cowardice!


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:47 PM

As olddude and Spaw have intimated, the issue was looked at differently in the "old days". The concept of designated driver hadn't even been formulated yet; about the closest to that was when a fairly sober spouse drove the other one home.

I'm not speaking of too long ago, either. At least not to me; this was in the 50s and 60s. I'm sure attitudes were even more unenlightened in the decades before then.

This was back in the days when some drinkers sincerely believed that they drove better 'under the influence'.

And seat belts -there were few regulations concerning them Many cars didn't even have any. The first car I owned that had them was my 64 Mustang - and that was just a belly belt.

Not to make excuses. I fully agree, nowadays, that diving a 2-ton object around while impaired is unconscionable. It should ever have been thus. But it wasn't- in those days, I think people tended to think of it as an issue of freedom.

Like me in the days when I was a smoker- I didn't consider a non-smoker's right to breathe clean air. "Hey, I'm a smoker! I can't help that!"

In Alaska today you can get a ticket for driving a lawnmower under the influence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: olddude
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 04:09 PM

I remember in the 60's the cops would pick up an under age teenage drunk driver and simply take him or her home to their parents in my town. I am glad the laws finally got tough ... I don't want anyone to live through what I did


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 04:52 PM

There is no such thing as a responsible drunk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Sorcha
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM

Wyoming is TERRIBLE about this. It is such a HUGE place, not much to do, so folks drink then drive back to the ranch.

The state capital is in the extreme south east corner of the state....say, 600 miles? from the north west corner...and of COURSE the legislators like their beer on the road so they don't get any tougher.

It is NOT illegal in Wyoming to drive farm equipment like tractors when drunk, and you don't need a liscense to drive them...so....

The folks who have had their lisecenss taken away just drive a tractor or a lawn mower to the bars!


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: romanyman
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 05:46 PM

Everyone knows someone who drink drives anyone who attends a pub singaround or one day festival will see it, wether musician, morris dancer , whatever, just look around. How many of you have the courage to say to that person , persons, why ?
Just think of the families of the victims and maybe strength will come.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: ranger1
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 05:54 PM

For the non-US folks: in the US, there is no federal law governing drunk driving and the laws vary from state to state. Some states are more strict than others, both with regards to legal limits and the penalties involved. Just wanted to clarify that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Raptor
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:07 PM

Here in Canada if you get caught drinking an in the care (driving) a powerboat you will lose your licence as well and are subject to the same laws.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 11:33 PM

Is there any state in the US where the legal limit is higher than the standard .08%, Ranger1? I could do some research, I suppose, but do you have the figures?


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: ranger1
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 07:04 AM

Not sure, Ebbie. Used to be, but maybe they have all gone to .08 now. I know Maine went to .08 long before NH did, but NH did eventually follow suit about ten years ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 08:58 AM

Anyone remember the classic episode of "WKRP" where they do the on-air drinking versus reaction time test and Johnny Fever gets faster? Funniest parts of that episode though were when Venus went to Carlson to get a hat.........

"Hey Art! Loan me a lid.....Cops got a hat, I want a hat."


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:07 AM

Another penalty for drink driving in the UK is that, even if you are able to get insured after your ban, for the next ten years the premium will be astronomical.

When my son passed his driving test I hammered home the point that, if he ever got caught driving under the influence, he could wave goodbye to driving again for a very long time as he wouldn't stand a chance of getting insurance. Luckily, he and his mates seem to have taken the message on board and when they go out they take it in turns to drive and not to drink.

I've also made him understand that, if he's been drinking the night before, he can still be over the limit the morning after.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: theleveller
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:15 AM

Also, people who are employed in jobs involving children, vulnerable adults and many others positions now have to undergo enhanced police checks. This will show up a drink driving conviction and, in many cases, may mean that the individual is deemed unsuitable for employment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM

It appears that all the states but two have set their limit at .08; Colorado and Minnesota set theirs at .10

Legalities by US State


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:37 PM

Yeah, it's part of the culture, especially in the country, where the density is lower, drunken drivers mostly hurt themselves, and it's hard to get to & from a bar without driving. Kipling actually wrote a comic poem about drunken driving (in the days when drivers were mostly rich). It would be hard, in many places, to find a judge & jurors who hadn't driven drunk themselves.

