Drunk Driving

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Drunk Driving

Postby Den on December 25th, 2006, 1:23 am 

Been there; done that. Not at all proud of the fact. The carnage I could have caused revisits me regularly and makes me wince with horror.

The arrogance of youth made me believe I was invincible and that nothing 'bad' would happen to me or anyone else. The alcohol gave me the misplaced and unfounded confidence to believe that the odds were in my favour - and made me distinctly reluctant - and, frankly unable, to look at the consequences of my irresponsible behaviour.

I am in no position to point the finger of blame at anyone who does the same.

Now? I'm older. And I take taxis.

I look at anti-Drunk Driving campaigns here in NZ and wonder how we can get the message home to an age group where peer pressure and being cool is so much more important and immediate than the possible consequences of a bad accident.

And interestingly, some of the worst offenders over here are the older drinkers - 40+ - who have always got away with it and continue to do so.

You can legislate against it after the event (licence removal; imprisonment etc etc) - but how do you stop it happening in the first place?



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Postby Paul Anthony on December 25th, 2006, 3:09 am 

Here in Arizona (and, I'm sure, elsewhere) those convicted of Driving Under the Influence, or DUI for short, have a "Breathalyszer" installed on their vehicle between the ignition switch and the starter. This device analyzes the driver's breath for alcohol content and will not allow the engine to start unless the driver proves he is not impaired. Installing them on all vehicles has been proposed, but there is that annoying issue of civil rights and "assumption of innocence until proven guilty" business that will probably preclude its enactment.:)

When one of my employees found himself in this predictament, I jokingly told him that he would now be restricted to drinking only at bars that provided valet parking. As soon as I uttered those words I realized (A) it was a bad joke, and (B) the system has some serious flaws! There is no way to ensure that the person who starts the car is the person who will be driving it.

That leaves us with no real solution except education. That has not worked as an initial prevention tool, but there is another way to "educate" people. In addition to the Breathalyzer, the person convicted of DUI spends some time in jail. Our Sheriff has a special jail for such offenders. It's called "Tent City". Unheated, un-airconditioned tents. I hear it can be brutal on summer days as well as winter nights. The DUI's are released to go to their jobs, then locked up after work and on their days off. Only the die-hard alcoholic would risk another conviction.
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Postby DarrenLO on December 25th, 2006, 3:21 am 

It's the same here in the US. We have the Breathalyzers in WVa too. They don't work and they won't work. Speaking as a very severely alcoholic individual (seven years sober next week!) I can tell you that alcoholics will drink and drive regardless of the penalties and nothing is going to stop them. (God was smart enough to have me spend so much on alcohol that I couldn't afford a car, so I didn't drink and drive anymore after I moved out of my parents home to go to college!) "Impaired judgment" is a hallmark of drunkenness, so there is little chance of "educating" the alcoholics (who are, I believe, the vast majority of drunk drivers) out of DUI. You can't legislate morals. It is tried every day and fails every time. Human nature isn't pretty!
Oh well, Happy (and Safe!) Holidays!
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Postby Den on December 25th, 2006, 4:38 am 

On the news tonight a drunk 16yr old took himself and 2 mates out doing 125 kph trying to escape police - no lights on. Girlfriend already pregnant so my first mean thought was no good news for the gene pool either.

The tent jail sounds good :)

The breathalyser did too - until I read on. Need to think about that one rather large flaw . . .

I have no solution - just wanted to see what other people's take was on this subject, and maybe pass some ideas up the line.

One of the great things about living in NZ is that single voices can make a difference to legislation and do get heard.

And Darren - seven years sober? Amazing. As they say down here - "Good on yer mate!"
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Re: Drunk Driving

Postby darey on December 25th, 2006, 6:11 am 

Den wrote: but how do you stop it happening in the first place?


Find out why humans drink in the first place and what it is they are replacing with the alcohol. Then give them what it is they truly want. This will then prevent them from drinking in the first place. Thus problem solved.


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Re: Drunk Driving

Postby Paul Anthony on December 25th, 2006, 4:06 pm 

darey wrote:
Den wrote: but how do you stop it happening in the first place?


Find out why humans drink in the first place and what it is they are replacing with the alcohol. Then give them what it is they truly want. This will then prevent them from drinking in the first place. Thus problem solved.


That may have seemed an oversimplification, but I wholeheartedly agree!

An alcoholic doesn't drink because his life is ideal. Compulsive drinking (or compulsive gambling or any other compulsive behavior) is a symptom of a problem, not a source of a problem. Treating symptoms can provide temporary relief, but there is no permanent cure until the root problem is addressed and alleviated.

If your response to a headache is to pop a few pills (aspirin or ibuprofen) the relief is temporary - the headache returns when the medication wears off.

These are my greatest complaints regarding Alcoholics Anonymous. (A) It does not acknowledge the source of the problem; (B) It requires that the alcoholic renounce his ability to control his own actions, turning him into a "victim"; (C) It convinces the victim that he can NEVER resolve his problems, thus ensuring that he will be a victim for the rest of his life.
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Re: Drunk Driving

Postby darey on December 25th, 2006, 8:52 pm 

Paul Anthony wrote:
These are my greatest complaints regarding Alcoholics Anonymous. (A) It does not acknowledge the source of the problem; (B) It requires that the alcoholic renounce his ability to control his own actions, turning him into a "victim"; (C) It convinces the victim that he can NEVER resolve his problems, thus ensuring that he will be a victim for the rest of his life.


