MADD “Statistics” Again Debunked

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on June 23rd, 2008

As I’ve posted repeatedly in the past, MADD’s prohibitionist zealots are fond of twisting statistics to justify their expansion of unfair laws, Draconian penalties and unconstitutional procedures.  See, for example, A Closer Look at DUI Fatality StatisticsMADDness and Lies, Damned Lies and MADD Statistics.

The truth is finally beginning to emerge:


A Reality Check on DUI Claims 

Groups purposely misstate fatalities

to further an anti-drinking agenda

The Tennessean, June 22 — Drunken-driving stories, like last week’s op-ed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving representative Alexanderia Honeycutt, make headlines every day.

Groups like MADD relentlessly remind Americans that the abuse of alcohol continues to be a huge problem on our roadways and, as a result, the most drastic measures are needed. Though truly "drunken" driving is a serious issue, much of the reported problem is little more than PR.

 Consider fatality statistics. The number of deaths that activist groups attribute to drunken driving is grossly exaggerated.

Last year, federal statisticians classified almost 18,000 deaths as "alcohol-related." However, alcohol-related does not mean alcohol-caused. In fact, that figure includes anyone killed in a crash in which at least one person (driver, pedestrian, cyclist, etc.) was estimated to have any alcohol. (If a sober driver recklessly crashes into and kills a family whose driver had enjoyed a glass of wine, statistics reflect all their deaths as "alcohol-related.")

In reality, the figure reflects a much broader spectrum of casualties: people under the legal limit, drunken pedestrians, impaired cyclists and others. After accounting for those people, actual innocent victims only make up 12 percent of the widely reported statistic — a considerably smaller amount than activists have led us to believe.

The anti-alcohol lobby has also invented fantastical talking points to bolster their bunk traffic stats. Honeycutt uses one of its favorites ("first offenders drive drunk on average 87 times before they are caught"), going so far as to accuse individuals of criminal acts with absolutely no proof to back up the claim.

The truth is that this widely publicized figure comes from rough estimates of self-reported data — commonly criticized as unreliable. Collected from a small sample almost 13 years ago, even the study’s own authors admit the estimates are "crude."


As I posted a couple of years ago, an independent study by the Los Angeles Times  found that despite federal figures claiming nearly 18,000 deaths caused by drunk driving in 2002, only about 5,000 of these actually involved a drunk driver causing the death of a sober driver, passenger or pedestrian.

MADD has used the same altered statistics to get all 50 states – with some federal coercion – to lower the legal limit to .08% and to expand the use of roadblocks:


In the 1990s, these groups used another "crude" statistic to convince the public that reducing the legal blood-alcohol content limit from 0.10 to 0.08 percent would save 600-800 lives annually. Today, research proves it didn’t work.

Their 0.08 push failed to have any measurable effects on traffic fatality rates. It only lowered the threshold for qualifying as a "drunken" driver, ignoring the fact that the majority of "drunks" wreaking havoc on our roads drive while more than double the 0.08 limit. One study in Contemporary Economic Policy concluded that 0.08 efforts would have been better spent encouraging effective measures against chronic drunken drivers.

Tennessee’s anti-alcohol groups aren’t heeding that warning. Instead, they’re demanding more funding, more legislation and more manpower for other misguided measures, like sobriety checkpoints.

These roadblocks are based on the idea that it’s more important to look "tough on drunken driving" than to actually go after the drunks. Checkpoints don’t catch many (if any) drunken drivers. In the largest program ever studied, Tennessee ran almost 900 checkpoints over the course of a year, stopping almost 150,000 of the state’s drivers. The result: a mere 773 DUI arrests — less than one arrest per checkpoint. Compare that to the impact of roving police patrols — a tactic that catches 10 times more drunken drivers than roadblocks.

But you won’t hear anti-alcohol activists like Honeycutt repeat that stat. Their groups no longer target "drunken" drivers, aiming instead to eliminate any drinking before driving.

