Archives for March 28, 2005

BAC 0.08 foolishness

I am an ER doc. I don’t like drunk drivers, nor drunks in general. My distaste is not generic, it’s borne of dealing with intoxicated persons and their damages for a living. I see a lot of drunk drivers “get away with it”, and leave my ED after several hours, or from the hospital after a couple of days, having been in major automobile acidents. They don’t leave in cuffs, or with a citation, they just walk out, and my frustration is palpable.

That being said, I dislike the creeping nanny-stateism and erosion of liberties that comes with ‘more laws are better’ even more, in this case Drunk Driving Laws. I’m mostly conservative, but with a Libertarian streak that says Enough is Enough with drunk driving laws. (For the Record, I’m in favor of “mandatory reporting” ED laws for drivers and their blood alcohol levels, but it’s not to be. I’m not “Soft on Crime”, I’m Peeved about Dumb Crap). Which brings me to my next point, which I’ve linked to before, interestingly by the same author:

TCS: Tech Central Station – Drinking and Legislating If we look at “fatalities” instead of “accidents,” drivers with a BAC above .10 account for 77% of the alcohol-related body count. And the average BAC in fatal accidents involving alcohol is .17. Put another way, motorists with very high blood-alcohol levels account for an increasing percentage of highway fatalities, but a decreasing percentage of arrests.

Clearly, we’re allocating limited law enforcement resources toward the wrong pool of offenders.

So, there is a disconnect between effort and outcome, between probable culprit for DUI injury and actual arrest.

Great. More disconnect between reality and the law.