PDA

View Full Version : I'm sure that noone here drives drunk, but ...



Bilateralrope
2005-Jun-06, 07:56 AM
DUI Defendants Skip Charge By Asking How Test Works (http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGBUBJ5QK9E.html)

This seems an easy way to avoid charges on a technicality, but I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to see all the evidence against you (like if the code has bugs in it which throw random results)

frogesque
2005-Jun-06, 08:53 AM
Drink-Driving Law in the UK (http://members.lycos.co.uk/ukdd/ddlaw.html) is nailed down pretty tightly:


If your reading is red, you will be arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and required to take a further test at a police station. You cannot be convicted purely on the evidence of the roadside breath test. If the police officer is in a car, he might take you directly to the police station, but more likely (and certainly if he is on a motorcycle) he will call for another police vehicle to attend the scene to provide transport.

At the police station, you will be required to provide two breath samples for the Intoximeter equipment, which is accurately calibrated and is used to provide the evidence of your BAC that is presented in court. The reading that will be used is the lower of the two samples. At this stage, a refusal to provide a specimen is an offence that is treated in law as the equivalent of being convicted with a BAC above the legal limit.

If your breath-alcohol level is between 40 and 49 µg, you will be offered the opportunity to take a blood or urine test as an alternative. This option should always be taken, as you have nothing to lose, and there is a chance it may result in a more favourable figure, particularly if you consider your alcohol level is falling. If the police fail to offer this alternative they have not applied the procedure correctly and this can be used as a defence in court. You also have the right to be given a sample of blood or urine for independent analysis, but experience suggests that the alcohol level is unlikely to vary significantly from the official test.


Unless the Police foul up the proceedure there is very little wriggle room because of the opportunity to have an independant blood test done. The Courts do not take kindly to chancers and timewasters.

Edit: In the US wouldn't it be possible to cite a representative the manufaturers of the equipment as an expert witness? Evidence could then be given regarding the efficacy of the tests without giving away trade secrets. Overall though, it's in their interests to co-operate because if their kit leads to unreliable prosecutions then they won't be selling many in the future.

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 09:35 AM
I'll be the first to admit this, I have been arrested for a DWI (I must be old) before. I went to the Indy 500 and drank beer. I stopped drinking 8 hours before I decided to drive 60 miles back to Lafayette. While in Lafayette, I dropped off a really drunk friend at her house. As I was driving back to my house, I got pulled over for a headlight being out. The car wreaked of alcohol and so did I. I insisted they take a blood test, but the police refused.

I was convicted of a DWI. :evil:

It's now been dropped from my driving record, but what a nightmare it was for 7 years with Insurance, etc... I was constantly harrassed by the Police years after this happened. They would pull me over for anything and everything.

I finally escaped the evilness of Tippecanoe County police officers by moving to Chicago. I haven't been pulled over for the last 8 years. Perhaps, closer to 10.

Word to the wise, demand a blood test. I don't trust the "blow test" or whatever it is called. :wink:

frogesque
2005-Jun-06, 10:05 AM
A cautionary tale Candy. Over here your punishment only really starts once you have your licence back. You will be lucky to get anyone to insure you (especially if you are under 21) and even if you do the rates are exhorbitant, also, as you point out, you are likely to get 'pulled' at any opportunity.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Jun-06, 10:10 AM
I was returning from a night out late at night, 3 of my passengers had been drinking but I hadn't. I was followed along a main road by a car right on my tail - far too close for safety. I saw him flash his headlights but assumed he was just trying to get me to speed up. After about two miles I had had enough so I turned into a side street and stopped. I expected the idiot to continue along the main road but he followed and pulled up behind me. It was then that I saw the blue lights on the car :o
I got out and went to the driver of the police car, he said "Have you been drinking?", I said No! have you? I asked him if he knew the stopping distance at 30 MPH and why he had been driving so close behind me. He asked me why I hadn't stopped when he flashed his lights, I told him I didn't stop for every drunk driver who was clearly incapable of keeping a safe distance! I then made a point of writing down his number and the registration number of the car. I only wish I had had a camera to capture the look on his face! :D

Lianachan
2005-Jun-06, 10:12 AM
..you are likely to get 'pulled' at any opportunity.

That reminds me of something. A friend of mine works in traffic in the Police. A few years ago, he pulled somebody over because he had bikes on the back of his car that were obscuring his number plate. This friend is a really nice, polite guy. However, the guy he pulled over gave him torrents of abuse, mainly to do with interrupting his journey and slowing him down. Rather than do him for anything, he just asked the guy to sort out the bikes and go on his way. Curiously enough, the guy was pulled over three more times - by different police officers - within about 40 miles because his behaviour and attitude compelled my mate to radio ahead to his colleagues along the road. I think he probably did sort the bikes out eventually.

Totally irrelevant, or at least highly tangental at best. Sorry.

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 10:14 AM
A cautionary tale Candy. Over here your punishment only really starts once you have your licence back. You will be lucky to get anyone to insure you (especially if you are under 21) and even if you do the rates are exhorbitant, also, as you point out, you are likely to get 'pulled' at any opportunity.
Oh, it costs me a lot, too. I had to go through a driving defense course (money). Insurance rate went sky rocket (SR-22 money). Drivers license back (money). Lawyer (money). I believe I spent close to $4000 to just get my life back. MONEY! :-?

Sticks
2005-Jun-06, 03:45 PM
Oh, it costs me a lot, too. I had to go through a driving defense course (money). Insurance rate went sky rocket (SR-22 money). Drivers license back (money). Lawyer (money). I believe I spent close to $4000 to just get my life back. MONEY! :-?

And how many innocent lives are wrecked by drunken drivers ? [-X

This reminds me of the story of the time a bank manager and a vicar had low impact shunt. The vicar was quite shaken, so the bank manager gave him a flask of brandy. The vicar sipped it and handed it back to the bank manager, who put it away. "Aren't you going to have some yourself the vicar asked"
"Oh yes " replied the bank manager, "after the police have left" :P

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 03:54 PM
And how many innocent lives are wrecked by drunken drivers ? [-X
But was I drunk after 8 hours? I wonder why they wouldn't do the blood test? :-k

SeanF
2005-Jun-06, 04:14 PM
Oh, it costs me a lot, too. I had to go through a driving defense course (money). Insurance rate went sky rocket (SR-22 money). Drivers license back (money). Lawyer (money). I believe I spent close to $4000 to just get my life back. MONEY! :-?

