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Author Topic: Why I won’t drive after one beer
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 04:15      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I support a 0 pro mille BAC. It is not because I think that people who have had one or two beers cannot drive safely, or even as well as people who have not been drinking, they can. It is because a system where you are asking intoxicated people to make life and death decisions is a flawed system ( by system I mean the laws that give a BAC level where it is acceptable to drive.

So I will define three groups

1) people who have not been drinking. -> technically should be ok to drive.
2) People who have had one or two beers-> technically should be ok to drive.
3) People who have had too much to drink-> should not drive.

I believe that the people in group two can drive, and have the ability to make such a decision. My problem is, the people in group three. You are asking people who are chemically mentally impaired to make good decisions. This is a huge flaw in the system.

So my solution to solve this flawed system is to change it away from measuring BAC to determine if one can drive.

It is a no alcohol = yes, alcohol = no. system

Does anyone see a flaw in my logic, would you still drive after drinking one beer?

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 05:02      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Yes to question One, Not in twenty five years.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 05:31      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The real problem with any zero blood-alcohol level law is that,

(a) how do you process any margin of error

(b) it has the potential to incriminate the innocent, e.g. someone who has been to a wine-tasting, and has not swallowed anything, or any other innocent reason why someone might have a low (but not zero) amount of alcohol in their body. (What if you just gave the kiss of life to a drunk? Ok -- an extreme example, but one can come up with all sorts of extreme examples that the cops would never believe.)

Anyway, as an individual's guideline, then, yes -- probably a good personal rule. As an actual law, I think it's very dangerous, and open to such rampant abuse.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 05:34      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Zero tolerance is stupid. For anything. How long would you need to not have any alcohol in your body, and how would that be legislated for?

From Wikipedia:

quote:

Several of the benign bacteria in the intestine use fermentation as a form of anaerobic respiration. This metabolic reaction produces ethanol as a waste product, just like aerobic respiration produces carbon dioxide and water. Thus, human bodies inevitably contain some quantity of alcohol endogenously produced by these bacteria.


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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 05:53      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
a) what I am describing is not zero tolerance, I would not propose taking away the licence of someone who was driving after a beer or two, as they were not doing anything unsafe.

b) countries with such a law
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Slovakia
United Arab Emirates
Brazil
Bangladesh
Czech Republic
Hungary

this is from wikipedia, when I was in croatia there was also this law there.


c) So I geuss I am not promoting an absolute 0.0000 definition, but I would support a limit that would be less than what would occur after 1 beer.

As with all measurements there is a LOQ (level of quantitation) for any measurement procedure, the lowest level that can be measured. I do not know for a fact, but I believe that all the examples described above would not register a blood alcohol content on a device the police are using.

I would think for the levels described of natural alcohol in the body, you need a ppm method, which would not be measurable by blowing into a tube but would require taking blood from a vein and injecting it into an MS system.

wiki BAC

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 06:05      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Great moral decision. On the rare occasion when I go out and have an alcoholic drink it's only one and then I wait an hour after before I get in the car. It's not that I believe I am impaired after only one drink, I just don't want to do it.

On the other hand, making it a law that people have a zero alcohol level to drive is not in the spirit of a free society. I have a strong libertarian streak in me and I give everyone the right to swing their fist around so long as it does not hit anyone in the nose. Mind you, I believe if you are caught driving under the influence where it is clear that you are impaired then you should be subject to all sorts of sanctions. In other words I will give you the benefit of the doubt you are capable of making grown up rational decisions until you prove otherwise.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 06:46      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm of the view that if laws are fair and reasonable, reasonable people will obey them. When laws are unfair or unreasonable, then people will disobey them.

A zero alcohol level would be seen by most as unreasonable, so it wouldn't be obeyed.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted September 08, 2010 21:48      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree that zero alcohol level laws could prove very ugly and basically 'wouldn't work.' However, I do *not* believe in 'driving buzzed.'

It's really simple: If you're going to drink - don't drive...unless you're actually sober. If you're going to drink a lot...be sure you have a way to get home (or in a bed [Wink] ) that doesn't involve your hands on a steering wheel. If you want to have one drink - do as DW says and allow time for your body to process the alcohol. That may be an hour for you, or it may be two. Similarly, two drinks should get double the time. Along those lines, if you know you must drive... _plan_ to be sober enough to do so. I don't know what it's going to take to change the mindset about this, but it's not actually that hard to do...and the consequences of not doing so can be tragic.

