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#1 of 54 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted December 24 2006 - 04:53 AM

http://www.getmadd.com/20000reward.htm

"NHTSA and MADD proclaimed that 17,970* people were killed by drunk drivers in 2002.
We say prove it!
In our first 39 months, no one has successfully challenged the statistics on these pages."

Today while I was renewing my vehicle tags online I noticed a place to make voluntary contributions to assorted programs such as wildlife preserve, organ donors and MADD. After reading the information on getmadd.com I became quite irate that MADD has the state of Florida assisting in soliciting contributions.

I for one am sick of the illegal searches police have been afforded in the name of stopping drunk drivers, the questionable practices used to arrest drivers who have been drinking, the abusive statistics and spin, and the arbitrary low BAC levels which have been proven to be less dangerous than talking while driving! http://www.livescien....ll_phones.html
(And no, I have never been arrested or stopped for drunk driving)

Obviously nobody wants people driving impaired, however we have created a huge witch hunt / red scare and ruined innocent people's lives with the mixed motives of orgaizations like MADD at the helm. Eve their FOUNDER, Candy Lightner, quit because MADD hade become nothing more than TAXPAYOR funded modern-day prohibitionists!
http://www.alcoholfa...urseOnMADD.html


What do you think - has MADD 'had one too many'? Are the laws and enforcement out of hand? How should our rights be taken back? What is the RIGHT way to protect people from the real drunks who endanger people by driving?

#2 of 54 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted December 24 2006 - 05:29 AM

I don't give a rip about MADD. But, in one paragraph, you question if enforcement is out of hand, and then you ask how do we protect ourselves against drunks who drive? Do you want less enforcement but more protection? I'm anxious to hear your ideas how to accomplish that.
Randy T.
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#3 of 54 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted December 24 2006 - 05:53 AM

Thanks for your response Randy. Just because a court upholds something doesn't make it correct. Courts upheld 'seperate but equal' for quite some time - among many other flawed positions. You have made the incorrect association that people who have been drinking are the same as people who are drunk. I was specific in my use of that term. Contrary to popular belief drinking and driving is NOT illegal - only drinking too much and driving. Take a look at a few of the links I povided for more ifo about that. Talking, be it on a cell phone or to a passeger are both distracting. You will notice that nobody has yet done a study to measure the effect of holding a conversation with a passenger. I would wager that the effect is similar. (Yet you do not see any hysteria about regulating in-car conversation ...so far). It is too easy to blame devices rather than the people who operate them - and there is no device to blame during in-car coversations. Freedom is about responsibility - not about restrictions, penalties and laws. Current BAC levels are demonstrated to have less dangerous effect than conversations. I stand by that. You raise a question about my critisism of enforcement. Roadblocks that screen everyone without probable cause are not apropriate and best left to totalitarian police states. BAC levels which are far too low to present a reasonable danger are also not efficient ways to protect. However if you look at the drunks who drive and actually hurt people - the vast majority of them are far over any limit (by several factors). They often are repeat offenders. THESE are the people who the laws should be targeting and stopping - not the accountant who stopped at Hooter's for a beer and buffalo wings on his way home from work. Yet if that were the case then MADD would not be making $3,749,000 in revues 're-educating' these accountants - would they?

#4 of 54 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted December 24 2006 - 05:57 AM

How about targeting dangerous drivers in general instead of setting an arbitrary DWI limit?
Lay down your law books now, they're no damned good -- The Eagles

#5 of 54 OFFLINE   Eric Carl

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Posted December 25 2006 - 02:45 AM

Yeah, but if you are under the legal limit and driving erratically, it does not mean you are allowed to drive erratically. Besides, if I remember correctly it has been proven that someone can be affected by alcohol and still be under the legal amount; as well, someone can be over the limit and the affect may not be seen. As to cell phones, yes they are dangerous, but short of photographing people inside cars, what proof would they have to say you were using it? Yet again, you can be stopped if you are driving erratically while using your cell phone. And, they couldn't block out the signals because cell phones are still used for good things as well. So as long as MADD gets the message out that drinking and driving is bad, I don't care who pays for it. I mean it is kind of crass to ask the family this: "We know your father died but we are running out of money....You are collecting insurance money...How about you give us some of that?" Besides, if too many people die the government would still have to make money somehow, right? So it is in the best interest of the government to let us know that it CAN kill. I mean, raising taxes because so many people died this year won't be a popular move. -Eric

#6 of 54 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted December 25 2006 - 03:12 AM

I have heard that it is also exceedingly dangerous when very attractive women dressed in clothing that reveals that attractiveness walk where there are people driving. Seriously. Myself, I don't talk on a cell while driving nor will I drive if I've had more than one beer. I confess though to looking and recently found my attention directed to two women in the back of a cab frantically conducting body searches on each other. I am pleased to report that it didn't involve the Hilton/Spears/Miss Nevada/Miss USA bimbo summit group. I am curious though if the numbers that MADD mentions are accurate.