And how many innocent lives are wrecked by drunken drivers ? [-X

This reminds me of the story of the time a bank manager and a vicar had low impact shunt. The vicar was quite shaken, so the bank manager gave him a flask of brandy. The vicar sipped it and handed it back to the bank manager, who put it away. "Aren't you going to have some yourself the vicar asked"
"Oh yes " replied the bank manager, "after the police have left" :P
:D

My dad, as a cop, actually said that if you can, uh, arrange for witnesses to see you having a drink after the accident "to calm your nerves," you will have a legitimate argument against any subsequent blood/breathalyzer test offered as DWI evidence.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Jun-06, 06:03 PM
And how many innocent lives are wrecked by drunken drivers ? [-X
But was I drunk after 8 hours? I wonder why they wouldn't do the blood test? :-k

Were you still drunk? Good question. The average person metabolizes alcohol at a rate that drops your reading .015 per hour (after you have completely stopped consuming).

So if a person is .20 (for most that would be pretty impaired but nowhere near unconcious), 8 hours after they stop drinking they would be right at the legal limit of many states (.08).

BTW, not as a personal attack to you, and it sounds like you've learned from the experience - but I am relatively hard-core in my attitude about offenders. I believe a 1st offense should be a mandatory 90 days in jail, 1 year revocation after that, $5K fine, and 100 hours service. And if the insurance companies want to price the insurance so high no one can afford it - that's cool. If that doesn't shock a person into responsibility, each subsequent offense or violation of the rules gets quadruple the initial penalty; except that a 3rd offense should result in permanent lifetime revocation and probation and wearing of a GPS bracelet for life if you ever miss a probation hearing.

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 06:16 PM
YES, I LEARNED MY LESSON. Let someone else drive! :wink:

Trebuchet
2005-Jun-06, 07:09 PM
I was on a jury for a DUI case a few years ago. The young woman (below the legal age in fact) claimed to have had only one beer at an office Christmas party but registered .10 on the breath analysis machine.

The prosecution had the State Patrol officer who maintained the machine testify. He'd obviously done this before and was very well prepared with detailed charts showing how the machine worked and was calibrated.

The girl's public defender said the machine must have been wrong but offered no evidence to support that contention, other than her testimony that she had only the one beer. We felt sorry about convicting her.

About three months later every conviction based on evidence from that particular machine was thrown out by the state supreme court!

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 07:18 PM
Were you still drunk? Good question. The average person metabolizes alcohol at a rate that drops your reading .015 per hour (after you have completely stopped consuming).

So if a person is .20 (for most that would be pretty impaired but nowhere near unconcious), 8 hours after they stop drinking they would be right at the legal limit of many states (.08).
Okay, so after 12 beers and no food by 4pm, I waited until midnight to drive back home. I actually reached home 1 hour later (so 9 hours). Are you seriously saying I may have been drunk?

I served the time, I did the crime. It's all over with now. I really wish I were me now, because I would have fought this injudice in court.

Not every drinker is a criminal!

edit - I take back the no food part - I ATE FOOD PURPOSELY AFTER DRINKING. Now, I'm getting mad. :evil:

pumpkinpie
2005-Jun-06, 07:30 PM
Were you still drunk? Good question. The average person metabolizes alcohol at a rate that drops your reading .015 per hour (after you have completely stopped consuming).

So if a person is .20 (for most that would be pretty impaired but nowhere near unconcious), 8 hours after they stop drinking they would be right at the legal limit of many states (.08).
Okay, so after 12 beers and no food by 4pm, I waited until midnight to drive back home. I actually reached home 1 hour later (so 9 hours). Are you seriously saying I may have been drunk?

I served the time, I did the crime. It's all over with now. I really wish I were me now, because I would have fought this injudice in court.

Not every drinker is a criminal!

edit - I take back the no food part - I ATE FOOD PURPOSELY AFTER DRINKING. Now, I'm getting mad. :evil:

Just curious--you said you asked for a blood test, but they refused. You never mentioned if you did or didn't do a breathalyzer. I am assuming that the breath test is different than a blood test. Am I wrong?

Anyway, I'm confused about how you could be convicted just from the car smelling like alcohol, and I'm guessing admitting you had been drinking hours earlier, but without any blood or breath data. (or did I miss some information?)

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 07:40 PM
Just curious--you said you asked for a blood test, but they refused. You never mentioned if you did or didn't do a breathalyzer. I am assuming that the breath test is different than a blood test. Am I wrong?

Anyway, I'm confused about how you could be convicted just from the car smelling like alcohol, and I'm guessing admitting you had been drinking hours earlier, but without any blood or breath data. (or did I miss some information?)
It said I was at .10 (Indiana legal limit), which I highly doubted, that's why I asked for the blood test. Of course, I was the bad person. :roll:

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 07:42 PM
Just curious--you said you asked for a blood test, but they refused. You never mentioned if you did or didn't do a breathalyzer. I am assuming that the breath test is different than a blood test. Am I wrong?

Anyway, I'm confused about how you could be convicted just from the car smelling like alcohol, and I'm guessing admitting you had been drinking hours earlier, but without any blood or breath data. (or did I miss some information?)
It said I was at .10 (Indiana legal limit), which I highly doubted, that's why I asked for the blood test. Of course, I was the bad person. :roll:
I'M SORRY, BUT 8 HOURS LATER AFTER DRINKING (AND EATING FOOD)! This is still a sore spot in my life. :evil:

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 08:06 PM
My family and the cops have a history in Tippecanoe County. I understand both sides. It wasn't until I got stuck in the "system" that I soon learned to get out!

My family members, god love 'em, remain their. They are constantly hounded by the local police.

HOW DO I KNOW THIS?

I once went golfing with a cop, and he was driving down a county road on the way back to my house. He said arrogantly to me, "This is what I pulled your sister over for!" Then he threw a piece of paper out the window of the car. I learned later, she was arrested for violating something.