Drinking & driving go together in a lot of young men's minds -- they are Things You Do When You Grow Up -- and so, if the young men are foolish enough (as they mostly are), drinking & driving will go together in their behavior as well. I suspect that the founders of Mothers Against Drunken Driving made a mistake in choosing that name. Deep in the brains of fools, I think, is a little phonograph that replies "Leave mothers out of this".

Here is a modest proposal that might do a little good, at least in town. In most or all states of the US, the driving age (16?) is younger than the drinking age (21). Let the state issue to young people who choose it a permit stating that the bearer is *not* licensed to drive and may therefore buy alcoholic drinks in establishments licensed for that purpose, for consumption on the premises. There would, I suppose, be few takers, but there might be some who would use the opportunity to go out drinking with their parents. At any rate, the existence of the choice would give the right message.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: bobad
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:58 PM

Ten drugs you shouldn't do if you're driving: YouTube Link


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:11 PM

Presumably you are talking about driving while over the LEGAL limit.
To my mind there is a lot of difference between,being one point over the limit,and being twice or three times the limit.
punishment must reflect that fact,as regards paying increasd insurance it does not as far as I am aware
the problem to some extent rests with the government,I live in rural Ireland,there is no public transport,in practice there are no taxis,it is no longer feasible to take a pony and cart,to the pub,because there are some very dangerous sober drivers,very dangerous boy racers,etc,it is in fact quite dangerous to walk down narrow country lanes even with illuminated clothing.
but this is what I am forced to do,if I am killed by a sober maniac driver,who is driving too fast for the road conditions,I feel he should be treated in exctly the same way as a driver who kills somebody while over the limit.

Personally, I think that dangerous driving which results in death,whether the person be sober, drunk,or high on drugs,should be treated equally severely.
if someone takes a life while driving dangerously while sober,or being under the influence of drink or drugs.they should be treated equally severely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM

Flu can make you as wobbly as booze: should driving under the influenza be an offence? I'm not sure I think so, but I think the police should have the power (if they haven't got it already) to summon an assistant driver in such cases to get the car to a safe location. Paid for out of the car's insurance of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:37 PM

oh yes,the other day I was driving,and I was nearly killed,by someone driving while on the phone,and guess what, he was driving a juggernauta so called professional driver.
and then there are the idiots over on www.session.org,who drive while playing the whistle.
I think these sober people, if they take a life through either careless or dangerous driving,should be treated equally harshly,as someone who takes a life while under the influence.
and I do not believe the legal DRINK limit should be lowered in rural IRELAND,until there is proper public transport,or proper taxi services,and no I do not drink and drive,I walk to my pub,and take the risk of being killed by some sober idiot playing the whistle or on their mobile phone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: gnu
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: gnu
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 04:27 PM

wha?

Spaw... "WKRP"... great show and yes, that was comical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: olddude
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 09:34 PM

WKRP? that was way before my time LOL ... gosh you folks are old !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 02:31 PM

www.session.org
August 28th 2009         Playing while driving         Kerry Evan         130


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: frogprince
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 07:51 PM

While I was in junior high, a drunk killed a grade school boy who was getting off the school bus on our route; everything looked clear when the bus driver let the boy off, and the drunk appeared at God knows what speed. The long-time county sheriff testified that, given the man's history of alcoholism, he probably could drive better drunk. The sheriff was out of office at the next election. It's been over 50 years; I don't remember to what degree the drunk paid for what he did. We lost several students from our very small country school to their own drunk driving, or that of the driver they were with, while I was in junior high and high school. At least two of my classmates went the same way within a few years after graduation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:57 PM

but do drivers who kill people,while sober, or while using their mobile phones or any other irresponsible action get treated as severely as those who do so while under the influence of drink.
I am fairly sure that insurance companies are more lenient[re premiums] towards somebody who has lost their licence while using a mobile phone than someone who has lost their licence for being over the alcohol limit,why should this be,they are equally dangerous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Peace
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 01:02 PM

Maybe the difference is that one impairs the person and subsequently impairs the person's ability to drive safely. The other impairs the ability to drive safely even though the person him/herself is not impaired.

I do not understand why politicos have not had the cajones to make use a a cell phone (what you call a mobile phone) while driving. The only arguments against a law like that were likely dealt with when the unpopular seat belt law was brought in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Stringsinger
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 04:57 PM

Drunk driving is a form of murder. Pure and simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 05:45 PM

My daughter in California used to call me on her cell phone. I remonstrated with her a few times but I did understand her feeling that it was the only time she had to herself.

