People in Wisconsin will have an opportunity to voice their opinion about drunk driving laws on Thursday this week in a public hearing. Republicans are attempting to stiffen penalties associated with drunk driving offenses according to the news reports. However, it also states that a .15 or higher BAC level will be a misdemeanor - maybe they're trying to raise the legal limit? No, they want to give police officers the ability to seize the vehicle of accused offenders. In addition, they want to make it a felony charge on third and fourth offenses. Where I live, they already seize the vehicle upon suspicion, require mandatory court appearances and the BAC level for all of this is a whopping .05. They want to increase mandatory sentencing with these bills too. Stand up for your rights Wisconsin!
The hearing will take place in Madison on Thursday, be there and be heard.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/hearing-set-on-toughening-penalties-for-drunken-drivers-b9973402z1-219175701.html
http://redrockonair.com/news/topstories/2013/08/12/wisconsin-drunk-driving-bills-to-face-public-hearing-thursday/
http://www.channel3000.com/news/3-drunken-driving-bills-up-for-hearing/-/1648/21274664/-/upbhf5/-/index.html
 
Michigan has extended the .08 BAC level for drunk driving in their state. They based this decision on bogus statistics and the amount of funding that they would have lost, $50 million, had they not complied with the blackmailing tactics of DOT. It is so frustrating to see what is happening to our country. What I really want to know is where all of this money is coming from? Shouldn't we throw money at real problems instead of blackmailing states to enforce arbitrary laws based on bad data and misinformation that has been perpetuated by emotionally charged groups? There is no place for emotionally charged, greedy, false representation of facts in our legal/"justice" system.

http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/michigan_gov_rick_snyder_signs_1.html


 
We found an alternative to driving in South Carolina on St. Patricks Day that is fairly inexpensive in comparison to a taxi ride and have provided the link below for people interested. It is a party bus ride for $40, BYOB and restrooms! If you know of any other opportunities, please let everyone know.

http://www.wsav.com/story/21567916/lc-business-to-shuttle-folks-to-savannah-for-st-pats

St. Patricks Day is a fun celebration time and the police want to cash in on it. Most areas have increased patrols, checkpoints and special provision laws such as no refusal night. Be careful if you are going out, because thanks to
Twitter there are many people tracking the police and broadcasting it to followers, which is eliminating many of their potential arrests. 


 
House Bill 1214 is up for consideration in Colorado. This bill aims to mandate a felony charge for the third DUI/DWAI offense, regardless of the circumstances. This Bill will further remove discretion from our court system and should not be passed. It has been defeated in the past due to the costs of enforcement and lack of space in the jails. However, it seems there are now empty beds in  the jails, which should be a good thing, unfortunately it has been used as a signal to the legislators that new laws to increase incarceration are needed to fill them. The representative that introduced the Bill states that Colorado is one of five states that do not have a felony penalty for repeat offenders. This is much like saying, we should do this because everyone else is. We are also one of two states that has legalized marijuana, did we do that because everyone else is? I hope that citizens stand up and make their voices heard on this issue because we shouldn't pass new laws because everyone else has them.

The real problem with this mentality is that everyone that has been convicted of a DWAI or DUI was driving or actually causing a safety risk to the community. This is often not the case in Colorado. Another problem is that a DWAI is a .05 - .07 BAC level, which for me is one drink. These laws need to be equal for all drivers, not discriminating against people that drink. If a driver is observed driving poorly and creating a safety hazard, they should be ticketed and removed from the road - equal treatment for all drivers. Most fatal accidents are caused by people that have a .000 BAC level.

Colorado residents write your representatives to make your voice heard and ask for equality among drivers. No on House Bill 1214.

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_22648886/colorado-needs-felony-dui-law
 
If you live in Kentucky, Michigan or Wisconsin beware of pending legislation to implement hasher punishment for drunk drivers. Kentucky representative Dennis Keene has introduced a bill to mandate interlock installation for DUI offenders. In October 2012, the feds in their infinite wisdom enacted legislation for states to mandate interlocks or risk losing a portion of their funding (blackmail). This will help the bill pass, this time -
http://www.kypost.com/dpps/news/region_northern_kentucky/wilder/lawmaker-files-bill-to-toughen-ky-dui-laws_8240064

Michigan stands to lose $50 million in federal funding unless they vote to keep the BAC limit at .08. The original
legislation that lowered the limit to .08 will run out soon and raise the legal limit to .10 BAC. MADD and police officers that get paid overtime and receive awards for their DUI arrests are against letting the limit revert to .10. They claim that the data supports their position, but as we all know - their data is seriously flawed and holds no meaning. http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/Drunk-Driving-Laws-Could-Change--191118541.html

Wisconsin has introduced legislation that will make a third drunk driving offense a felony. The representative said that their laws were out of line with other states and needed to be stronger. They want to enforce mandatory minimum sentences and criminalize first offenders over .15 BAC which is not currently the law. You can read about it here
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/bills-would-toughen-wisconsins-drunkendriving-laws-qm8nt5o-190705021.html

The only way to stop the madness is to make your voices heard. Please write, call or visit your representatives if you live in any of these states and tell them this has gone too far.