Right now, the 176 million responsible Americans who drink in moderation can still safely (and legally) drive home after enjoying a drink. Furthermore, research shows that drivers who talk on cell phones, drive drowsy, or travel 7 mph above the speed limit pose a larger threat than those who enjoy a few drinks (and stay below 0.08) before driving home.

Disregarding the evidence, the anti-alcohol movement’s invented, inflated and distorted "facts" would have the public believe that there should be no legal limit except zero. This is the reason we all think one thing when the reality is another.

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  • jim

    well, 87 times , really.
    I would think that 87 is just a guess, but would figure the number in most cases to be more than 1.

    The point here being the people do consume some amount of alcohol at a restaurant, such as a Fridays or an Outback, not to pick on those franchises, and then drive off.
    One could multiply out the 87 number, or whatever you think the true number is, by the same number, squaring it, than multiply that number by all people who drove having consumed alcohol, ever, whether they were caught or not, now you are talking a number in the billions.

    people have consumed alcohol and driven a car billions of times, collectivly.

    i believe it.

    the question is really do we want it to be a reverse lottery as to those who get caught, or do we want to stop the driving after drinking?

    we have to think about it, because it simply is not fair to those who get arrested and convicted, as compared to those who do not.

    the

  • jim

    to add the point i am driving at—-
    no party whether it be the consumer, slcohol sellers, madd, or the State , could have a legitimate objection to having alcohol interlocks on all vehicles, as standard equipment , subject to State inspection every year or 2.

    who would object to it? only people that wanted to consume alcohol to past 0.08 and drive.

    i am not talking about prohibition, i am talking about solving the problem, stopping madd in their tracks, stopping the reverse lottery, stopping endless litigation, preventing accidents and deaths.

    the solution is so simple it is right their in front of us for that taking.

    in the long run, this action would save the economy billions of dollars in wasted monies.

  • jim

    we are in a strange economy right now, some ares are in inflation, some areas are in recession.

    inflation will win out, it always does. prices always go up, salaries always go up, everything goes up.

    to make a standard interlock device, to go on all motor vehicles would not be an outrageous thing to do.

    ford and gm and the rest, could tact on a nominal profit for each unit installed, and we could be on our way to stoppin g the madness.

    imagaine a world where you could go out and have a few drinks at a restaurant or friends house or something, get in your car, breath into a device, and as long as it let you start the car, there is no way you could be convicted or even arrested for dui.

    unless, of course, your car failed inspection for the interlock device.

    so we make a statute that gives harsh penalities for tampering with the device, or for lapsing the inspection of the device.

    the solution is quite clear.
    no?

  • jim

    i do not know anything really about MADD. Are they against alcohol, or against drunk driving?

    You seem to suggest they are against alcohol consumption.

    this is why the mandatory alcohol interlock on all motor vehicles, as styandard, required, equipment, would halt madd in their tracks. they would have nothing to dsay anymore,.. there prohibition stance would have to move away from drunk driving, to other reasons, similiar to those reasons for the prohibition in the 1920’s, or moral grounds.

    and that would never hold uyp in today’s society.

    my proposal basically shuts madd down and puts them out of business.

    by the way, vehicle inspections in nj are done by the State free of charge, and are mandatory.

  • jim

    not that dui deaths arent a serious problem, buy way more widespread a problem id dui litigation.

    now, you say there are 176 million drivers in the us. lets say 100 million of them have consumed alcohol and drove at least once.

    let say, even a regular, stable person, takes his wife or girlfriend out once a month and they enjoy a bottle of wine or some beers somewhere.

    this person may have a bac of 0,07, or 0.06, but for some reason has been arrested for suspicion of dui, blows into a breath tester and blows a 0,08.

    this type of case happens a lot, and is the cause of countless hours of litigation throughout the us.

    costing the state money, the towns money, and the arrested person money to defend.

    and it is a total and complete lottery, a random chance, a chance, so random, even madd says its 1 out of 86. and i think its even bigger denominator, like 1/1000.

    and yet it occurs all the time, clogging up the justice system, costing people a lot of money, and those who get convicted may wind up paying ultimatley millions in lost monies over the course of a lifetime.

