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DUI—the final solution—tough love, zero tolerance

11 Sep

From Wikipedia:

What is the legal drinking limit for drivers in Texas?

The blood alcohol limit in Texas is a 0.08 BAC ( Blood Alcohol Content), unless you are under the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21 and your BAC is 0.02 or higher then you are legally intoxicated. Additionally, the legal limit for commercial drivers is a BAC of 0.04 or more.

What are the terms used for drunk driving offenses in Texas?

A person arrested for drunk driving in Texas will be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”). Moreover, the definition of Intoxication, under Texas DWI law, includes both drugs and alcohol. However the term used for a drunk driving offense for a driver under age 21 Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol By A Minor (“DUI by a Minor”).

What happens if I refuse to consent to a Chemical Blood or Breath Test when pulled over for DWI in Texas?

According to Texas’ implied consent law, once you receive your driver’s license you automatically consent to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine to determine blood alcohol content or the presence of drugs. If you refuse the test, your driver’s license will be taken away immediately and you will be issued a temporary drivers license until your court hearing. During your hearing the refusal may be used as evidence against you and the court may rule to suspend your driver’s license.

Those are the rules, and what follows is my analysis and my recommendations—tough love and zero tolerance.

If one is driving on San Antonio’s freeways, whether day or night, one needs to be ready to dodge some damn fool coming towards one against traffic, sometimes weaving across lanes at a slow speed and sometimes at high speeds. Alcohol is the cause of most of our wrong-way drivers—they have entered the off-ramp thinking it was the on-ramp to the freeway.

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Our city is one of the worst in the nation for such violations, and our police officers do everything they can to prevent accidents and save lives by controlling and stopping the wrong-way idiot before someone dies because of stupidity. The police often resort to placing spike mats across the lanes, a dangerous action for the patrol officers and for regular traffic and dangerous even for the traffic offender. Some times the spikes work and sometimes not.

In virtually every incidence, the wrong-way driver is DUI—driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. Our daily paper, the Express-News, faithfully reports such violations, the police faithfully arrest the offender and the judge faithfully sentences the driver to prison and orders probation along with community service.

If the DUI results in the death of another driver and/or passengers, the offender is given the option of having a jury decide the punishment or places his fate in the hands of a judge. The judge almost always orders prison time and the juries almost always punish with probation and community service. In San Antonio we have drivers with as many as a dozen DUIs and still driving.

When drivers are stopped and are suspected of DUI, the routine  tests are administered, including having the suspected offenders walk a straight line or at least make the attempt, close their eyes and touch the tip of their nose, take the breathalyzer test and/or submit to having blood drawn to determine blood alcohol content. If the alcohol content meets a predetermined level, the driver is charged with DUI and the court process begins.

Our local paper tracks the offenses, and sometimes the story is that a particular citizen has been charged multiple times with DUI and is still on the loose, on probation. I believe that if adopted, my suggestions will change that.

I recommend two processes to be made law. The first is to implement zero tolerance. If tests show the presence of alcohol, regardless of the amount, fine the offender and strip the driver’s license to drive for six months and impose a financial penalty. Subsequent offenses should escalate in severity to include longer periods of loss of license including loss of driving privileges for life, higher financial penalties and extended terms of incarceration. Community service should never be a sentence for violation of DUI, whether it be the only punishment or an addition to other options—community service is a farce.

My second suggestion is to require that any person, whether male, female, adult or juvenile that intends to imbibe alcohol beverages or indulge in using substances that affect driving skills, whether legal or illegal substances, must utilize a designated driver. With that protection, the drinker will be able to ride in comfort to the various venues that feature alcoholic beverages and have no fear of being charged with DUI violations. That person may be a drunken passenger, but in the absence of other violations such as mooning people, for instance, or riding while naked or barfing out of the window and splattering the windshield of the vehicle behind thus obscuring the driver’s vision and causing an accident, that person should be safe from our dedicated police officers. I have no recollection of anyone having been charged with RWD—Riding While Drunk.

What follows now is a not-so-brief bio of my mother’s youngest son in respect to liquor consumption. I hasten to say that having driven various motor vehicles over more than six decades—almost seven decades—I have never been cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. I lost count over the years for citations I have earned for minor traffic offenses, but none for DUI. Yes, luck was on my side many times, and I take no pride in that. I will, however, take pride in being truthful, at least in this instance.