I MOVED AWAY FROM INDIANA! It's evil. It's bad. Enough said!

You know what's even sadder? I won't even talk to my family (brothers and sister) because of the police. I won't let my grandmother or mother talk about anything negative when they call me. I don't want to become involved in the drama. :-?

Grey
2005-Jun-06, 08:08 PM
It said I was at .10 (Indiana legal limit), which I highly doubted, that's why I asked for the blood test.
I don't know Indiana's laws, but in many placces, they indeed are obligated to give you a blood test if you ask for it. It's probably a bit late to do anything about it now, though. :-?

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 08:15 PM
It said I was at .10 (Indiana legal limit), which I highly doubted, that's why I asked for the blood test.
I don't know Indiana's laws, but in many placces, they indeed are obligated to give you a blood test if you ask for it. It's probably a bit late to do anything about it now, though. :-?
I am so pathetic for ignoring this. I should do something about the injudice of a corrupt police department. Why do I just want to let it go, though? I'm confused. :-?

Candy
2005-Jun-06, 09:12 PM
I'm still mad!

Please, let me tell you one more story.

I spent a night in jail! I get out, and claim "my goods". Well, my CIGARETTES and LIGHTER are missing. The FAT cop tells me that I must've been mistaken in checking in those items.

Well, the guy that checked me in just happens to be sitting out of ARMS way. I point to him for clarification. :evil:

The ARMS way cop comes in range, questions are asked, and he says, "YEAH, SHE HAD A PACK OF CIGARETTES AND A LIGHTER".

BUSTED! Still no cigs. They offer to reimburse me, but I threaten to sue them.

Here's the strangest part of the story. That same pack of cigarettes and lighter turn up in the back seat of my grandmother's car a day later. I just happen to live with her. COINCIDENCE, I think not.

Anyone that knows a smoker, knows a smoker knows where the smokes are! If you know what I mean!

YES, I'M STILL MAD! 8-[

jrkeller
2005-Jun-07, 03:35 AM
When I first came to Texas, in 1985, you could drink and drive. I did it once just to say that I did drink and drive. Of course if you were drunk that was against the law. They changed the law in 1987 if I remember correctly.

Don't think I ever drove drunk. There was one time that I drove after drinking a couples of beers, but I doubt that I was drunk.

Russ
2005-Jun-07, 05:19 AM
When I was in high school, I worked as an EMT on an ambulance. I learned my lesson from other people. I've been to more car wrecks than most people see in a lifetime. I'd bet 65 to 70% involved drunks of one description or another. This was back in the very early 70's when drunks were a joke and MADD was just getting rolling.

Just some samples:

1) A "cool dude" in his brand new 442 hit a telephone pole. The car caught fire and burned to death three of the prettiest cheerleaders in the school. He walked away without a scratch.

2) Three 16 yo boys were doing 75 in a 35, ran a red light. They ran over an old man and his daughter crossing the street, then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the church where the couple they hit were headed for a funeral. They killed one more and injured 5 in the chuch.

3) One of my friends from the track team, went to a party and left falling down drunk. He got in his car, drove off and hit a huge old tree. He died on the way to the hospital, while I was taking his BP.

4) A motorcyclist got loaded up at the local country western bar. On his way home he drifted into the oncoming lane and had a headon with a semi. We took one of the drunks shin bones out of the truckers arm before transport.

5) Etc., etc., etc.

6) The one funny one. Three old ladies got tiddly at the "Old Sherman House" and left in a 67' Dodge Dart. About three miles down the road they hit a telephone pole. We were called as they insisted on being taken to the hospital. Our on site investigation of their injuries indicatied they had none. The investigating police officer estimated that they hit the pole at 3 (or less) miles per hour. They had almost dented the front bumper and almost scratched the paint on the right fender.

Side note: The 85 yo lady, who had broken her lipstick on the dashboard, was actually taken to the hospital. I suppose to have the lipstick smudge removed from her forehead. :roll: I was at the foot of the streatcher when we moved her to a hospital gurney. When she put her right foot from the streatcher to the gurney I became informed of the fact that she had on no panties! On the way back to the barn, the rest of the crew had a good yuk over the expression on my face during the event.

Sticks
2005-Jun-07, 05:28 AM
Don't think I ever drove drunk. There was one time that I drove after drinking a couples of beers, but I doubt that I was drunk.


It takes less than you think to become a drink driver

[-X

See this link (http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/drinkdrive/drinkdrive.htm)


Where I work, road safety is part of our remit.

jrkeller
2005-Jun-07, 05:54 AM
Using the chart here (http://www.ohsinc.com/alcohol_abuse_addiction_BAC_CHART.htm), I would say that I had 4 beers over a 1 1/2 hour period. I would guess that the size was probably more like 10 oz instead of 12 oz, but I'll just use 12. I would say that I waited at least an hour before I got behind the wheel of my car. Anyone who has been a student at the University of Texas knows that you got to walk a long way to get to the parking lots on campus, plus I went back to my office to get a few items to take home.

Based on the descriptions provided, I say that I was in the 0.05 to 0.08 range.

Sticks
2005-Jun-07, 07:39 AM
Please view this movie clip (http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/drinkdrive/download/crash.mpg)

And read This leaflet (http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/drinkdrive/pdf/june04-leaflet.pdf) 3.67MB

There is no real "safe limit"

You Drink or You Drive
Not Both

[-X

enginelessjohn
2005-Jun-07, 08:30 AM
Got to agree with Sticks on this. Drinking impairs your ability to function, and anything that requires a certain amount of hand eye co-ordination should be avoided. If I am driving, I admit it, I will have one drink. EXACTLY one, usually the weakest beer on offer (Got to love IPA at 3%), generally with food. I then drive significantly more defensively than normal.

One of the rules of thumb I've heard about processing alcohol is you allow one hour to process one unit of alcohol, which is about half a pint of weaker beer, or a small glass of wine. However a quick google brought up this link (http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/atod/alc_aayb.htm).

which given Candy's case looks like she may well have had a significant alcohol level in her blood.

