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Old 06-13-2003, 09:43 AM   #1
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Drunk Driving

I didn't know if I should make this a poll or not... I guess for now I'll leave it just for discussion.

What are your thoughts on this subject? I was raised in a very strict household regarding alcohol & went to several MADD camps, etc in high school, so I grew up w/ the notion driving drunk (even if it's below the legal limit) is a bad idea. I've heard and befriended families who have lost children to drunk drivers. One man in FLA actually ran into a bus (his BAC was v. high, I can't remember all the details) killed several young children. And he walked with only a few years to do in prison.

I know different countries have different laws on driving drunk. Do you think your country/state is too strict? too leniant? Do you think that there should be NO tolerance for any alcohol in a person's system if they choose to operate a motor vehicle? Even a little can impair a person's judgement... I wouldn't want to meet someone on the road who'd been drinking.

And where do we draw the line? I have a friend who is getting married soon, and her fiance drinks and drives a lot. I've witnessed it. I haven't drank so I could drive (knowing he would drink & drive) and he would NOT let me drive- he was "fine." But doesn't everyone think they are fine enough to drive?

I'd love to hear other's thoughts & opinions on this subject. Please try & be respectful because I'm sure someone out there on this board has had to deal with a death of a loved one due to these circumstances.

Thanks,
Olive
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Old 06-13-2003, 10:40 AM   #2
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I feel very strongly about this topic, not because I have lost anyone close, but because of the danger of it. Drunk Driving shows an unbelievable amount of stupidity. Even drinking and driving without being drunk per se.
Our laws are .05 for a full licence holder and I dont agree with it at all. I dont think the rule of 2 standard drinks in the first hour and one every hour after that are ok. I am all for the abolishment of the limit full stop. It should be .00. Zero tolerance. Some people think that this is a silly way to view it and that even a few drinks will not affect their driving. No drinks can affect someone's driving as far as I'm concerned and to add to it in any way is irresponsible. Once I went out for a fairly large night at a big club in my area. At the end of the night I was absolutely rooted. Legless. As a laugh on our way out to the cab, I asked my husband for a dollar coin so I could test my level on the breathaliser the club had in the foyer. It said I was .03. The shock nearly sobered me up. I could barely form a cohesive sentance and yet if I chose to drive, I would not be charged if pulled over?? More importantly I could take someone's life on the roads and the persons family would have no recourse for justice. This is my point on the alcohol limit. .05 is a standard that clearly fails many individuals. Too many factors skew such a limit. I would need to be in hospital getting my stomach pumped with a reading of .05 and if I were the type to not have such strong convictions about the subject, how long would it be before I was a statistic and killed someone or many someones??? It is not right, however you look at it. I am so disappointed that this however is not a view shared by everyone. On the opposite end of the scale to me, is those who only require a couple of drinks to reach the illegal limit. How many people know what their limit is? How many of us test ourselves and know what we're at? As an interesting twist to my point, I am a very short female. Not thin by any means, but not with a large enough frame to be able to take such large quantities of alcohol and still be considered legal - or so I thought. The reason why that night I was so curious is because I wanted to know how high my level was. I really thought it would be through the roof. Everyone knows females have a quicker tendancy to the affects of alcohol and a smaller person especially. I however did not fit it. I could have drunk myself into a stupor reaching the legal limit.
I know a couple of people who drink and drive. As far as I know, one espeically who does it often has no idea what his limit actually is as he has never done a test out of curioosity. He goes by how he feels and sometimes not even that. He is one of my neighbours and we have a regular drinking hole about 500 metres away from our street as the crow flies. He also justifies his drink driving on the fact we live so close and his odds are small. Distance is a poor excuse. Virtually invalid as far as I'm concerned. As long as you are driving and passing others on your way, there is a risk.
So yeah include me in the totally against it side.

If you want to make it a poll, just let us know Olive.
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:11 AM   #3
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I feel SO STRONGLY about this

In my opinion, you drink, get in a car and drive, you might as well have a loaded weapon in your hands and just run into the street and start firing. The laws are far too lenient.

