Two thoughts. First, I am curious about what model of breathalyzer he used and its reliability. My understanding is that many of the models are notoriously inaccurate. Furthermore, putting the device under such a battery of tests seems likley to alter results on any sub-par device.
Can you imagine if the driving speed laws were like this? What if you didn't have a speedometer in your car, and you'd never even seen one being used.
It is worth noting the recent advertising campaign I've seen promoting the fact "You don't have to be over .08 to be under arrest." The officer simply needs to believe you're impaired. Can you imagine if the speed limit was 65mph, but if an officer could exercise discretion based on how fast they thought a person should be driving? (perhaps based on how a person looks or what type of car they're driving)
They can. It's called Reckless Driving. The only car accident I've been in, I hit some ice and ended up in a ditch. The lady in the house near the ditch called the cops (thanks a lot lady). Cop showed up and she asked how fast I was going. It was an 80 km/h road and I was only going 60. Once I said that, she repeated "So you were driving too fast for the conditions?" a few times until I agreed. She probably could have charged me with reckless driving, but it helped that the first thing the tow truck driver did when he showed up is slip on the ice and fall on his ass.
I really hope they cleaned the devices after. Otherwise ... that's a lot of people making out!
Fair point, in the event of extenuating weather/visibility circumstances. However, on a clear day, with a road in good condition, you (theoretically) shouldn't get a speeding ticket for going at or under the speed limit.
On the other hand, the .08 limit means nothing if an officer feels otherwise. This seems absurd. They shouldn't set a limit if it means nothing. If it is up to an officer's discretion, then don't set a BAC limit. The laws where cops get to have their cake and eat it too drive me nuts...
The limit does mean something. Above .08, it's a per se violation; below .08, police have to prove you're impaired. That's the most typical statutory scheme.
Right, which means if you're above .08, you're guilt regardless of whether you were pulled over because of your driving or if you appeared impaired. You could be pulled over for a taillight, seem sober as the Mormon pope, but be guilty. Conversely, you are .07 and a cop can decide you acted impaired, because you're the type of person they're prejudiced against, such as the poor.
I'd rather remove the discretion. For example: .06 and clean for other mind-altering substances in the arresting blood test? Innocent, period. They still got you off the road that night.
Having a limit that's the same for everyone doesn't really measure intoxication nearly as well as a field sobriety test. I've tested myself, and it takes a lot for me to get to .08. The highest level I'd feel safe to drive at is about half that. Different people have very different responses to drugs.
A driver at .06 BAC is statistically much more dangerous than a driver who has smoked weed.
Any "test" that is open to abuse by douchebag cops is not a good choice, though I agree with the idea that people are affected differently by drugs. IMO a better alternative would be a real driving test to determine each person's acceptable BAC limit which is then printed on the licence. It would be too costly to implement which is why we have a strict limit.
In Australia the cops cannot charge you for drink dirving unless you're at or above .05 BAC. You can be slurring your speech and dribbling but if you blow .049 they can't legally do a thing. They can take you for a blood test under the presumption that you must be affected by drugs but if that comes up clean they've no discretion on the matter which is how it should be.
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