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Drunk Driving

JedMarum 19 Oct 02 - 03:13 PM
Sorcha 19 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM
diesel 19 Oct 02 - 03:23 PM
JedMarum 19 Oct 02 - 03:25 PM
Murray MacLeod 19 Oct 02 - 03:26 PM
katlaughing 19 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM
JedMarum 19 Oct 02 - 03:37 PM
Raedwulf 19 Oct 02 - 03:39 PM
Leadfingers 19 Oct 02 - 03:40 PM
Eric the Viking 19 Oct 02 - 03:42 PM
Sorcha 19 Oct 02 - 03:43 PM
diesel 19 Oct 02 - 03:48 PM
Sorcha 19 Oct 02 - 03:49 PM
DougR 19 Oct 02 - 03:56 PM
Glade 19 Oct 02 - 04:26 PM
Bobert 19 Oct 02 - 05:09 PM
Stephen L. Rich 19 Oct 02 - 05:25 PM
DougR 19 Oct 02 - 06:26 PM
michaelr 19 Oct 02 - 06:37 PM
Ebbie 19 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM
Gareth 19 Oct 02 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Paris, France - 19 Oct 02 - 10:21 PM
katlaughing 19 Oct 02 - 11:03 PM
Coyote Breath 20 Oct 02 - 01:36 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 02 - 02:00 AM
EBarnacle1 20 Oct 02 - 03:24 AM
JudeL 20 Oct 02 - 03:48 AM
fiddler 20 Oct 02 - 06:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 20 Oct 02 - 03:51 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Oct 02 - 05:19 PM
alanabit 20 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM
Raedwulf 20 Oct 02 - 09:34 PM
Wilfried Schaum 21 Oct 02 - 02:26 AM
Teribus 21 Oct 02 - 03:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 21 Oct 02 - 04:08 AM
katlaughing 21 Oct 02 - 10:49 AM
Kim C 21 Oct 02 - 03:54 PM
michaelr 21 Oct 02 - 09:39 PM
Banjer 22 Oct 02 - 05:14 AM
Gurney 22 Oct 02 - 05:30 AM
JedMarum 22 Oct 02 - 09:28 AM
Steve in Idaho 22 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM
Hollowfox 22 Oct 02 - 12:07 PM
Wesley S 22 Oct 02 - 01:15 PM
alanabit 22 Oct 02 - 06:09 PM
Raedwulf 22 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,Barry without a cookie 23 Oct 02 - 01:49 AM
Coyote Breath 23 Oct 02 - 02:44 AM
GUEST,DW at work 23 Oct 02 - 02:48 AM
Banjer 23 Oct 02 - 06:29 AM
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Subject: Drunk Driving
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:13 PM

I worked across town last night at a pub in Euless TX, 35 miles or so from my house. The weather was bad, and I am so used to seeing drunks on the road at that time of night that I kept my eyes looking extra carefully. Sure enough, I saw a couple of idiot kids, screaming down the highway, playing tag or something between two cars ... they exited before any mishap (that I witnessed anyway).

Then on a straight, long stretch of highway, 3 lanes each way, divided; I was cruising up the center lane at 50MPH (rain was bad enough to slow me down) and SLAM - I was rearended at very high speed by a brand new Mercedez Benz sports car ... she must have been doing at least 80MPH ... she hit the right rear bumper of my Toyota Tundra (full size) pick up truck and sent me tailspinning off the highway. What a powerfull hit!

No one around ... a few cars whizzed by as we each coasted to a stop (me off the road to the right, she at the concrete median - both headed exactly the wrong way). First thing I did was dial 911 and get my first impressions on tape ... cops came, the other driver got out and giggled about the damage to her car, it was demolished (she was incredibally unhurt) ... she cursed the rain ... slurred and struggled to sort out the papers ... I just hoped the cops would get there and sort out her state.

The rain poured down ... all my guitars and gear had been packed pretty carefully in the back of the truck, but had been thrown around ... they appeared OK, though they'd been thrown up against the back tailgate ... the cops ran our license and insurance paperwork, called the other driver to sit in the squad car to go over the details ... and I awaited my turn ... when the officer finally came back to me, he handed me my license and papers and gave me an accident report number ... he said I could go - at first I was disturbed that he didn;t want to hear what happened from me; but then he said, "you can go, but she's going to jail tonight for DWI." I said, emphatically, "GOOD!" Then I told him she had really nailed me hard (when she hit me, every bone cracked from my neck to my butt) and that I could see no reason for it. He said, again, she was going in for DWI and that he'd be calling on me to be his star witness. I said, "I'll be there!"

Sometimes I just love cops!