I think it's one of the most immoral, irresponsible things a human being could ever do. And this is one issue I will never change my opinion about.
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:05 PM   #4
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What I find difficult is this notion that it's ok to have one drink, and you can still drive (in a couple hours). I've told friend's I'm not going to drink cuz I have to drive, and it's funny(..) how I get repeatedly asked or encouraged to "just have one." and i'm not talking about a sat night, this is just on a tuesday or thursday night you know? and sometimes i just don't want a beer . And I don't have disrespectful friends.. I dunno.

I'm dealing w/ this issue even more today cuz last night I did have a drink w/ dinner and drove a few hours later and my boyfriend was very upset at me. Since i moved i can go out more during the week - but not to the point where I'd take a taxi. So I have to decide for myself where I'm going to draw the line. I'm leaning towards the- don't drink at all, or have a friend drive.

I know these are a list of excuses but it'd kinda help me to get this outta my head. how can i suddenly enforce on my friends not to have a drink w/ dinner if we go out if they are driving? Does this mean I always have to drive? Really drinking is NOT a big part of my life but when these situations arise I'd like to be prepared. Why do people think you can't have fun if you're not drinking?

Thanks Angela & Mrs. Springsteen for your posts. .05 is shocking to me! Mass. has .01 and I thought that was leniant. The thought of someone killing someone I love because they were driving drunk works me up into a fury.. Something I learned at MADD was you don't call drunk driving crashes "accidents". Cuz getting behind the wheel of a car intoxicated isn't an accident.

*edited for spelling
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:27 PM   #5
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Some important issues you raise here Olive. I just think it's GREAT that you think about it so much If you choose not to drink, your friends should respect that.

I RARELY drink (I can't remember the last time I did), and, w/ out a doubt, there seem to be many people who can't have a "good time" w/ out it. Just for me, I don't think someone should drive after having any amount of alcohol.

Also, some people have very personal issues surrounding alcohol, and others should try to respect that.
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:35 PM   #6
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I think this is an interesting topic. Obviously even the most ignorant of people think drinking and driving is wrong in theory. But excersizing that logic and knowing how to exercise that logic is something completely different. Alcohol blood level may be the best measurement we have right now, but the results vary from person to person so much that the levels are arbitrary. By the way Angela, those coin operated devices in bars are by no means accurate, I've blown on one before, not having a drink for days(just to see what it would read) and I got a .02.

It's a hard measure. I'm not sure how to regulate. Some can operate an automobile with 2 drinks, some can't operate a vehicle sober. Some can't operate a vehicle on medication. I wouldn't know where to begin, but I don't believe in a zero tolerance. There are just too many factors. What about sleep deprivation, age, etc.
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Old 06-13-2003, 01:03 PM   #7
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Wow, your state laws are more strict than ours will ever be Olive! I was going to mention this before but forgot. The way our drivers licence system works is, once you turn 16 you can get whats called a Learners, or L's. A year after that, or not before the age of 17 you can get a Provisional licence, or your P's. That means you can drive without a full licence holder with you, on your own basically. The speed limit is less and what do you know! There is a blood alcohol level limit too. .03 is our limit for provisional licence holders. Can you believe that??? These are mainly young kids with little to no driving experience, HENCE the provisional licence system and by our seriously backward laws, they can get behind the wheel with the same BAC I had that night I felt incredibly drunk - and legally drive a motor vehicle. I do not wish to stereotype in any way here, but this is a huge problem. Our legal drinking age is 18. It coincides with when most teens are experiencing the freedom of driving, going to parties as they are now of age and what does all this lead to? A rise in the number of accidents and deaths on the roads due to teens being legally allowed to drive while under the influence.

