Who is Althouse? * View only LAW posts * Contribute * Shop AMAZON*
Quick, someone ask Bob Costas what to do.
I smell a billion dollar Federal aid-to-police blitz/boondoggle coming.
Does anybody think an ignition interlock will not fail and lock out perfectly sober drivers?And that bit about older drivers is the camel's nose. We Boomers had better brace for age discrimination to go with Obamacare's healthcare rationing.
For interstate onramps, they could use those tire shredders like you see at car rental places.I came within about 1 second of dying when I was 17 because of an old man driving the wrong way on an interstate. I was doing 70, so our closing speed had to be at least 100 MPH. We were very close when I recognized the threat. I swerved madly and just missed a head on collision. In the split second when we passed each other, I clearly saw his face. He was an old man, hunched over the steering wheel. He needed a shave. This was in 1974. To this day, I don't know if he was drunk, senile or just stupid. I just kept driving with a white-knuckle death grip on my steering wheel and studdering like Morse code. I don't know if he killed anyone, and any teenage thoughts of invulnerability were permanently wiped from my mind.
Gusfeld spotted long ago that drunk driving was about symbolic order, not safety.It used to be a personal moral failing, and somebody declared it a public problem and took ownership.That's the route to political power.
"Hundreds" is a pretty small number in a country with 100 million cars. I'm sure the NTSB's proposal is to pat themselves on the back for a job well done and break for lunch.Just kidding, whatever the solution is, I'm sure it involves wasting huge amounts of taxpayer money and huge amounts of driver time.
well, what would you think of?Ignition interlocks for first-time offenders seems like a "solution" that seems far out in the distance. 69% of the accidents involved alcohol, 15% elderly drivers. I assume we are seeing more of these because we have built more highways and will continue to do so.My proposed solution? Police helicopters with big super magnets that could swoop down and pick up the car going the wrong way. As you can see, I really have no solution.
This happened here in Missoula during the Testicle Festival..guy went on the off ramp out of Rock Creek and as one who likes to drink myself, I can see easily how he'd make the mistake. It would be the first turn on the left, when you're supposed to go over I-90 and take the second left.It's so likely in fact I think the Testy Festy owners should post someone there to watch and even even flag someone down as they hit the ramp for the whole 3 day event.But I don't know how you do that everywhere.
Big Mike-They'll just mandate that the wrong-way driver can only hit other drivers of 70 or older.
whatever the solution is, I'm sure it involves wasting huge amounts of taxpayer moneyHey, maybe my helicopter solution would qualify!
Of course every death is tragic, but "hundreds" per year s hardly reason for nationwide regulations of the type discussed here on top of what is already being done to combat DWI's.
Of course every death is tragic, but "hundreds" per year s hardly reason for nationwide regulations of the type discussed here on top of what is already being done to combat DWI's.Two thousand kids died from choking last year. WHAT ARE WE DOING TO COMBAT THIS! WHERE IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON THIS HORRIBLE PLAGUE?!?!?! WHAT IS THE HHS SECRETARY'S POSITION ON CHOKING!?>!?!?!?!?
At least they pointed out that most of the perps are drunks. And I'll ga-run-tee it's not the first rodeo for most of the drunks. Local cops told me that if I was driving at night stay out of the fast lane because the wrong wayers collect there thinking they are in the slow lane. So practically. keep your eyes open and accept the fact that you can't keep habitual drunks out of cars.
A death is not tragic if it's from being crushed by a column, according to Aristotle.
Clearly, alcoholics and the elderly should be killed, as it would prevent many deaths.
The last time my mother-in-law ever drove, she went the wrong way on the interstate. My husband was little at the time, but he said he and his siblings knew it was the wrong way and were screaming their heads off. She never drove again, she was just to jittery of a person. Some people shouldn't drive at all.
And here I thought air bags already solved that problem.
"Hundreds of people are killed each a year when drivers turn the wrong-way into the face of oncoming traffic on high-speed highways, and a majority of the crashes involves drivers with blood alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit, a federal accident researcher said Tuesday."Either Professor Althouse didn't read to the end of the first sentence of the article she linked to, or this post is in bad faith.
and a majority of the crashes involves drivers with blood alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit, a federal accident researcher said Tuesday."We already have laws on the books to deal with these fuckers. I suppose we need more.
