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Dealing with drunk drivers

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    816
    During my career, I have arrested well over hundreds of drivers using an illegal substance. I have also investigated over another several hundred accidents caused by drivers driving under the influence of an illegal substance. I once was alerted to a driver going the wrong way on the interstate. When I finally got him stopped by using a tire shredder, I tried giving him a field sobriety test, which turned out to be impossible. At the hospital, the medical staff drew blood and his BAC came back at three times over the legal limit.



    My worse nightmare occurred when a male teen was driving while being one and a half times over the legal BAC level. In the car were his girlfriend and another couple in the backseat. The driver made the idiotic decision to try to outrun a train. He lost the race and three out of the four persons in the car were killed that night. Yes, the driver survived, but he did spend several months in the hospital recovering, learning to walk again and to speak in sentences. It was a long night and having to visit four families that night to tell three of the families that their child will never be coming home again was one of the hardest things that I did as a state policeman.

    When the teen that was driving was able to be tried, he was found guilty on three of the four counts that he was charged with and received 18 months in jail, a hefty fine and loss of license for ten years, except to travel to and from work, if he had a job.

    The problem with getting tougher laws on the books is that most judges, lawyers and politicians have driven drunk at one time or another, or under the influence of an illegal substance. They do not want to have a law on the books that may affect them someday.

    Occasionally, we set up DUI stings. Even when we publish in the paper that we will be setting up a sting, we always have given the dates, times and locations and yet, we still end up arresting several drivers for DUI.

    DUI is a serious problem in our state. However, as long as the courts look at the offense as a victimless crime (if an accident occurred and no one was injured) getting tougher laws passed will be problematic.
    "Nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m."

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,817
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Horn View Post
    Wyoming law forbids random police checkpoints for any reason. Police may only set up roadblocks if they are looking for specific people. I've never heard of this actually taking place. Further, Wyoming prohibits police from disarming people in an encounter just because it makes them uncomfortable.
    Even though I don't drink and drive (actually, when I drive, I do nothing but drive)
    ....Wyoming has just become my favorite state
    “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” Emerson

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    San Diego County
    Posts
    1,406
    911, thank you for your input. I was hoping you would see this thread and respond. Obviously, you know a great deal more than me on this topic.
    It upsets me every time I hear about another drunk driver killing some innocent person, but hardest of all, for me to cope with, is when kids are killed.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    6,043
    Study/panel recommends lower blood alcohol limits to reduce drunk driving.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...icle-1.3762568

    Included is reducing the blood alcohol to .05 for driving and raising taxes on alcohol.

    These types of recommendations seem to come out pretty regular now but few states/jurisdictions seem to follow.

    The taxes will shave a few borderline alcoholics/drunk drivers as will the lower limits. But all too frequently as mentioned prior is many caught are repeat offenders/illegal drivers anyway with extremely high blood alcohol. I just saw a case of .21 some where.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Houston Y'all
    Posts
    1,544
    Ironic that more often than not, the drunk driver kills several people and manages to walk away from the accident. Ugh.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Cody, Wyoming
    Posts
    576
    Quote Originally Posted by WhatInThe View Post
    Study/panel recommends lower blood alcohol limits to reduce drunk driving.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/poli...icle-1.3762568

    Included is reducing the blood alcohol to .05 for driving and raising taxes on alcohol.

    These types of recommendations seem to come out pretty regular now but few states/jurisdictions seem to follow.

    The taxes will shave a few borderline alcoholics/drunk drivers as will the lower limits. But all too frequently as mentioned prior is many caught are repeat offenders/illegal drivers anyway with extremely high blood alcohol. I just saw a case of .21 some where.
    Drunks are generally caught with about .18%. The low limits only punish the innocent. Tax increases would, again, only affect the innocent.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    816
    We (PSP) and other groups, such as MADD, have tried for years to get the legal limit lowered. However, between lobbyists and congress people that also over-indulge, it’s been a tough road.

    I investigated an accident one night on a back country road with it raining cats and dogs. The Jeep had left the road, hit a culvert and flipped over on its roof. I walked up to the car, but did not locate the driver. He had been ejected from the vehicle. I could see his head was all but crushed. We later determined the roll bar must have landed on his head after he was ejected. It was an absolutely horrible site.

    When I inspected the inside of the vehicle, I noticed several beer cans on the floor. The BAC came back with a reading of 2.2. The reconstructionist estimated the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash to be between 78-84 mph. There were only a few feet of skid marks, which meant that his reaction time was extremely slow, which was no surprise.

    The driver was 19 years old and was working as an electrician apprentice. When I and another Trooper visited the family, the mother fainted when we told her what had happened to her son. Her husband was actually the step father, so he did not seem to be quite as much traumatized.

    The mother kept the casket closed because of the deformity to the driver’s head. After this accident, I used this story in my presentation that I gave to juniors and seniors in high school before homecomings and proms. We use those types of stories hoping to get at least one student to understand the consequences of drinking and driving. It is a proven fact that kids seldom consider the consequences of their actions.
    "Nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m."

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