Your personal approach to the whole thing seems much like mine and my husband's. We made it a rule a long long time ago that we would never combine the 2. Not even one drink. Whoever drives has soft drink. Its as simple as that. Sometimes we will go our with a group of friends and I may be the driver that night. After a while the wheedling starts, "You know you can have at least one. Hell, you can even have one every hour!" I am fully aware of that and am disappointed that our views are not respected. I am 26 and the friends we usually go out with are in their late 20's to early 30's. My husband and I are 2 of the youngest and yet we are the only ones who are steadfast with this. So to see this in my friends who are twice the age of teens who can do this, leaves me with no surprise that the death tolls on my state roads are as dire as they are with teens especially. Responsible driving and drinking needs to be set in a pattern from the start I feel, and the way it is set up here currently, it leaves little room for enforcement of learning responsibility. Kids will drink a bit and drive because they are allowed. They grow into adults who then feel "well now I'm an adult, I can hold my drink and am a more experienced driver - according to the laws too, I am within reason to be doing such a thing".

It saddens me as much as it angers me.
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Old 06-13-2003, 01:33 PM   #8
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Angela, I am sure once you tell me I'll remember.. but where do you live again? I was under the imperssion MA was one of the highest BAC in the USA.
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:00 PM   #9
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Hey Olive I live in Aus - Land of the ridiculous BAC laws!
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:17 PM   #10
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I'm of the opinion that a person shouldn't be allowed to drink any alcohol if they drive. It makes me extremely angry that some people do choose to drive under the influence of alcohol because it's not only their own life they are putting at risk, it's the lives of anyone also travelling by car that night, or even walking along a road that night. Nobody has the right to endanger other people's lives simply because they feel like getting drunk and then driving a car.
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:40 PM   #11
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i got confused

i'm sorry- MA state law is as follows: If you have taken a breathalyzer and your reading is above .05, you will be charged with OUI. If the reading is between. .05-.07 percent, there is no legal inference of intoxication, one way or the other. A reading of .08 or above however raises an inference of intoxication.
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
A year after that, or not before the age of 17 you can get a Provisional licence, or your P's. That means you can drive without a full licence holder with you, on your own basically. The speed limit is less and what do you know! There is a blood alcohol level limit too. .03 is our limit for provisional licence holders. Can you believe that???
wow thats a very high BAC for a 17 year old!!!

Since you have to be 21 to drink here, anyone under 21 with ANY alcohol at ALL in their system will be charged. Under 21 = no tolerance.

Quote:
Our legal drinking age is 18. It coincides with when most teens are experiencing the freedom of driving, going to parties as they are now of age and what does all this lead to?
This is really interesting to me. So many people believe that the way to "cure" America of alcoholism, binge drinking, etc is to lower the drinking age. I can't see how this could ever help things. European countries have just a high rate of alcholism as America. And if you lower the legal drinking age to coincide with the age one can drive.. well......

Quote:

A rise in the number of accidents and deaths on the roads due to teens being legally allowed to drive while under the influence.
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Old 06-13-2003, 02:47 PM   #13
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interesting that this thread was started today. i received an email last night from a friend informing me that someone that i knew lost her husband due to a drunk driver last weekend on their drive back from Birmingham AL to Atlanta. The wife and the son survived with minor cuts and bruises, but the husband was killed by the driver. The drunk driver crossed the median of the highway and slammed into their car.

i had a friend when i was in high school who was killed by a drunk driver who was also high on cocaine. my poor friend was simply trying to cross the road to go back home and she never made it home.

because of this it forced me to become active in SADD as a student when I was in high school. Today, when i hear about drunk drivers who get behind the wheel and take innocent lives of others on the road it angers me beyond belief.

Receiving that email last night was very upsetting and a chilling reminder how precious life is. It was the most heartbreaking thing i have ever received in my inbox and I dont ever want to see that again!
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Old 06-13-2003, 03:25 PM   #14
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I'm sorry to hear that MVD.
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Old 06-13-2003, 04:24 PM   #15
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Drinking and Driving dont go, I think that the government should make a law that says if you drink you cant drive for at least 5hrs or more.
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