Given the way they card everyone under 75 when purchasing alcohol these days, wouldn't it be more effective to put a bit red "May not purchase alcohol" across the front of their driver's license?You really want to put the fear of God into an alcoholic, don't threaten his driving...
Yes, if only there was a way to make me 100% safe, all the time. Government, please get on that!My oldest friend had a blow-and-go back in the 90s. But then he's a drunk.I do like the helicopter magnet idea.
"Wrong-way crashes shatter lives and families," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said.Ah. There it is. The emotional appeal.Like m stone said, "I smell a billion dollar Federal aid-to-police blitz/boondoggle coming." The odor is unmistakable.
"Wrong-way crashes shatter lives and families," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said.Those regular right-way crashers are such pikers.
Hundreds of people are killed in Chicago each year, the solution is to pay them to not spread the violence.
There was something I was thinking about the other day. I believe there were around 32k car crash fatalities nationally in the year 2010. I'm guessing there were maybe around 10 times that many non fatal serious injuries in car crashes. I'll round it up to an even 400k casualties. There are around 190 million licensed drivers in this country. So a person has about a 1 in 500 chance of being seriously injured or killed in a car accident this year. All in all those actually aren't bad odds.
"Either Professor Althouse didn't read to the end of the first sentence of the article she linked to, or this post is in bad faith."Either that, or someone is completely missing her point. It'd be nice if the NTSB could suggest some sort of practical measures to address the 30-odd percent of these wrong-way drivers who are not intoxicated. I guess between griping about cellphones and car radios they don't have time for that sort of thing anymore.
This is a scare tactic. Of course we all fear an out of control driver. But this is propaganda for the DUI Industry's money making scam. It is aimed primarily at the young and employed adults who drink at dinner or a social events. After the road block catches them, they are going to have to pay dearly to keep driving to work.The mentally unstable and the self medicating druggies (often the same group) will never suddenly get well. And the old timers will stay confused.But the DUI Industry will prosper exceedingly on the backs of the innocent.
Don't blame me - I didn't pick him to drive. I'm just sipping my Slurpee, and watching them do all the work.
My solution would be for all you to just move to the right lane. I'll stay in the left and protect you. Now git outta my way, lives are at stake here.
The scenrey police are trying to kill the billboards. I like them myself.What I hate are those metal cable fences that are being installed between divided highways. The idea is that when someone goes flying in the ditch, they will hit the fence and stop instead of heading over to the other lane. Those fences are quite ugly.
I had the same thought as Larry J: tire spikes / shredders on exit ramps to prevent people from entering the freeway from the wrong direction. Those shredders really work. I saw a knucklehead at Phila Airport try to back out after entering the wrong rental car lot; he got about 25 feet before all 4 tires were dead flat.This would drastically decrease the number that actually make it onto the freeway. One problem, though, is it could leave a disabled car in the middle of the exit ramp, which could also cause a serious acident. Not as bad as a head-on with both cars moving, but still bad.Maybe the trick would be to install the shredders on just one side, so after the tires hit the spikes, the car veers to the side, naturally pulling itself off the edge of the exit ramp.
Really? That's the point? That's a pretty stupid point. And a pretty stupid way of making it.
"Either that, or someone is completely missing her point. It'd be nice if the NTSB could suggest some sort of practical measures to address the 30-odd percent of these wrong-way drivers who are not intoxicated."Really? That's the point? That's a pretty stupid point. And a pretty stupid way of making it.
Studies show - or at least the one study done - shows these interlocks are not put on the car for life and when they get taken off, the problem recurs. Plus the study didn't really show whether interlocks had ever prevented wrong way driving on the freeways. So I think that this is just another regulation from a bureaucrat seeking to improve his/her resume. These days Public Health officials get performance reviews based on whether they have taken steps to reduce some public health issue as defined by the Healthy People initiative. So we can expect such regulations to flow like Old Man River till we get a grip on the regulatory culture. In Wisconsin the defined public health issue is drunken driving. Maybe if we asked why that was our issue while other states have other issues we might get somewhere.
