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Old 08-17-2015, 11:37 AM   #21
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I like this (the South Dakota way). I hope it spreads.
+1
I'm in favor of changing behavior, not punishment for those who are willing to change.
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
I like this (the South Dakota way). I hope it spreads.
I found the source of opposition to the program cited by the author (an MD specializing in addiction research) to be interesting:
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. . . . I also suspect that 24/7 Sobriety faces resistance because it challenges some myths about drinking problems that my own field has done no small part to spread. Among the most enduring of these myths is the idea that no one can recover from a drinking problem without our help. . . . National research surveys have shown repeatedly that most people who resolve a drinking problem never work with a professional.
Some members of the addiction field can also be faulted for spreading an extreme version of the theory that addiction is a “brain disease,” which rules out the possibility that rewards and penalties can change drinking behavior. Addiction is a legitimate disorder, in which the brain is centrally involved, but as Dr. Higgins notes, “it is not akin to a reflex or rigidity in a Parkinson’s patient.”
In their haste to ensure that people who suffer from substance-abuse disorders are not stigmatized, some well-meaning addiction professionals insist that their patients have no capacity for self-control. Most people with alcohol problems do indeed struggle to make good choices, but that just means they need an environment that more strongly reinforces a standard of abstinence. 24/7 Sobriety does that.
It seems likely that similar approaches might be useful in treating other addictions. But, at the very least, it's not very expensive and it seems to be more effective than what we've been doing.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:27 PM   #23
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If alcoholism is a disease, why do we throw people in jail for a medical condition?
We don't. I don't think there are laws against being an alcoholic.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:52 PM   #24
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I was surprised at how simple a concept this is - sometimes simple is best. As far as "paying" for it, I think most offenders would gladly pay a few dollars per "blow" to avoid the jail sentence and (perhaps) expungement upon some period of sobriety. Exactly how we tie this to FIRE I'm not sure, but at least it's in the "Other Topics" Forum
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:51 PM   #25
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Very interesting. I think that real key is the simple - " the penalties for noncompliance are swift, certain and modest. "

People who are dealing with bad behavior, and irrational behavior are not going to respond well with penalties that are delayed, uncertain, and extreme. Just too much of a disconnect compared to struggling day to day.


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If alcoholism is a disease, why do we throw people in jail for a medical condition?
We don't. I don't think there are laws against being an alcoholic.
Right. Macular Degeneration is a disease too. We don't throw people in jail for that, but if they are legally blind, and try to drive, they certainly could (and sometimes should) end up in jail.


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I was surprised at how simple a concept this is - sometimes simple is best. As far as "paying" for it, I think most offenders would gladly pay a few dollars per "blow" to avoid the jail sentence and (perhaps) expungement upon some period of sobriety. ...
I don't know, but this might be cheaper than incarceration and repeat offenses? Even in the short term?

I wish we could have 'swift, certain and modest' penalties for all traffic violations. I think people would follow the rules more than they do now.

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Old 08-17-2015, 10:14 PM   #26
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I wish we could have 'swift, certain and modest' penalties for all traffic violations. I think people would follow the rules more than they do now.
Wouldn't speeding/red light cameras come closest? Certainly "swift and certain" if the locations are posted. Modest? Well, in many locations you can get a fine based on these cameras, but often no points/impact on insurance rates.

They certainly change behavior when people know the cameras are present, but the devices aren't very popular with the public.
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:50 PM   #27
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If alcoholism is a disease, why do we throw people in jail for a medical condition?
Because jail is a light punishment for drunk driving, and although there are those like yourself that lean on the disease idea, there are other ways of looking at this. I've been in 3 "accidents" in my driving lifetime, each time due to a drunken sob who as far as I am concerned should have been locked up long ago and the key thrown away. I'd be happy to see sentences a lot harsher than those usually given for DUI. And plenty of these creeps just keep on drinking and driving after losing their licenses.

The South Dakota idea in the OP while perhaps not perfect, is demonstrably doing pretty well, and South Dakota is a state with it's share of drunk driving.

Western states all have high highway carnage due a lot of honky-tonk type drinking, long lonely roads, high speeds, relatively poor trauma response, etc.

Ha
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:32 AM   #28
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Wouldn't speeding/red light cameras come closest? Certainly "swift and certain" if the locations are posted. Modest? Well, in many locations you can get a fine based on these cameras, but often no points/impact on insurance rates.

They certainly change behavior when people know the cameras are present, but the devices aren't very popular with the public.
The perception of red light cameras around here was (yeah, they're no longer employed), that the purpose was more about revenue generation than safety. We lived a mile from the most accident-prone intersection in the city. It had no traffic signal. A crash a week, and sometimes a fatality. It stayed that way for years without any action. Yet they found time to implement red light cameras all over the place in intersections that had zero fatalities and very rare crashes.