I agree.


If I always tell myself, "I am an alcoholic", "I am a victim" or "I am a ...(whatever)", then that is what and who I will always be.

Saying these things do not do anything to empower me to be who I truly am. And who I am is a person with about 400 or so feelings, and a multitude of different thoughts and behaviours.

I am the invisible thoughts and feelings living within a body. I want to live in peace and harmony with everyone else. I also need and want to feel loved, this is felt by being recognised and accepted for who I truly am.

If I do not feel loved I then tend to seek out other things that I get a 'buzz' or warm, fuzzy feeling from, i.e.; drinking, gambling, eating, sex, shopping, and even excercising. Then whilst doing these things that I now learnt to "love" doing, they can now (very quickly) turn into addictive behaviours. Then if I call myself "An alcoholic", "A gambler", "An over-eater", "A sexoholic", "A shopoholic", or "A fitness fanatic", then that is who and what I will be. This then leads to me feeling like, and thus being, a "victim". And if I am a victim too much, others will like me less and less. I will feel less loved, which then leaves me wanting to seek out more behaviours from which I will get more of "buzz" from, i.e., drinking, gambling, eating, etc., etc., One vicious abuse cycle.

Before people think and say they know people who were loved but ended up addicts (of one kind or another) just think about if you can define 'love', or if you are one of those people that still ask the question, "But what is love?" If you are still asking this question, then just maybe those people who ended up addicts did not really recieve true love (or feel the love that we all want and need to feel), acceptance and recognition. 'Giving love' to someone is done by giving someone the right kind of attention. NOT just by giving lots of attention.

Being 'an adult' requires one to be truly responsible for their actions, so not feeling loved may be a reason to seek out addictive or wrong behaviours to get a 'buzz' from, but it certainly is not an excuse for doing wrong.

A new born baby, infant, young child, and even all children for that matter has a reason AND an excuse for doing wrong or seeking out addictive behaviours. In order to get the true warm, fuzzy feeling of love that they have not been fortunate enough to feel, children will do (almost) anything.

One of the reason these children miss out on that love, or that kind (of) attention, is because their "adult" parents are out behaving in addictive ways trying to get that lovely warm, fuzzy feeling themselves.

EVERYONE of us did not want to come into this world. We were all brought into it. As children we did not have a choice of what kind of world we came into or of how we were going to be treated (or mistreated) in this world. There are always reasons 'and excuses' for why children behave the way they do. But, as adults we have to take responsibility by becoming responsible for all of our actions and that is done by the choices we make. We may not have had a choice "in the beginning" as children, but now as adults we have the choice by judging and putting others down OR by learning and discovering how we OURSELVES can change for the better, and doing so making a better world for ALL children.

The truth is we (adults) won't be here much longer but our (humankind) children will always be here.
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Re: Drunk Driving

Postby Mad_Michael on December 28th, 2006, 4:27 pm 

Den wrote:Been there; done that. Not at all proud of the fact. The carnage I could have caused revisits me regularly and makes me wince with horror.

The arrogance of youth made me believe I was invincible and that nothing 'bad' would happen to me or anyone else. The alcohol gave me the misplaced and unfounded confidence to believe that the odds were in my favour - and made me distinctly reluctant - and, frankly unable, to look at the consequences of my irresponsible behaviour.

I am in no position to point the finger of blame at anyone who does the same.

Now? I'm older. And I take taxis.

I look at anti-Drunk Driving campaigns here in NZ and wonder how we can get the message home to an age group where peer pressure and being cool is so much more important and immediate than the possible consequences of a bad accident.

And interestingly, some of the worst offenders over here are the older drinkers - 40+ - who have always got away with it and continue to do so.

You can legislate against it after the event (licence removal; imprisonment etc etc) - but how do you stop it happening in the first place?



-

I've always considered the idea that the licensed operator of a motor vehicle on a public highway has any expectation or right of privacy to be absurd.

Public highway, public act.

As for stopping DWD, suffice it to say that giving licenses back to these people is insane. The recidivism rate for this crime is up there with Breaking & Entering (among the highest rates).
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Postby Den on January 3rd, 2007, 4:36 pm 

I think the reasons why people drink are many and various:

Genetic predisposition (there is a definite link for alcoholism being hereditary);

Because you get carried away when out with your mates;

Because the effects of intoxication feel good (till the next day!)

And I have no problem with any of them. If you want to get high on your substance of choice that's up to you.

However, the problem with alcohol is that:

a) it is almost universally available

b) it results in an altered state of consciousness where consequences become less important and inhibitions on moral behaviour diminish and then vanish

This means that whilst you are sober the thought of getting into a car and driving drunk seems like a very bad idea - which becomes less and less 'bad' once the chemical effects start to kick in

And the same results happen every time - there is no accustomisation process where you need more and more to acheive the same effect.

