Buzzed Driving Is NOT Drunk Driving

Buzzed Driving Is NOT Drunk Driving
4 comments, 12/24/2013, by , in CIVICS

The National Transportation Safety Board recently stated that the current Blood Alcohol Level Content  of .08 should be lowered to .05 in an effort to reduce the number of deaths in connection to impaired drivers.

And while the NTSB does not have the power to write or enforce new laws, they are charged by Congress “with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in other modes of transportation-railroad, highway, marine and pipeline,” according to their website.

The American Beverage Institute responded that lowering the BAC level to .05 as “ludicrous,”.

The group, which represents thousands of restaurants, stated the change would focus on responsible adults instead of binge drinkers who decide to drive.

Well, as a (moderately) responsible adult who’s on the wrong side of 30, I wholeheartedly agree with the American Beverage Institute that lowering the blood alcohol content level from .08 to .05 would indeed be absolutely ludicrous. I mean, if the were to actually happen, you might as well go ahead and never leave your house ever again.

What, does that seem like a bit of a stretch to you?

Well, it’s certainly not, if you think about what a .05 BAC level is equivalent to; one, or possibly two drinks depending on your size. In fact, when this story broke on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that a woman 120 pounds or less can reach .05 after one drink. That threshold would require two drinks for a man who weighs 160 pounds or more. See? And that’s the AP! They’re like, super legit and everything!

Anyway, if the BAC level is indeed lowered to .05, you can go ahead and forget about having those two beers that you were thinking of consuming over the course of playing 18 holes of golf with your dumb buddies. That’s because if you’re pulled over after said round of golf, guess what sir? You’re now legally drunk, even though you’re perfectly fine except for the fact you might have gotten too much sun today. Either way, off to jail you go.

Hey, and what about all those Christmas parties you were planning on attending this year? Yeah, you can forget about going to those, too. That’s because if you imbibed a glass of wine or two while making small talk with friends or family, and then you get stopped by a cop on your way home, guess what lady? YOU’RE LEGALLY DRUNK. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Now, give me your keys and get in the back of this cruiser while this tow truck comes and takes your car and your life crumbles right in front of you.

Look, this is all such garbage, and you can’t tell me that the impetus behind lowering the BAC from .08 to .05 is more about filling arrest quotas and making money for the U.S. justice system more than it is about “saving lives.”

Oh, and don’t try to shove that ridiculous scare tactic brought to us by the angry moms of MADD in my face as the reason why the NTSB is trying to make this change either.

You know the one. The one that tries to tell us that “Buzzed driving IS drunk driving.”

No, it most certainly isn’t.

First, let me start with the personal and get it out of the way. I don’t condone drunk driving, I don’t drive drunk.  Well, anymore at least. I’m not proud of it, but I’ll at least admit that I was a selfish, stupid idiot throughout most of my 20′s, and there were more than a few times where I drove home absolutely bombed. Like, I’m talking with one hand over one eye kind of bombed because I couldn’t actually see straight. The kind of bombed that had me pulling into my driveway, and opening the door, and having my roommate finding me slumped over in the drivers seat with a pile of puke on the ground to my left, and him rightfully reading me the riot act. Again, this is nothing to be proud of, and my only excuse (as childish is it was) was that that I had to get home to sleep in my own comfy, toasty bed. See? I TOLD you I was an idiot. Nowadays, I’m lucky to live in an area where I pretty much never drive anywhere, so it’s not much of an issue. But if I go somewhere and I know I’m going to have to drive, say some dumb work related party or something, I would probably have only one drink, two at the most, depending on how many hours I’m going to be there. It’s fair to say that I err on the side of caution when it comes to drinking and driving, and mostly take a cab or walk.

But “buzzed driving” is “drunk driving”? And I’m “intoxicated” if I blow a .05 after I’ve been pulled over? Nope. Lies. If I’ve had 2 drinks over the course of 4 hours, I’m fine. Just like YOU’RE completely fine. If anything, those two drinks have made me MORE cognizant of how I’m SUPPOSED to be driving. I’m all “hands at two and ten” and doing the speed limit, which is how EVERYONE* is after they’ve had only one or two drinks when they’re out and just want to get home.

(Note* I didn’t survey, or talk to any other actual people in regards to this post. I’m just assuming.)

Not to mention, do we have actual data on how many “buzzed drivers” have ever been in or caused actual accidents? If I had to guess, I’m thinking that the number is something around ZERO.

No, where “buzzed drivers” get pinched, and would be getting porked at an even more alarming rate if the BAC level is taken down to .05 are at checkpoint stops. In other words, drivers with BACs at or near .08 simply aren’t drivers that are causing accidents. Instead, in most of the DWI accident cases I’ve ever read about, those that caused the accidents are HAMMERED with BAC’s at like .13 or something like that.