#7 of 54 OFFLINE   Eric Carl

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Posted December 25 2006 - 04:17 AM

To the first part HA. To the second part they probably count all influences. Whether it be lack of sleep, on the cell phone, drunk, talking to another passenger, shaving, eating, pleasuring yourself, someone else pleasuring you, groovin' to the music and the most deadly one of them all: Arguing with yourself out loud. "You are such a wuss. I wouldn't take that garbage." "What do you know?" "I know you'll be pleasuring yourself for the next two months..." "WHAT DID YOU SAY???" "You heard me!" "Oh, it's on, bitch!" Of course the car than crashes and when the police officer takes the statement of the guy in the back it goes like this: "So he was arguing..." "Yes....with himself." "So he his driving was affected by himself?" "Errr....yeah." "This is gonna be so much easier if you said he was drunk....was he." "Well, no.....I mean yes, he was drunk." "Thanks....we appreciate you telling us the truth." Police officer reads the website from first post saying allowed: "No way. Five of the guys I said that died of drunk driving, were really arguing with themselves." This procedure goes on for about a thousand or cops and when NHTSA is told the truth the numbers are revised and the cops given a bonus - remember if 1000 guys split 20000 that is only $20 - of $5000 to not reveal the truth. It is really a matter of time before more cops admit that they lied to save on paperwork. Of course, the real number is close 2500, if we do count the guys who were being pleasured while drunk.... (I am only joking....Hopefully you think I ain't one of those cops.) -Eric

#8 of 54 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 25 2006 - 09:52 AM

Here in KY there are many "dry" counties & cities. All alcohol is prohibited. Recently though our city passed an ordinance to allow serving at restaurants that seat a certain number of people. This is the dumbest solution. The main thing society has against drinking is drinking & driving. By legalizing it at restaurants, it guarantees that someone will drink & drive. If they had only stores, it could be purchased and drank at home. Now the cops sit and wait for people to leave the restaurant. I heard there is also another organization "Drunks Against Mad Mothers" or "DAMM".

#9 of 54 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted December 25 2006 - 03:09 PM

I've had eight people I know directly killed by drunk driving. * A family on the way to deliver a child.. mother, son, (unborn child) and grandmother all killed in a drunk driving accident * Two friends hit by a drunk truck driver on a rural road * Someone I knew drug underneath a truck as he was hit as a pedestrian by a drunk driver * A friend who was hit by a drunk driver about two years ago. While I think sometimes we go overboard with "check points" I also believe that drunk driving is a serious issue. Then again, I think alcohol abuse is a pretty serious issue. Don't get me wrong, I think there are lots of things where we go too far. We have rights. But when your rights hinder mine, then there has to be a fair arbitrator. I have a right to swing a baseball bat; the moment I swing it at your head my rights end. In the case of drunk driving, society has repeatedly voted for and approved measures strengthening laws regarding DUI/DWI offenses. Based on that, the community has set the standard as an arbitrator between parties. As such, the law is just and should be enforced. If you don't like it, then rather then get mad at MADD, open up a different discussion and find another reasonable way to prevent the problem. Because simply saying "I don't believe it" of the problem is not an answer.
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#10 of 54 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted December 26 2006 - 04:57 AM

Another thing that is often misunderstood is the way that DWI/DUI's are conducted. I'll speak from my experience as a police officer in Missouri, as I know the laws here, and not in other states. First, I observe some type of violation that gives me probable cause to stop a vehicle. Could be failure to maintain a single lane, failure to signal, excessive speed, excessive slow, etc. Then, I stop the vehicle. While talking with the driver, I observe signs that indicate the person may be under the influence (glassy eyes, slurred speech, lack of hand coordination, etc.). At that point, I request the person take a field sobriety test. The field sobriety test is a standardized set of tests. They allow me to observe the individuals coordination and his ability to follow instructions. Included in these tests are physical tests (walking, standing, etc.), mental tests (counting, time estimation) and autonomic tests (horizontal gaze nystagmus). It soon becomes obvious whether the person is intoxicated/under the influence or not. If he is not, he goes with a warning. If he is, he is placed under arrest. That is the part people get screwed up on. You are placed under arrest before any breathalyzer. So, the arguement that BAC levels are too low is moot. The person has already given signs of impairment in their driving, and then have failed standardized field sobriety tests. That alone is enough to support the charges. The breathalyzer provides "prima facie" evidence of the level of intoxication. However, if the person refuses to take the test, they are still charged with DWI. My testimony, and the video from the police car will support the charge in court. BAC level's are abitrary. They're just another piece of the puzzle.
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#11 of 54 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted December 26 2006 - 05:29 AM