Wrong turns figure prominently in the story of Meade and me. The first time we went out together, here in Madison, I told him to make a turn, which was the wrong way down a 1-way street. The second time we got together, in his home town of West Lafayette, Indiana, I was driving, and he told me to go in a direction that was the wrong way on a 1-way street. A cop pulled us over and wanted to know where we were going. I'm not saying all that had to happen on the way to happiness, but it did happen.
Here in Charlotte over the last few years we've had a spate of drunk drivers getting on the highway going the wrong way and killing people in head-on collisions.They also happened to be illegal immigrants without drivers' licenses.I don't suppose the NTSB would be very interested in immigration enforcement, would they?
A marble column or a military column?Having not read the link, I guess most of these wrecks happen on routes that have roads crossing them, with no onramps. I think a good solution would be large, brightly lit bulbs shaped into an X, blinking at you if you've turned the wrong way.
I've often seen drivers going the wrong way on University Avenue in the area between Park and Charter. No accidents. Maybe there could be better signage.
I should say, 'before' you turn the wrong way.
"better signage"GPS can tell which lane you're in, I think, so the intelligent car might pick up maldirection and warn you verbally.
Maybe there could be better signage.Maybe we can ban cars and save 30,000 plus lives each year or roughly 3 times more than are killed by firearms.
When do we get to vote on magnet hilocopters? I predict an explosion of applications to the police academy from 8-year-old boys.
Maybe we can ban cars and save 30,000 plus lives each yearWe don't need to ban cars, just let Barack Obama run our economy for a few more years and we'll all be travelin' shank's mare.
When do we get to vote on magnet hilocopters? You know when seconds count, police (and their magnet helicopters) are always minutes away. This is just a boondoggle for the powerful magnet lobby.
Perhaps they could look at those states with interlock laws and see if wrong way driving is reduced. I don't object to someone investigating the problem and considering solutions. I am, however, tired of making laws based on ideas that simply should work as planned. We end up with lots of good intentions, bad laws, and a general mess.
Maybe there could be better signage.Or better highway design.Signs would be nice though. Try getting onto I-94 Westbound to Madison from the Lakefront/Clybourn in Milwaukee. It's a left turn and a complete mystery. It's like they don't want you on the interstate.
And the solution is... well, what would you think of?Delete them from the Matrix?
I'm not saying all that had to happen on the way to happiness, but it did happen.So close to being a romantic statistic. Ah, sweet love.
Right to turn-the-wrong way legislation.
Once we fully develop the Google driverless car, ban driving completely. Why should a human do something that a machine can do so much better?
I've had that happen a couple of times. Fortunately, I wasn't driving.Ann Althouse said...Wrong turns figure prominently in the story of Meade and me.The first time I came to OH to see The Blonde, we ended up going the wrong way. The cop directing traffic took a look, blinked, rolled his eyes, held up everybody else while he got her going the right way.Yeah, he knew her.Larry J said...For interstate onramps, they could use those tire shredders like you see at car rental places.You get no argument from me.I saw a beaut of a head-on on an on ramp.
Once we fully develop the Google driverless car, ban driving completely. Why should a human do something that a machine can do so much better?The Google driverless car only goes to organic groceries.
YAY!!!Big win for gun-rights groups: Federal appeals court tosses state ban on carrying concealed weaponsIL is getting CC!49 down, 1 to go!The gang wars have just gotten a lot more interesting...........
DUI laws have been set up to have a very wide net. A net with BAC limits so low that 90% of the people leaving bars are illegally driving. The original safe driving BAC was determined to be .2, then .16, then .14, and now .08. The net just keeps getting wider. .08 BAC is one drink per hour, meaning you drink a beer then sit in a bar for an hour without a drink before driving. .08 BAC has nothing to do with actually being drunk, it's about that wide net. The wide net is about revenue, for lawyers, the state, state approved ignition breathalyzer rentals and SATOP psychologist that couldn't otherwise find work. Police could stop everyone driving out of a bar parking lot, but they don't because that would be bad for business, but worse diminish sales tax revenue to the state.Do an experiment, drink a beer, are you drunk? At .08 BAC you legally are. So, at .08 BAC "alcohol related" is a meaningless term. Don't misunderstand I'm all for DUI laws, but not at .08, it's voodoo science.
