View Poll Results: Should drunk driving be legal?

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  • Yes

    76 38.00%
  • No (explain your penalty of choice)

    110 55.00%
  • Unsure

    14 7.00%
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Thread: Should Drunk Driving Be Legal?

  1. #1

    Should Drunk Driving Be Legal?

    A poll for my own curiosity. The drug legalization poll created some interesting discussion so I think this may as well

    Below is Lew's opinion on the subject and mine as well.
    Legalize Drunk Driving

    by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

    [Note: This column was written before the news came out last night that George W. Bush was arrested on a DUI charge 24 years ago. He was stopped in Maine for driving too slowly and briefly veering onto the shoulder of the road]

    Clinton has signed a bill passed by Congress that orders the states to adopt new, more onerous drunk-driving standards or face a loss of highway funds. That’s right: the old highway extortion trick. Sure enough, states are already working to pass new, tighter laws against Driving Under the Influence, responding as expected to the feds’ ransom note.

    Now the feds declare that a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent and above is criminal and must be severely punished. The National Restaurant Association is exactly right that this is absurdly low. The overwhelming majority of accidents related to drunk driving involve repeat offenders with blood-alcohol levels twice that high. If a standard of 0.1 doesn’t deter them, then a lower one won’t either.

    But there’s a more fundamental point. What precisely is being criminalized? Not bad driving. Not destruction of property. Not the taking of human life or reckless endangerment. The crime is having the wrong substance in your blood. Yet it is possible, in fact, to have this substance in your blood, even while driving, and not commit anything like what has been traditionally called a crime.

    What have we done by permitting government to criminalize the content of our blood instead of actions themselves? We have given it power to make the application of the law arbitrary, capricious, and contingent on the judgment of cops and cop technicians. Indeed, without the government’s "Breathalyzer," there is no way to tell for sure if we are breaking the law.

    Sure, we can do informal calculations in our head, based on our weight and the amount of alcohol we have had over some period of time. But at best these will be estimates. We have to wait for the government to administer a test to tell us whether or not we are criminals. That’s not the way law is supposed to work. Indeed, this is a form of tyranny.

    Now, the immediate response goes this way: drunk driving has to be illegal because the probability of causing an accident rises dramatically when you drink. The answer is just as simple: government in a free society should not deal in probabilities. The law should deal in actions and actions alone, and only insofar as they damage person or property. Probabilities are something for insurance companies to assess on a competitive and voluntary basis.

    This is why the campaign against "racial profiling" has intuitive plausibility to many people: surely a person shouldn’t be hounded solely because some demographic groups have higher crime rates than others. Government should be preventing and punishing crimes themselves, not probabilities and propensities. Neither, then, should we have driver profiling, which assumes that just because a person has quaffed a few he is automatically a danger.

    In fact, driver profiling is worse than racial profiling, because the latter only implies that the police are more watchful, not that they criminalize race itself. Despite the propaganda, what’s being criminalized in the case of drunk driving is not the probability that a person driving will get into an accident but the fact of the blood-alcohol content itself. A drunk driver is humiliated and destroyed even when he hasn’t done any harm.

    Of course, enforcement is a serious problem. A sizeable number of people leaving a bar or a restaurant would probably qualify as DUI. But there is no way for the police to know unless they are tipped off by a swerving car or reckless driving in general. But the question becomes: why not ticket the swerving or recklessness and leave the alcohol out of it? Why indeed.

    To underscore the fact that it is some level of drinking that is being criminalized, government sets up these outrageous, civil-liberties-violating barricades that stop people to check their blood – even when they have done nothing at all. This is a gross attack on liberty that implies that the government has and should have total control over us, extending even to the testing of intimate biological facts. But somehow we put up with it because we have conceded the first assumption that government ought to punish us for the content of our blood and not just our actions.

    There are many factors that cause a person to drive poorly. You may have sore muscles after a weight-lifting session and have slow reactions. You could be sleepy. You could be in a bad mood, or angry after a fight with your spouse. Should the government be allowed to administer anger tests, tiredness tests, or soreness tests? That is the very next step, and don’t be surprised when Congress starts to examine this question.

    Already, there’s a move on to prohibit cell phone use while driving. Such an absurdity follows from the idea that government should make judgments about what we are allegedly likely to do.

    What’s more, some people drive more safely after a few drinks, precisely because they know their reaction time has been slowed and they must pay more attention to safety. We all know drunks who have an amazing ability to drive perfectly after being liquored up. They should be liberated from the force of the law, and only punished if they actually do something wrong.

    We need to put a stop to this whole trend now. Drunk driving should be legalized. And please don’t write me to say: "I am offended by your insensitivity because my mother was killed by a drunk driver." Any person responsible for killing someone else is guilty of manslaughter or murder and should be punished accordingly. But it is perverse to punish a murderer not because of his crime but because of some biological consideration, e.g. he has red hair.