Now, since California has a law against cell phone use while driving she pulls over to the side of the road to call me back. I feel better about it and in a strange kind of way I think she does too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 07:00 PM

Stringsinger, It is generally considered manslaughter,and only if the drunk driver kills someone.
logically there is no difference between someone killing a person,while driving under the influence of drink,or under the influence of drugs,or while being perfectly sober or drug free,but either using their mobile phone,playing a tin whistle,or just driving like a maniac[too much tetesterone]
   a life has still been taken.,through someones dangerous driving.
even if every drunk driver was removed from the road[which they should be],there would still be too many fatalities as the result of drivers driving too fast through speed limits,overtaking on dangerous bends,driving while talking into hand held mobile phones,driving while too tired,driving too fast in fog,driving while racing other boy racers or just driving like maniacs.
please explain why a drunk driver[who kills] should be penalised more heavily than a driver who kills but is perfectly sober,but is driving very dangerously[eg mobile phone,]overtaking on a blind bend.,boy racing,none of them are giving any considerastion to other drivers,or pedestrians.
drink driving does have to be eliminated,but so does excess speed.and driving with hand held mobiles.
quite frankly,as I walk back from my pub my life is in greater danger,not from the driver who is driving at 30 miles per hour who has had two pints,but from a perfectly sober boy racer driving at 60 mph,or a person driving at 45 miles per hour conducting a conversation on a hand held mobile phone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 05:58 AM

I have just read through all the posts,I sympathise with those people who have lost relatives as a result of drunken drivers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: gnu
Date: 06 Sep 09 - 03:03 PM

Dangerous offender status for drunk driving may happen in Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: GUEST,Ben
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 12:15 PM

I see Alex Higgins the snooker player laid to rest today. He was caught drunk driving 7 times and never faced prison.

He was crude to women, nasty to children, brutal to partners and an out and out thug.

I watched him ten years ago at an exhibition match. He told two girls sitting with children "If I pot this will you both do a double header on me" He came back from the toilets with his zip undone and told a lovely young girl to pull it up for him.

Another Irish drunk who could not handle fame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 01:55 PM

No offense to Olddude meant by this there are many such examples, but his was right here on the thread.

There are are lot of dangerous things one can do while driving, including, for example, just driving on a dangerous curve after 2 AM when one's normal bedtime is say 11 PM. Its true that alcohol might give you the bravado to do such things and slow one's reaction times when you do. I do not say it was not a factor, but it clearly was not the only factor. I flipped a car once, by dosing off, totally sober, at an age when it was not uncommon for me to drive at or slightly above the legal limit.

I don't buy into the old "drives better drunk" idea. If that is true for anyone they should not be driving at all. But it is a medical fact that alcohol impairs different people to different degrees. There are people who are dangerous at .02. There are people who are not dangerous at .12. .08 now seems to be an international standard, but it is not completely fair. But it is probably the best we can do.

As some here have mentioned. I think that all forms of dangerous driving should be treated equally. I don't buy into statistics from people like MADD or even many police departments about "Alcohol related deaths" I will believe them when they show separate stats of the "alcohol related" accidents were the person with the alcohol was not at fault. I am confident that with the current way these accidents are presented there are more than a few accidents when a person with .06 is t-boned on an intersection by a texter running a red light.

But there is another factor as to why Alcohol is the focus. A cop can't smell texting on your breath. There is no bloodtest for driving while sleepy. Blood tests are not generally done for driving under the influence of Nyquil, weed or the hundreds of other substances which impair. Alcohol impairment is much easier to prove.

In my state at least, I am confident in the way drinkers, Texters and other impaired drivers are treated. The authorities are as fair as they can be and are taking what measures they can to deal with all of it. I would only support manslaughter charges in the case where other factors besides blood alcohol level are present.

Say someone over the limit, driving 50 in a 35 hitting a sober pedestrian in a crosswalk.

But I would probably support manslaughter charges in that case without the alcohol involved.