I once took a wrong turn into an interstate ramp, late night, after a party, on a route I didn't know well. I immediately recognized that the road grade and curve were "wrong" and corrected quickly. Bad signage. Scary. Wasn't drunk - it was a work party and I was driving - but I caught grief at work Monday because a colleague was behind me.If I believed in curses, which I don't, being and educated woman and all, I'd say that for me the planned community of Columbia, Maryland (where this happened) is a personal Bermuda Triangle. I always get lost there.
Carrollton, KentuckyIn 1988 a bus with a church youth group on the way home from Kings Island in Ohio was hit by a man driving the wrong way on the expressway. 27 people died, more were injured. The man going the wrong way survived, his BAC was.24.Some of the mothers of children who were on the bus became active in MADD, one was a president of MADD in the late '90s. This probably influences what the organization thinks about this type of crash.
And the solution is...There is no solution.If only our Masters would realize that more often...
Wrong turns figure prominently in the story of Meade and me. The first time we went out together, here in Madison, I told him to make a turn, which was the wrong way down a 1-way street. The second time we got together, in his home town of West Lafayette, Indiana, I was driving, and he told me to go in a direction that was the wrong way on a 1-way street. A cop pulled us over and wanted to know where we were going.You both suck at giving directions.
I bet I know what the voice for the Google driverless car's onboard GPS will sound like.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_9000
"Local cops told me that if I was driving at night stay out of the fast lane because the wrong wayers collect there thinking they are in the slow lane."Exactly right. After midnight something like 25% of drivers on the road are drunk. After 2 AM it's more like 50%. In California, the off ramps have red Bott's Dots so the driver entering the off ramp has a clue that he/she is going the wrong way. It's a bit subtle for drunks. The tire shredders would work but emergency vehicles often enter there if traffic is backed up by an accident.The main thing is drive defensively, especially after midnight. And stay out of the fast lane. I once saw a semi and trailer going the wrong way on the Pasadena Freeway after midnight. I checked the newspapers the next morning figuring he'd be the headline but he must have made it off safely.
Wrong turns figure prominently in the story of Meade and me. The first time we went out together, here in Madison, I told him to make a turn, which was the wrong way down a 1-way street. The second time we got together, in his home town of West Lafayette, Indiana, I was driving, and he told me to go in a direction that was the wrong way on a 1-way street. A cop pulled us over and wanted to know where we were going.You both suck at giving directions.Why blame yourselves when you can blame "signage"?
On Alligator Alley (I-75) running across the northern part of the Everglades, there are several recreational areas--boat ramps and picnic grounds, essentially. These areas have exits and entries back onto the Interstate, naturally enough.At every junction, there are signs warning that one is going the wrong way for about 100 yards in the wrong direction. They don't light up and flash, but they're gaudy enough to catch the attention of the recreational drinker/fisher.
After 2:00AM the human will get sleepy with or without alcohol. That leads to the confusion of wrong way drivers. The bums just need to pull over to the side of the road and sleep it off.However they will still be charged when the Police investigate the car on the side of the road and awake the driver.But many self medicators over 2.0 BA seem to hit something such as a curb or tree or find a way to get arrested so they will be helped and treated. Famous law professor's argument when stopped for going the wrong way on a one way street: "But officer, I was only going one way."
Larry J said...For interstate onramps, they could use those tire shredders like you see at car rental places.===============Thats the first thing I thought of. Pretty foolproof, covers all "types" of wrongway motorists.Can be made in factory with a sealed spring unit impervious to sand and road salt and the elements, designed for 10 years use w/o maintenance or replacement. Bolted into place like a surrogate speed bump atop existing surface near the bottom of the exit ramp by a roadcrew in half an hour.Would add lots of steel, factory, and road construction jobs at a time when the economy needs it.As for the elaborate breathalyzer unit that "the courts" would require of any impaired...it only affects alchohol, not the impaired prescription drug or illegal drug wrong way drivers lumped in with the alkys.And the obvious flaw for the alkys and the public is that all those testing units assume that the testee will be monitored by someone else doing it, or will be honor-bound while alone and unwatched - to comply with a New Law! that says the driver cannot attempt to trick it or they will be punished further.1. Now blow into your Obama driver safeguard breath test tube>> Driver takes out his or her handy squeeze bottle and blows pure air in.2. In rapid succession, punch in the code displayed in the next 10 seconds in under 3 seconds. << The high-performing drunk laughs and does it perfectly after 10 beers...laughs further knowing that there are pending lawsuits by low cognitive minorities and seniors suing for disrimination that they cannot think and punch in code fast enough to "pass" even without a drink.