IMHO, the /best/ solution to a lot of this would be good public transportation, which is notably lacking in much of the States. In my experiences in many other countries, I've seen buses running 'til very reasonable hours, offering people safe routes home. (OTOH, I've ended up taking the streetcars in San Fran. some times just because they're the only thing running at 11 PM in parts. That's ridiculous.)

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted September 09, 2010 01:02      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
I'm of the view that if laws are fair and reasonable, reasonable people will obey them. When laws are unfair or unreasonable, then people will disobey them.

A zero alcohol level would be seen by most as unreasonable, so it wouldn't be obeyed.

Good point, this is the best argument agaist my position i think.

but, I have noticed no one has argued that my flaw is incorrect, that while you all argue your sytems are more fair, you are all in a sense arguing that intoxicated people are able to make life and death decisions.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 09, 2010 01:09      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
you are all in a sense arguing that intoxicated people are able to make life and death decisions.

2 or 3 drinks won't make you so drunk you're incapable of making rational decisions, and if you're drunk enough to think you're sober, you'll drive no matter what the law says.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted September 09, 2010 04:57      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:

but, I have noticed no one has argued that my flaw is incorrect, that while you all argue your sytems are more fair, you are all in a sense arguing that intoxicated people are able to make life and death decisions.

Intoxicated people are able to make life and death decisions, but that is not what you said in your original post.

If you ask a drunk person to shoot themselves in the head, it is unlikely that they would do it, but that is a life and death decision.

Driving while drinking/drunk does not automatically make you a killer; it makes you more likely to have an accident. Non-drunk people also have accidents. What needs to be decided is an acceptable level of risk, which alcohol consumption is one contributor to. For example, Nigel Mansell drunk may be a better driver than little old aunt Betsy sober, but we allow Betsy to drive anyway.

Road safety may be better improved by increasing the difficulty of the driving test than by decreasing alcohol limits, but idiots will drive without licenses and while drunk anyway. The law is a very bad way of changing peoples behaviour.

Few people believe themselves to be bad drivers in the same way that they think they are smarter than average, but most people are idiots. There is no black and white in reality, only shades of grey. The law on the other hand needs to be black and white, which is why BAC, which gives a binary answer is a suitable tool for the law, whereas "suitability to drive" is a subjective measure that is not.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted September 09, 2010 08:36      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:

The law is a very bad way of changing peoples behaviour.

Few people believe themselves to be bad drivers in the same way that they think they are smarter than average, but most people are idiots.

The above words should be included in whatever Holy Writ you consider valid, (if any).

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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CW Smith
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Icon 1 posted September 11, 2010 09:40      Profile for CW Smith   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My parents were killed by a drunk driver on their way to work in 1975, leaving my sister (age 2) and me (age 6) behind. Fortunately we have a large extended family, with grandparents, aunts and uncles willing and able to step up and take us in.

I support very strong drunk-driving laws. Iowa has a BAC limit of .08, which I feel is still too high. My feeling is that if you have to ask yourself whether you're safe to drive, you probably aren't.

As for myself, not only have I never driven drunk, I've never been drunk. I made a promise to myself at my parents' gravesite that I would never put myself in a position to harm someone else's family in that way.

This has led to some social difficulty, to be sure. People seem to be more "understanding" of someone who won't drink because he's a recovering alcoholic, than one who chooses not to drink because he feels it's the right thing to do. In a social situation, I choose a soda or coffee. If someone pressures me or gives me a hard time, I don't go back.

It should also be said that I've never pressured others not to drink. It's a personal choice that, as long as they're responsible, should be theirs to make. My objection comes when they put others in danger: by driving, boating, hunting, brawling or abusing their families in their impaired condition.

Take it as you will: just my 2˘.

--------------------
Peace,
CW

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Gustavo Rondina
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Icon 1 posted September 13, 2010 18:14      Profile for Gustavo Rondina   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think this is my first time ever posting here but since I am Brazilian and here we have such a law (almost), I though I could stop lurking and have my say.

First of all, let me introduce Brazil alcohol and driving issue for you: prior do the new law, Brazil's records of death in traffic was near 35 thousand people killed per year. There was some regulation already, but very mild. After years of deliberation they have decided to change the law and in 2008 it was installed the new regulation which limited the BAC to 0.2 dg/L, which was quite low already. This year a new policy was installed reducing the allowed content to 0. In two years we have seen a reduction of deaths in about 6% to 12% (depends on the place), which is a great and positive result IMHO, but we could do better.

