Archive for the ‘drunk driving’ Tag

Legalize Drunk Driving | Beautiful Anarchy   1 comment

Legalize Drunk Driving | Beautiful Anarchy.

I am very much opposed to drunk driving. If you are going to drive, don’t drink. If you have had more than one alcoholic beverage, don’t drive! Simple rule that I’ve never had any problem following. I do not agree with Jeffery Tucker that some drivers drive better after a few drinks. They self-report driving better. I’m certain sober drivers around them wouldn’t agree.

https://i0.wp.com/d268xzw51cyeyg.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/01/lawyer-you-should-always-take-a-breathalyzer-even-if-youve-been-drinking.jpgBut, to the subject … a couple of years ago, a friend had too much to drink at a bar in Goldstream Valley. The Valley is several miles from Fairbanks, where his home is. It would have worked out to $110 cab fare and he didn’t have that kind of cash on him. It was -30 degrees (that’s below zero), so walking wasn’t an option. He didn’t feel safe riding with any of the people who were leaving Ivory Jack’s at the same time he was.

So, he did a sensible thing. He started his car, turned on the heater, climbed in the back seat and went to sleep. He was awakened five hours later by a State Trooper arresting him for drunk driving.

But, he didn’t drive the car, you say? No, he did not and he could prove it through all sorts of forensic tests that I won’t go into. What’s more, the manager of the bar had seen his car running in the parking lot as he left for home three hours before.

It didn’t matter. The police argued that he had had control over the keys of a working vehicle while drunk and, therefore, he was guilty of drunk driving. (By the way, in some jurisdictions, this key-control argument is being touted by police and prosecutors to prosecute campers in tents and even homeowners at their own home for driving under the influence. “We have to send a strong statement to potential drunk drivers that they shouldn’t go anywhere near a car when they’ve been drinking” is how the prosecutor phrased it to the jury. Yes, my friend opted for a jury trial, which acquitted him of drunk driving. His argument was “I never moved the car, so I wasn’t driving.” An Alaskan jury agreed.

Problem solved, right? No. Since our friend was arrested a couple of years ago, there have been at least a half-dozen cases of similar sensible party-goers who have been convicted (usually because they couldn’t afford to fight the charges) of drunk driving for sleeping it off in their cars. In other words, they were punished for choosing not to drive drunk. This new standard for drunk driving has also spread nation-wide, so there are many more of these cases than you might imagine. What’s more, we know people who say they would now choose to drive drunk rather than sleep it off in their car because they feel they are much less likely to get caught if they’re moving. So this is actually encouraging driving under the influence.

Much as I oppose drunk driving, I agree with this article. Ramp up enforcement of reckless driving (texting has been shown by a Transportation Research Board study to cause more accidents than drunk driving) and dial back the police power in one area that has clearly gotten out of control.

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Troopers: Pickup was driving toward officer when driver shot, killed – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: News   2 comments

ALASKA POLICE SENTENCE DRUNK DRIVER TO DEATH

Troopers: Pickup was driving toward officer when driver shot, killed – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman: News.

Let me make this disclaimer. I am opposed to drunk driving. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. If you must drive, don’t drink. Simple, easy, no exceptions. That part is not open to discussion (with me)!

But here’s a thought experiment I’d like us all to do.

Are drunk drivers usually sentenced to death?

No. In fact, even the ones who kill someone while driving drunk usually get less than 10 years for manslaughter (I’m talking Alaska here, determinant sentencing is four years minimum).

Does resisting arrest or fleeing from police officers usually carry a death sentence?

No. In fact, a kid killed another driver about 15 years ago while fleeing from police down Airport Way and was sentenced to 2-3 years for negligent homicide.

So, why is it okay for a cop to shoot and kill a man who has not been afforded a trial to determine his guilt?

If I had taken it upon myself to shoot and kill this man, I’d be sitting in jail right now.

The article indicates that the vehicle had been surrounded by cop vehicles and was not going anywhere when the driver attempted to flee. The cop who was in the path of the truck needed simply to step out of the way. Instead, he MURDERED this man.

And like the half-dozenĀ other cops who shot citizens in Anchorage last year, this officer will likely not even lose a day’s pay over his behavior.

What the hell are we doing? Are we so naive that we believe this will never happen to us? Oh, no! I don’t drive drunk so they’ll leave me alone! Really? What about the Austin jogger they arrested for jaywalking because she didn’t immediately respond to the cop because she had ear buds in and she was … uh … crossing the street, safely, not dodging cars.

We’re all at risk as long as police believe they have the right to administer the death penalty to anyone who annoys them.

Sherry Parnell

Author of "Let the Willows Weep"

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