The Voyage of Captain Obvious

Grading is satanic

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Drunk Driving: a proposal

Our current drunk driving laws are stupid.

Drunk driving is ubitiquous.

We all agree on these facts. Parts of the population drive drunk regularly, while some guy who is barely over the legal limit is the one who ends up with the $5,000 fine and the massive insurance hit, etc. etc. And the reason is that the current law is set up so that politicians can appear 'tough on crime' while not actually doing anything about crime. If we wanted to reduce drunk driving problems, cities would attempt the following:

1) If you have a liquor liscence, you have a breathalyzer it should be publicly availible, and should display what the legal limit is. Current law makes it impossible to decide whether or not you are actually following the law, because it is a mystery what your blood alchol level is. If it were convenient for people to measure their blood alcohol level, then there would be much, much less excuse for people to ignore the law. This would also give popele a way to help control how drunk they got, independently of the driving issue. How many times have you sat down drinking with your friends, and when it's time to go, youve ended up having more to drink than you thought.

2) Have the buses run late, and offer taxi call services. This is already done at the city I live in, but it could be expanded. It should be expected. Give people an option to be responsible, and there's a much greater chance that they'll be responsible.

3)Consistently apply penalties. Don't run around targeting normal people who had two beers on super bowl sunday. Instead, keep the patrols going at 2:00 AM, consistently. Every night. I almost never see cops out that late. I should.

4)Punish people by taking their driving rights, rather than by exhorbitant fines. First offense, you can only drive to work along a single, court-ordered route. Second offense, no driving for you. That would discourage people far more than insane fines that you have a 1/100 chance of seeing applied. anyway, most people I know don't even know how big these fines are, and thus, they serve as a small dterrant to them.

I think that these things would probably combine to truly reduce the rates at which people drive drunk. Do you have any ideas?



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