Sometimes these drivers do get charged. Then it makes the news and it a lesson to others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 06:41 PM

Here's my guess: Drinking & driving are prerogatives of adulthood. If you are a certain kind of fool, you will infer that drinking & driving is a prerogative of adulthood, and anyone who says otherwise will appear to be sending you back to school. In the country, where the density of cars is small enough, such people survive long enough to form a subculture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: romanyman
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 07:18 PM

if you drink and then decide to drive home or whereever, then you kill someone to me that is tantamount to murder, you chose to drink you chose to drive impaired you killed someone then as far as im concerned you should be handed over to the family of the victim, then whats left gets dealt with by the law, and 4 years for killing someone with a car is shear lunacy, if you shot or stabbed someone while drunk would you get the same sentance, i doubt it, but then i have no faith in the british law any more,


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 07:48 PM

Jacqueline Saburido


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: GUEST,josep
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 08:04 PM

I saw a drunk driving commercial, I think it was from France, about this beautiful teenaged girl whose car was hit by a drunk driver and caught on fire. She was burned beyond recognition but she lived. She is unbelievably disfigured, I can't believe she survived it. There's some clips on youtube showing what her life is like now and it just rips the heart out of you. I've watched them once and I'll never watch them again. That was enough and she has to live like that for the rest of her life. She has no quality of life, no future thanks to this idiot. That's one thing I would never want to do to someone else, especially so young--take their whole life away from them. I have a beer somewhere and I have to drive and I start thinking about having another, I always think about that girl and I stop myself. One is enough but the vast majority of the time I don't drive at all with any alcohol in me. It's not worth the risk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 08:56 PM

The girl you are describing was Jacqueline Saburido, I linked to a video about her in my previous message.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 09:10 PM

We must deal with things as they are, not as we wish they were.
Drunk driving and murder are two totally different things.
In order to be charged with premeditated murder the state must prove you planned to kill a certain person. Difficult to prove.

In my opinion, if you kill someone and you were drinking you should be charged with depraved indifference or vehicular manslaughter, no other choices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: LadyJean
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 12:01 AM

I have a very hard time convincing people that I'm not going to drink since I'm driving.
I don't have a good tolerance for alcohol. (I'm exaggerating when I say I can get drunk on fruitcake, but not much.) It's just not a good idea for me to have anything alcoholic if I'm going to drive. But try to convince people of that! Yes! just one drink WILL make a difference! At least if it's me taking the just one drink!
What seems to work best is explaining that I don't want to hit anyone except Dick Cheney, and then I want a larger car than the one I have.

(Do I beg on bended knee for a ride on New Year's Eve so I can have as much champagne as I want? Hell yes!! If I'm driving on New Year's Eve, I don't want champagne.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 07:26 AM

I drink and I drive but not at the same time. The pot holes up here make it a messy affair.
Seriously, if I'm at a party and have been drinking I always lay off an hour or so before driving. I know when I'm not fit to drive, and I don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 08:19 AM

30 years or so ago I lost a childhood friend to a drunk driver hit and run artist. The driver has since paid his debt to society (I assume), but my friend and his family are simply interest on that debt.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 09:28 AM

...when they show separate stats of the "alcohol related" accidents were the person with the alcohol was not at fault.

Sorry, Jack old lad, but the "person with alcohol" behind the wheel is BY DEFINITION at fault.

Just what we need- another drunkapologist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 10:38 AM

I think Greg F you've hit the nail on the head. You have covered the part where I said that other factor are often part of accidents. covered the part where the person without alcohol may be below the legal limit and hit by someone impaired by some other factor.


And no you, you careful and fair minded reader you, they are not BY Definition at fault. An investigation is conducted and fault is assigned. Do you think you can drive as fast as you want while texting and not be charged with anything as long as the driver you kill has some alcohol in their blood?

As Kendall has said, drunk driving as bad as it may be, is not Murder. It is just not. This should be plain enough to most people especially in cases where no one has died. But apparently not to some people putting forth opinions on this thread.

There are other factors involved in deadly accidents. In every legal system I know anything about they are taken into account. The worst offenders are published and publicized and an example is set. I am satisfied with the way my state and every state and province I have lived in deals with drunk drivers.

I agree with the publicity campaigns, though I do not like it when they exaggerate the problem. I agree with stiff sentences and shaming the offenders. Drunk driving is terrible, but as many in this thread have pointed out there has been a lot of progress in decreasing it since we were young.

In states where I drive such as North Carolina and Georgia, there are billboards and TV ads about the dangers of "Buzzed driving" saying it is the same as "drunk driving" in that if you kill someone when "buzzed" they are just as dead. This is a very positive step. It is telling people that having a couple of beers and getting behind the wheel CAN BE VERY dangerous. I think this approach is a lot more constructive than equating having a couple of beers and getting behind the wheel with murder.