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM

Thanks, Jed. I personally think most penalties for DWI/DWUI should be much higher even for a first offense. No delayed prosecution, and not just fines. Wyoming is almost as bad as Texas for drunks but the legislature finally lowered the limit to .08 instead of .1


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: diesel
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:23 PM

Just glad you made it out alive Jed. And hope no lasting injury stays
I'll also spare a thought to her life from here on.

rgds

Diesel (who ain't all innocent either)


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:25 PM

... by the way; instruments are all OK (thank God for well built, hard shell cases). I'll be going througfh the gear tonight, but it appears to be fine.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:26 PM

Jed, glad you are alive. Hope you are exaggerating about every bone cracking from your neck to your butt?

Murraay


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM

Jed, I hope you get checked out head to toe just to make sure you don't have injuries. A very good friend of mine was hit in their truck this summer and, after 4 months, lots of braces, physical therapy, etc. is finally starting to feel normal. There was LOTS of swelling, terrific neck and shoulder pain. They were amazed, after a few days, to find how much damage there was. Of course, their truck was totalled and they weren't hit from behind, but still...it would be a good idea, imo, to at least get checked for whiplash, esp. at those speeds!

Really glad they got her off the road and I hope they can keep her off. Also, relieved you are here to tell us about it!

kat


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:37 PM

I'm glad I'm OK. I'm glad she's OK. I'm glad there were few cars on the highway, or they'd be a lot more people involved, and probably injuries.

I am NOT exaggerating about my back cracking. I'm surprised I don;t have any pain or anything, today, but I won't look the gift horse in the mouth.

I know even good people do bad things, and her driving drunk doesn't mean she's a worthless piece of sh*t (though I might have put her in that category last night) ... BUT she and ALL others who drive drunk really need to be held absolutely accountable for her actions. She is VERY lucky she didn't kill someone and this kind of 'accident' cannot be allowed to stand.

I agree with you Sorcha. We don't need to brand, humiliate or punish, but we DO need to take immediate, swift and rock firm action against drunk driving; first time, every time. Have good standards (.08 or .1 - whatever the experts decide) but STICK to it! I think something like ALL of these; mandatory drunk program, one year suspended license, probation with monitoring, and jail for infractions. No Exceptions.

If we really take it seriously, we'll reduce greatly the very high number of needless deaths, and the misery and pain they cause ...


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Raedwulf
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:39 PM

I'll second the other opinions offered - get checked out! Back injuries, whether it be whiplash (which is what yours'll be) or from another source (as mine was) take a day or two to stack up. Then they hurt like buggery... And don't forget, whatever it costs to straighten it out, she should end up paying! Stupid cow... Nail her bloody hide to the wall, if you can.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:40 PM

I got done a long time ago driving back from a session-Routine check-
Have you been drinking?1 point over,tewlve month ban.I'm not going
to moan about it,tho I think I was unlucky to be stopped,But if you drive and have a drink,you know you're taking a chance.I am a very
good boy now.I sure as hell cant afford another ban.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:42 PM

Get checked out-I suffered a severe whiplash ten years ago, one vertabrae higher and I wouldn't be here! She (nothing against women drivers) hit me while I was still, trying to turn right.Almost broke my neck without realising it! It left me with a slight short term memory loss (often words to songs!) and a neck that's ached everyday since. 14 months off work, over a year of physio-get checked out-I thought I'd only got skhaken up FOR THE FIRST WEEK, then it all started to happen. Take care.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:43 PM

I drink my share, but I have never and will never drive drunk.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: diesel
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:48 PM

Never ever drink and drive - sure you'll only spill it on cornering !!


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:49 PM

She must not have had any friends--friends don't let friends drive drunk.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: DougR
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 03:56 PM

Jed: close call. I'm glad the Good Lord was with you that night.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Glade
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 04:26 PM

I concur with kat's & Eric's advice to get yourself checked - ESPECIALLY if you start to get a headache.   My mother's a neurosurgery nurse & I remember her story about a man being in a crash with no visible head injuries & denying hitting his head against anything. He had been slung around so much that he was slow bleeding intracranially & developed a hematoma while everyone in hospital was (quite rightly) occupied with his neck injuries & other bleeding.

I'm not telling you this to scare you, Jed, but PLEASE, PLEASE be aware that you need to get medical attention right away if your head begins to hurt & tell this to someone close to you. Also, Raedwolf's too right about back injuries showing up a few days later (& muscle pain, too - them bones are attached, you know).

That said, what a terrifying experience. Praise to God you & the instruments came thru.