The main problem is that most cities and task forces are really ill equipped and lack devices to check BAC when they stop cars at random on the streets, so even if you are driving after having had some drinking there's a relatively low chance of being caught. Another nit on Brazilian legislature usually takes action here; one cannot produce evidence against themselves. If you are asked to blow in the equipment to get your BAC measured and you refuse, no one can make you do it. In this specific case they will request a medical officer which will evaluate your conditions and see if you do look drunk. It usually takes a long time for the doctor get there (when he does at all) and the person can sober up in the meanwhile.

Some cities have police raids around the streets with barricades and stuff to check cars randomly, specially late at night near bars and restaurants, but people do find a way to work around these schemes. A friend of mine, for example, mentioned that every Friday and Saturday night someone would text him with the locations of the raids all over the city so he could avoid them, and he would just forward the message to his whole contact list and they would do the same.

I strongly agree with a 0 BAC policy but it will do a really poor job if it isn't well implemented. I think we could kick the death reduction up to 30% or 40% if our government really did things seriously around here.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted September 13, 2010 21:34      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First off, welcome Gustavo! [Smile]

And now...a local tidbit:
In this specific case they will request a medical officer which will evaluate your conditions and see if you do look drunk.
I can't speak for other states in the US, but in NY, a term of your driver license is implied consent to breathalyzer tests. If you refuse, you are guilty by default. What you /can/ do is insist on getting tested back at the precinct with proper a proper blood test -- rumor has is that there's an error of margin in the breathalyzer. Sadly the main people who do this are the cops...for which there was a spate of cases not so long ago.

However, a drop from 12% to 6% is pretty damned good, even with limited enforcement - well done Brasil!

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2010 03:04      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I won't drive after drinking even a pint - I know I can "handle" my beer (thank you geology degree), but I also know that judgements will still be slightly impared when "buzzed" (US terminology, apparently). I don't want any impared judgements when driving something that could kill me, other road users, innocent bystanders, etc. I've seen people killed by alcohol induced lapses of judgement.

So I'm in favour of a (almost) zero BAC to drive. However, a law will probably have the opposite affect, as TFD pointed out. The best answer therefore is education - see US PSAs here and here.

Personally, I will admit to the waiting 1hr/unit trick if I've had a couple of drinks however. If doing anything where I need to concentrate even more while driving (work?) I go with the 12hrs bottle-to-throttle rule.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2010 13:19      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, it is true. Here in the US of A we have got the whole alcohol question under complete control.

Take, for instance, the State of Montana, in which you may actually have driving privileges suspended after your thirty ba-jillionth arrest for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) even if several of them have included injury, death and/or property damage.

But hey, in 2006 our legislature passed a law making it illegal to drink while driving - not that it is ever enforced...

It helps if you've been elected to high political office. Car, boats, planes, ATVs, snowmobiles, helicopters - whatever you got that goes fast - drive it drunk in Montana. We'll get out of your way - we're that damned accommodating! [Mad]

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Mr. Geek 2U
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Icon 1 posted September 19, 2010 07:56      Profile for Mr. Geek 2U     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hello! Hello! On such a sad, sad thing.

Mr. Ash. Here is the flaw in your ointment: People are sober when they decide to have the drink that makes them drunk. People are sober and reasonable when they decide to drink responsibly.

I have lost 7 friends in three different acci-dents to drunk drivers. So sad. I miss them right now and see their faces.

So I will ask you right now about their killers, OK?

Was the BAC of the drunk-o-cidal maniacs around .08?

Was the BAC of the drunk-o-cidal maniacs around .24?

Guess. Guess. Guess.

Well, it was higher! And one killer had killed before! And he blew .28 the first time he killed!

Now, you know what the prosecuting attorney said? You know?

"Lower BAC laws make it easier for juries to go light on drunk drivers. The lower the BAC laws the more juries see them as prohibition. And juries don't like prohibition."

The other think is, we waste resources chasing the wrong people! And we let the really drunk kill my friends!

That is wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Low BAC laws put drivers in jail who CAN drive, and keep incompetents on the road!

So why not challenge competence before driving? Why? Why not?

Use a drunk keypad. If you cannot punch the right numbers, then you cannot drive! How about that!

Ann-nuther think.

Test me with one legal beer.

Test a 32-year old soccer mom in a SUV with 8 screaming kids and a cell phone.

I bet I win! I do! I do! I do!

Have a great day!

--------------------
My friends call me Skippy

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2010 09:45      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lest my earlier sarcasm be presumed extreme:

This was from Saturday's newspaper.

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