    if , as you say, there are 176 million responsible americans out there who may consume alcohol and drive, not one of them should object to an alcohol interlock device on every vehicle.

    the life the save may be their own, or a family’s members. knowing that no one is drunk on the road would put peoples minds at ease.

    the soultion is obvious.

    here is a quick story for you.

    i read an article yesterday that said a woman, after her first day on the job at an alcohol rehab clinic, the carrier clinic, here in nj, had just completed her first day, got in here car to drive home, got about a mile down the road, and was hit and killed by a drunk driver, drunk, a patient going to the clinic for treatment.
    true story.

    this death was un necessary.

    or another story about the daughter, who had to back her car down thew drivewway so a family member could ger their car out, and bamm, hit by a drunk driver going 100 mph on a back road and pushed for 200 feet, dead.

    my solution, the mandatory alcohol interlock on all vehicles would end senseless deaths like these, and put everyones mind at ease.

    who would object to what i am proposing?

  • jim

    i hope i am driving my point home ok.

    lets take a closer look at the person who had a true bac of 0.07, and was convicted of dui because a breath test showed 0.08% bac.

    not only did he probably spend 4000-8000 on a defense which he lost, and had to pay fines, fees, and higher insurance…

    let say he is an average person, or any person really, but here is an example.

    let us say the person makes a salary of 50,000 a year, and is up for a promotion to 70,000, or a new job at a new company, but is passed over because of the dui, for whicj he was found guilty of, but not really guilty of.

    let us say this person is 30 years old, and for the next 40 years of his working life, until retirement at age 70, he is losing out on the higher salary, and ever increasing by percentage wise raises, he is also losing out on 401k contributions, and future social security revenues, as well as monies he could earn from other investments, and intrest, … this person is losing millions of dollars during his liftetime, all because of this non sense in dui litigation and enforcement.

    if their was a m andatory interlock program in place for all vehicles, this person, who really was not guilty, could have never been arrested and convicted of dui, simply because if their car started they would not be guilty, under the new statute, and if it didnt start, he wouldnt have been driving.

    this is a huge issue for me, and even increased because i am waiting for 34 months and 15 appearances on a first offense dui, which i have spent over 7000 on a defense, can not get a trial, and am basically being held prisoner here in nj, when i could have moved to florida over 2 years agho and got a better job and had a different life.

    insterad i am sitting here, wasting away the best years of my life and my career because the State and C ourt has refused to obey a clear and direct nj supreme court order to proceed to trial.

    a trial i will win on probable cause, — withholding details for now.

  • jim

    you may be saying to yourself, well, jim, these cases usually could get plea bargined, especially for a first offense.

    i say, believe it or not , a lot do not get plea bargained, and while some do, in NJ, plea bargins are not tectnically allowed for dui in nj, it is win or lose.

    and the deck is stacked against the defendant, here in nj, and by reading these blogs, also in california.

    we , as a peoplew, a free people, must examine the reasons we have dui penaltys, and make up our minds if we want a reverse lottery the convicts very few people who actually drive while having consumed alcohol, or do we want to have our roads free of drunk drivers?

    if we really want our roads free of drunk drivers, as i think we do, as i do, then the mandatory alcohol interlock on all vehicles is the way to go.

    jim.

  • scottiek

    Jim, I suggest you take a look at the breathalyzer and interlock device articles on this site. Basic story is that breathalyzers are extremely unreliable. What’s more, from what I have read, there is no way to make them actually reliable. I would guess that the sheer amount of false positives that mandatory interlocks make would generate a massive public outcry. If they were actually mandatory, I’m sure that initiative would be quickly and embarrassingly repealed.

    Also, having to prove I am innocent before I get behind the wheel runs completely counter to the “innocent until proven guilty” mantra that I thought American laws were founded upon. So I definitely would object.