When I lived in Pennsylvania, local police would set up checkpoints and randomly check people. As far as I know, they still do this. I've always viewed this as an unwelcome expansion of police power that I would not expect in a place like the United States.

I'm actually surprised that this doesn't happen in Ohio, since there are plenty of local municipalities that have become famous for enforcing traffic laws with a profit motive in mind. Linndale and New Rome were prominent examples that finally were shut down (there's even a Wikipedia article on New Rome http://en.wikipedia..../New_Rome,_Ohio It was also featured in Car and Driver at one point).

My concern with BAC is it's arbitrariness. I know a number of people I wouldn't trust behind the wheel after one beer, and some others who would have to drink quite an astonishing amount before I'd be too concerned.
Lay down your law books now, they're no damned good -- The Eagles

#12 of 54 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted December 26 2006 - 09:12 AM

Mr. Carl - You seem fairly confident in the numbers provided by MADD - why then do you suppose it is that nobody has ben able to collect the $20,000? I think you made the same mistake most people make (which is also the reason for the GETMADD challenge) You presumed the data comes directly from police reports. It does not. Therefore your sarcasm is misplaced. If you read the terms of the contest you will see where MADD has been getting their number and the reason why they are flawed. You also make an interesting observation aout driving erratically. I think you may be on to something. Why do we need laws against drunk driving if we already have laws against erratic driving? That too could then cover people who are sleepy, on medicines, on drugs or distracted (be it cell phones radio, video or passengers) Chris - your losses are unfortunate and I too have experienced comparable losses. However I don't believe that driving with a .08 BAC is the same as a baseball bat to the head or anywhere near it. I would be willing to wager that in each case you described either the offender was well over .08 BAC or alcohol was not a primary factor in the accident. (for example; sober people run red lights all the time) I a more concerned with the people who are driving under gross influence than I am with my aforementioned CPA coming home from Hooter's. It is incorrect to hold him in the same regards as drunks who kill and maim. There has ben no national vote on what is the curent BAC. I would not expect one. It was determined by congress (of all people!!) And tell me - what politician of any party would dare vote no on anything related to morality? Randy - your report is interesting, but this does not cover the procedure at roadblocks. I also would be interested in knowing how effective those observations are on people near the minimum level. What is the procedure if there is an accident where a driver admits they drank one beer? Is it different if there is a fatality? Frankly, I think they had it right in the old west - keep the horse sober and drink to your delight. I can't wait until they have auto-pilot cars. But then who would we sue in an accident? Maybe THAT'S the real reason why we don't yet have them...

#13 of 54 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted December 26 2006 - 10:49 AM

I always thought it was interesting that people assume that because a driver had been drinking, the alcohol is the cause of anything bad that happens... as if none of the "alcohol related" accidents would have happened if the person hadn't had any alcohol. Obviously that's not the case. Maybe we need to crack down on sober driving- if you look at the statistics, I think you'll find that the vast majority of accidents involve sobriety. When is that going to be addressed?

#14 of 54 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted December 26 2006 - 02:53 PM

Eric, Police officers who work traffic are trained to recognize the levels of intoxication. You would be amazed at how accurate they can be predicting the BAC that someone will blow (not that we would ever wager on that, or anything). On sobriety checkpoints, you have a very short time to make a determination of whether you need to investigate a driver further. Obviously, you have the smell of alcoholic beverage, the glassy eyes, the inability to multi-task (there's a reason we ask you questions while you are removing your license . . .a drunk person normally can't do both). If you have probable cause, you can ask the person to submit to field sobriety tests, and then make the arrest, and give the breathalyzer. The person who drinks one drink is not going to blow a .08. Even a 100lb person, who drank the beer within the hour will only theoretically blow about a .04%. As to your example, if there are signs of impairment in the driver in the accident, either a breath test will be given (if possible), or blood will be taken by the hospital. That will give the %. If someone only drank one drink, they won't be drunk. Fatality or not, the percentage is .08%. One intersting thing to study is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. It's an autonomic test, involving the involuntary twitching (nystagmus) in your eyes when you look to the sides. It's been shown that as you become more intoxicated, the nystagmus begins sooner as the eye moves to the right and left. I've had "practiced" drunks, who were able to do a lot of the physical tests, but the HGN showed indications of intoxication, and sure enough, they tested very high (one was .20%, and it was his 7th DWI). Lastly, I'll leave you with this thought. Can you imagine anything worse than having to ring a doorbell at 3:00 a.m., to tell a parent that their child has been killed by a drunk driver? Or, to tell a spouse? Or, having to remove a dead child from a vehicle after a drunk caused accident? Imagine what it's like to walk up to that door, and wake that person up. I didn't arrest drunks because it was fun (when I did it, it was 4 hours of paperwork). I did it so that my partner and I would hopefully never have to go through the hell of making a death notification again.
Randy T.
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#15 of 54 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 26 2006 - 04:25 PM