    Bank robbers may tend to wear masks, but the crime they commit has nothing to do with the mask. In the same way, drunk drivers cause accidents but so do sober drivers, and many drunk drivers cause no accidents at all. The law should focus on violations of person and property, not scientific oddities like blood content.

    There’s a final point against Clinton’s drunk-driving bill. It is a violation of states rights. Not only is there is no warrant in the Constitution for the federal government to legislate blood-alcohol content – the 10th amendment should prevent it from doing so. The question of drunk driving should first be returned to the states, and then each state should liberate drunk drivers from the force of the law.
    No one can speak for me. No man is above me. None may exercise authority over me while I stand on my own property. The only valid law is the Natural Law discoverable by every man's ability to reason.



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  3. #2
    Saying it's ok for someone to drive drunk is like saying it's ok for someone with a twitch to point a gun in your face.
    "No way could I be elected,
    because I'm not going to play the role of Santa Claus.
    I'm going to play the role of trying to tell people the truth."

    - Ron Paul

    Campaign For Liberty
    Free State Project

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jrich4rpaul View Post
    Saying it's ok for someone to drive drunk is like saying it's ok for someone with a twitch to point a gun in your face.
    And u get to define what is drunk, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



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  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jrich4rpaul View Post
    Saying it's ok for someone to drive drunk is like saying it's ok for someone with a twitch to point a gun in your face.
    How about Angry Driving? Should that be illegal too?
    No one can speak for me. No man is above me. None may exercise authority over me while I stand on my own property. The only valid law is the Natural Law discoverable by every man's ability to reason.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by powerofreason View Post
    How about Angry Driving? Should that be illegal too?



    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



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    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    And u get to define what is drunk, right?
    No

    How about Angry Driving? Should that be illegal too?
    No
    "No way could I be elected,
    because I'm not going to play the role of Santa Claus.
    I'm going to play the role of trying to tell people the truth."

    - Ron Paul

    Campaign For Liberty
    Free State Project

  8. #7
    How about Angry Driving? Should that be illegal too?
    Isn't it already?

    Anyway, no democratic country/state/city would actually get rid of drunk driving laws, so it doesn't really matter.

  9. #8
    No. The penalty should be gauged on how drunk they are.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by LandonCook View Post
    No. The penalty should be gauged on how drunk they are.
    Corpus delicti be damned!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  12. #10
    Disappointing results so far. I guess the people who voted no think the security goons at the airport should be able to racially profile as well. Same idea.
    No one can speak for me. No man is above me. None may exercise authority over me while I stand on my own property. The only valid law is the Natural Law discoverable by every man's ability to reason.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by powerofreason View Post
    Disappointing results so far. I guess the people who voted no think the security goons at the airport should be able to racially profile as well. Same idea.
    Flying on an airplane is different than consciously getting behind the wheel of a car while and driving when you are unfit to do so.

    By this logic, we should let toddlers get behind the wheel of a car, because otherwise we are profiling toddlers.
    http://www.ronpaul2012.com/
    Quote Originally Posted by GK Chesterton
    It is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke
    Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.

  14. #12
    There is no legitimate reason that driving with a particular liquid in your bloodstream should be illegal. If you hit someone or something the results should be the same: you get charged for hitting that person/object. If you don't hit anything then who the $#@! cares.
    Force always attracts men of low morality. – Albert Einstein

    Government is essentially the negation of liberty. – Ludwig von Mises

    The great non-sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State. - Murray N. Rothbard

  15. #13
    Might as well let blind people drive too while your at it, silly anarchists.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by nate895 View Post
    Flying on an airplane is different than consciously getting behind the wheel of a car while and driving when you are unfit to do so.
    Ah, yes, "unfit" by an arbitrary standard. Prove up a victim of this heinous crime.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


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    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEdwards View Post
    Might as well let blind people drive too while your at it, silly anarchists.
    I've heard of instances like this. Thus, driver's licensing-like most things-should be handled by competent folks in private industry.

    LAISSEZ FAIRE FTW!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
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  18. #16
    Be allowed
    Be Legal
    Will they let us

    Who is allowing you to drive again?

    If you don't commit a crime, harm or hurt anyone then what crime was committed

    the possibility of a crime that could happen?


    should it be legal? no but simply for the fact that NOT committing a crime doesn't need a reason to be "legal".
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  20. #17
    drunk driving without incident should not be illegal. however, driving drunk and then getting into an accident should carry the penalties that it currently carries, sometimes vehicular homicide depending on state and circumstance.

    i would support a law that increased the level of criminality of an accident which was proven to be caused by the drunken negligence of the drunk driver, however not a law that punishes a driver with a certain blood alcohol who is not violating anyones life or property.
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  21. #18
    No. It's not a crime. Privatize the roads and let businesses best decide how to handle their roads.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by nate895 View Post
    Flying on an airplane is different than consciously getting behind the wheel of a car while and driving when you are unfit to do so.
    Consciously getting behind the wheel and KNOWING you are unfit to do so.... Hmmn if you have all this conscious and knowing ability than you really can't be too drunk.
    Support Marijuana Legalization WORLDWIDE