Drunk driving laws should approach the draconian. It's about keeping people alive and teaching those inclined to drink & drive some responsibility for their actions.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 05:09 PM

Man, I gotta feel fir ya but at least ya' got cops. The cops don't come into this holler that I live in so Saturday night is like demolition derby. Unless someone has a serious wreck or someone has to go to the hospital then these hillbillys get drunk every Saturday night and go playing on the Mission (Holler) Road.

I just don't go out very often on Saturday night much after 7:00 pm. It's a shame.

Hope you're okay. I got nailed by one several years ago and thought I was fine but then had headaches and stiffness in my neck for the next year.

That hillbilly was not only drunk but had no insurance to go with hgis drunkness.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 05:25 PM

Jed, I've been standing where you're standing. It's a frightening thing to go through. I'm glad that you were able to walk away from it.
Getting to a doctor to get yourself checked out is a good idea. If you heard your body go "crack" in a lot f place the damage or pain may not be give you pain for a while, but it you may be able to head it off if your doctor finds and starts treating it now.

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: DougR
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:26 PM

Hmmm. Headaches, Bobert? That may explain a lot. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:37 PM

This is sure to be controversial, but I think instead of the strict .08 law there should be a sliding scale of some sort. Someone who is not accustomed to alcohol will certainly be impaired at .08 (or maybe even less). However, I've had lots of practice, and .08 (which is like three beers or so) does not faze me at all. I can function just fine on quite a few more than that (trust me, I know), and I think it unjust that the same measuring stick should be applied to one and all, regardless of actual ability.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM

"Stupid cow", Raedwulf? Last week, a man hit a friend's fender, ripping it to the side. Stupid bull.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 06:51 PM

Take it from an insurance professional - Don't drink and drive. Full Stop.

Personally, in the UK, I would like to see a mandetory retest after a Drink and Drive Conviction.

Second conviction - Jail.

If I'am driving I don't drink

You may gather I walked home tonoght.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: GUEST,Paris, France -
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 10:21 PM

Hi there everyone, and greetings from Paris, France.

As a musician I get to observe 'the general public' in action.

Every government is committed, quite rightly, to diminish road deaths, of which many are caused by excessive alcohol intake.
With income from the taxes, one has to wonder how genuine is this goal? But the problem is not there.

Alcohol is a good source of revenue, even the band has to be included in the measurements of the return on investment in having entertainment for the people, some of the clubs we pay in measure our performance on the number of drinks sold and even gives us bonuses on a 'good' night.

If businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol also made available (free or at 'cost price') alcohol tests (under a dollar per test) consumers would be able to make an informed the decision about their lives and the lives of others with facts before going out.

Would this this have to be legislated, why don't we consumers just insist on it?

Fewer people, no system is perfect, would be able to get into a car with any excuses about alcohol content. The cost would be less than one percent of the advertising that alcohol companies spend, less than that from the gov't income.

It would also place more responsibility on each person, make 'repression' a common social goal with a clear objective for everyone - don't get behind the wheel if you are over the alcohol limit. Here's a test just so you can check yourself out.

Why not just have an alcohol test attached to every bottle of alcohol sold? Compare the cost of this suggestion with the cost and the trajedy of DD.

Not every one is going to want to be offered a test etc... but 'most' people would be happy to have some reliable source of information about their state/level before getting behind the wheel and driving, and after being able to check their level, might think again?

I'm just a musician and not a gov't official out there protecting you from yourselves.

I also bear in mind that I'm writing from a French perspective and maybe some states are already doing this in the USA. If this is the case, which states are involved and what are the results?
Ciao,
Stringkiller.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 11:03 PM

Interesting idea, Stringkiller. I haven't heard of anything that innovative here in the States, but that doesn't mena there aren't any places doing that. Out here in what can tend to be the "macho" West, I think we'd be hard put to get the ones who are truly over the limit to consent to any kind of voluntary test, especially as their judgement could already be impaired. Still, I think it is an idea worth trying out.

In their 1996 stats, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that in the previous ten years four times as many Americans died in drunk driving wrecks as died in the Vietnam War. Over 1 million were injured and the cost of alcohol-related crashes was about $45 billion per year.

In 1996, according to MADD, the median jail sentence in the US for "driving under the influence" was 6 months. Nearly nine out of ten convicted and in jail had already been sentenced before to probation, jail, or prison for drunk driving.

