Drunk driving laws increase drunk driving. Yeah, I said it.



If hit T.V. show Diff’rent Strokes could once have had a “very special” episode about bullies, consider this a “very special” episode of matthaiduk.com/blog.

I wake up in cold sweats from this silly web page. It’s not really the web page. It’s the thought of things I write here coming up at the hearings for my confirmation to the Supreme Court.  Somebody is bound to not read everything I write in a post and take it all out of context.  “Isn’t it true, Mr. Haiduk, that you are for crime?”  I suppose having to deal with that on my way to the Supreme Court is just the “chance” I take.  Besides, it’s not like I’ll have to answer questions about bad pornography and sexual harassment.

Regardless of what people might take out of context, I believe the law should not encourage the “evil” it is trying to eliminateMy take, coincidentally, is not popular.  If it were, the drug laws would be different.  So would other laws. Like DUI.  In my world, DUI laws wouldn’t encourage impaired drivers to drive while impaired.

In your world (or, the “real” world, anyway) they do. In virtually every state.

I’m not nuts. No, I’m not.

Just hang with me for a minute.  Despite the strong “suggestions” of others in the legal profession (including the ABA), I try to keep this little slice of the digital world completely practical.  They want me to talk about “supreme court” precedent, stare decisis and other awesome latin sounding things.  I want to talk about brushing your hair before a mugshot, what to do when you’re being interrogated, and wearing incredible shirts.

For a brief minute, the “boring legal blog people” win.  I’m about to mention a case.  I apologize.  If hit T.V. show Diff’rent Strokes could once have had a “very special” episode about bullies, consider this a “very special” episode of matthaiduk.com/blog.  Hopefully it won’t happen again.

In 1989 a state trooper found a guy sleeping in a car on the shoulder of a frontage rode.  The guy was fast asleep in a sleeping bag, in the back seat of the car.  The keys were in the ignition but the car was not running.  The guy was drunk when the police showed up.  We’re not really sure if he was drunk before he stopped the car- he had been sleeping for several hours.  This all happened in a case called People v. Davis.

As far as the law is concerned, by the way, it doesn’t matter if he was stopped on the shoulder of the road, in the Wal-Mart parking lot, or even in the driveway of a party he never really left.  There are cases that cover all of those.

Now, ask yourself what you should do if you are on the road and it occurs to you that you may have had too much to drink?  Pull over and stop immediately, right?  Who doesn’t know that?  In my world, the defendant in the Davis case might get some sort of a ticket (parking, perhaps).  He shouldn’t get a DUI, though.  Sleeping was a better option than driving drunk.

In your world the court found that it was o.k. to charge him with DUI.  In the “real” world, pulling over and sleeping it off only prolongs the time you are outside of your house and subject to arrest for DUI.  For every minute you are sleeping in the back seat of your car, you are more likely to get arrested.  Does that encourage people to sleep, or keep driving in hopes of not getting seen?  I know, for sure, it doesn’t encourage people to stop immediately and sleep it off.

Did I just tell you to drive home drunk? Absolutely not.  I told you one way that the law may encourage that over absolute safety, though.  I can’t help but wonder why the law would ever do such a thing.

Maybe it’s because America doesn’t vote for anybody who isn’t “tough on crime” and “letting people off” of DUI isn’t tough enough?  Maybe it’s because there’s money to be made on arresting people (that bond fee is nothing, by the way… court costs alone for a single DUI can be in the thousands of dollars per case)?  Maybe, just maybe, it’s because we know that AAIM is watching and ranking the “top” DUI cops.  Maybe.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the law should encourage drunk people to get off the road immediately.  It doesn’t.  That’s actually what keeps me up at night in a cold sweat.

Call Now.