Luckily the blow every day thing doesn't seem to have an ulterior motive.
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:32 AM   #29
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I am not 100% sure if driving is a right, or a privilege. If you are driving on roads you paid for, you have a right to drive on them. Even if you so not pay taxes, you have the right of mobility, as determined by the US Supreme Court.

The SCOTUS has already ruled a "the free people have a right to travel on the roads which are provided by their servants for that purpose, using ordinary transportation of the day.". That would be automobiles. The concept of being required to have a driver's license in order to exercise a 'right' is also suspect. Any insurance requirement is also a violation of a person's rights.

"The right of a citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but a common right which he has under his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Thompson v.Smith, 154 SE 579, 11 American Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, section 329, page 1135
So this is not a quote from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. It comes from a 1930 Virginia state Supreme Court ruling regarding a municipal ordinance requiring drivers to have a local permit to drive in that particular city, and whether the revocation of that permit applied to a particular driver who held a permit before the city amended the ordinance to allow the chief of police to revoke one.

This case is quoted all over the internet, always out of context, incorrectly attributed to the SCOTUS, and usually without the following two paragraphs:

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The exercise of such a common right the city may, under its police power, regulate in the interest of the public safety and welfare; but it may not arbitrarily or unreasonably prohibit or restrict it, nor may it permit one to exercise it and refuse to permit another of like qualifications, under like conditions and circumstances, to exercise it.

The regulation of the exercise of the right to drive a private automobile on the streets of the city may be accomplished in part by the city by granting, refusing, and revoking, under rules of general application, permits to drive an automobile on its streets; but such permits may not be arbitrarily refused or revoked, or permitted to be held by some and refused to other of like qualifications, under like circumstances and conditions.
There are people who believe that there is some right to drive around on the public roads without paying road tax and without driver's licenses - and they rely on bad information to back up this idea. Occasionally they do meet up with the police and it always ends up poorly for the unlicensed driver. A friend of mine stopped a guy driving down the road one afternoon while displaying a homemade license plate labeled "private property". When asked for his driver's license he claimed to not have, nor need one, because he was a "free inhabitant" who had a right to drive his "personal property" wherever he wanted. It didn't go well, and he wound up serving time for resisting arrest and aggravated assault of a peace officer. His craziness didn't end there, he filed numerous handwritten writs from prison, one I saw was over 600 handwritten pages long, until a court finally labeled him a nuisance plaintiff and refused to accept any further litigation from him.

My current favorite example of what it looks like when two free inhabitants take up less free habitation in a jail cell: Caution NSFW and this girl's voice is annoying as heck.

[URL="
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:46 AM   #30
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Wouldn't speeding/red light cameras come closest? Certainly "swift and certain" if the locations are posted. Modest? Well, in many locations you can get a fine based on these cameras, but often no points/impact on insurance rates.

They certainly change behavior when people know the cameras are present, but the devices aren't very popular with the public.
I think we've had THIS discussion before too. The "public" seems to have gotten this one right. In most cases the "authority" involved was using camera-viiolation as a money maker rather than a behavior modification. Typically, they turned it all over to a third party who then had a motive to "fudge" (demonstrably shorter yellow-to-red times, etc. were typical.) No, I think this is one area where a bit of officer discretion is in order.

Actually with CURRENT technology, it would not be difficult to place a device inside every car which monitors speed, GPS location and even visual (cameras front and rear - maybe even both sides as well as INSIDE the vehicle). With this system we would catch everyone breaking ANY traffic rule (do you ever inadvertently go 31 in a 30 or not make an absolute stop at a stop sign, "glance" at your cell phone when you receive a text or "weave" across your lane marker? I can see an average driver getting 15 or 20 citations in a months time without breaking a sweat. But, of course, YMMV.

Now returning you to our regular discussion - whatever that was.
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:18 PM   #31
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Very interesting. I think that real key is the simple - " the penalties for noncompliance are swift, certain and modest. "
I couldn't agree with this more. What's "eye for an eye" justice when you blow a .09 on a lonely country road with no passengers?


I'm not sure the SD solution fits in this case.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:01 PM   #32
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I couldn't agree with this more. What's "eye for an eye" justice when you blow a .09 on a lonely country road with no passengers?

I'm not sure the SD solution fits in this case.
Apparently the road wasn't so lonely. There was at least one police vehicle on it .
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:18 PM   #33
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Very interesting. I think that real key is the simple - " the penalties for noncompliance are swift, certain and modest. "
I couldn't agree with this more. What's "eye for an eye" justice when you blow a .09 on a lonely country road with no passengers?


I'm not sure the SD solution fits in this case.
To be clear, I didn't mean 'modest' to say that drunk driving isn't a serious charge, and I don;t think it's OK on a lonely road (someone might be walking? Anything can happen, anywhere). I only meant that 'swift and certain' are more likely to be implemented if the the penalty (for first time offences) are on the modest side.

