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Piece on NBC "News" tonight about a new study's recommendations to reduce drunk driving. As can be expected from the US, it's all about increasing punishment:

-lower the blood alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05, so more people are punished for driving impaired.

-raise taxes on alcohol, so even people who do not drive impaired are punished.

-restrict availability of alcohol, so even people who do not drive impaired are punished.

film at 11:00

https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/new-study-says-bl...

Steve
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As can be expected from the US, it's all about increasing punishment:

-lower the blood alcohol limit from 0.08 to 0.05, so more people are punished for driving impaired


Steve, there you go again looking only for the dark, menacing, big government control.

You have not even considered the UBER lobby at all.

:)
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You have not even considered the UBER lobby at all.

Self-driving cars eliminate drunk drivers AND the Uber lobby in one fell swoop.
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Self-driving cars eliminate drunk drivers AND the Uber lobby in one fell swoop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1RYMPn-8G8
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Self-driving cars eliminate drunk drivers AND the Uber lobby in one fell swoop.

Raising taxes and restricting distribution of alcohol punishes everyone who consumes, even if they never drive impaired. That isn't making the roads safer. It's prohibition.

Steve
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Perhaps this about revenue enhancement. In my burg, police set up periodic roadblocks to view drivers to see if they are impaired & check auto insurance documentation & i suppose vehicle condition violations.

http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/crime/2016/05/07/state-...
LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State Police in Las Cruces conducted a roadblock on Stern Drive on Friday night, according to Capt. Stephen Cary.

Cary said the following activity was reported during Friday's roadblock.

1 DWI
1 open container
20 other traffic citations
1 seatbelt
2 designated drivers encountered
Every month, state police conduct checkpoints and saturation controls in counties across the state in an effort to reduce alcohol-related deaths.


This post makes me wonder about about driving while under the influence of marijuana. As far as I know there is no set THC limit in New Mexico statues. And how is that measured? I assume a blood test. With the legalization of marijuana state legislatures will have to modify driving statues methinks.
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This post makes me wonder about about driving while under the influence of marijuana. As far as I know there is no set THC limit in New Mexico statues. And how is that measured? I assume a blood test. With the legalization of marijuana state legislatures will have to modify driving statues methinks.

Well, at least under federal law, the limit on THC would be zero. Seems that the usual impairment tests would be sufficient to establish probable cause. Thing is, a blood test can detect pot days after it's ingested, when the person is not impaired at all. One of the delivery drivers where I used to work got in an accident. She was immediately ushered to the clinic for a blood test. The test detected pot and she was fired.

Of course, with the US going retrograde, again, the state laws may shortly be a non-issue.

In my burg, police set up periodic roadblocks to view drivers

In Michigan, the police set up "seat belt enforcement zones", where they look at passing traffic to see if they can see every occupant is wearing a belt. The "personal liberty" fanatics get upset if the police start pulling over a lot of people without probable cause, on what amounts to a fishing expedition. If the police conducted such a dragnet in Michigan, they would net tens of thousands of people driving on expired plates, no insurance and no license.

Nearly half of Detroit motorists 'driving dirty'

Like most Americans, the drivers of Detroit are required to carry auto insurance whenever they get behind the wheel, but many law-abiding residents can't afford the Motor City's highest-in-the-nation auto premiums, which top $5,000 a year in some neighborhoods.

So fully half of Detroit drivers do what's known locally as "driving dirty" -- taking to the streets without any coverage. It's practically a tradition here.


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/07/20/nearly-half-detroit-mot...

The state has used a little sticker to show a plate is valid. The stickers are color coded for the year, but they only use about three colors, and the stickers are only an inch wide, so, in traffic, it's difficult to tell if a plate has a current sticker on it. The state launched a two pronged approach to people driving on expired plates for years, if not decades: make the paint on the plates really fragile so it peels off in a few years, forcing the owner to replace an "illegible" plate, and, even if the plate holds up, we are now required to buy a new plate every ten years, plus pay for the registration sticker. So now the state will at least collect a one year registration fee once a decade.