Given the above is it any wonder the rate of recidivism for Drunk Driving is so high?

Maybe the only solution is "one strike and you're out - permanently".

Any ideas anyone?
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Postby Forest_Dump on January 3rd, 2007, 6:16 pm 

Wow, I am going to sound like a hard-core law-and-order type here. First, in this context, I don't really care what causes someone to drink and drive or even care what causes someone to drink. I only care about reducing the chances of some drunk slamming into me, my friends and family or any other innocent people. So, this is one crime I do not believe in being soft on. First, offence, maybe a night in jail (aka drunk tank) with no record if they plead guilty on the spot (but a notation as a first offence). That takes care of the immediate problem of getting them off the road without infringing on their rights to a fair trial. If they take it to court and loose, then a permanent record (forwarded to their insurance companies, of course) plus suspension of the licence for something like 3 months. Second offence, perhaps something more serious in terms of community work and suspension of licence for something like 6 months or a year. Third offense, stiffer still like 5 years suspension or even life (works in many areas) with the possibility of reinstatement if they can prove to be off booze entirely by something like regular blood tests for the whole while they have their license returned but no second chances here. I have heard that many or most confirmed alcoholics need to hit rock bottom before they admit there is a problem. Fine, lets help them out here and speed their way to the bottom. The point is to get them off the road and they can work out the whys and how to return later when they are no longer endangering innocent lives. The real costs are not being born by the drinking drivers here - they are being born by everyone else. That we can fix by getting rid of the tolerance for this type of crime.
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Postby Mad_Michael on January 11th, 2007, 11:18 am 

Den wrote:Any ideas anyone?

As I noted above. Legally define the act of driving a motor vehicle on a public highway a public act.

As it stands now, it is difficult to apprehend/convict a drunk driver due to the driver's right of privacy.

I hold that privacy on a public highway is absurd. The police ought to have the right to invade the privacy of any car, any time (if it be on a public highway) for any reason (or no reason at all).

Enforcement is the only answer here. Public education has been running for twenty years on this topic and apparently is sufficient to address the casual violatiors. Now we are apparently left with the 'hard-core' - a type to which it is likely that full enforcement is the only method of addressing.

As far as I'm concerned, the high rate of recidivism is due to the low level of punishments here. Crank up the legal ramifications another notch. Banned from driving for life on first offense. Second offense mandatory 10 jail sentence.
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Postby newyear on January 11th, 2007, 6:52 pm 

You seem to think that the only problem to drinking is driving. However, some people when they drink become extremely violent, and cause damage to their family. Even if the person is not violent, then they can cause economic problems due to incorrect decisions and working problems.
Also, I do not think that the problem can be said to be due to lack of love from others. To me, it is a problem of lack of love to oneself. To take control of one's mind (and not the mind taking control of you), to find love in oneself is the aim. Until one can love oneself, one cannot love others. Perhaps in a drunken state one thinks that they love another person, but this is not love as one's senses are being corrupted.
Alas, punishment is a weapon, not by a long way, a solution.
What is needed is a new form of treatment that helps addicts to find and control their mind. Which is the easiest thing in the world when one knows. The problem is that few know.
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Postby Mad_Michael on January 19th, 2007, 2:15 pm 

newyear wrote:You seem to think that the only problem to drinking is driving.

You seem to be making it a habit to insult me.

The thread topic is 'drinking & driving' and as such, my comments were entirely addressed to that topic.
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Postby newyear on January 19th, 2007, 3:56 pm 

Mad_Michael wrote:
newyear wrote:You seem to think that the only problem to drinking is driving.

You seem to be making it a habit to insult me.

The thread topic is 'drinking & driving' and as such, my comments were entirely addressed to that topic.


Michael, sometimes people ask me, 'What can I do when I can't see the light?' I always recommend meditation. It is a great way to understand, get to know and use one's mind. It relaxes the body and sharpens the mind.
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Postby mtbturtle on January 19th, 2007, 4:48 pm 

You know I don't know when, where or why this little back and forth started between newyear and michael but really can we stop it before it goes any further. pretty please?

new year try to confine your comments to the ideas presented, the discussion at hand and not to what what "seems" to be in the other person's mind - particularly with Michael, ok? Michael try to lighten up just a little and not take so many things as personal affronts and insults to you whether intended or unintended.

If for whatever reasons people can't help pushing another person's buttons or keep a person from pushing their own buttons whether intentionally or not, maybe it's just best to skim on past the posts without comment. Lots of good discussions out there, and too little time to get wrapped up in this kind of stuff across multiple forums and multiple threads.

thanks for you cooperation in advance

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Postby newyear on January 19th, 2007, 5:42 pm 

Point taken.
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Re: Drunk Driving

Postby Maran52 on September 20th, 2018, 5:27 am 

Same here. Been there, done that but never liked it. I was lucky that an amazing DUI lawyer was able to help me get out of the big trouble. But it has definitely taught me for the next time. I didn’t know there are campaigns like this as well. I hope it starts around my place as well as would love to be a part of it.
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