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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Let's be careful out there.
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 04:26:32 -0400

Rich wrote:

> On Thu, 12 Apr 2001 01:33:18 -0500, "Young" <>
> wrote:
> >Be realistic. Most mouthwash contains a goodly percentage of alcohol,
> >You want to make life simple by thinking simple.  Well welcome to real
> >life, the less than simple kind. The one lived by mature thinking
> >people.
> >Frederick.
> >
> and its a mature thing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after
> drinking, eh?  someone who has used mouthwash prior to driving is not
> gonna be weaving and bobbing down the road.  get real.  i freely
> acknowledge that i am a bit extreme on drinking and driving but i also
> have experienced the results of drinking and driving up close and
> personal.

As you know by now, I've been directly affected 3 times by drunk
drivers and my ideas of punishment are pretty radical.  As someone
who's been heavily involved in the politics of traffic policy for
years, it has become a necessity to actually know what I'm talking
about instead of firing off emotional opinions as fact.  here are
some things you really ought to know so you won't make a fool of
yourself advocating a BAC of 0.0:

* There is a certain amount of alcohol in many people's blood all
the time, the byproduct of some varieties of intestinal flora.
Usually below 0.01 BAC but not always, particularly in diabetics.

* it is relatively rare that someone who is drunk will show a BAC
anywhere near 0.1.  A person who has a glass of wine, a single beer
or a mixed drink with dinner is not in any way impaired but will
show a BAC of around 0.01-02.  The drunks almost always show 0.17
and upward.  Drunks don't get just a little drunk and then go out
and kill someone.  They get sloshed.  I've done many a ride-along
with DUI squads so that I could gain a first hand knowledge of how
it is out there on the street vs the lies that crazies like MADD

* There is a large body of scientific data showing that most people
are not in any significant way impaired at a BAC below 0.1.  One of
the more significant tests was sponsored by Car & Driver magazine
where the commissioned a test to determine the effects of alcohol
and pot on a wide variety of drivers, ranging from ordinary drivers
to race car drivers.  That study pissed off a lot of people because
it demonstrated that pot has zero effect on motor skills but the
data and the science are unassailable. It was funny to see that one
of the race car drivers actually lapped faster on pot than he did

* the BAC is a poor indicator of impairment, particularly when the
impairment is from non-alcohol causes such as drugs or lack of
sleep.  There are impairment testers available that directly measure
the subjects impairment - what we're really interested in for public
safety - and are portable.  The problem is the prohibitionists and
religious nuts are more interested in punishing "sin" (that being
the drinking of alcohol rather than being impaired) than they are
getting drunks off the street.  There is further opposition from a
segment of the politicians (the Kennedy faction) who don't want an
accurate impairment measurement because they know they'd get caught
eventually.  A skilled lawyer can usually challenge the BAC
procedure enough to get the politicians off if the case doesn't make
the paper.

Well enough.  I'm probably wasting my breath on a zealot.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Let's be careful out there.
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 17:38:21 -0400

Guess Who? wrote:

> John
>    I think your ideas about "impairment vs BAC" are right on the money,
> and hope you can figure out how to invent something to measure
> "impairment".

These things are already on the market and are used somewhat widely
in industry to test for worker impairment, usually after an
accident.  They lack the "presumed accurate and admissible" legal
status that Breathalyzers have and so are not used for law
enforcement.  Sad.


>    Your anger over losing a friend to the addle brained behavior of a
> drunk driver is easy to understand.  Years ago, when a drunk killed my
> ex girlfriend,  I wanted him strung up from a high line pole so bad it
> made me almost sick..

I haven't learned the specifics on this instance but in the case of
the drunk who hit me and the one who killed my other friend, both
were chronic drunks with long strings of DUIs (and the slaps on the
wrists that follow) and both were far over the legal limit.  There
is no need to go after the guy with 0.05 on his breath at an
unconstitutional DUI checkpoint.  Just execute those who chronically
blow 0.3 or more.


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