"We Boomers had better brace for age discrimination to go with Obamacare's healthcare rationing."And the generation that said, and believed, "Don't trust anyone over 30," will get SO damned much sympathy from those of us who are getting screwed to pay for your long and luxurious retirements.The same Boomers liked the word "karma" a lot, but always figured it'd apply to other people, like, people over 30.
If experience is any guide, "cracking down on drunk driving" will mean arresting more people with .08 BAC when the deaths are caused by people with .20 or greater. MADD never had to change any laws to get the results they did. They just had to get the judges to enforce the old ones.
If they want, they could add some bells and whistle to a tire shredder assembly - 1. A box inside that is triggered to call to cops if a certain directional G-force indicates that there is an addled senior, a drug or alcohol or mentally impaired person, or illegal alien with no drivers license now likely stopped immobile.2. Same electronic box could set off a high watt flashing light to warn motorists going off the exit ramp that there is a stopped car on the ramp - possibly with a confused senior, substance or medically impaired person, or illegal now out of the vehicle looking around and thinking WTF?? (And stay or flee the scene...)3. The shredder could be made even more elaborate to where high strength "claws" could rear up folowing the spikes to grip and immobilize the car even if the driver wanted to continue "wrong way" on four flat tires, thinking in what little is functioning in their brain that there was no problem...or they had to get away..Unfortunately, those would be very expensive and require lots of engineering structure work as much the contents of that "box" would have to be subsurface...needing drains and regular cleanings.
I was surprised to learn last week that 90% of cars have functioning black boxes.And Ray Lahood is a big govt loving asshole- hard to believe he is a Republican.
The drunk-driving conversations in blogs and on talk-radio are about as dumb as hell.First of all, there are NO reliable stats on the degree of drunk driving; "alcohol-impaired" has NOTHING to do with causation, since if a sober dude gets in an accident driving his drunk friends home, even if he is stopped at a curb when hit by Mother Theresa, it is deemed an "alcohol-impaired" accident! Dumb as hell. Causation can only be determined scientifically or in a court of law, and many cases are not subjected to either. Police officers are particularly inept when it comes to evaluation of both facts and law.Indeed, EVERY accident "involves" ingestion of water, and in that sense every accident can be deemed "water-impaired" by the standards of these idiot commenters.Secondly, car and road design as well as traffic signage are generally performed by younger persons who are not seeing-, hearing- or mobility-impaired. There is no law saying that travel is a privilege only for the young; the older, impaired person has EVERY RIGHT to travel, even if that implies increased risk to himself and others. It is a fact that we can't design buildings to withstand every flood or roads and cars for every driver. A truism we learn in law school is that "we want accidents to happen." Why? Because the alternative is too costly.An aircraft designer knows he can't design an airplane like a tank! Likewise, we can't design cars and roads and rules for every driver.
How about banning - between say 2am and 4am - sober drivers? If you're stopped during these hours and your BAC is less than .08, YOU get a ticket. Let the drunks kill themselves.
How about banning - between say 2am and 4am - sober drivers? If you're stopped during these hours and your BAC is less than .08, YOU get a ticket. Let the drunks kill themselves.Now there's outside-the-beltway thinking!
Can be made in factory with a sealed spring unit impervious to sand and road salt and the elements, designed for 10 years use w/o maintenance or replacement. Bolted into place like a surrogate speed bump atop existing surface near the bottom of the exit ramp by a roadcrew in half an hour.Would add lots of steel, factory, and road construction jobs at a time when the economy needs it.Think of the tens of lives created or saved by this stimulii!