When I was younger, living in NJ, I was taking my wife (then girlfriend) home. I wasn't on the highway more than a mile & I was pulled over. The officer said I was doing 45 in a 50 zone. Whats the problem with that? I gave the officer all the proper paperwork and he asked me to recite the alphabet. I had been out of school many years and as a machinist, I had no use for the alphabet or writing for many years. I couldn't remember it! Had he asked me a trigonomic math question, I would have had no troubles. My wife was trying not to laugh because she was teaching preschool. Anyway out of the truck and walk the line, etc... I hadn't had a drink all night. I think the only reason he didn't take me in was because I volunteered to go. Had I argued in anyway I am sure he would have taken me in. I was getting pulled over once a month for 5 or 6 months straight with out getting a ticket. I was about ready to go down to the station and complain about harassment. This all started after I had one beer with dinner & stopped at a check point on my way home.
Don't get me wrong, I am against drunk driving, but I can see the following happening very easily:
A couple go out for an anniversary dinner and have a few drinks to get in the mood. Posted Image They only have a few miles go get to their house (speed limit is under 40 the whole way), but they get stopped at a checkpoint. The husband driving has done nothing wrong, but he is slightly over the limit. Due to the mandatory laws, he looses his licence for 6 months. They live in a rural area and both work in different directions. He looses his job and income. They now can't afford their house & have to sell. Once he gets his licence back, the insurance rates are through the roof. Having two kids, the lack of income for 6 months and cost of insurance has affected their college funds. This could have many ripple effects. I don't think this is too far fetched. Where is the justice here?
Drunk driving laws, just like the war on drugs, are ineffective against stopping the problem. Also, this chart http://www.alcoholal....tics-2003.html shows: while alcohol related death percentage is down from 1982, there really hasn't been a significant change in the past 10-12 years. The percentage of overall highway deaths per miles driven has gone down at the same time as well.
I have called 911 on a drunk driver that I have seen all over the road. But, I don't think this is a free country if I can't drive home on a Friday night with out a gestapo style checkpoint checking my paperwork, seat belts, alcohol level & what ever else they feel like. How is that different than the old Russian security checkpoints?

#16 of 54 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted December 27 2006 - 01:25 AM

So, is your statement that because we can't stop every drunk driver out there, we shouldn't try to stop any of them? Just give up? Throw in the towel? Look. Drunk drivers cause accidents and kill people. If you are drunk, you are more likely to be in an accident. Yes, I know, cell phones are dangerous. Yes, there are other reasons for accidents. Yes, MADD can't prove their stats. Statistics show Blah Blah Blah. The fact remains, drunk drivers hurt and kill people every day in the country. And none of those other things change this fact.
Randy T.
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#17 of 54 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 27 2006 - 02:15 AM

Randy, I am not saying we should give up at all. I had the unpleasant job of informing my first wife that her brother had been killed driving drunk. I saw what it did to her and the whole family. Very tragic. He was not a dumb man, though he did a dumb thing. He was well aware of the DUI laws and his wife even begged him not to drive. He didn't even listen to her. The bottom line is this: the laws will only reach a certain level of effectiveness. The percentage of deaths dropped and then leveled off. Even if we could outlaw driving all together and stop all 42,000 deaths per year, I bet someone would still find a way to get himself killed by a car. 100 people per year are killed by vending machines!? I saw a statistic showing in the month after 9-11 when all the planes were grounded, highway deaths went up by 1,000. Trying to potentially save lives in the air, we killed more on the highways.


