East Brunswick man is charged with drunken-driving after hitting police car en route to work
Published: Monday, September 13, 2010, 11:51 AM
Updated: Monday, September 13, 2010, 12:56 PM
Tom Haydon/The Star-Ledger
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SOUTH BRUNSWICK — A man with four prior drunk-driving convictions was arrested on the same charge Sunday after he crashed into a vehicle driven by a South Brunswick police officer heading to work, authorities said.
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As a little L libertarian, I think the the DWI laws are: dumb, poorly enforced, and do little to protect innocent people who share the roads.
I don’t believe in the one size fits all law that tries to use a number as the criteria for enforcement.
First of all, people are different. Their tolerance of alcohol is hugely different. I know guys and gals, who after a drink or two, shouldn’t be allowed to operate anything from a car to a cell phone. I know others, who can down prodigious amounts of beer and go on and win parlor games of strategy, dexterity, and / or concentration.
Giving the police more power to enforce an arbitrary law is an invitation to sexual / racial harassment, favoritism, and abuse. The TV commercial, aka a PSA, that shows uniformed officers stopping every car and demanding “have you been drinking tonight”, is “show us your papers”.
That being said, if one causes an “accident” that results in damage, or –heaven forbid — injury or death, then those questions and physical testing is not only appropriate, but mandatory. And, it should NOT be called an “accident”. It should be called exactly what it is “assault with a deadly weapon”. Anyone, who uses a tool, any tool, be it a car or a gun, while under the influence of any chemical, is reckless. Should damage or injury occur from reckless behavior then that is a foreseeable consequence of the choices that were made.
Choices have consequences!
So the “DWI” law needs to be tuned. There has to be an accident, injury, or death to initiate an arrest.
Also, the current tolerance that politicians and bureaucrats have for multiple DWI convictions is completely insane.
In the cited example, the man has FOUR convictions. And, he is driving? He has outstanding warrants.
I can understand some leniency for a first conviction where there is damage but no personal injury. It should be more than a slap on the wrist, but less than incarceration. A second conviction, or injury in a first conviction, demands that civil society be protected from someone who is obviously not fit to be trust to behave reasonably towards the society. A third or fourth should trigger longer “adult time outs”.
Never mind “punishment” or “rehabilitation”. We need “protection”. Someone convicted of this new tougher DWI law should be isolated and prevented from harming innocents.
Four convictions? A decade of protection might be prudent.
Cars are too ubiquitous. A convicted felon, who has served their time out, must be allowed to drive. But, as a condition of their readmission to civil society and license to share the public roads, might be required to agree to spot checks. A special license plate for those with multiple convictions, like four, would encourage police to stop and check their sobriety. A special drivers license for those with one conviction would alert police to check sobriety, if stopped for a traffic violation. In either case, it self-preservation to check those, that have forfeit their rights by harming and further endangering others.
(1) No spot checks on drivers who have not offended in the past.
(2) Harsh treatment for whose cause damage or injury.
(3) Longer “time outs” for multiple offenders.
(4) Aggressive enforcement on multiple offenders.
Note: I oppose the Psuedo War On Some Drugs. I don’t care what my fellow Americans put in their bodies. As long as I don’t have to pay for their care. But an impaired driver, who causes harm, should be treated the same. Regardless of their chemical of choice.
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