According to the Department of Defense Abuse Prevention Program, this was in 1998 when I got this info:

a second conviction in Bulgaria for DWI resulted in a death sentence (I am not making this up!);

in South Africa, a DWI was an automatic 10 years in prison, a $100 fine, or both;

in Chile, definite jail time, if someone was injured, a minimum of 18 months in jail;

two years mandatory in Israel has worked so well, that they rarely prosecute more than one drunk driver per year, as of 1998;

in Norway, one's license is suspended for 3 months;

in Finland and Sweden, drunk drivers get an automatic one year jail term;

according to this same report, in Great Britain, there is an automatic suspension of driving for one year with a possible six months in jail, plus a fine and community service;

in Turkey, a DWI offender is driven out of town 20 miles and made to walk back.

I think we should have mandatory revocation of driver's licenses, fines, community service, and jail time if appropriate.

The designated driver thing seems to be doing somewhat of a good job, at least in the circles I have contact with; my youngest daughter is always the designatee as she does not drink.

I have been impressed with an ad which is on TV, here. It looks as though it was court-ordered. A young man and another were racing their cars on a country road, while drunk. Groups of their friends were on either sides of the road cheering them on, when one of the drivers plowed right into his very best friend, killing him instantly.

The ad is powerful, with the driver telling about that night, while in the background a kind of shadowing re-enactment takes place. It ends with the young man placing flowers by a marker on the road where he killed his friend and saying "this is for my friend" with the boy's name. Then there is a message about drinking and driving not mixing and the driver saying one could even lose their best friend. I hope that other young people, as well as others, watch that and take heed. It is a real tragedy.

kat


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 01:36 AM

Jeff you are VERY lucky. I am glad you are OK. DO have a check-up ASAP!

An aquaintance where I worked has a 22 year old son. He has passed his 19th, 20th, and 21st birthdays paralyzed and in pain. He can breathe on his own, he can recognize and even perform rudimentary communication. He is not a "vegetable". He was severely injured when he and his buddy decided early one evening to go to a town about 7 miles from his house to get a pizza. On their way they were run into by a woman in her mid thirties who had twice the limit (.8, currently) of alcolhol. She crossed over the center line on a curve and ran head-on into the two young men. John's friend suffered a broken arm, John has suffered what I described above. The woman had three previous DWI convictions. She was driving on a revoked license, and was in violation of her parole, in addition to the suspended license violation. Actually, as my fellow worker found out later, she had been arrested for DWI FIVE times altogether. The first two times, which occured within six months of each other, she was allowed to plead guilty to another charge. Here in Franklin county, Missouri the other charge is called "operating a motor vehicle with a faulty exhaust system" It cost her $350 each time. Franklin county does NOT take DWI arrests seriously. Franklin county also has one of the highest death per accident rates in the state of Missouri. Most of our paved roads are old farm roads with a coat of asphalt. The two State highways have no shoulders and deep ditches and the one US highway, (highway 50) has "soft" shoulders and is in terrible repair. Since we are at the edge of the Ozark Plateau and our Northern border is the Missouri river, we have very steep hills and many, many curves. It takes real skill to drive these roads SOBER. The number of roadside crosses here would astound you. Almost ALL mark the site of deaths caused by drunk driving.

CB


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 02:00 AM

I have friends living in Australia. They tell me that every Aussie newspaper has a column called 'Drunk and in Jail'. I forget the maximum allowable number offenses, but it doesn't take many DUI's to lose your license for life. And remember; this is a BIG, EMPTY country. You need to drive.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 03:24 AM

In the 1970's, Car and Driver Magazine borrowed an autocross track for an informal study of drinking and driving. They found that even with one drink, impairment begins. By the time you reach the legal limit, no matter how much you normally 'temper' yourself and believe in your ability to handle alcohol, your judgement can be so impaired that the miracle is getting home in one piece. Every one of the testees said he was fine, even when his Blood alcohol content was above the limit.

If, in your opinion, a potential driver is drunk, especially if a friend, don't hesitate to ask for their keys, to be returned the following day. It's better to have a long fight than a funeral.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: JudeL
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 03:48 AM

One thing that I think that doesn't help is pubs and bars who charge more for a soft non alcoholic drink than they charge for an alcoholic one. Some time ago one place I went to charged £2.60 for a pint of soda and lime, 40 pence more than they charged for a pint of beer!


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: fiddler
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 06:38 AM

I think all of us giging face this risk!

The idiots you see on the road coming back home in the wee small hours - I do believe it but I don't believe it.

1)Jeff - get checked out!

2)I would put a life ban on first offences no matter how small. Trouble is those who habitually offend will still drive without a licence and will still drive drunk! Those of us who don't just never will!

Sadly think on this - I don't have any real figures just noticing cars and cops on road late at night.
Divide no of cars on road after 'closing time' by the No of Cops in the Area. The chances of getting away with it if you can avaiod an accident are in your favour!!!!