  • jim

    the real point here for the use of alcotest technology in mandatory interlock devices , is that, even if they have some error, and are not 100 percent accurate, the person that is the real threat at 0.15% bac or higher would not be able to start theire vehicles, as the interlock would be set at 0,08% bac, and the person at 0,06 or 0,07% bac, where their interlock may read 0,08, and the car wont start, it is saving them a potential dui conviction, and costly litigation.

    and everyone can be rest assuired, the real threat to death by dui will be gone!!!

    if yoyur only objection is that the interlock is not rteliable enough for a person at 0,07 or 0.06% bac, i say it is a faulty objection.

    we , as a free people, can make the ibnterlock a manatory standard unit on all vehicles, like airbags are now.

    do you have any more objections?

  • jim

    how many lives has air bags saverd? has the air bag ever been deployed in your vehicle, … none of my vehicles ever had the air bad go off, yet i pay for it when i purchase a new car.

    mandatory alcohol interlocks on all vehicles, using alcotest type technology, it a thing of beauty, because the technology has been proven to be reliable, whethere it is or not highly reliable doesnt matter.

    no one at 0,07% bac, by there interlock, allowing them to start a car and drive down the road, could , by the new statute, even be arrested for dui.

    this idea is a thing of beauty.

    what are they going to do?, argue the technoly that argued for three years is reliable, is no longer reliable?

    its a beautiful idea.

    it wouldbt pout lawyers out of business, there will still be drug dui, tampering with the interlock, people drinking while driving in the car, ectectect, but it will end the madness of 95% of the senseless litigation, the reverse lottery, and shut madd out of business

  • jim

    i think you really do not understand the results that the alcotest produce.

    well i fully understand someone at an 06 or 07 may blow an 08 or 09 at the station house, someone with a 0.15 or higher would blow over a 0,08.

    and mr taylor agrees that it is the people at 0.15 or higher that pose the real risk on our roads.

    100% , or nearly 100% of these people could be stopped from driving.

    yopu got to understand something, for every person that has ever drove at a bac of 0,15% or higher, for every instance of this occurance, it is rolling the dice for a potential tradjedy.

    and maybe only 1 out of a million of these occurances result in an accident incident.

    however, with the interlock, the odds would be greatly , greatly reduced for the potential for loss of life.

    i mean, gee, the alcotest technology isnt perfect, but come on, it isnt all that unreliable either.

    and then we, can use our lgislature, the write new statutes, that say, if your car has a alcotest type interlock device installed in it, inspected by the State, that unless there is evidence a person was drinking while driving the car, like a bottle of liquor under the seat, then the person can not be arrest for alcohol dui.

    and furthermore, the person at 0.15% bac, can not start his car, potentially saving the lives of any innocent person, like in the 2 stories i put in a post above.

    any more objections?

    let me know, … i am well versed on the subject of dui and alcotest, and breath technology, and and well entangled in 34 months of litigation for my own first offense 0,08% bac, which the litigation is only starting , and its going to grow to erornmous proportions before it is rthough, leading to contempt of court and obstruction of justrice charges, ethice complaints, civils rights complaints, and major big time criminal and civil law suits againsat the state and court, as well as specific individuals.

  • jim

    and i am not spamming, i am exploring an academic understanding of the big picture

    lets say for every 86 times a person driv es after drinking he he is caught for dui…. i dont do not think thats true, i would say maybe the ratio is smaller, maybne 1 out of 500 or more times…

    and that for every person caught there are 10,000 people that are never caught in their entire lives.

    the statutes and enforcement for this phenonomia are not solving ther problem of potetial for death.

    mr taylor would agree, … the State, the Courts, and MADD, do not have the solution to the problem.

    i am presenting a solution to the problem, not just complaining about it.

    the reverse lottery is so unfair it really gets to me. you are talking about people at 0,07% true bac, being convicted at 0,08% percent bac, and losing millions of dollars through the course of a lifetime because of the concivction, as compared to a million people for each conviction who never get caught.

    this is the problem.

    why doesnt anyone see it?

    can not their be any mitigating solution short of manbdatory interlocks on all vehicles?

    i hope there can be.

    like for all low level first offense cases, the defendant can clear their record– so far the legislatures will not accept this type of mitigation.

    what can we do,..

    you come up with some suggestions of how to solve the problem without having endlewss costly litigation for defendants caught in an unfair reverse lottery.

    i am here, and i will embrace any good solution.

    so far, the only solution i have that solves everything, is the mandatory alcohol interlock device on all motor vehicles, .. just like an airbag

  • jim

    lets look at it from a different angle…

    other than speeding, dui is probably the most broken law in the US.

