Sunday, September 26, 2010

People Are Mad About MADD

From "Anti-drinking activists drunk with power" by Eric Scheie on Classical Values blog:
When I was awakened early this morning, I made the mistake of turning ... on C-SPAN, thinking that boring speeches would do the trick.

Big mistake. Instead of boring speeches, I was greeted by passionate, in-your-face activists from M.A.D.D.[Mothers Against Drunk Drives] The hard core of that organization consists mostly of people who have lost a family member because of an accident with a drunk driver, and who have clearly sublimated the normal grief which accompanies the death of a loved one into political activism. They think that their loved ones died because of lax laws, and they press for endlessly tougher laws, which they claim will stop drunk driving.

M.A.D.D. activists are now pushing to make drunk driving a felony, and to lower the blood alcohol level standard for DUI from .08 (already lowered from .10 thanks to MADD activists) down to .04.

.04 is the BAC [Blood Alcohol Content] you'd get from a glass of wine.

It doesn't take much imagination to see that this would create a gigantic new group of felons.

Now, I do not defend drunk driving. But the direction in which this hysteria is going -- making driving after a glass of wine with dinner a felony -- is simply an outrage. This isn't a crackdown on drunk driving; it is neo-prohibitionism.

The M.A.D.D. speakers were also calling for a return to the 55 mph speed limit, because drunk drivers are said to be much more dangerous at high speeds. Saying that because drunk drivers are more dangerous at higher speeds no one should be allowed to drive at high speeds makes about as much sense as saying that because drunk drivers are dangerous in cars, no one should be allowed to own a car. In typical nanny state fashion, this would punish the many for the crimes of the few, and another example of the national kindergarten mentality I have complained about till I'm blue in the fingertips. Also, this argument makes the ridiculous assumption that drunk drivers (who are already violating the law by drinking and driving) will somehow be law-abiding and not exceed the speed limit. (Right. Like criminals planning armed robbery or murder will nonetheless be deterred by gun control laws.)
Read the complete blog post here.

Nobody, including myself, wants drunk, distracted, drugged drivers driving cars on the road, but nobody wants to make a felon out of someone who has one glass of wine and was stopped by the police because his license plate light was out and gets arrested for drunk driving as a felon.


  1. Where are you getting your information from? You are way off base with what MADD is advocating for, which is ignition interlocks for all first time offenders and advanced technology (alcohol detection) to be manufactured in vehicles -- not a decrease in .08 or 55mph?!

  2. Superlative style of composing that each new blogger tries to have.