Another one check the no of accidents against the no of cars! Same thing. Sadly I don't see an answer. I'm Glad Jeff's OK I'm glad she's OK, no one can ever rationalise that. Sadly a good lawyer will get the sentence reduced to its minimum possible - Justice at time stinks!

Meanwhile - safest way - Zero drink and zero tolerance!!!

A


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 03:51 PM

Raedwulf: before saying that back injuries "hurt like buggery", consider the meaning of the word *G*

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 05:19 PM

My brother would have been 46 last Wednesday, if he hadn't been killed by a drunk driver when he was 17. The driver, a taxi driver, pleaded with the judge that he would lose his job if he got any more (!) points on his licence. The judge let him off with a caution.

The same driver killed another teenager several years later.

My brother lost his life, the other teenager lost thiers. My family was never the same again, my mother became permanently disabled as a result of it, I'm sure the other family were equally effected.... and yet, the taxi driver didn't want to lose his job.

No wonder MADD and others want to enforce the maximum penalties and state 'causing death/injury by dangerous driving' as the charge.

It doesn't matter how YOU think you are or are not affected, however much, you are affected!


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: alanabit
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM

I can agree with almost every word of the above. I'm glad to hear you were apparently not badly hurt Jed - although I agree also with the advice about getting a check up. I think the trouble with a lot of drink drivers is that they do not really see themselves as doing anything horrendously wrong. I think that if a few of them were made to spend time cleaning up after accidents or taking accident victims to hospital, it might jog their conscience a bit.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Raedwulf
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 09:34 PM

Nigel - I don't speak from personal experience, you understand, but I think I'd rather take the buggery than the back pain! Some people find the former pleasurable. I don't think *anyone* enjoys the latter!

IMHO, all drunk drivers should be charged with Attempted Murder (yes, a car is a lethal weapon, & you *know* whether you're sober or not), & should also have their vehicle confiscated. I've only done it twice, to the best of my knowledge. Both were morning-after-the-night-before's. The first time, many years ago, is a 'possible' - if I was still over the (UK) limit, I certainly never knew it at the time, but took it easy because I wasn't feeling on top form.

The second occasion, I should not have got in the car, but I did & I made the short journey to work in an extremely cautious fashion. I'm not proud of it. As I've said, I should not have done it. But I drove with caution far over & above my normal habits precisely because I knew I was suspect.

Michaelr - were you waiting to be flamed? Wait no longer. You are an irresponsible cretin. Trust you? I wouldn't trust you as far as I could throw you. I can drink. I've downed, by my own estimation, over a hundred units of alcohol in a week (no, I'm neither proud nor ashamed of that, either, it's just something I've done). With the one aberration mentioned above allowed for (an experience I won't repeat, I might add), I will *not* drive a motorised vehicle having drunk more than 2 UK pints, except in a life or death situation (& then only if there is A) no-one more sober & B) with extreme caution).

You, OTOH, are exactly the sort of arrogant, smug, self-interested idiot that leaves people such as Liz with dead relatives. Oh, of course, it wasn't *your* fault... Not *that* time... Not *yet*... But it's far more likely to be you at fault than you as a victim.

A sliding scale has to be the dumbest idea I've ever heard. As if people don't exagerrate their capacity for drink anyway! "Oh, Judge, you can't jail me for that, I normally drink 15 pints every night..." Yeah, right... michaelr - if anyone ever deserved to be shot on sight for sheer stupidity, it's you.

From the man who is A) Extremely drunk but B) only behind a keyboard & not behind a wheel, & C) actually knows when he's making a monumental arse of himself...


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 02:26 AM

I think michaelr is utterly wrong with his suggestion of a "sliding rule". I strongly recommend the only good rule I know from formerly communist Germany: Drive only with 0.00.
For years I practised this rule as a volunteer fire fighter because I never knew when I had to drive for the next mission.
After active service I once violated this self imposed rule, drank a small glass of wine with friends, then another, and after the third I forgot to count. I noticed no impediments when starting to drive home (as a former student, accustomed to heavy ritual consuming alcohol) but saw a red light too late, banged into the rear end of the car before me, and the car stopping behind me was a police car. My salvation was that I respected the speed limit and that the accident happened outside my hometown. Imagine I should have seen a child too late, with 0.2! Thank god nothing worse happened than a tin damage, otherwise I might have killed myself for killing or heavily damaging another person.
I didn't need to serve a sentence in jail. The costs were high. DUI cancels insurance protection in Germany, so I had to pay for the damages of the other car and mine. I actually had to lease a new one for my wife which I mustn't drive - I lost my licence for a year. Now I may apply for a renewal, but before I have to undergo a test wether I am fit physically and psychically for driving. The test is very hard with a lot of flunking.
I also resigned the public office I was elected to out of shame, because I was sentenced.
Over here in Germany this can be done in some cases without trial; you may accept the sentence or demand a trial but it only adds to the costs, so I accepted a payment of 80 days based upon my monthly earnings. So I lost all my savings intended for a necessary house repair.
The costs amounted to about $ 30.000,-. In addition I lost the right to own weapons because the law says I'm not reliable to use them. I'm a fairly good shot and participated even in international challenges with good results, but now I lost my rifle and some pistols which I used for training. I may apply to regain them in five years, and maybe I'll get them back if I keep a clean record.