 
The UK has repealed DUI laws in rural areas siting that they cause a rise in depression and suicide in the county. They also said that there are not enough DUI accidents in rural areas on these roads to justify the punishment. The residents can apply for a special permit to drink and drive because there is no other means of reasonable transportation home from a pub. Many are outraged at this decision, but we think it's a step in the right direction!
Opponents claim that depression causes suicide not the lack of being able to go to the pub. I think the opponents are non-social people and do not understand that most of us do not want to drink at home by ourselves for fear of being arrested. Living in fear is never a good thing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/22/irish-council-rural-drink-driving    

This is reminiscent of the Montana argument wouldn't you say...maybe Alan's not so far out there after all.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x4796451
 
It seems that the NHTSA has decided that just because there's a cell phone in the vehicle, they can no longer attribute the accident to distracted driving. This is curious since that's exactly what they do for alcohol related accidents, there merely has to be alcohol present or suspected to be present. Why is it that data collection for one form of automobile accidents is different from another? Shouldn't it all be the same for reporting purposes? The answer is yes it should, but MADD has a strong hold on the NHTSA and would not be happy with a change to drunk driving data collection. They award officers every year that have the highest drunk driving offender arrest rate. This action encourages many officers to use creative writing techniques and stretch the "reasonable cause" tactic in order to meet a quota and win a prize.
In the research community the data collection methods used and statistical information produced by the NHTSA is laughed at, but unfortunately that is a very small portion of the population. The general public listens to their nonsense; believes that they are unbiased and actually know what they're doing. They do know what they're doing, they are biased and creating an unecessary panic in our society to get the desired reaction. Data and statistical information can be used in many ways, it can also be calculated in numerous ways to show whatever you want to show if you have no ethics which is exactly what has happened in the NHTSA. Just take a look at the first link provided below, if they wanted to portray accurate information, why would they collect statistical data in the manner that they did/do in the first place?
http://news.onlineautoinsurance.com/consumer/nhtsa-distracted-driving-car-insurance-95776
NHTSA and MADD
MADD and NHTSA Continue To Deceive The U.S. Public
MADD Flunks the Truth Test
 
With all of the drunk driving arrests, it is good to know that there is still reason in some areas of the country, St Tammany Parish in Louisiana is a leading example of how common sense works better than strict laws.

"...Strain said his deputies also are trained to use discretion in deciding which drivers are most dangerous to public safety. They weigh a variety of factors: the initial traffic violation, the driver's apparent level of impairment, the
driver's record and even the reason for drinking."We don't want to arrest every person who drives through our parish," Strain said. "We're there to get the guy who's truly impaired and not the husband and wife who have just celebrated their 20th anniversary over a bottle of wine."
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/10/dwi_arrests_through_the_roof_b.html

 
Now is the time to write our representatives about where we want our country to go from here. With the shooting in CT they are focusing on more gun control legislation. Colorado legislators are taking up the driving laws in place and how to incorporate marijuana impairment. We must stand together and demand justice. Restore reason in our legislation and stop treading on constitutional rights, please write your
 
Pot smokers are finally feeling realizing the ridiculousness of the blood content (BC) laws. Washington smokers are scared about being criminalized for using a legal substance because of the arbitrary BC law that is in effect – 5 nanograms per milliliter of THC is legally under the influence and leads to a criminal conviction. Welcome to the alcohol world! They say it is wrong because the substance is legal and stays in the system long after use, affects people differently, and is a way for government to prohibit use – does any of this sound familiar? It is peculiar that these same people believe that marijuana should be treated differently because it is safer than alcohol. Wake up pot smokers, no one cares, alcohol has been legal for many years and the prohibitionist’s have a strong movement in place that has made it essentially illegal to use. Sure you can still purchase it from a store in most areas, but do not walk, drive, ride a bike, go boating or rafting, ride a horse or use any type of transportation under your control after consuming a beer or alcoholic beverage because that’s illegal. People that drink often or are addicts will always have a BAC level whether or not they are intoxicated at the time and they have built up a tolerance which makes them less impaired than someone that does not drink often. An additional concern among pot smokers is that the laws do not take into account the size, tolerance and metabolism of the individual. The misinformation, inflated numbers and negative propaganda has created the same problem for alcohol that marijuana has had to overcome. Whether you prefer to use pot or alcohol is a personal choice, the fact is that law enforcement should be held accountable for proving that there was a driving impairment that prompted them to pull over the vehicle. This is not the case in
  Colorado, you do not need to be driving or operating the transportation in question – only the ability to do so, and as Washington is finding your rights are stripped away in court once the BC level is broken. There is no defense if
  they have a breath or blood sample that is in excess of the limit which is .05 in Colorado. When it’s a secondary offense found after the vehicle is pulled over – a license plate light out, expired tags, and similar circumstances - it
  should not subject the victim/driver to arrest and additional charges of driving while impaired – because there’s no evidence of driving impairment. 
 
Americans for Fair Legislation will submit a letter to several legislators to present the facts and recommend a common sense approach to this problem. It will be posted on the web site, please help us make a change by writing to your representatives and requesting reasonable laws that focus on driving impairment. Links to find them are provided below, they will be reviewing these laws in January 2013.

Write your congress representative
Write your state legislator and governor