Please don't get me wrong here, I'm not advocating not drinking, as a nice pint of ale, or a good bottle of wine, or a glass of single malt whiskey is a true pleasure. I'm also not against getting a bit silly now and again, although I can't cope with hangovers like I used to. If you want to drive though, you have to exceptionally strict with yourself.

Cheers
John

frogesque
2005-Jun-07, 08:44 AM
It's not there now but on the motorway service station at Abington (M74) there used to be a car wreck displayed on the grassy area just as you entered the car park. It was in 3 barely recognisable pieces of mangled metal. The boarding said it all:

DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE

Sticks: I so agree with the new summer campaign. On hot days it's easy to feel relaxed after a few beers and forget that you are still in charge of a lethal weapon. For the record I would fully suport official random testing.

I got pulled one night in a 30 zone - sometime between 11.00pm and midnight. I hadn't had a drink for a few days and after the formalities I asked them (nicely) why I was stopped thinking I had a rear light out or something. The officer told me they thought I was driving too carefully! At the time I was teaching my then wife how to drive so I made a habit of driving by the book, including speed limits. It was all good natured but it does go to show - if they want to stop you they'll find a reason.

Heid the Ba'
2005-Jun-07, 12:25 PM
DUI Defendants Skip Charge By Asking How Test Works (http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGBUBJ5QK9E.html)

This seems an easy way to avoid charges on a technicality, but I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to see all the evidence against you (like if the code has bugs in it which throw random results)

This is begging to be appealed to a higher court. Four judges in one county think one thing, every judge in the other counties think the opposite. The device is presumably approved by the state. Some soon to be re-elected prosecutor ought to be off to the state capital with this.

For those in the UK: The police cannot randomly stop a motorist for a breath check, they can however randomly stop a motorist to check their documents, and if they suspect alcohol can breathalyse them.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Jun-07, 04:01 PM
It's been a while since I seriously perused the data, but here are a couple tidbits:

<> Coffee and cold showers do nothing to sober you up. They just result in a potentially more awake drunk who was probably best left to pass out til they sobered up.

<> I'm pretty sure the dilute-it-with-food theory is also bogus. It does not matter how much food is in your blood. It's the amount of alcohol that counts.

<> Since driving under the influence is illegal, than doing so makes you guilty of criminal activity. You can play semantics if you want with whether or not that makes you a criminal. A person that engages in criminal activity is at least, at the time, a criminal.

<> Be careful of the charts. I wouldn't take them out partying and use them to determine if you are legal or not. They are a very general guideline. A person's size, and specifically their blood volume, has a lot to do with it; as does how fast you metabolize alcohol - though the person to person variation is only slight.

Yes, a very small % of cops have been known to make transgressions. Whining about it is a lot less effective than not getting behind the wheel while drunk as far as a way to avoid being the victim of such transgressions.

As a coincidence, my brother lives in Tippacanoe County. He is always complaining about the crookedness of every official he's ever dealt with - cops, housing inspectors, work comp investigators, etc.

Lastly, I drove a wrecker for a couple years. I've seen bodies popped like a big pimple and a person still alive (well, breathing anyway) with half their frontal lobes gouged out and laying on the seat. This was at a time when a lot of ignorant people wore their DWI conviction like a badge of false bravado.

There is absolutely nothing cool about cruising with a brew - and the fact that Texas was one of the last states to make it illegal says a lot about that culture. Getting behind the wheel after drinking is like waving a loaded gun in a crowded room. You may not want to hurt anybody, but that matters little once something bad happens. And I refuse to take the step towards irresponsibility by calling it an accident.

pumpkinpie
2005-Jun-07, 04:06 PM
<> Be careful of the charts. I wouldn't take them out partying and use them to determine if you are legal or not. They are a very general guideline. A person's size, and specifically their blood volume, has a lot to do with it; as does how fast you metabolize alcohol - though the person to person variation is only slight.


You also need to take into consideration any medications you're taking. Some require more work by the liver to be processed than others. So if the liver is working harder on the medication, alcohol will be processed more slowly. That means it will take you longer to sober up, and hangovers will last longer. If any medications have alcohol warnings, talk to you doctor or pharmacist to get the scoop.

sts60
2005-Jun-07, 05:04 PM
I have no sympathy for people caught driving drunk. None whatsoever. There's always som a*****e who wipes out a family and walks away with a headache.

Recently, we ran a call on I-270 (connecting Interstate 70 with the Washington Beltway) for a car wrecked on the southbound center wall. Three college students, fortunately just shaken up. Why'd they wreck?

To avoid the drunk driving northbound in their lane at about 160 km/h.

:evil:

Gillianren
2005-Jun-07, 06:46 PM
I don't drink. ever. (well, a friend of mine better summed it up with I don't imbibe, as obviously I consume fluids on a fairly regular basis.) however, that's not why I'm horrified by drunk drivers.

I don't know how many people saw it, but the MythBusters did an episode in which they got all liquored up in a police lab and tried various things to beat the breath test, and nothing worked. (actually, the mouthwash made them "blow" higher, significantly so, which the cop said was grounds for an automatic retest--and probably a blood test, too.) still, people show up on the board over there on a regular basis asking if such-and-such (often something on the episode . . .) will beat the breath test. we tend to give them the same response every time.

1) no, it won't beat the breath test. those machines are not new technology; they've been around for decades, and if there was some obvious way to dodge it, the kinks that permitted it would have been worked out by now.

2) apparently, cops are supposed to watch you for a significant time (15 minutes in some jurisdictions) before administering the test, presumably to make sure you don't stick anything in your mouth before taking the test.

3) drinking and driving is both illegal and stupid. I would go so far as to call it immoral. (immoral and illegal being, as I'm sure most of you would agree, not the same thing.) drinking lowers your capacity to reason. correct me if I'm wrong, but that's half of why people drink. and knowing that, you then get behind the wheel of more than a ton of fast-moving steel? there's no way anyone can not know that driving drunk isn't safe. to do it anyway . . . well, I'm hesitant to use the word "evil," but I'm strongly tempted.

oh, and .08 is legally drunk is Washington.