    I WOULD SAY THAT SEAT BELT STATUTES ARE BROKEN ALOT TOO, BUT I FEEL MOST PEOPLE HAVE SENSE TO WEAR THEM .

    and maybe drug deals the 4th most broken law.

    because the act of dui, that is, driving with a bac of 0,08% or higher, is so frequently broken, and there is clearly something we can do to end the law being broken, shouldnt we do it?

    why wouldnt we do it?

    i know we arent putting devices on cars to make them no go faster then 65 mph.

    .. i know we arent putting devices on cars that wont start unless the seat belts are in place…

    but the alcohol interlock would be something we can do, because of the outrageous situations i have described through my posts today.

    think about it.

    if we , as a free people, have made a law that says it is iulegal to drive wioth a bac of 0,08% or greater, and yet it is broken billions of times with impunity, why wouldnt we put in place something to stop it.

    use your head, and try to come up with a better argument than an 07 can read as 08 on an interlock.

    give me a break, try to come up with something better than what i propose.

  • koivisto

    Jim, are you off your meds?
    You miss the point entirely. What part of innocent until proven guilty are you missing? You yourself are fighting that concept and yet you go on and on about an interlock device.
    Sometimes it’s better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.

  • jim

    your response did not adress the gaunlant i laid down.

    come up with a solution.

    what i am proposing in neither foolish nor wrong.

    it solves 99 percent of the entire problem, puts madd out of business, and ends this crazinees of dui.

    if their was a mandaotory interlock on my car 34 months ago, i wouldnt even be on here, because if i car started, i wouldnt be dui, if it didnt, i wouldnt have drove.

    is their a more beautiful soloution?

    is their any other solution?

  • jim

    adress the issues i raised on an academic level rather than resorting to a personal attack against me.

    the fact that you choose a personal attack clearly shows everyone you have no argument against my points!

    the state has argued for years, and won in the supreme court, that the alotest tecxhnology is reliable, ….

    the beauty of now the mandatory interlock using the technology is that they cant argue the technology is not teliable.

    why can not you see my points?

    they are as beautiful as a rising sun over a beach, or in califirnia, a setting sun over a beach…

  • jim

    kov-0- if every car vehicle had a state inspected mandatory alcol interlock device, their would be no need to have dui arrests 99 percent of the time. innocent to proven guilty becomes moot.

    rerad all of my posts beforte you comment, and please refrain from making personal attacks on me, i am merely seeking an academic discovery

  • jim

    the point is, and i am not missing it, it that i shouldnt have to be fighting the State on innocence or guilt, the mandatory alcohol interlock would eliminate that.

    if i am able to state my car, i am not dui, and the state can not argue otherwise having argueed for 3 yearts the technology works.

    it’s a stroke of geniuos

  • martin

    Ok, Jim, 21 posts into this thing, your point is: If your car lets you drive, you can’t be given a DUI. If your car doesn’t, it doesn’t matter anyway.

    Here are the huge flaws:
    *Your posts are so technically and grammatically awful that they are practically unreadable.

    * Some people don’t partake of alcohol at all, and have absolutely no reason to have one.

    *It is not the government’s business to stick its nannying tentacles into our vehicles. Requiring that every new car roll off the line with an interlock device is so utterly insulting to the American ideals of freedom and personal responsibility that I can barely stomach it. Not to mention that not every car company will want to mindlessly follow MADD like GM.