#18 of 54 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted December 27 2006 - 02:42 AM

So, let's take your hypothetical a different route. Your couple, on their anniversary, are heading home. They've had a few, and are anticipating a night of renewed passion. They are still a few miles from home, but this time, the checkpoint isn't there. So they drive on. Another family, including a father, mother, and 6 month old girl, are heading home, also. It's a dark road, with no shoulder, and the father is driving. Our first couple starts around a curve. They're only 1/2 a mile from home and have driven this road a thousand times. The husband, because he's had a couple, drifts slightly into the oncoming lane, just as the other car comes around the corner. . . You get the idea. Just because your driver, in your version, had not caused an accident, doesn't mean it can't happen. He's intoxicated, impaired, and more likely to cause an accident. The purpose of DWI enforecment is not to punish people once something happens. It's to prevent something from happening. We don't follow drunks around until they hit someone, and then pounce. We get them off the street before they can hurt anyone. I'm sorry you've had bad experiences with police. Even taking everything you say as gospel truth, it has absolutely no bearing on whether police should actively pursue drunk drivers. We don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. A-hole cops are out there. But, it makes no difference. We have to remove drunk drivers from the road. The risk is just too great. You've seen the results. Nothing changes any of that. As far as checkpoints, all I can say is that at this time, they are allowed by law. If you don't like this fact, petition the government to change it. Perhaps the courts will decide in the future that they do violate the constitution. But, right now, they are allowed, and will be used. And, as someone who has been to Russia, and seen the Russian checkpoints, I can tell you that they are 100% different. No contest.
Randy T.
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"Oh, come on, guys. It's so simple, maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings nowadays!"

#19 of 54 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted December 27 2006 - 02:52 AM

If there is a serious problem with drunk driving, and the consequences aren't pleasant, might it be reasonable to ask if the remedies we now have in place (fines, surcharges, and so forth) are the best way to make signficant dents in this. Perhaps, instead of large, punitive, monetary incentives, we need to take a look at something else. Maybe the person's face should be placed on a jumbo-tron. Maybe his car should be painted a distinctive color. Instead of hitting the pocket, what about hitting things like embarassment, appealing to their desire to not be singled out to everyone. Maybe a temporary tatoo. The degree could be proportional to the blood alcohol level.

#20 of 54 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 27 2006 - 10:04 AM

And this is exactly what I have an issue with. It sounds like the movie Minority Report where people who had not committed any crime had been put away, just incase. The man in my hypothetical may or may not hurt someone, but he will be punished along with his family, "just incase". Where are the statistics of how many miles are driven with blood alcohol levels of .10 with out any accidents or injuries? People may be surprised to find that per miles driven there are actually less accidents if someone has had a drink. I know I drive more cautiously if I have had a drink. Where are the statistics of how many accidents and deaths were caused by women driving in high heels? If I were to run a red light, crash into someone else and kill a family, what difference does it matter why it happened? If I was drinking, talking on the cell phone, day dreaming, picking my nose, etc... the end result is the same and the punishment should be the same. Arresting someone because they "might" hurt someone is not a solution and should not be legal. I have 2 children who will be getting there licences with in the next few years and as a parent I am concerned. Let me ask you how would you handle this: I don't drink much. I still have bottles of wine that were purchased last year unopened in the cabinet. My wife & I decided to have a drink with dinner. We do the right thing and stay home with no plans to go out. I barely open the bottle and there is my daughter. "Daddy you shouldn't drink. Its bad for you and you could hurt someone." She just had the local DARE corvette visit her school and put on their show. They don't teach drink responsibly, they teach don't drink. Now I have to try and explain to her the difference. I am not breaking any law or endangering anyone. She is confused between listening to her father and listening to her teachers and police that her father told her to listen to. Now she has to choose who is right and will loose some respect for the other. I am not for drunk driving. I am against arresting people "in case". Check points ignore the "innocent until proven guilty" and instead say "a percentage of people are breaking the law, lets sort them out". Whats next at the checkpoints? Will they connect up to the diagnostic black box that mechanics use to give out speeding tickets? Will they see an mp3 player and based on the statistic, that 1/3 of active internet users have downloaded songs illegally, assume that you have pirated songs in it. If you can't produce a recept will you be fined? Legal BAC levels keep dropping. Smoking laws get tougher. First it was a law to wear seat belts. Then you could get a ticket, but not be pulled over for it. Now you can be pulled over and get the ticket. No politician, who wants to be re-elected, will ever vote against drunk driving laws or other "safety" laws no matter how many rights are violated. You can not legislate morality. If my ex-wife's brother had been stopped at a check point before he crashed, I am sure he would have driven with out a licence to support his family and he would have probably been killed another night.




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