14 August 2004

More DUI Insanity

In North Carolina there are people actually pushing to lower the BAC level to .06 for a presumption of guilt in a DUI accusation. They are also shocked that a lot of people who are going to court with .08 BAC's aren't getting convicted.

And why might they not be getting convicted? Hmmm . . . Could it be because everybody recognizes that at .08 most people aren't drunk? I don't see a lot of .08-.10 DUI charges coming to court and most of the time those are guys who got arrested at a traffic check point or got stopped for some totally unrelated reason. There was no problem with their driving, they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

To be fair, there is the odd man who only drinks once a year at the firm's Christmas party and can't hold his booze. He gets tagged going home because he is weaving within his lane and is guilty. Of course, as this guy sits in the gallery sticking out like a sore thumb because he's the only Defendant wearing a suit that day and he is nervous (as opposed to the practiced nonchalance of those in court for their 8th or 9th time) everyone knows that this is most probably the only time this guy will ever see the inside of a courtroom and a little common sense often prevails, allowing him to be convicted of reckless driving instead of a DUI.

.06? And thus we create yet another law which people ignore. Sure. Why not another one? We already have the rights of passage for young adults as they drink underage and smoke marijuana illegally while the rest of us look the other way because not many actually believe in the laws. Then we're shocked, shocked, I say, when they move on to more serious drugs and/or crimes after we have taught them that laws are not legitimate.

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