    *Read Mr. Taylor’s articles about the way alcohol absorbs into blood over time. It will tell you that if you blow a 0.07, it lets you drive, and then it asks you again, it will stop when that last beer/sip of wine/drink finally works its way into your arteries. Then you are out in the middle of the road with a dead car. Then you get a DUI anyway.

    *Finally, I will concede that drunken driving and the senseless accidents caused by .2 and above drinkers would all but vanish if all cars had interlocks, but at what cost? Freedom is the cost, and I say we’ve already lost too much freedom to this non-existent specter of DUI.

    Now Jim, GO TO BED, sober up, and come back tomorrow.

  • jim

    my rebuttal

    the reason to have it is so they dont get killed by a dui driver, or oner of their loved ones.

    this proposal outs madd out of business, and ends the fight they arte waging for prohibition.

    i say, because dui law has been broken at least a billion times without being caught, that the interlock is necessary.

    everyone would be a lot safer if all cars had the interlock,

    it is not about taking away freedom, there is no freedom to break the law, if you are not ever dui, why would you have a problem with the mandatory interlock?

    i say, the reverse lottery is more a taking away of freedom then then a mandatory interlockj program

  • jim

    you talk about responsibility—

    then lets have it

    everyone who ever drove a little tipsy in their lives come forward and adsmit to each time they didf, if it 50 or 100 times, so be it.

    letys have more then 70 percent of the nation in jail, ok?

    WAKE UP.

    THE LAW , THE DUI LAW, HAS BEEN BROKEN BILLIONS OF TIMES, BY PEOPLE DEAD AND ALIVE.

    WHAT GOOD IS A LAW THAT CANT BE ENFORCED FAIRLY, … WHEN THEIR IS A CLEAR SOLUTION TO PREVENTING THE BREAKING OF THE LAW?

    AGAIN, LETS HAVE EVERYONE COME FORWARD, NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, AND ADMIT TO EVERYTIME YOU WERE OVER THE LIMIT AND DROVE, AND HAVE ALL THE PENALITIES ASSESSED ON EACH PERSON ACCORTDINGLY, OK

    THAT IS RESPONSIBILITY!

  • jim

    do you realize how many law abiding citizens have broken the dui law?

    70 year old women, who meet there friends at a house for a dinner party, then drive qaround the corner to go home, at 008% bac, are breaking the law.

    even if they never got a ticket in their lives.

    that is just one example…

    this law is broken so much by regular law abiding citizens that never get tickets, and never get arrested for dui, but 1 in a million, reverse lottery, one person is going to have their lives ruined.

    my way, no one could break the law, and just as important, no one could have their lives ruined by dui.

  • David W

    Well Jim,

    I guess we all should get gas masks if we choose to fill our cars with gas at self serve gas stations as the fumes will create a false reading(already proven). I guess all painters should find a designated driver to get them to work and back because their exposure to acetone will show a false reading as well. Then we need to do the same for plumbers as the pvc cleaner and glue is also going to create a false reading. And if you are going to fill up cans of gas for your lawnmower, I guess you better buy a pickup truck to keep the fumes out of your air space.

    Need I go on?

  • jim

    david, the law does not allow for any evidence of what you are talking about to be a defense to a breath test. it just does not.

    a person fills hgis car up, get pulled over half a mile down the road, gets arrested for dui, blows a false reading because of fumes… he will be convicted.

    still, mandatory interlocks on all cars would prevent that person from being arrested,— it would protect his rights and freedoms.

    any way you look at it, the interlock solves the problem

  • jim

    furthermore, the alcotest technology tests for the “OH” funtional group.

    The peak for the OH group is way out at the end of the spectrum at a long wavelength.

    Benzene, in gas, absorbs most highly at 254 nanometers, in the UV range, not in the infrared range.

    Acetone also does not have an “OH” functional group on it.

    While there still may be some thinbgs that would interfere with the resadinf expressed as ethanol, such as methanol, or isopropyl alcohol, people generally , unless you are a chemist like me, do not get exposed to those compounds.