Candy . . . it's possible that the cops in that place are crooked, but it's also possible that you still were legally drunk. I don't know (and without knowing your body size, I don't think any of us can). but you're right--you should have fought it at the time. still, I don't think threatening to sue after they offered to reimburse you for your cigarettes and lighter was politic.

Lianachan
2005-Jun-07, 11:15 PM
3) drinking and driving is both illegal and stupid. I would go so far as to call it immoral. (immoral and illegal being, as I'm sure most of you would agree, not the same thing.) drinking lowers your capacity to reason. correct me if I'm wrong, but that's half of why people drink. and knowing that, you then get behind the wheel of more than a ton of fast-moving steel? there's no way anyone can not know that driving drunk isn't safe. to do it anyway . . . well, I'm hesitant to use the word "evil," but I'm strongly tempted.

I couldn't agree more. Here in the UK, drink driving is finally seen as socially unacceptable by practically everybody - a lot of the credit for that must go to the various informational campaigns that were undertaken by the government and police. As recently as 15 years ago, it wasn't thought of as that bad an offense by large swathes of Brits.

(but don't get me started on the campaigns to do the same to speeding! Yes, in built up areas or busy roads - but when you're only doing 75 mph along a deserted road in the middle of nowhere, with no buildings or traffic for miles, I can't see how you're a danger to anybody other than yourself and passengers (if any)).

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 12:22 AM
Candy . . . it's possible that the cops in that place are crooked, but it's also possible that you still were legally drunk. I don't know (and without knowing your body size, I don't think any of us can). but you're right--you should have fought it at the time. still, I don't think threatening to sue after they offered to reimburse you for your cigarettes and lighter was politic.
It's been over 10 years ago... :-?

Argos
2005-Jun-08, 02:06 PM
In the old days :^o when I drank before driving, it seemed that my reflexes got better with a very light dosage. My theory is that there´s a threshold at which your reflexes will actually improve, shortly before they start to degenerate.

Melusine
2005-Jun-08, 03:30 PM
I have no sympathy for people caught driving drunk. None whatsoever. There's always som a*****e who wipes out a family and walks away with a headache.

:evil:
I can't say that I always drove under the legal alcohol limit, and I am far from alone, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. I am sure there were times that I was just lucky, but when younger, after we'd go out to the clubs we'd often go to a Denny's type place for breakfast or later, some 24 hour Mexican taqueria. It's just not worth it to do that to a family for such a reason--sleeping in the car is better than driving. People don't usually think in those terms though, they think about what it would do to their driving record, how much it costs to get a lawyer to save your butt (now a minimum of $5K), when it should really be about what you say, and I'm sure you've seen the worst of it. Anyway, it's seldom I even drink to get drunk, and if I do, I stay where I am. When I've gone to concerts in recent years, we always had a designated driver who was cut off some time before the end of the show.

A town I know in FL has a van service for this purpose, and they told me that sometimes people can't even explain to the driver where they live! But at least they use the van. Too, as someone mentioned, there are a lot of people on medicine that's just as bad. I know a cop who gave a lady a ticket for taking medicine that said not to operate a vehicle...she had admitted it. Some medicines are just as bad as drinking, and maybe more so, if they make you jumpy and wired. :-?

Captain Kidd
2005-Jun-08, 03:46 PM
I had heard years ago that France has laws that covers driving while on medications and while ill.

Anybody have knowledge on that?

Grey
2005-Jun-08, 03:55 PM
In the old days :^o when I drank before driving, it seemed that my reflexes got better with a very light dosage. My theory is that there´s a threshold at which your reflexes will actually improve, shortly before they start to degenerate.
I don't actually have any data to support this claim (fortuately for me, you don't either :D), but I'd be willing to bet that, while your own perception of your reflexes might be that they've improved slightly, an empirical test would show that to be incorrect. Anyone know of any detailed studies on the effects of extremely slight intoxication, as opposed to the more serious levels that most studies I've seen have used?

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:05 PM
You know what's weird, Grey? I can whip out an entire Research Paper (10-20 pages), plus a PowerPoint presentation in one drunken moment. The research being done prior to the final event. For some reason, I am more creative in piecing the puzzle together for creativity. I get an A everytime, too.

Mind you, I'm not driving while I do this.

papageno
2005-Jun-08, 04:12 PM
You know what's weird, Grey? I can whip out an entire Research Paper (10-20 pages), plus a PowerPoint presentation in one drunken moment. The research being done prior to the final event. For some reason, I am more creative in piecing the puzzle together for creativity. I get an A everytime, too.

Mind you, I'm not driving while I do this.
I guess it's hard to drive and write or type at the same time... 8-[ :)

Melusine
2005-Jun-08, 04:14 PM
In the old days :^o when I drank before driving, it seemed that my reflexes got better with a very light dosage. My theory is that there´s a threshold at which your reflexes will actually improve, shortly before they start to degenerate.
I don't actually have any data to support this claim (fortuately for me, you don't either :D), but I'd be willing to bet that, while your own perception of your reflexes might be that they've improved slightly, an empirical test would show that to be incorrect. Anyone know of any detailed studies on the effects of extremely slight intoxication, as opposed to the more serious levels that most studies I've seen have used?
I used to, maybe even still do, felt like I was driving better after one or two drinks, because I was more relaxed and less jumpy about the traffic. It may have been my perception, but when I haven't been drinking, I am jumpy at times, since everyone drives so fast and crazy. That may be the threshhold Argos is talking about. Two drinks isn't above the legal limit for most, depending on weight, food intake, and alcohol strength. After that, you're probably right--cognition tests would show a decrease in perception. It's odd how often people who are drunk in accidents walk away without scratch even if they caused destruction; their bodies are so slowed down and relaxed they seem to tense up less. People who are stoned seem to drive too slow...I think alcohol and drugs (methaphetamines, especially) are the accident culprits. At least that's what a cop on the DWI Task Force told me is his experience.

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:16 PM
I guess it's hard to drive and write or type at the same time... 8-[ :)
I read sometimes while driving. :oops:

Raptor1967
2005-Jun-08, 04:21 PM
I have to say I feel no sympathy for anyone who drives after drinking regardless of the amount. I don’t see what is so difficult about getting a ride home from a friend or taking a cab. You shouldn’t drive after drinking regardless of whether you feel you are capable or not. I lost several friends because of their own irresponsibility.