Steve
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1 DWI
1 open container
20 other traffic citations
1 seatbelt
2 designated drivers encountered
Every month, state police conduct checkpoints and saturation controls in counties across the state in an effort to reduce alcohol-related deaths.


Pretty much a contentless article, IMO (not the poster's fault)

There is no context in this article.

Is this more or less than previous Friday nights?
Is the trend down or up or constant?
Was this data captured in 4 hours, 10 minutes or what?
How many total vehicles?

And the harder question...are these advertised in advanced and how many people decide not to drive in fear of getting caught (rather than fear of getting hurt or hurting someone else)

I applaud these efforts, in general, because there are too many people too dumb to know to not drive after drinking...still...after all these years of trying to get them to stop.

Mike
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because there are too many people too dumb to know to not drive after drinking...still...after all these years of trying to get them to stop.

Odd thing is that in many cases they don't plan to drink and drive ... however after several drinks it starts to look like a better option.

Lost one of my favourite pilots when he got hit by a drunk who didn't even remember that he was driving. Did four years in jail for it, maximum at the time. Now it is fourteen years.

Tim
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Thing is, a blood test can detect pot days after it's ingested, when the person is not impaired at all.

I wouldn't be too sure. Like blood alcohol, depends on the level. Below is a link to the fist paper I've seen to establish a serum level and impairment, 2-5 ng/ml.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037687160...

Read another paper that showed combining THC and alcohol is worse than either alone.

Doesn't matter how long ago one used, if its still floating around in the system it can still have an effect.

JLC
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Don't know what I think yet. The Abstract is interesting:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4448946/
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A few days ago, I dug out my DVD set of the "Pole to Pole" travelog that Michael Palin did in 91.

Pole to Pole is an eight-part television documentary travel series made for the BBC, and first broadcast on BBC1 in 1992. The presenter is Michael Palin, this being the second of Palin's major journeys for the BBC. The first was Around the World in 80 Days, a 7-part series first broadcast on BBC One in 1989, and the third was Full Circle with Michael Palin, a 10-part series first broadcast on BBC One in 1997.

The trip from the North Pole to the South Pole went via Scandinavia, the Soviet Union, parts of Europe, and through the heart of Africa. The intention was to follow the 30 degree east line of longitude, which would cover the most land. A last-minute diversion to Chile included South America in the series. Using aircraft as little as possible, the whole trip lasted 5½ months.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pole_to_Pole

While driving in Norway, Palin talked with a Norwegian about drunk driving. Seems that the laws in Norway are very strict, including a couple weeks in jail. There are so many people sentenced to jail time that, at that time, there was a two year waiting list to do the jail time.

So, I looked up the current law in Norway.

To drink or not to drink: Norwegian versus American DUI laws

Here (Norway) there is an almost zero tolerance for drinking and driving, in part because the accepted blood alcohol level (0.2% or .02) is so low and the penalties high. That is not to say Norwegians drink less than Americans, in fact some might argue that Norwegians drink more, but Norwegians are more likely to call a cab or have a designated driver.

If you look at the table, you’ll see that in Norway if you have a blood alcohol content of .02-.05 you can lose your license for up to one year and receive a fine equal to one month’s salary (if your level is over .05 you will almost always pay at least Kr 10,000—or $1,250 at the exchange rate of 1 USD = 8 NOK). As your blood alcohol level rises, it takes longer to get your license back and your risk of jail time increases.


http://www.norwegianamerican.com/heritage/to-drink-or-not-to...

Here in Michigan, at least, license suspension means nothing. The "news" is constantly reporting on drunk drivers that have caused an accident, and who have had their license suspended 6-8 times or more for DUI in the past. I bet those perps did not forego driving a single day while their license was suspended.

Then there is the probability of being caught at all. This map shows the number of DUI cases per 1,000 residents for each county in Michigan, with the most populous counties broken down by city.

http://media.mlive.com/news_impact/photo/drunk-drivejpg-2753...

The map shows a wide range of case rates, but is this due to varying tolerance among departments, or departments so undermanned that they don't have time to look for drunks?

Steve
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