A cab would have cost me about $ 5,-.

So listen to my words: Stick to the 0.00 rule!

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 03:47 AM

katlaughing, a slight correction to your post above detailing penalties for this offence around the world.

"in Norway, one's license is suspended for 3 months;"

Slightly more stringent than that:

1. Automatic jail sentence 3 weeks for first offence, no appeal, no remission.

2. Compulsory fine in addition to the above, level of fine equates to 25% of your gross annual salary.

3. Loss of license for one year with retest at the end of that period.

4. Extremely high insurance rates for people with a DD conviction on record - does not elapse with passage of time.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 04:08 AM

I agree with most of the above - particularly the zero rule BUT where do we draw the line? Working on the premise that the reason for the rule is impaired judgement what do we do about -

People driving with the 'flu? (I've done it)
Driving after having had no sleep in 48 hours? (Junior Doctors?)
Driving having just had an argument with the boss?
Driving while on anti-histamines?
Driving while talking to your passengers?

The list goes on...

These all impair your judgement. Some more severely than alcohol. And what about the perrenial question - Driving the morning after a drink? I am sure the medical people on the list will put me right but havn't studies proved that driving with a hangover is no worse that driving with a cold?

And, sorry, but don't bring up the old chestnut about alcohol being self inflicted whereas the others are not. It is the DRIVING that is wrong, not the drinking, having flu, lack of sleep etc. So they are all self inflicted.

Point is? I guess, if anything, someone who drives with judgement impaired for ANY reason is in the wrong. Why should alcohol be the only punishable reason?

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 10:49 AM

DtG, at least alcohol is measurable, though and, if we started imposing restrictions based on what you've listed, we might as well add a measure which doesn't allow anyone to drive until they've "matured" and who's to say when that is for each individual?*bg* Seriously, I find young drivers whose parents or whomever have turned them loose in new cars, SUVs, etc. to be frightening! At the very least, I think they should all have to drive only older cars which will only go up to 30mph!

Teribus, thanks for the update. Harsh penalties but just, IMO.

Wilfried, thanks so much for sharing your experience. You, too, Liz.

Jed? How are you doing? Hope you had a good weekend and are still feeling okay.

kat


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Kim C
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 03:54 PM

Jed! Don't scare nobody like that! Heaven's sakes! Glad you and the instruments are all right- I second the opinion on getting a checkup, just in case.

Here in Tennessee you can be arrested for "driving while impaired" which, as I understand, includes influences other than alcohol, such as medicine that might make you sleepy.

Several of our laws have changed over the last few years but I don't know how much good it's done. When you revoke someone's license, guess what? They drive without a license. Maybe they get caught, maybe they don't. And I think, people get off more often than not.

A few years ago, the son of one of our board members was struck by a van and killed as he was crossing the street in downtown Nashville. The man who hit him was drunk, and had already had his license revoked. And guess what else?

He had 65 prior offenses, most of them drug-related.

65. Sixty-five. Let me say that again, in case you missed it. SIXTY-FIVE. He shouldn't have been out in public at all.

He's in jail now, though, for sure. But he had to kill someone first.

When I was young and invincible, I drove when I shouldn't have. There were times when I had the presence of mind to ask someone to drive me instead. Nowadays, I am much more judicious in my choices.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: michaelr
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 09:39 PM

Raedwulf -- thank you for your kind flame. This forum has been much too polite lately, and it's about time someone called some names around here. And good on ya for escaping the attention of the personal attack police.

As I said, I was making a controversial point. Devil's advocate, you know? I did notice you avoided addressing it, though...

Cheers,
arrogant, smug, self-interested idiot/irresponsible cretin who deserves to be shot on sight for sheer stupidity


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Banjer
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 05:14 AM

In his post Dtg lists a few reasons:

People driving with the 'flu? (I've done it)
Driving after having had no sleep in 48 hours? (Junior Doctors?)
Driving having just had an argument with the boss?
Driving while on anti-histamines?
Driving while talking to your passengers?

The list goes on...