I can also say that body weight has nothing to do with how much you can drink. I am 6'3" 250 Lbs and I can’t even handle a single beer. I am probably the worlds cheapest drunk and I can personally attest that after that one beer there is no way I would get behind the wheel of a car for any reason ( I would let my 10 year old drive before I got behind the wheel).

I personally think the law is too easy on drunk drivers. I feel these people should lose there license for a hell of a lot longer then they do I also feel they should have to face some kind of incarceration but then I am pretty biased about this subject.

Hell I have had my best friend arrested because of this as I have 0 tolerance for this kind of irresponsible behavior.

Captain Kidd
2005-Jun-08, 04:24 PM
I guess it's hard to drive and write or type at the same time... 8-[ :)
I read sometimes while driving. :oops:
I've seen people reading novels by using their thumbs to spread the book over the steering wheel; and once saw somebody reading a newspaper. The urge to swerve suddenly in front of them or other such make-them-wreck maneuver is really hard to resist sometimes.

When working at a fast food joint in college I'd do the drive through frequently. It was amazing what you'd see. This one guy had rigged up a decent sized TV just below his dash between the seats and they were watching Jurassic Park.

Sorry Candy, but people who do that really need to get ticketed and their license yanked. That’s almost worse than driving drunk. At least the drunk is, hopefully, watching the road even if their reaction time is crap.

Edit: Really there needs to be a massive overhaul of the driving laws. Or at least true enforcement. But then that'd cut down on the number of people buying cars and gas and we can't have that can we?

Melusine
2005-Jun-08, 04:30 PM
I have to say I feel no sympathy for anyone who drives after drinking regardless of the amount. I don’t see what is so difficult about getting a ride home from a friend or taking a cab. You shouldn’t drive after drinking regardless of whether you feel you are capable or not. I lost several friends because of their own irresponsibility.

Unfortunately, so so many people drive after one or two drinks--my whole city would be arrested. People go to lunch and have a drink and then go back to work by car. I don't think this will ever stop, because people don't feel drunk or incapable of driving after one drink. That may be too severe, as I said, especially when people are driving around on antihistamines that impair one's cognition as well. But I know, especially when you lose someone you know in an accident, it's like you want to make it zero, zero tolerance, but that won't happen.

Ask people here how many drive after one or two drinks or one or two beers? It's probably very common. That's why they set limits, though they lowered it to .08. Cell phones, reading, putting on make-up, eating, medicines...these things are suspect while driving.

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:30 PM
I don't talk on a cell phone. I threw the cell phone away after 9/11.

Do I get any brownie points for the above? 8-[

I only read on the way to school at 7 o'clock in the morning on Saturday's and Sunday's. I'm usually craming for a test. I only have an online course now, and I graduate June 17th (Dean's List). When I read, I'm constantly looking up at the road and back down at my notes. The only time I ever came close to hitting something or running off of the road was....


NEVER. :wink:

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:39 PM
Hell I have had my best friend arrested because of this as I have 0 tolerance for this kind of irresponsible behavior.
I had a friend die. Oh wait, he fell asleep at the wheel - no alcohol was involved. Never mind, different subject. He didn't have a seatbelt on.

Captain Kidd
2005-Jun-08, 04:43 PM
At 50 mph you travel the lenght of a football field (American football, how long is a soccor field?) in 4 seconds. At 60 mph you're down to less than 3.5 seconds for every 100 yards.

300 feet is a lot of distance for something to happen in that wasn't there 2 seconds ago at "last glance" that might be avoided by a simple swerve.

How long would you estimate you look at your notes? 5 maybe 10 seconds between glances up? That's approximately 360 to 700 feet at 50 mph. (440 to 880 feet at 60 mph, even at 40 mph you're covering almost 300 feet in 5 seconds.)

It only takes once to ruin somebody's day if not life.

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:46 PM
At 50 mph you travel the lenght of a football field (American football, how long is a soccor field?) in 4 seconds. At 60 mph you're down to less than 3.5 seconds for every 100 yards.

300 feet is a lot of distance for something to happen in that wasn't there 2 seconds ago at "last glance" that might be avoided by a simple swerve.

How long would you estimate you look at your notes? 5 maybe 10 seconds between glances up? That's approximately 360 to 700 feet at 50 mph. (440 to 880 feet at 60 mph, even at 40 mph you're covering almost 300 feet in 5 seconds.)

It only takes once to ruin somebody's day if not life.
Well, I live 5 minutes from school. The zone is 30 mph. You do the math.

So you don't have a cell phone, and you don't talk on it while driving, either? You've never wanted to fall asleep while driving, either.

I really HEAR a lot of hypocritical advise for some reason in this thread.

Raptor1967
2005-Jun-08, 04:48 PM
I fell asleep while driving once. Woke up in the middle of a field of wheat. Let me tell you I was confused as there were no tracks leading into the field so I had a hard time figuring out what happened. I later figured out that I must have been in the air for about 20-30 ft before landing in the field. Fortunately the only thing hurt was my truck and my pride.

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:48 PM
Oh yeah, I drive a Tracker (stick shift). If you can get this monster above the speed limit, you'd make me very happy. :wink:

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 04:56 PM
I fell asleep while driving once. Woke up in the middle of a field of wheat. Let me tell you I was confused as there were no tracks leading into the field so I had a hard time figuring out what happened. I later figured out that I must have been in the air for about 20-30 ft before landing in the field. Fortunately the only thing hurt was my truck and my pride.
It takes a lot to get that dirt out from under your car, too, doesn't it? Not that I would know. Actually, I fell asleep at the wheel, once. I finally woke up after hitting the side bumps, where you would need to park. After I woke up, I noticed a cop behind me with his lights on. I came to a stop.

He came up to the side of the car, and said did I know I was speeding at 65 in a 55 mph zone (grandma's New Yorker at the time)? I said, no I wasn't, I was sleeping. He didn't give me a ticket, but followed me home the remaining 2 miles. :o

Captain Kidd
2005-Jun-08, 04:58 PM
I'm not innocent myself. My younger days had a few trips with a couple beers in me. I shudder to think of the what ifs that fortunately didn't happen.

