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Archive for Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kansas strengthens drunken driving laws

May 26, 2011

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2011 Lawrence Crime Maps

A set of interactive Google maps providing a breakdown of crime in Lawrence in 2011.

— Kansas will require first-time drunken driving offenders to use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles, starting in July.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill Wednesday that strengthens the state’s laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The new law also requires the state to set up a central database of driving-under-the-influence cases to track of offenders’ histories.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving pushed Kansas to make its laws tougher. Last year, federal statistics showed alcohol-related traffic deaths in Kansas jumped in 2009, even as they dropped nationwide.

Current law suspends a first-time DUI offender’s license for 30 days and allows a judge to order use of an ignition interlock for 330 days after that. The new law will mandate 180 days’ use after the suspension.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Here's a good quote from that website:

"the number of suicides each year greatly outnumber the innocent deaths caused by drunken drivers.”

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Here's some more:

What does alcohol related mean? It means someone involved in the accident had a measurable (not necessarily illegal) amount of alcohol in their system, or there was evidence of alcohol near the scene (an old beer can under the seat will do). They are not saying the someone with alcohol in their system caused the accident or was even driving or even inside a motor vehicle. But somehow it is always the drinker’s fault. Sober drivers never get into accidents, so it’s gotta be the drinker’s fault, right? Here’s some of the methods they use to arrive at and further inflate the number:

1.) A measurable amount of alcohol means anything above .00 percent, up to and including a sip of beer or cough medicine.

2.) Drivers impaired by drugs, be it aspirin, cough syrup, crack or heroin, are often counted as drunk drivers.

3.) If a pedestrian is involved and has a measurable amount of alcohol it is considered alcohol-related.

4.) If a passenger has alcohol in his system, it is considered alcohol related.

5.) If the accident is a sober driver’s fault (i.e. a sober driver runs a red light and crashes into a driver who had a beer after work) it is alcohol-related.

6.) If the residual presence of alcohol is found (an empty beer can) it is considered alcohol related, even if tests prove no one has any alcohol in their systems.

7.) The NHTSA arbitrarily adds 9% to all the alcohol-related statistics it receives from the states. Why? Because they feel like it.

8.) To further inflate the numbers, The NHTSA just started using what they call the Multiple Imputation Method to inflate alcohol-related statistics even more. The method automatically assumes that anyone involved in an accident who was not tested for BAC (probably because they were obviously sober) could actually have been drunk, and the numbers are jacked up by a set percentage.

So, are drunk drivers responsible for 16 thousand deaths a year? No. Why doesn’t MADD tell the truth? Because if the truth got out people would start to wonder what the hell MADD is screaming so hysterically about. Then the money would stop rolling in. And they’re not about to let that happen.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

This is quite likely to be a very politically incorrect thing to say, and may very well be deleted by the moderator. So readers, read it closely because this comment may be gone next time you take a look.

I've been a passenger in a car that I could have done a better job driving while drunk than he could dead sober!

I never rode with him in a car again, because one day I was a passenger in his car and I started screaming at him to take a look out the windshield, because he was about to slam into the back of a stopped truck at 65 mph!

My screaming saved our lives by far less than a split second. When he finally got his car stopped, we were only 6 feet from the rear bumper of the truck.

Some people should never drive while either sober or intoxicated because they just don't have the necessary skills that are required to do it.

The state of Kansas did all that was legally possible to revoke his driving privileges, but that didn't work, he just kept on driving with a suspended license. He was caught doing that three times!

Finally, one day he didn't have a screaming passenger to get him to look out the windshield, and that is the day he drove off the left side of the highway and into a ditch. He collided with a tree, and now his driving days are done.

Fortunately!

Oh, and by the way? He did get three DUIs, and so now he is now facing jail time.

But if you talk to him, he'll claim it wasn't his fault, of course.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I found myself thrust into in the situation of driving that person to DUI court in downtown Kansas City 5 or 6 times for his DUI #2 and DUI #3., as well as one of his driving while suspended citations. It's in room 13 of the Wyandotte county courthouse, which also includes the jail. He got a continuance every single time, and I really don't know what his excuse for that was.

Finally, I lost patience and told him to figure out something that did not involve me.

But, it was not entirely a bad experience. Having been a regular at the DUI court, I did get a good look at the type of people that are cited for DUI.

They are almost overwhelmingly white men in their 20s or early 30s. But, I use the word "white" loosely, because I am not very good at distinguishing Hispanics from European Imports.

Women and Blacks just didn't seem to ever be in DUI court, at least in Wyandotte county. Not that it means anything, it just means that either they are to smart to do stupid things, or they are better at getting away with it. I really don't know.

In any case, I have seen enough of DUI court to know this: I never want to be involved in it at all, ever.

wvjhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

I will have my DUI administrative hearing in October and this bill is great news to me!!! Prior to this new law I was facing 330 days of driving restriction or 330 days of ignition interlock device following a 30 day suspension. Under new law I can continue to drive after my suspension with the measly inconvenience of an interlock device. I only have to do this for 180 days vs 330 in the prior law. Of course this is expensive, but for those who cannot afford the device one will be provided to them.

At any rate, I'm not sure what MADD is so excited about - drunk drivers will drive regardless of diversions, suspensions, restrictions, and/or ignition interlock devices. I would also like to note that most people have access to a second car that doesn't have an ignition interlock device installed. I say cheers to this new law, and I am looking forward to moving on with my life six months sooner than planned!

jhawkinsf 3 years, 7 months ago

I used to think the most distracted drivers were the ones with a small child (or two) in the back seat. But that was before cell phones and texting (and tweeting and whatever else is out there). Add the person who is eating their juicy burger and fries, sipping their big gulp, smoking cigarettes and you have people who don't have a clue as to how to drive. Oh yeah, drunk drivers are bad too.

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