I would add to that list one of my pet peeves.....Talking on the phone while driving!

Watching someone trying to negotiate a 90 degree turn with one hand whilst juggling the phone with the other drives me nuts...especially when they have small children on board! This is NOT limited to women either!!


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 05:30 AM

Driving drunk? Been there, done that. Got away with it.   BUT...
I very very nearly had an accident when I was slightly tipsy but driving well, and the motorcyclist was probably sober but driving like a maniac. He would certainly have had his leg ripped off, surely have died. Who would have got the blame? A tipsy adult or a dead teenager?
No contest.
Now I drive only when sober. My wife won't drive after ANY drink either. And as Gareth says, If you have partaken of the lunatic soup, you are NOT insured. Not just below the limit, some companies make their own rules, sue them if you don't like it.
I understand that in NZ the maximum charge for DD already is manslaughter. Apres moi, le deluge, if that's how it is spelled.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: JedMarum
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 09:28 AM

I've long thought we should take a very firm stance on drunk driving. We try to in Texas. Because the stakes are so people often fight it in court ans sometimes win, when they shouldn't. Also, as Kim says above, many habitual offenders simply drive with their license suspended - and end up with multiple offenses. This is where we need to be very dilligent about enforcement; a second offense, or an offense while already under suspension should result in jail time. This is a hard one to accomplish; because we hate to put 'non-violent' criminals behind bars - and we have a strong wish to provide substance abuse or other rehabilitation programs - but when the offender has no interest in participating, we have to think about law enforcement and the good of the rest of society.

I have a music acquaintence in this category. He's been arrested twice recently for drunk driving, and possession of pot. As far as I know he's always got a buzz on. His first conviction suspended his license but allowed him to dive during weekday work hours so he cousl maintain his job. His second conviction suspended his license completely and placed him on probation. I don;t know if he was forced to go to AA or some other program - but he was placed on probation. Probabtion enforces sobriety validation including urine analysis for dope. My friend failed his tests every time - for several weeks in a row. The last time they told him a warrant would be issued for his arrest (I don;t know why they didn;t just arrest him on the spot) so, of course he stopped going to probation. By the way, he continued to drive illegally throughout this whole time. Sure enough, next time he was stopped, he was arrested and sentenced to 60 days in jail. He served 30 day and was released on probation. Once again, he failed his probation drug test every time ... so eventually he was retuned to jail for 90 days - this time he served 45 days and was released. No probation. I know he drives all the time now. I don;t know about his license situation.

Now this guy will swear to you that the state is nasty and stupid for putting him in jail because he smokes dope, don't they have better things to do then worry about him smoking a little reefer now and then - but I know the truth. He's a habitual drunk/stoned driver and if he won't get himself sober OR he won;t stop driving drunk; he needs to be in jail so he won't be killing you, me or our kids.


Anyway - back to my own situation. My back pain has pretty mild and I have not seen anyone. In fact I feel fine today. The insurance folks have been good, providing info as the case got rolling; the truck is in the shop and I have a replacement vehicle. I told them I was a musician and needed a large cargo area for some upcoming shows and they said "No problem. Go get what you need and we'll cover it!" WOW. I hope the whole process is this cooperative!


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 11:41 AM

Glad you are OK Jed - Had that happen to me once - instruments were OK but my partner had his spleen removed due to it. I took the back window out of the truck with my head. Thanks for cowboy hats - plenty of glass inbedded in it!

michaelr - "Trust me" LMAO - good one!!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Hollowfox
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 12:07 PM

Glad to hear you're alive, Jed. To relieve the growing stress on your back, get that checkup. then all us momcats and dadcats will get off your back about the checkup. Seriously, keep us posted.


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Wesley S
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 01:15 PM

Jed - You said we "hate to put non-violent criminals behind bars" - but I hope the judges in this case see that being rammed from behind with a moving car is violent indeed. I'm glad to hear you're OK.

Here's a question for you. Will you be more inclined in the future to remind patrons in a bar situation to be careful about drinking and driving ? What responsibility do we have as performers to talk about this on stage ?


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 06:09 PM

I sympathise with the point of view about not wishing to put non violent criminals behind bars. I have heard - and I hope the statistic is wrong - that around two million Americans are already in jail. (Somebody please correct me with a more realistic figure). Jed recognises the dilemna when he talks about a guy who plainly bears him no malice - but effectively threratens the safety of hmself and his kin. Isn't the responsibility for the potential injury caused also considerable - perhaps even as culpable as willing violence?


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Raedwulf
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM

michaelr - You're welcome. Nice to see you took it so well, but I still say you deserved it & I don't regret a word I posted. Now would you mind explaining what point you think you made that I haven't already answered?