    Certainly, the mandatory alcohol interlock program would improve even more on the technology, and in the long run, would prevent 95% of dui total known and unkn own, 95% of dui arrests, protect our rightys and freedoms from being taken away by police and courts, and overall prevent deaths causedc by dui.

  • standup

    Jim, first off, de-caf is in the ORANGE pot.
    As we speak right now, methods to circumvent the IIDs are ALREADY in the works. Before you know it, they will be about as helpfull as Ringo was when writing a song for the Beatles. If by some freak reason, these things did pan out, do you think MADD is just going to pack up and vanish ?
    WOW !! What color is the sky in your world dude ? MADD ain’t going nowhere till alcohol is whiped from the face of the Earth, just like the Dinosaurs. I’ll go you double or nothing that MADD has stock in some of these IID companies to boot.
    The Nazi style roadblocks were supposed to be the cure too. (Right Don ?) Wake up America, before it’s too late !

  • http://www.laduidefenseteam.com joe

    Is it any surprise that these statistics were being altered and fudged? Comprehensive DUI laws wouldn’t involve jail time, they’d involve training, education and rehabilitation. But throwing people in jail looks better for politicians and makes drivers feel safer, even though there’s no proof they are more safe. The demonization of DUI offenders is outlandish, and MADD throwing emotions at people to get their support is laughable at best and dangerous at worst.

  • jim

    joe- you are 100 percent right.

    the laws we have made are not stopping people from driving at or above the limit. only a very small percentage of people get caught.

    the question is, how do we either change the law to protect our rights, or enforce the law to protect our rights— we can go either way on this.

    i have come up with a way to stop drunk driving and most things related to it, including litigation , the taking away of our rights, ect..

    they other way i have not explored, how to come together as a free people and change the law.

    complaining about it in blogs like this is not helping anything that much.

    all it is doing is keeping the conversation alive, and it should be kept alive, because our rights are cintinually being violated by the police and courts.

    again, is it fair that over the next month, there will be over a a million occurances of people driving at or above the legal limit, and only a few hundred get arrested, nationwide?

    and of these few hundred that do get arrested, have their constitutional rights taken away.

    why not prevent drunk driving , through technology?

    preserve everyones right, stop the reverse lottery, and end this issue once and for all.

    it would be possible to make a cheap, reliable, effective, tamper proof , interlock device, to go on every vehicle, preventing 99% of those milion occurances over the next month, and preventing the police from taking away our rights at motor vehicle stops.

    it is a win win proposal

  • jim

    joe– someone could go out today at have 3 beers and a shot at a bar and grill in 45 minutes, be at a true BAC of 0,08%, and drive the one or 2 miles home, and the chances they will be arrested for dui is one in a million.

    lowering the legal limit from 0.10 to 0.08 did not decrease the amkount of people breaking the law, it increased it.

    people are not changing their behavoir, because they know the odds of being caught at 0.08% bac are extremely low.

    but just because people are not being caught does not mean they are not breaking the law.

    my proposal would eliminate people from breaking the law.

    how does one know if he is at 0,08% bac, he doesnt, he couldnt possibly know.

    with the interlock device, not only would he know if he was at the limit, he wouldnt be able to break the law and drive.

  • standup

    Let’s solve the cheap,reliable and effective problem first.

  • posterposter

    Jim,

    I agree with your solution but it is fatally flawed.

    There are many ways to circumvent interlocks. It can be as easy as having a sober friend blow into it.

    The only way achieve the goals you’re seeking is to prohibit the private ownership of motor vehicles.

    Constitutionally speaking, that is a little less absurd than forcing by law the purchase and use of an interlock device.

    The correct solution is to get rid of the victimless “crime” of drunken driving.

  • n7uqa91

    Jim, first off, would you PLEASE give this a rest already? I know you are upset about your DUI experience, all of us are. Let me touch on a few things in your numerous posts.

    1.“my proposal would eliminate people from breaking the law.”

    No. Knowing DUI law through my experience, they would simply state that the ignition interlock reading is not “forensically accurate” and subject to interpretation, even if you could show that it’s been “calibrated”.

