NMA's views on DWI

Wed Feb 24, 1993
A post from Genie

Here are the basics:

We oppose .08 BACs, or lower because they do not address drunk drivers nor do drivers at this level constitute a disproportionate percentage of accidents or fatalities. The primary purposes of low BACs is to intimidate, eliminate "proof" problems for the DA's, and expedite DWI arrests. There is also an element of pandering to the anti alcohol groups for political purposes. The average BAC for a DWI arrest in the US is .17. In Sweden the BAC limit is .02. The average BAC for a DWI arrest in Sweden is .17. Think about that for awhile.

WE oppose Administrative License Revocation. I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me why someone with a simple speeding ticket is entitled to a legitimate trial before they can be punished but someone facing the onerous penalties of a DWI charge is not. Expediency doesn't justify this end run of a person's right to a fair trial.

We support a greater focus in terms of enforcement AND treatment of repeat offenders.

We support the traditional requirement that there should be probable cause to stop someone suspected of DWI.

We believe there must be a relationship between the seriousness of the crime and the severity of the penalty. Many legislative bodies have decided that its easier to jack up penalties rather than invest resources in education and treatment. The second largest population in our prisons are people convicted of various DWI offences!

There are several other side issues but I'm sure the above provide enough ammunition for NMA to be labled "pro drunk driver". Here's the bottom line; we believe drunk drivers should be treated exactly the same as any other person accused of a crime. Further we believe that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages does not render a person incapable of driving safely. We don't believe this behavior should be deemed illegal nor should the legal standard be lowered to ensnare millions of citizens who are prudent and responsible in thier everyday activities.

Yes, welcome and I hope you'll enjoy this new NMA adventure.

Jim Baxter

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