Just another radical mind worm for you, in case ever, you care to evaluate shit and put your thinking caps on vs. just regurgitating the same thing and expressing the same outrage everyone does.
Jeffrey Tucker is a consumate, bow-tie wearing gentleman I admire greatly. He thinks for himself, too.
Most people have been there: a few drinks at a restaurant or bar and then into the car to get home. Am I over the legal limit? Hard to say. Is my driving impaired? It doesn’t seem to be. But what if I get stopped? Will I lose my license, go to jail, and be disgraced in front of the community? It’s a frightening prospect.
What’s especially strange about this is the reason I fear. My arrest and punishment would not be for driving recklessly or for endangering other drivers. It would be because I failed a test of something that is not materially related to my actual driving. […]
With laws against DUI, what’s being criminalized? Not reckless driving as such. Not aggression against anyone. What’s being criminalized is the chemical make up of the blood in your body. That itself should be no crime. To make having a certain blood content illegal is essentially totalitarian.
But you say that drinking is associated with bad driving. Well, enforce the laws against reckless driving. Many more people drink and drive than drive recklessly. Some people drive even more safely after a few drinks, correcting for their delayed responses. We do this all the time, e.g. after a workout, when we are sleepy, when we are angry, whatever. Human beings adapt with rationality. […]
For example, grudges are associated with murder in the sense that a vast number of murderers are carrying a grudge. Do we make grudges illegal? That would be crazy and unenforceable, even if there were some chemical way to measure what constitutes a grudge. But we make driving under the influence illegal though it is roughly the same thing. It targets an associated condition rather than the crime itself.
Laws against drunk driving have vastly expanded police power and done nothing to stop the practice. The best prevention against unsafe driving from drinking has been provided privately: friends, services offered by bars and restaurants, community interest groups, etc. This is the humane and rational way societies deal with social risks. The police have only messed up this process by adding a coercive element that targets liberty rather than crime.
And he quotes equally sane thinker, Radley Balko.
“If our ultimate goals are to reduce driver impairment and maximize highway safety, we should be punishing reckless driving. It shouldn’t matter if it’s caused by alcohol, sleep deprivation, prescription medication, text messaging, or road rage. If lawmakers want to stick it to dangerous drivers who threaten everyone else on the road, they can dial up the civil and criminal liability for reckless driving, especially in cases that result in injury or property damage.
“Doing away with the specific charge of drunk driving sounds radical at first blush, but it would put the focus back on impairment, where it belongs. It might repair some of the civil-liberties damage done by the invasive powers the government says it needs to catch and convict drunk drivers. If the offense were reckless driving rather than drunk driving, for example, repeated swerving over the median line would be enough to justify the charge. There would be no need for a cop to jam a needle in your arm alongside a busy highway.”
It’s a short read.
In terms of my own disclosure, I’ve driven “inebriated while driving” hundreds of times over the past 35 years, and in many foreign countries too. I’ve also driven physically ill—even tossed cookies once, on the way back from a ski trip in France—with a fever and chills, and dead tired where I kept nodding off. I’ve also been in a few accidents I caused, but none were related to any of the foregoing (both of my two rear-enders were while looking at maps—I don’t look at maps anymore).
And in 35 years I have never been stopped by a cop once while in an inebriated state. Rather, when I have had a few, I practice a deep presence of mind where 100% of attention is to the task of driving safely. If I ever do kill someone on the road, I’m pretty sure it would be at a time when I was concentrating least to the task—something we all do far, far more than driving with a buzz.
…Alright, fingers tapping on desk, waiting for the inevitable comment about how someone’s [insert special relationship] got killed, maimed, or paralyzed by a drunk driver—completely missing the point that the vast majority of those things involve sober drivers who were either not exercising proper attention to the task, driving recklessly, or as a victim themselves of run-of-mill ‘shit happens.’
Here’s a final poke at you. If you drink and drive, and/or know others who do, you’ve doubtless been admonished yourself, and you’ve admonished others. But why?
Did you tell them, or did they tell you that ‘hey, I think you might hurt someone’? Or rather, did you tell them, and did they tell you, ‘you’re going to get caught’? You know the answer because, when you knew they would likely hurt someone or themselves, you took their keys, just as you should—and the “legal system” and all the wasted social agitation that sucks out all air will never replace that on the ground human animal love for other human animals.