    2. “it would be possible to make a cheap, reliable, effective, tamper proof , interlock device, to go on every vehicle, preventing 99% of those milion occurances over the next month, and preventing the police from taking away our rights at motor vehicle stops.
    it is a win win proposal.”

    Wrong again. There will never be a “tamper proof” interlock device. I have 30 years of electronics background, there is ALWAYS a way to circumvent electronic countermeasures, regardless of the law. Besides Jim, why should I have to PROVE my innocence every time I drive my car? This would also be akin to forcing GPS disciplined governors on cars so they cannot exceed the speed limit.

    “joe– someone could go out today at have 3 beers and a shot at a bar and grill in 45 minutes, be at a true BAC of 0,08%, and drive the one or 2 miles home, and the chances they will be arrested for dui is one in a million.”

    This assumption is correct. The dinner and drinks people (like myself) don’t believe they are breaking the law. Including the Politicians, Judges, Lawyers, Police officers and Firemen who are also guilty of the “dinner and drinks” law. Current DUI laws are just for revenue generation, as is seatbelt and mobile communication device laws. Always done under the guise of “safety”. But I guess the policeman with a cell phone, two-way radio and laptop in his car aren’t distracting? It would be nice to see statistics of the reasons why some police officers get into accidents with their patrol vehicles.

    Jim, if you really believe that IID’s would really work why not force them into semi trucks, police vehicles, ambulances, firetrucks etc, etc, etc. Regardless of the backlash, you could argue that someone could STILL drive these vehicles drunk.

    As far as I’m concerned, the DUI defense community should be taking the LEAD in changing DUI laws for the better. Otherwise, card carrying MADD members will continue to force even harsher penalties on all of us.

  • mcguirebruce

    Madd has already gotten the IID’s approved for repeat offenders and in some cases even first timers. I hate to see what will happen when they finally convince the gov. that a .05 will be safer. There are many things bad in America and DUI while terrible when someone is harmed or property is damaged is not our largest problem im sure. This just has been played on so much that america has been brainwashed to believe that the reason for less deaths is just the Laws being passed but those of us who have gone throught the experience and didnt just sit back and let it happen have learned that this is more of a revenue generating law and that the people who are repeat offenders are never really educated in the law they are just collected from and passed through to repeat the same mistakes. There is nothing we can do until someone can afford to stand up and say enough is enough. I suggest that you who know the truth and the way the law is written to entrap you by saying drink responsibly and as long as you are not above .08 this level you are ok. To let people know that there is a hidden limit in the words and that limit could be as little as .00 BAC. All the officers have to do is convince a judge or jury that you were impaired. There is no safe level of alcohol for someone to be behind the wheel of a vehicle, bicycle, wheelchair, or motorized cooler. Some of this is sarcasm but it should help drive home the point of how intrusive the laws for DUI are getting. I wish i had the means to fight beyond what i am but i too am limited funds well into the 8000 range and not evwen gone to court. Pass on your knowledge and help those who need to be helped and educate as many as you can on what you know. I feel this will help in dealing with the DUI experience you are going through. I think it is helping me. I feel i am helping others and i have met some repeaters who really do not understand what they are being charged with and why. I have brought the light to a few eyes to thwe point they can say they never knew that.

  • mcguirebruce

    We have a great resource in Mr. Taylor. He has answered many of my Questions and i know i am overstimulated by this experience. I think you should listen to him and learn and educate others for yours as well as their benefit. Help cand be part of the solution or just be ashamed and continue to be part of the problem.

  • RichardAlan

    This is a very interesting thread. Could we agree to disagree that if mandatory interlocking devices were law that the entire DUI Industry would cease to exist? No more MADD– mission accomplihed lets re-write the United States Constitution? If a motor vehicle is rolling down the highway then it is automatically presumed that the operator is not guilty of DUI, this includes sheeple that have never had a drink of alcohol in their entire life…

    Everyone is sober because the new machine says so…

    No more DUI’s, we are Free to go, or are we?????

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