As usual anarcho-conservatives come out against anything that would save lives. They reserve the right to drive drunk and kill a whole family while they walk away without a scratch.
@AF:Really? That's the point? That's a pretty stupid point. And a pretty stupid way of making it.Perhaps you will understand the point better with an analogy. The majority of terrorism victims in the US were killed by Muslims who flew on planes, so the police are going to crack down on all Muslims who flew on planes.You see? It's an overreaction. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in America had nothing whatever to do with terrorism of any sort. The overwhelming majority of drunk drivers have nothing to do with wrong-way collisions. It will sweep up the guilty and not-guilty alike, because not all people who test positive for alcohol are impaired, just like not all Muslims are radical enough to be terrorists. And it will be very profitable for police departments, who will need more overtime and higher budgets.Add my voice to those calling for helicopter magnets, btw.
Nerf cars. They're just like the real thing, but are suitable for young and immature people.
Incidentally I cannot believe that sobriety checkpoints pass Constitutional muster. I'm sure there is some convoluted argument that justifies it.
"Incidentally I cannot believe that sobriety checkpoints pass Constitutional muster..."I think one way they get around the constitutional issues (at least here in CT) is that they announce beforehand where (generally) the checkpoints will be located and the times, such as this:http://www.theday.com/article/20121210/NWS04/121219965/0/SEARCH
Gabriel Hanna, the rule is this: the gummint can feel up or screw everybody on an equal basis, just can't single out individuals without probable cause.When you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, everybody (except the politicians who've been warned) is equally screwed, so it's legal.
I say we tatoo a copy of Ethan Coen's "The Drunken Driver Has The Right Of Way" on the forehead of anyone accused of drink driving.Check it out.
So Tomaig,In Connecticut, folks who don't read the paper or web are specially screwed?
The great think here in Central Texas is that there is a 6-month backlog in testing blood samples.You should always refuse the breathalyzer test and insist on the blood test, if only to frustrate our police state.
As usual anarcho-conservatives come out against anything that would save lives. They reserve the right to drive drunk and kill a whole family while they walk away without a scratch.Ha ha ha. As if you really care.
--As usual anarcho-conservatives come out against anything that would save lives. They reserve the right to drive drunk and kill a whole family while they walk away without a scratch.---Well, that shoots down pot legalization because they'll get behind a wheel, too.
Censoring of drunk driving is based on both bad law and bad science.Bad science, because there is no direct link between 0.08 BAL and the causation of accidents. As I pointed out earlier, every accident is "water-related."Bad law, because the law is both greatly over- and under-inclusive. Underinclusive because it doesn't subject a person to fines of $thousands and jail-time for driving while texting, driving while old, or even the usual driving while Black.Overinclusive because it penalizes those who indeed can drive while "drunk"-- who, like Christopher Hitchens, can far outperform the average sober person right after imbibing a quart of whisky.The solution would be to require passing a dexterity test, not a sobriety test, before driving. Society would just have to deal with all the kiddy video-gamers on a road bereft of women drivers.
"As usual anarcho-conservatives come out against anything that would save lives."If only we had enough regulations, no one would ever die...
And the solution is... TRAINS.Trains are the solution to everything!Especially if they're imaginary trains. It's better that way. Provides unending opportunity for increased taxation in exchange for promises of future benefit, but with no actual responsibility to make the trains run on time. (That's just so old-school.)
If we have a few billion dollars to spare and we surely must if voters are to be believed, we could put some anti-tire gates on all exit ramps in case someone tries to go onto the off-ramp. That would be more effective than "ramping up" drinking laws.
Maybe they should make it illegal to drive with twice the legal limit of alcohol in ones system.Oh, wait.
gadfly said...If we have a few billion dollars to spare and we surely must if voters are to be believed, we could put some anti-tire gates on all exit ramps in case someone tries to go onto the off-ramp. That would be more effective than "ramping up" drinking laws.==============It's textbook "shovel-ready" job stimulus just waiting for a green light.With work going to sectors most in need, not to lawyers and already employed State Regulatory Heroes that will try and control and supervise the behavior of people who ran afoul of DWI laws 24/7.
I, for one, welcome our magnet helicopter overlords.
Post a Comment