I've never read. Looked at a map once or twice yeah. Which might be worse actually as you're trying to figure out where in the mess of squigglies you're at and which one you need to take. But I make common sense take precedence. I'll stop on an entry/exit ramp to check maps. Fortunately I have a pretty good memory when it comes to maps. Shoulda been a surveyor/cartographer. I guess my sense of mortality of myself and others finally kicked in a few years ago.

I've admitted elsewhere that I occasionally talk on a phone when I drive. But I make dang sure that I'm aware that I'm talking on a phone and they're mostly short and to the point. (They're usually a call to grab something on the way home because we just ran out of it.)

I'm not as rabid anti-phone as some are. I see them near the same class of distraction as a radio or really chatty people in the car. But they do require more concentration to converse on and thus are, in my opinion, more dangerous than radios or in-car friends.

Reading, though, requires both your eyes and your mind to be off the road. Sight is the most important requirement when driving and reading (or watching TV) completely removes them from the scene even if it's a few seconds.

Candy
2005-Jun-08, 05:01 PM
Looked at a map once or twice yeah.
I'm having trouble understanding this statement. :wink:

Goodnight for now. :P

teddyv
2005-Jun-08, 05:12 PM
Oh yeah, I drive a Tracker (stick shift). If you can get this monster above the speed limit, you'd make me very happy. :wink:

I've always been curious as to why Trackers/Samurai's/Sideflips have been so popular with the ladies :-? . Probably 90% of these I see are driven by women. Is it the cute factor? :)

Gillianren
2005-Jun-08, 06:01 PM
I don't currently drive at all--no car--but if I did, I would no more drive and talk on a cell phone than drive drunk. I don't remember ever driving and trying to fall asleep at the same time, though it's possible I did, but I usually try to arrange it so that I have somewhere to stop if I'm driving late at night.

note that none of this (well, except the drunk driving thing) makes me a better person, just a better driver. I use turn signals, too, and go slowly in parking lots. heck, I yield to pedestrians! how many of you can say that?

I consider myself an above-average driver because I have a really, really low opinion of the average driver.

tmosher
2005-Jun-08, 06:34 PM
Oh yeah, I drive a Tracker (stick shift). If you can get this monster above the speed limit, you'd make me very happy. :wink:

A JATO bottle might help.

hippietrekx
2005-Jun-09, 03:46 AM
tmosher, have you been watching MythBusters? :wink:

Don't worry about me driving drunk. I'm too young to drink and too lazy to take the classes to learn to drive (I'll learn by next sumer, I swear! Wait... I said that last summer... :-? )

Oh well, at least that makes one less teen driver on the road. :D

--htx

tmosher
2005-Jun-09, 05:42 AM
tmosher, have you been watching MythBusters? :wink:

Don't worry about me driving drunk. I'm too young to drink and too lazy to take the classes to learn to drive (I'll learn by next sumer, I swear! Wait... I said that last summer... :-? )

Oh well, at least that makes one less teen driver on the road. :D

--htx

No. I haven't been watching mythbusters lately. But I did catch a bit of the one where they did the rocket chair (which didnt' go anywhere).

I wonder how many Apogee F10's I'd need to get my Nissan Frontier (underpowered four-banger) to accelerate briskly.

Sticks
2005-Jun-09, 11:26 AM
The latest press release (http://www.dft.gov.uk/pns/displaypn.cgi?pn_id=2005_0062)on this subject

Melusine
2005-Jun-09, 11:38 AM
The latest press release (http://www.dft.gov.uk/pns/displaypn.cgi?pn_id=2005_0062)on this subject
I thought it was a typo at first, but it's not:



-takes less that you might think to become a drink driver.
-reducing the number of drink drive casualties
In the UK, you refer to it as "drink" unlike here in the US, it's drunk driving casualites or don't be a "drunk driver."

I didn't know that.

Candy
2005-Jun-09, 12:38 PM
Oh yeah, I drive a Tracker (stick shift). If you can get this monster above the speed limit, you'd make me very happy. :wink:

I've always been curious as to why Trackers/Samurai's/Sideflips have been so popular with the ladies :-? . Probably 90% of these I see are driven by women. Is it the cute factor? :)
It's the ultimate chick mobile. The stick shift is the coolest part, along with the soft top. I've had my baby since 1999, and I've yet to unzip the top off. I'm afraid I'll never be able to get it back on correctly. The zippers hurt my hand.

The baby needs to be taken to the dealer for her usual maintenance. I'll do that soon. I guestimate I have about $400-$500 dollars to invest this time to update parts, etc... She looks brand new, so I'm hoping to get a lot of years out of her before I trade her in.

ToSeek was a passenger in my baby SUV before and after a drink and dinner. I wasn't familiar with the area, so I wasn't driving great from start to finish anyways. I missed our turn to the hotel. Or did I? 8-[

I saw a man reading a map today on the drive home. He was the driver of a big white limo. :o

I saw another man talking on a cell phone. He looked really happy. :o

I saw another man whipping in and out of traffic like a dork. :evil:

I guess everyone has their good and bad days of doing naughty things. I can't believe everyone is a perfect law abiding driver all the time.

Oh yeah, I've been driving since the age of 13. Wow, 25 years and never an accident. I must be doing something right. 8)

Nethius
2005-Jun-09, 12:53 PM
In the old days :^o when I drank before driving, it seemed that my reflexes got better with a very light dosage. My theory is that there´s a threshold at which your reflexes will actually improve, shortly before they start to degenerate.

Yea, they proved that in an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati with Johnny Fever! LOL

Anyways, all this talk about drving drunk... I had a little excitement outside my house last night at 4:30am.

Woke up to a loud clunk noise, then heard a horn going off, and not stopping. So I hoped out of bed went out side and see a car and a pick up truck smashed up. The truck on one side and the car on the other. I go past the truck, no one in it... go up to the car, 2 people standing there, no one hurt. Then I see this guy coming runing out putting a shirt on. "Hey, that's my truck, what happend?" I look at him and ask, "You weren't in the truck?", He's like, "No, I was sleeping". Then I look at the guy driving the car, and he is obviously drunk. He hit a parked car!