Every young drinker knows that you have to kill someone for it to be murder. You lose their attention when you say something that silly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 11:12 AM

How about empowering the police - in all traffic accidents - to check for alcohol/drugs and ALSO to check cell-phones to see if the drivers were calling/texting at the time of the accident?
Then dealing with them accordingly.
BTW, I believe that punishments for accidents caused while calling/texting should be as severe as those for drinking and driving.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 11:29 AM

Is "drunk" the same thing as "over the limit"? IMHO not. Indeed surely (in the UK) they are different offences with different penalties.

It bothers me that by pretending to observe a car defect (eg "one rear light a little dim") the police in effect can randomly stop and if pretending to smell alcohol can effectively randomly breath-test people in whose driving no defect has been observed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 11:33 AM

I have friends who insist that abortion is murder. It is not.Murder is a legal term, not a moral one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 11:38 AM

I told one of them that her outrage is not a basis for a law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 12:13 PM

Sorry again, Jacko- Thn fact that there are other factors involved in deadly accidents - which is true, but nugatory - has nowt to do with the topic under discussion: drink (or drunk) driving.

Operating a motor vehicle while over the legal limit is a crime, period, whether no adverse incident is involved (i.e., pure luck), you have a fender-bender, paralyze someone for life, or kill someone.

Publishing and publicising the worst offenders doesn't do much for a quadraplegic.

Do you think you can drive as fast as you want while texting and not be charged with anything

No.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 01:10 PM

Sorry Greg,

Pardon me for parsing "Sorry, Jack old lad, but the "person with alcohol" behind the wheel is BY DEFINITION at fault." as a normal English sentence.

Now that you are backtracking from that patently silly statement, I have no idea where you stand and therefor have no reason to continue this line of discussion.

But in summation, I say.

There are other factors involved. It is quite possible that a person could be over the limit and follow every other rule of the road and be involved in an accident caused by someone with no alcohol in their system. It is even more likely a person could be UNDER the limit and follow every other rule of the road and be involved in an accident caused by someone with no alcohol in their system. FOR EXAMPLE, If the non-alcohol driver is the one who runs the red light, that driver is at fault. This idea is not complicated or in any way unreasonable.

But as far as I can tell MADD counts those accidents in their stats of "Accidents involving alcohol." Such practice is dishonest and it erodes their message.

And no, the person with alcohol" behind the wheel is >>>>>NOT<<<<< BY DEFINITION at fault.

The person who us ACTUALLY at fault is BY DEFINITION at fault.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 07:39 PM

As I said, Jack, you're apparently just one more drunkapologist.

As such, you're absolutely right- no point in continuing the discussion.

Lets just hope you aren't killed or maimed by a drunk driver.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 10:48 PM

I apologized for no one. I merely pointed out that alcohol was not the only factor. I also expressed my faith in the system as it is.

Lets hope you aren't killed or maimed by someone who is not drunk. It is more likely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 08:15 AM

Its more likely that they're not drunk? Or more likely I'll be killed or maimed? Or is hope more likely?


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: GUEST,Patsy Warren
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 11:10 AM

It seems to me that it is assumed that most drink drivers are male. Not so, I don't know about the US but here in the UK there has been a steady rise in female drink drivers involved in fatalities or near fatalities caused by being over the limit. A boy lost his life in a village not far from me, he was 8 years old walking along the pavement on his way home from school. The lady was 38 so old enough to be responsible for what she was doing but she had been drinking lost control of her car which mounted the pavement and the boy was mown down and killed instantly. I don't know what the sentence was but no doubt she will see it in her head over and over again for ever.

Even more disturbing was a case of a mother who claimed she was depressed and had been drinking. She got into the car with her 3 year old daughter who was begging her to stop driving because she was drunk and also because of the speed she was driving! It beggars belief. We are supposed to be the caring gender but when I hear stories like that it makes you wonder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 11:17 AM

No one who is drinking belongs behind the wheel of a car. There is also a campaign over here, now, to stop people from sending text on their cellphones whilst driving. According to the Car Talk guys on NPR radio and other sources, it impairs driving as much as four alcoholic drinks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 11:46 AM

Using a hand-held mobile phone to text or talk while driving is already an offence in the UK, Kat. But it doesn't stop stupid pillocks (sadly, many of whom are young women roaring around in powerful company cars, or truck-drivers in huge rigs) from doing it, and our police force have been run down to such a low number by successive governments that there's very few of them around the road network to catch those cretins anyway. So they pretty much always get away with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 12:40 PM

As I said, it is much easier to prove that alcohol is a factor in accidents than distracted driving or impairment by other means. I think that skews the statistics somewhat.