So brace yourselves people. If .05 is to become the new national standard when it comes to the blood alcohol content level, we’re ALL screwed, because that misleading witch hunt statement “buzzed driving IS drunk driving” will now mean you’ll never be able to enjoy a frosty mug of beer while enjoying your dinner. Because otherwise, you’re going to have to spend the entirety of that dinner wondering wether or not you’re going to end up in jail and having your life ruined if you’re pulled over by a cop on your way home.

 

photo credit: (c) iStockphoto/Thinkstock

 

About Murray

is a writer for CTBOOM
4 comments
veronica
veronica

I just read this article and it holds no facts. I don't know If the author intended for this to be an argument or just an opinion, but if  a 30 year old man is responsible for this paper then you really don't know how to write a proper paper. If this article convinces anyone then I am at loss for words. This article holds NO facts. The article and comments seem like they were written by people who are mad because they may have had an experience getting pulled over when they weren't technically over the BAC limit. Here's a fun fact for you... buzzed driving slows down your body functions, impairs vision, and delays your focus just as drunk driving does. Also, I can't help to notice the authors own statistic of accidents caused by buzzed drivers being close to zero meanwhile a "study of nearly 1.5 million fatal accidents indicates that even .01 percent blood alcohol concentration is enough to increase the odds of a deadly accident. For many adults, that's less than half a beer." Clearly people don't do research anymore. I don't know about you, but does 1.5 million sound close to zero? If you get behind the wheel and you say you are fine to drive because you are "buzzed" and not drunk and you don't get into an accident or cause one then consider yourself LUCKY because the stakes are a lot more higher.


Something for you to think about is if buzzed driving is not considered drunk driving then why are drivers with a 0.01 BAC have a 46% more of a chance of being blamed for an accident then a sober person? You would probably say of course the guy with the 0.01 would be blamed because he  blew a number and the other guy didn't, but what if the sober guy is the reason why the accident occurred? What if that guy is the one who ran the stop sign or ran the light and not the guy with the 0.01? The guy with the 0.01 still has almost a 50% chance of getting blamed for that accident because he was still technically under the influence and maybe would have been able to step on his breaks faster or prevent the accident from occurring if he had been more aware of his surroundings and MAYBE would have noticed that guy not stopping or slowing down. Fact of the matter is, if you blow a number thats not a 0 then you are impaired. Of course though, probably according to the author of this article would probably fight saying he was sober, like a lot of people would do if they were in that kind of situation, but when that cop or judge or lawyer asks if you had consumed a drink before deciding to operate a vehicle, you would have to say yes.

sandy
sandy

Thank you for writing and contributing your thoughts. I have a few facts, since I have been close to the situation. The process and the system are run by MADD. That organization is powerful and

The judges, the attornies have noprosecutordon't want to deal with the wrath Of the moms (who probably drink all the time and drive!!!.) and they want to be appointed again...By the way...I am sorry for the people that have perished because of drunk drivers. The police are on a mission...more money for the state. They call everything "we received a call about a car driving erractically"...someone needs to lookat those DMV 911 calls....they don't add up...and I was told they can be manipulated. YOU are labeled, judged and devastated if you get a DUI. YOU ARE TREATED AS A CRIMINAL! !! buzzed driving is not drunk driving....they will get you no matter what

They are ruining peoples lives and calling offenders alcoholics....so where does the ADA come in to protect the diseased? Where are the SERVE AND PROTECT cops??? They want to win a contest! Everyone is afraid to go out in Connecticut. .hmmmmmm....little

less stauking, profiling and running plates....sorry MADD....sorry for your loss...the system needs to help people ...especially if they don't hurt or kill anyone...not punish and ruin there lives...why do you think John Cashmon (prosecutor for Middlesex) took his life after a DUI arrest? probably because he couldn't say the alphabet backwards...who really can when they're sober?

DustyRose
DustyRose

http://www.duiblog.com/2005/12/28/new-legal-standard-for-arrest-buzzed-driving/

Many law enforcement agencies are taking the slogan seriously. DPS Trooper Johnny Hernandez tells NEWSCHANNEL 5, "Just because you don?t blow a 0.08, you can still be taken to jail."….

Most drivers who spoke with NEWSCHANNEL 5 were surprised to find out you can go to jail even if your blood alcohol level is below the legal limit. Some said they don’t think it’s right. But Trooper Hernandez said, "Our job is to make sure our streets are safe. That’s all. To make sure everybody is having a safe and happy holidays."

So if you drinking – and buzzing – but think you can still drive, you might want to think again and find another way home. Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra tells NEWSCHANNEL 5 even if a driver goes to jail, without a .08 blood alcohol level it’s not likely he will see the inside of a courtroom.

So if he won’t "see the inside of a courtroom", why are the police arresting him? When did the police decide to enforce their own standards?

If you think that the law matters anymore, think again.  Many agencies are ignoring our rights and simply making up the rules as they deem fit. Just because you are on the right side of the law, by not blowing over the legal limit, don't think your rights won't be infringed...and good luck setting it right.  

j
j

The fact of the matter is that "Buzzed driving ISN'T drunk driving." And the propaganda on tv is bullshit. Oh look one's on right now...