All I could think was he's lucky he hit a car and not a person!

Donnie B.
2005-Jun-09, 01:58 PM
I haven't told anybody this story before...

Many years ago, I went out after work with a colleague for a couple beers. As we sat in the bar, he casually started discussing an alternative lifestyle he'd discovered, and worked up to propositioning me. I was pretty freaked out, but I handled it coolly, essentially saying "no thanks". I made my excuses and left.

However, on the way home, I started feeling very strange, far more impaired than could be accounted for by a couple brews. I was dizzy and seeing double. I really had to concentrate to keep things under control. Fortunately the bar was located fairly close to my apartment (perhaps a mile or two) and the roads were mostly empty. I made it home without incident, and was fine the next day.

I'm convinced that the gentleman in question slipped something into my drink, hoping to make me more agreeable to his proposal. As you can imagine, there was little friendship between us after that. (It was a very large company and I wasn't forced to interact with him often.) And no, it didn't turn me into a homophobe; I recognize that bad behavior isn't limited to any particular orientation.

More generally: I don't drive drunk, ever, and I won't ride with a driver who's been drinking. I've made some people very angry by insisting on that, but I'd rather have somebody ticked at me than be dead.

Sticks
2005-Jun-09, 02:31 PM
A little off topic, but some here have mentioned falling asleep at the wheel.

So please reference this link (http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/drivertiredness/drivertiredness.htm)

Our team head has taken part in a don't drive tired promotion with the press, as part of our remit to promote road safety.

Candy
2005-Jun-09, 02:43 PM
A little off topic, but some here have mentioned falling asleep at the wheel.

So please reference this link (http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/drivertiredness/drivertiredness.htm)

Our team head has taken part in a don't drive tired promotion with the press, as part of our remit to promote road safety.
The guy that hit my parents (mom and stepdad) last year is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel of his semi-trailor truck. He slammed right into the side of their car after failing to stop at a red light. I just learned this not to long ago, but my mother not only had brain trauma, but she had a heart attack, too. I'm surprised they are both still alive. :o

farmerjumperdon
2005-Jun-09, 04:51 PM
Some of the comments make me realize we are still not as far as we should be on this topic. Too many comments like "Who hasn't done it" and "1 or 2 drinks make me a better driver" and so forth.

Believe it or not, there are people that have never done the drink and drive thing. Just like there are people who have never owned a gun, never jumped out of an airplane, never rode in a rodeo, never taken LSD, and even those that have never smoked pot. Don't assume your personal preferences are some sort of norm.

Most people do take driving way too nonchalantly. Stuff like watching TV while driving is absolutely irresponsible. You have to be a total moron to be that irresponsible. I do drive very carefully. Doesn't mean I'm a stick in the mud. I love speed and love scaring myself. But I practice very good habits and do not take my focus elsewhere. Having driven competitively and having cleaned up some nasty accidents gives me a jump on the average Joe when it comes to being a good driver and understanding the consequences of not being a good driver. But it is not too difficult for anyone to become very safe.

I think the biggest fault are our drivers education systems, and the fact that we do not have a universal one that does a better job of getting people to take getting behind the wheel more seriously. IMO, the average person is a pretty horrible driver. And the average 16 year old is so not ready for the task when they get out of these "schools."

A friend asked me to teach her daughter how to take care of herself in a car. While she was in drivers ed, and after she finished, I gave her several lessons. She could not believe how much more she learned compared to the pablum the schools hand out. But, I guess it is one of those things where mediocrity is the standard so that everyone can enjoy the privelege.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Jun-09, 04:55 PM
How about a large steel spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel? Should make everyone think more about their driving! :D

farmerjumperdon
2005-Jun-09, 07:52 PM
How about a large steel spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel? Should make everyone think more about their driving! :D

I love that idea! Very good! :lol:

But seriously, when I complain about the schools, and call their form of drivers ed pablum; it's just my way of saying that like everything else, drivers ed has been dumbed down so everyone can pass. (Though I suppose it was never that difficult to begin with).

I'm not saying everyone needs to be race ready. But how can you say someone has been educated in driving a car without ever putting them on a skid pad and showing them what it feels like to lose control - and then teaching them how to get it back.

It's really wrong that the 1st time most people experience an extreme situation requiring heavy duty and well thought out inputs, their life or someone else's is probably on the line. It's like teaching them how to skydive by slapping a rig on their back and throwing them out of the plane.

There was a very good billboard that went around Minnesota for a couple years. It was a very thoroughly smashed up car (almost looked like it had been through a crusher). It was the actual car in which an entire family was killed by a drunk driver. They had the car mounted up on the billboard, some pretty high ones at that, with the banner text reading:

"Sometimes it takes a family of four to stop a drunk driver."

Sobering.

Gillianren
2005-Jun-14, 01:35 AM
I'm one of those who's "never even smoked marijuana." no, really.

but on the subject of drivers' ed, there was, last I knew, no such thing in California anymore. if you wanted to learn how to drive when I was 16, either your parent taught you or you went to a driving school. the school system couldn't afford insurance.

I also agree that the "everybody does it" bit worries me more than a little. if they do, how unsafe are the roads?

hippietrekx
2005-Jun-14, 03:22 AM
Well, driver's ed in Michigan is required (Either in school or by a private instructor).

We need to be taught by a certafied driving instructor, and unless a parent is certafied, they can't teach us. I actually need 5 hours driving time with an instructor before I can even get my permit to let me get the required 50 hours of road time (10 of those at night) with my parents. Then after those 55 hours, I can go take the road and written tests to get my license. But when you think about it, 55 hours of driving isn't that much...

My mom wants me to learn in the winter so I can control the car in bad weather as well as good, which isn't a bad idea. (Four teens were in a car this past winter when the 17-year old driver lost control on a snowy day and hit a telephone pole at 60 miles per hour in my county. The driver and the other front seat passenger died, and the two in back sustained serious injuries. The driver took driver's ed in May. The speed limit was 55. It was dangerous to go that fast in weather like that.) I may take courses in November.

--htx