I know a young lady who used to drive an hour commute every day while reading books. She thought she could drive safely by checking the road after every couple of sentences. Perhaps she could if everyone else on that road was carefully watch her reactions. But all it would take to kill her is someone else with the same careless disregard as hers at an intersection.

Is the answer driver education?
Is the answer stiff proportional punishment, including higher insurance rates, for those who are caught?
Is the answer peer pressure and warnings and disapproval from friends and family?

Yes, yes, and yes.

And as I said that is what is being done, where I live at least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 01:05 PM

"It is even more likely a person could be UNDER the limit and follow every other rule of the road and be involved in an accident caused by someone with no alcohol in their system. FOR EXAMPLE, If the non-alcohol driver is the one who runs the red light, that driver is at fault."

I would postulate that the driver with drinks inside may well be also at fault. The completely sober person may react in time to avoid the car that ran the red light.

My 21-year-old grandniece is currently serving a 10-year sentence for second degree murder after driving drunk with her boyfriend in the car. Her boyfriend was killed in the head on collision that ensued. She had driven onto the freeway going the wrong way.

Oddly enough, the car she hit was not even wrecked and its driver was checked at the local hospital and released.

This was in Arizona, a state that is notorious for its harsh court and prison system. (Look up 'Sheriff Joe')

I'm not protesting her sentence- although to my mind manslaughter or vehicular homicide would perhaps have been more appropriate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 01:20 PM

Jacko, OF COURSE there are other causes than alcohol for traffic accidents.

But from your posts, you're still a drunkapologist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 01:34 PM

Ebbie,

It is possible that the driver might have better reaction times without the alcohol. But for example going through a green on say a 45 mph rd you generally don't slow down. You really don't enough have time to effectively react, drunk or sober, Danica Patrick in racing form would probably be hit. Certainly the driver going through the red bears most if not all of the blame.

Certainly if I have had 2 12 ounce beers in an hour, which would put me at about half the limit, my reaction time would be pretty much what it would be sober. Add that to the fact that I drive much more cautiously at times when I might be driving home from a restaurant or party times when many others are drinking, Friday, Saturday evenings or nights because I am looking for signs of impaired drivers, my reaction to potential trouble would be as good as they can possibly be.

But at a light, at speed on a major surface street, I still might get popped by someone else, drunk or sober, texting or not, upset about a breakup or just thrill riding who is recklessly disregarding the rules of the road. Driving is dangerous. One can minimize the risks but not eliminate them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 01:36 PM

Greg F,

I'm not really impressed or persuaded by name calling. You probably have something better to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: romanyman
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 05:11 PM

its simple whats done is done, but its the driver who makes the choice its the victim that pays the price, so dont bleedin drink and get behind the wheel , but i do realise there are many many many weak willed idiots out there who wont bother and jack the sailor obviously is one , hope you dont become a victim, just leaving off for an hour or so wont cut it im afraid


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 05:24 PM

As a matter of logic, Jack is right.

Incidentally I was nearly rammed three times today by the same bloke whose eyes were cast down from the road towards his lap. Yes, I watch my mirror. By the time he turned off I had let him overtake me (that worried me a bit too) and I think that he was not texting but reading a mapping program on a smartphone or less likely satnav.

Since I was however in a dirty great Shogun that isn't mine (with headrests and with belt on), I was less worried than I might have been. He was in a Corsa about the size of the Shogun's towball.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 05:36 PM

Having half the legal limit in your system is legally and morally right. There is nothing weak willed about it. If you think the legal limit should be zero, don't piss at me and wish me ill. Talk to your MP and work to get it changed.

It is simple, Alcohol is not the only thing that kills on the road and alcohol does not always kill. If it did the solution would be simple. Everyone who drank and drove would be already. But it is not that simple, the reality is that unless you are very very drunk you are quite unlikely to be in an accident on any given trip. You are more likely to be in an accident than a non drinker but you are not likely to be in an accident. I am not saying this to apologize for drunk drivers. I don't. I think it is a profoundly stupid thing to do. I am just saying that more punishment is unlikely to get us much more safety for our law enforcement buck. The approach needs to be comprehensive and proportional; education, punishment, peer pressure.

I am against drinking and driving. I have hope. I think that the police here and the laws here are doing a very good job. I think it is much better now most everywhere than 30 years ago when I was in my 20's. I think it will be even better 30 years from now, Maybe there will be a sensor and a black box in the car measuring and recording the driver's ability to drive.