  23. #20
    People who drink too much lose their sense of good vision, thought, and equilibrium. And for the same reason people who can't see very well aren't allowed to drive is the same reason why people who drink too much aren't allowed to drive.
    Rules to gain ground for our efforts. Remember we are the role models for liberty don't abuse it.
    Constructive criticism
    No condescending tones
    Allow room for disagreement
    Be respectful
    It takes time
    Don't flip out when "bad" things happen
    Be forward looking and be part of the solution not just the reaction
    There is no perfect candidate
    Support freedom locally as well as nationally
    Don't worry about negatives said against us but instead worry about giving something positive to say.

  24. #21

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by newyearsrevolution08 View Post
    Consciously getting behind the wheel and KNOWING you are unfit to do so.... Hmmn if you have all this conscious and knowing ability than you really can't be too drunk.
    That's what I was thinking.
    Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. -James Madison

  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by AutoDas View Post
    No. It's not a crime. Privatize the roads and let businesses best decide how to handle their roads.
    that might be a good point?
    Rules to gain ground for our efforts. Remember we are the role models for liberty don't abuse it.
    Constructive criticism
    No condescending tones
    Allow room for disagreement
    Be respectful
    It takes time
    Don't flip out when "bad" things happen
    Be forward looking and be part of the solution not just the reaction
    There is no perfect candidate
    Support freedom locally as well as nationally
    Don't worry about negatives said against us but instead worry about giving something positive to say.

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryDonegan View Post
    drunk driving without incident should not be illegal. however, driving drunk and then getting into an accident should carry the penalties that it currently carries, sometimes vehicular homicide depending on state and circumstance.

    i would support a law that increased the level of criminality of an accident which was proven to be caused by the drunken negligence of the drunk driver, however not a law that punishes a driver with a certain blood alcohol who is not violating anyones life or property.
    well said.
    "No way could I be elected,
    because I'm not going to play the role of Santa Claus.
    I'm going to play the role of trying to tell people the truth."

    - Ron Paul

    Campaign For Liberty
    Free State Project



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by SeanEdwards View Post
    Might as well let blind people drive too while your at it, silly anarchists.
    What degree of vision is your personal cut off? See, it is arbitrary.

    Yes, I can see standards for reckless diving; something that is outwardly causing a hazard to other drivers. But everybody has different abilities, some could drive just as well with a .10+ blood alcohol level as a sober elderly lady. If the only reason someone is being charged is because of the chemicals in their bloodstream without any victims from their actions, that to me is an unjust law.
    Last edited by Danke; 11-26-2008 at 11:40 PM. Reason: typo
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    What degree of vision is your personal cut off? See, it is arbitrary.

    Yes, I can see standards for reckless diving; something that is outwardly causing a hazard to other drivers. But everybody has different abilities, some could drive just as well with a 1.0+ blood alcohol level as a sober elderly lady. If the only reason someone is being charged is because of the chemicals in their bloodstream without any victims from their actions, that to me is an unjust law.
    There is a status called "legally blind" which means that you are beyond the ability of modern corrective lenses to correct your vision.

    BTW, if you have a 1.0 alcohol level, you are really dead. Your blood is pure alcohol.
    http://www.ronpaul2012.com/
    Quote Originally Posted by GK Chesterton
    It is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke
    Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by nate895 View Post
    There is a status called "legally blind" which means that you are beyond the ability of modern corrective lenses to correct your vision.

    BTW, if you have a 1.0 alcohol level, you are really dead. Your blood is pure alcohol.
    Yeah, I know. And it is arbitrary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryDonegan View Post
    drunk driving without incident should not be illegal. however, driving drunk and then getting into an accident should carry the penalties that it currently carries, sometimes vehicular homicide depending on state and circumstance.

    i would support a law that increased the level of criminality of an accident which was proven to be caused by the drunken negligence of the drunk driver, however not a law that punishes a driver with a certain blood alcohol who is not violating anyones life or property.
    +2
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron Paul know some weird people...



    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


    Short Income Tax Video

    The Income Tax Is An Excise, And Excise Taxes Are Privilege Taxes

    The Federalist Papers, No. 15:

    Except as to the rule of appointment, the United States have an indefinite discretion to make requisitions for men and money; but they have no authority to raise either by regulations extending to the individual citizens of America.

  33. #29
    The laws in place work fine now. I drive "drunk" all of the time but as I don't let myself do so overly wasted, I react correctly and drive fine and I've never been pulled over. If you're pulled over drunk there's probably a good reason for it.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by robmpreston View Post
    If you're pulled over drunk there's probably a good reason for it.



    I've been pulled over several times late at night when I didn't drink anything or break any traffic laws by cops fishing for a dui. not to mention DWI checkpoints.

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