When the penalty is severe, it will lead to more delays and trial motions and other legal maneuvers to try to get around it. But submitting to checks isn't so burdensome, and if it helps get people sober, it seems like a relatively good approach.

And the person who isn't a 'drunk', but made a mistake one night has little to fear. Show up for the checks, and it will be over. But enough of a hassle to probably make an impression, and make you think and have a plan before going out for a few.

I don't want to derail too much on the red light camera analog, but yes, I think they are a good concept - but implementation and oversight is key. I'm good with them making money, let them collect money from the lead-foots rather than raise my taxes. I'm in favor of well-controlled, reviewed camera systems. Our cops have better things to do with their time than spend 15 minutes giving a traffic ticket, and then spend more time in court. Automate law enforcement where ever feasible.

I wish they'd use the auto-toll collectors to fine people who got from point A-B in less time than the speed limit would allow. Make it a sliding scale for each average mph over the limit.

-ERD50
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:59 PM   #34
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I bought a "pro-grade" breathalyzer because I wondered if my beer or two when I go out to dinner puts me at risk of the huge financial penalty of high automobile insurance for years. The answer to my question was equivocal. I'm sure my reaction times are better at 0.08 than some older drivers I've ridden with (85-90 year olds) who were at 0.00.
Curious what your findings were? Are you saying that one or two beers (12 oz., not big blokes) during dinner sometimes put you near the .08 limit? The BAC chart seems to show that your average size male would be well under the limit with just two drinks.
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:46 PM   #35
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Curious what your findings were? Are you saying that one or two beers (12 oz., not big blokes) during dinner sometimes put you near the .08 limit? The BAC chart seems to show that your average size male would be well under the limit with just two drinks.
I'm not a medical professional, but I'm guessing there can be some variables that lead one to have a relatively higher "BAC" reading in your exhaled breath vs what actually might be in your bloodstream (including, but not limited to, if you consumed just alcohol for the last 15 minutes or so before you leave, versus finishing your beer before you finish eating)
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:26 AM   #36
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I'm not a medical professional, but I'm guessing there can be some variables that lead one to have a relatively higher "BAC" reading in your exhaled breath vs what actually might be in your bloodstream (including, but not limited to, if you consumed just alcohol for the last 15 minutes or so before you leave, versus finishing your beer before you finish eating)

A lot of factors can cause a higher than accurate reading of bac in breathe tests, and that's why there is always a period of observation - often videotaped - before a breathe test is administered. But something as simple as a burp right before or during the test can cause a higher reading.

The most accurate test practical is from blood, but there can be issues there as well. Every dwi attorney I ever met says to never consent to any testing and he/she will get your license suspension overturned or modified.

Personally, it's dumb to drink and drive and I won't do it. I live in an urban area and on weekends when we go out we walk or take uber. The punishments are just too onerous to take the risk of catching a dwi case.


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Old 08-19-2015, 12:24 PM   #37
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Curious what your findings were? Are you saying that one or two beers (12 oz., not big blokes) during dinner sometimes put you near the .08 limit? The BAC chart seems to show that your average size male would be well under the limit with just two drinks.
I agree with you, I think many people don't truly understand the level of intoxication one feels at 0.08% BAC. If you were pulled over and blew a 0.09%, that's not "barely over the limit" - that's pretty impaired. I have a personal breathalyzer unit I keep at home (more out of curiosity), and I can say from personal experience that blowing 0.06 (having not drank anything in several hours), I would not be comfortable driving. And I think I'm an excellent driver. I would be afraid to get behind the wheel at 0.06. Not because of the legal penalties, but because I now know just how much impairment that represents.

I used to think a level of 0.08 was arbitrary and low, but I now understand it's actually pretty generous (to drunk drivers). If you blow a 0.09%, you're seriously impaired, in my opinion. Of course, it varies by person, and other factors, but for an average male, it would take A LOT more than a couple of beers to get you anywhere near 0.08.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:45 PM   #38
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I used to think a level of 0.08 was arbitrary and low, but I now understand it's actually pretty generous (to drunk drivers). If you blow a 0.09%, you're seriously impaired, in my opinion. Of course, it varies by person, and other factors, but for an average male, it would take A LOT more than a couple of beers to get you anywhere near 0.08.
For the average adult male, your BAC goes up .02 with every drink and goes down .16 for every hour without a drink. It takes 4 drinks to get to the "drunk" level of .08. Many people aren't even buzzed after 4 drink let alone drunk. That's how they get busted for DUI. They truely don't think they're drunk at just .08
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:50 PM   #39
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Depends on whether the four drinks were one per hour, or all four in an hour...
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #40
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Depends on whether the four drinks were one per hour, or all four in an hour...
also depends on the weight of the individual
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