I drive. I drink. I have drunk heavily. I know my own capacity for drink. If I'm drinking regularly, I can down a bottle of wine comfortably & barely feel it. So does this make me safe to still drive? Just because *I* think I'm still safe to drive (which relative to a lot of idiots on the road, I would be, but in absolute terms, I absolutely *wouldn't* be!)? No, of course it bloody doesn't!

A heavy drinker is the last person in the world whose opinion I would trust as to whether they're safe to be put in charge of a lethal weapon. Unless they were saying they weren't. Yet that is exactly what your 'sliding scale' would apparently allow, which is the only 'point' you made. You cannot judge or measure 'drinking ability'. It's appallingly idiotic, even as a mere suggestion.

And there is absolutely no way that any sort of sliding scale could be made to work in law. One law for you, another law for me, a different for Willifred, for Liz, for Teribus, for... It's got about the same chance or working as a gnat has of surviving 5 minutes in an operational blast furnace. Utterly stupid. I'm stone cold sober this time, not roaring drunk like last time I posted. It's *still* the dumbest idea I've heard in quite some considerable time!

Are you sure you're not the Shrub in disguise? ;)


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: GUEST,Barry without a cookie
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 01:49 AM

Hi Jed, I'm glad you faired well. Count yourself as one of the lucky. I see no reason why the driver who hit you doesn't get the same justice as someone who for no reason sticks you with a knife. What, "I'm sorry I won't stab again, it was the drink". That woman had a deadly weapon in her hands & easily could have killed you. A few (3 or 4) yrs ago in my town we lost about 10 high school students to drunk driving, IN ONE YEAR. A doctor who worked the ER in the local hospital worked on so many kids that he campained for more alcohol education in the H.S. & stiffer DWI sentences, he got much of what he fought for. I think we've "only ?" lost 2 kids in the past few yrs. Any officer of the law or of the courts who goes light on a DWI offender should be removed from their office & be held responsible for any future deaths, damages or injuries caused be the offender. If it were their loved one that they lost they'd well know the pain of becoming twice a victim, once by their loss & again by knowing the victim's life meant little to anyone else other than those that knew them. Anyone including the above who drinks more than the law allows & then drives are no different in my eyes than a dangerous criminal. I'm 51 & have never driven drunk in my life & yes, I'm proud to be able to say that & no, I wouldn't hurt a life that belonged to another. Thank goodness you're alright Jed. Barry


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 02:44 AM

A national discount retailer with branches in our area tells it's employees NOT to come to work if the weather is bad enough to make the roads more dangerous than usual. That is an enlightened view. Most companies hereabouts will dock you or even terminate you if you don't show up if you think it is too dangerous to drive! There are probably some people who take advantage of the retailer's common sense and abuse it but most don't.

As a motorcyclist I drive with a heightened awareness of everything that is going on when I am on the road. This carries over to my car driving as well. I had done drugs and alcolhol when I was in my twenties but will do no drugs at all now and drink very little but when I do I have a ride, a taxi, or I walk (small town) and I never, never,never drink when I am riding my Indian. ever!

CB


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: GUEST,DW at work
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 02:48 AM

My job gives instant dismissal, no appeal, no pension if we're found to have alcohol in our systems. I've seen the results of too many folks who said 'I only had the one, I'm perfectly OK' and ended up as murderers.

When I'm working, I'm in charge of several bits of lethal machinery, there is no room for error. When folks drive, they are also in charge of a bit of lethal machinery, there should be no room for error there either.

DW


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Subject: RE: Drunk Driving
From: Banjer
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 06:29 AM

Let's face it, our whole western society is based on alcohol. When you hear someone say to another, 'Let's go for a drink' or, 'Could I get you a drink?', they aren't referring to Coca Cola or lemonade. Many times I have been at some social function and have been asked if I would like a drink. When I say yes and then ask if they have a soft drink or non-alcoholic beverage I'm either ignored, looked down their nose at or in some other manner made to feel that I just commited a cardinal sin.

Why is it that when the word DRINK is uttered 90% of the folks automatically think beer, wine or liquor? If we could find some way to stop this type of thinking, maybe in our schools, we could perhaps break the cycle.

Of course there would be steep opposition from the major breweries and suppliers of alcoholic drinks. Look at the figures that come out about advertising budgets after the various televised sporting events, the Super Bowl being the biggest. Many people I know cannot watch a competetive sport without a can of beer in their hand. Why is this?? If our kids are supposedly taught that playing sports is healthy and wholesome, at what stage in their lives does the alcohol become more important?? Baffles the hell out of me!!!


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