I stopped inviting a friend to my house because he would get drunk and ride home on his scooter. If he were to get an an accident it is very likely that he would suffer by far the worst of it. But I could not even tacitly condone that. My friend was weak willed. I could not convince him to be stronger. He is no longer my friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 05:55 PM

JtS has said nothing but truth here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 06:48 PM

Going back to my grandniece's 10-year sentence for drunk driving in which her boyfriend was killed- my local paper today has an Anchorage, Alaska, story about a man who was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and was released after serving a little over two years of an 8-year sentence.

From the paper: "Osbey was watching his girlfriend’s children in August 2007 when paramedics were called and found a 21-month-old boy was not breathing.

"Tarayvien Isias Prescott sustained multiple skull fractures Osbey said were suffered in a fall.

"Tarayvien’s 4-year-old brother gave police conflicting stories about how the younger boy was injured. In one, he said the toddler fell off a couch. At another point, the boy said Osbey slammed his brother’s head into the carpet.

Ariel, my sister's granddaughter, (whom I have never met) on the other hand, had no previous record, was 21 years old, had been an A+ student and was employed. On the third hand, she is half Black.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 07:06 PM

About time that smoking while driving was made a culpable offence as well. I shudder to think how many accidents must have been caused by loss of concentration while lighting up that Marlboro ...

Eating while driving too, how can you unpeel a banana and concentrate on the road at the same time ? Or even unwrap a candy bar ?

Arguing while driving, how many accidents must have been caused by loss of concentration induced by the incessant nagging of an outraged spouse ? Prosecute them both.

Picking one's nose while driving, let's nail that one, I see drivers doing it all the time, a time bomb waiting to explode imo ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 08:56 PM

Eating and driving


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 04 Aug 10 - 09:23 PM

Name calling is a no no here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: LadyJean
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 01:08 AM

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania asks would be drivers what the legal blood alcohol content is. I kept failing the question, because I know I can't drink.

I once hung up on my sister because she was talking on the phone while driving. I don't do that one either.

I listened to Sean bloody Hannity for 30 minutes until I was someplace where I could do things with the radio. If that man had a neck I would love to wring it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 08:01 AM

You would have to stand in line!


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 09:04 AM

Saying that the man is an apologist for drunk driving/drivers is an analysis of his stated opinion, hardly name-calling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 07:52 PM

I disagree. Your made up name is clearly designed to denigrate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 08:34 PM

And JtS did not come across as a drunkapologist, Greg, as you'll probably see if you look again. He is saying, I think, that drunk driving is an easy target but there are many other factors in play in many fatalities.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:33 AM

"You're not going to drive in that condition, are you?"

"Of course I am! I'm in no condition to walk!"


Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: kendall
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 07:50 AM

Foster Brooks is the funniest "Drunk" I ever saw. However, we know it is an act so that makes it ok. But, drunk driving is another matter and should be dealt with harshly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM

that drunk driving is an easy target but there are many other factors in play in many fatalities.

Which I agreed with- twice, I think but he still took me to task over "The 'person with alcohol' behind the wheel is BY DEFINITION at fault."

Kevin: Get a life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 11:18 PM

Of course I took you to task. The statement was patently illogical.
"The 'person with alcohol' behind the wheel is BY DEFINITION at fault."

no

The person who caused the accident is BY DEFINITION at fault.

Think of the implications of your statement.
If no one has been drinking is no one at fault?
If both have been drinking are both at fault?
If the Drinker is parked in a parking lot and a texting teenager hits the drinker's car is the drinker still at fault?


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 11:41 PM

>>Saying that the man is an apologist for drunk driving/drivers is an analysis of his stated opinion, hardly name-calling.<<

Its name calling all right. Otherwise, if you ACTUALLY wanted to say I was apologizing for drunks, you would have said "You are apologizing for drunks." But what you did do is call me a name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 10:24 AM

Sorry, Jacko- the person who drinks and gets behind the wheel IS at fault, morally, logically, and legally. He/she is being irresponsible & is breaking the law.

Asfatr as "name calling" goes - get a life, with Kevin. We've got a drunkapologist, and an apologist for a drunkapologist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 04:19 PM

A person may be legally at fault by being drunk, but not necessarily responsible for the accident.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 09:59 PM

>>A person may be legally at fault by being drunk, but not necessarily responsible for the accident. <<

"At fault" means responsible for the accident. Doesn't it?