In my teenage years I was a confirmed introvert—an introvert, however, only until I consumed my first alcoholic beverage, whether straight shots with or without a chaser, a mixed drink or wine or beer. Immediately after that first drink I became a confirmed extrovert, and I hit on everything that even remotely resembled a female, homo sapiens of course. I never desired nor was I ever involved in an intimate sexual relationship with non-homo sapiens whether large or small and whether animal, vegetable or mineral—well, there was just one time I was briefly involved with a sun-warmed watermelon (hey, lighten up—that’s a joke, damn it).

My hit lines were delivered regardless of the target’s race, political affiliation, religious beliefs, education or lack thereof and physical features whether heavy or slim, tall or short, whether brunette, blond, red-haired, streaked, short hair, long hair, curly hair, dreadlocks, bangs or bald. I was not one of those for whom “all the girls get prettier at closing time,” a claim made in a song by country singer Mickey Gilley. The girls went from drab to pretty immediately after I took that first drink and kept getting prettier as the hour neared closing time.

In my teenage years and extending to today’s tender accumulation of years, I have never seen nor do I ever expect to see an ugly woman. In my estimation every member of the female gender is attractive—it’s just that some are prettier than others, and in many instances much, much prettier—I mean, like you know, a lot prettier, like, you know, drop-dead gorgeous. Of course, I must remind the reader of a hoary adage which tells us that  “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Yeah, right!

PeeEss:

I—meaning the author of this posting—am a teetotaler and have been for a significant number of years. The only downside to being a teetotaler is that I can’t respond to wine-tasting parties, many of which are free. I eschew alcohol in all its forms except one. I do not subscribe to the statement that “Lips that touch whiskey will never touch mine.” In this one exception I embrace the saying that “There are exceptions to every rule.”

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Old joke—A guy in a bar approaches a tall female, one with unusually striking facial features, and says, “Ubangi?”

She replies, “You betcha!”

Click here for photos of Ubangi women, and please remember the premise that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a truism to which I subscribe with very few exceptions.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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5 responses to “DUI—the final solution—tough love, zero tolerance

  1. sue cummings

    September 12, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Hear, hear! I like your idea of no tolerance when it comes to DUIs. I’ve heard that in the middle east they have harsh punishments for crimes and that’s why their crime rates are so low. Mike Dyer for president! He’ll get our nation in tip top shape!

     
    • thekingoftexas

      September 13, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Hi, Sue – thanks for the comment, and thanks especially for your “Mike Dyer for president” slogan. I have always felt that I was presidential materiel (material?), but I would not be acceptable for the nomination, regardless of which party I chose. It’s sad, but true, that I would not survive the first few hours of the vetting process, and I would not want my faults, frailties and foibles inscribed, with images, on giant posters and paraded up and down Main Street—and not even in the alleys.

      However, if I should throw my hat into the ring and survive the vetting process against all odds, I know that I would garner at least four votes, namely yours and those of my three daughters. Well, okay, perhaps just your vote—the other three votes could be a bit iffy. Again, thanks for the visit to my blog and for the comment, and y’all come back, ya’ hear!

       
  2. GeekAtLarge

    September 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Hear, Hear! I concur. a DUI offense is comparable to attempted manslaughter. Yes, I know that manslaughter is normally interpreted as an act performed without the intent to kill (not premeditated), but a DUI is a very serious situation in which manslaughter is a distinct possibility, so I am adding the “attempted” to this phrase.

     
  3. thekingoftexas

    September 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hey, thanks for the comment. I agree on your premeditation addition. While punishment based on one’s subconscious thoughts or intentions might not convince the jury, the judge would probably go for it—good thinking!

     
    • thekingoftexas

      November 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

      From: Mike

      To: Mike

      I managed to lose the last part of my reply to your comment on my cheese haiku, and it took me five days to restore it. Part of the text that disappeared pertained to your suggestion of a counterpoint for comparing pungent extremities, namely stinky feet. My response addressed your suggestion that paying homage to fromage would be an excellent counterpoint. No, not just excellent—make that the ultimate counterpoint. The other part of my Lost Scroll was my unabridged and unbridled agreement with Cindy’s notion that your sense of humor is similar to mine, and you told me I was being forewarned.

      Thanks for the comment and thanks for the warning. I view the warning as a challenge. I have therefore girded my loins, and in the words of George W. Bush, “Bring it on!”

      PeeEss: Your close-up photos are excellent—nay, superior is a better word, and I readily and cheerfully pay homage to your proficiency with the camera. If you continue in the same vein you may in time excel your muse. I have some doubt about that, but keep trying—it’s worth the effort.

       

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