I'll grant that drinking and driving are legally and morally wrong. Its a fact that even when not at fault for the accident they could still be charged with DUI. It is likely that SOME fault will be assigned just because of reaction times. But to say that "by definition" they are at fault it plain stupid.

"By Definition" implies that there are no exception.
There are plenty of exceptions, such as when the drunk is legally and properly stopped in a parking space and the other person hits their car.

BTW I have a life. I am having a discussion. You are calling people names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 10:47 PM

"At fault" means responsible for the accident. Doesn't it?

No, not necessarily, and please don't accuse me of calling people names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 11:14 PM

This describes AT FAULT in the sense I mean it.

Smokey, If have an example of usage of "AT Fault" in motor vehicle accidents that does not apply to either insurance or police reports, I'd be interested in reading it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 11:40 PM

I'm not sure what you are disagreeing with, Jack. Your link seems to back up what I said: "A person may be legally at fault by being drunk, but not necessarily responsible for the accident."


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 07 Aug 10 - 11:45 PM

"Intoxicated Driver Not at Fault in an Accident

There may also be other types of incidents where an intoxicated driver did not cause an accident but was involved in the accident. For example, another motorist may enter into the intoxicated driver's lane of traffic and collide with the driver, causing an accident. In such a case, the intoxicated driver is not liable for the damages resulting from the accident itself; however, the intoxicated driver will be subject to the criminal consequences stemming from driving while intoxicated."


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 01:08 AM

These 'criminal consequences', according to the extract Jack linked to above, may include both 'prison time' and 'jail time'. There seems to be some distinction between these implied here, though they would, I am pretty sure, be regarded as entirely synonymous here in the UK.

What, please, is the difference between 'jail time' and 'prison time' in American law/usage?

{Sorry if this is a slight drift; but it appears to me a point of some semantic interest.}

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 12:26 PM

Jack - for the sake of clarity - my use of the phrase 'legally at fault' means 'in breach of the law'. I hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 12:45 PM

The difference between 'jail time' and 'prison time', at least in the way I use it, is that jail in the US is for short sentences or as a holding cell for an upcoming trial, while prison is reserved for after sentencing. In other words, when someone is sentenced to '30 days in jail', that time is normally spent in the local facility; a prison sentence usually is in terms of years rather than days and that prison can be anywhere in the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 02:06 PM

Thank you, Ebbie. Our usage is different: to spend time in prison or jail waiting for trial is called 'being remanded in custody'. We too have short-sentence local prisons, or jails, and others for long-term prisoners anywhere in the country. But any of these could indifferently be called 'prison' or 'jail' [or even sometimes by the old-fashioned spelling 'gaol', I think].

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM

Smokey,

The link says that the person, while drunk may not be at fault. The link uses the phrase (no fault)

In answer to a hypothetical I made earlier, making this point. Greg F said that "The 'person with alcohol' behind the wheel is BY DEFINITION at fault." Greg was wrong. By definition fault is determined by an investigation where alcohol is only one of the factors considered.

I was sure that you meant "in breach of the law." when you made that statement. But 'legally at fault' implied that you meant at fault in the accident, which contradicted what I was saying. I was discussing the syntax with you to ensure clarity.

I am glad that you and I have cleared up that misunderstanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 04:23 PM

No problem - I was actually agreeing with you, but I think you have misinterpreted what Greg meant by "by definition". I don't think he meant that being drunk automatically makes one responsible for the accident. I can't really speak for him though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 10:44 PM

Hmmmmm

by definition -
According to prior determination, as a given.


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: GUEST,Patsy Warren
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 08:36 AM

There are many things that can contribute to an accident, anything that takes a motorists concentration away from what he or she is doing can be just as much at fault as alcohol but the fact of life is police will come down like a ton of bricks on anyone if they can smell alcohol or suspect drink driving. I don't own a car but I do know me when I have had a drink or two. May be a little over confident and sometimes might take risks that I would not normally do, so knowing this I would rather opt for not drinking at all.

Then there is the aspect of prescribed medication, there is no knowing how this effects every individual who is behind the wheel of a car. How can that be monitored?


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Smokey.
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 12:38 PM

by definition -
According to prior determination, as a given.


Exactly - but it depends whose prior determination.


"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."


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Subject: RE: BS: Drunk driving
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 01:53 PM

Precisely. Wch is why I gave up.


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