DUI - Alcohol-Caused Vs Alcohol-Related
One of the key issues of the BAC laws is the use of "alcohol-related" as a surrogate for "alcohol-caused." The massive NHTSA, MADD et.al. misinformation campaign has long implied that the mere presence of alcohol, no matter how little or how much, in an auto accident victim's system should be considered the cause of the accident. This bureaucratic absurdity extends to persons who could not even remotely be considered as having caused an accident. A pedestrian run over at a bus stop by a sober driver becomes a "drunk driver victim" if the pedestrian had any measurable alcohol in his system.
Yes, drunk driving has taken many lives. Furthermore, society's recognition and intolerance of drunk driving has resulted in a reduction of drunk driving accidents. But, drunk drivers NEVER caused 57% of all highway related fatalities; they do not cause 40% of fatalities today, and there has not been a documented 25% reduction in drunk driving caused accidents. We have seen a substantial reduction in moderate drinking and driving and therefore a reduction of "alcohol-related" accidents. It is a mistake to jump to the conclusion that reducing alcohol-related accidents results in a similar reduction of overall accidents. More likely the total number of accidents will remain constant or follow long term trends. The only difference is that the accidents largely shift from the alcohol-related column to the sober column. In other words, at low BACs, alcohol was not the causative factor for these accidents.
If drivers with low BAC levels, such as .08 or .09 percent, are not over-represented in the accident causing population, why are we targeting them with huge fines, property confiscation, loss of driver license, and obscene insurance surcharges? Laws that establish low legal BAC levels for drivers aren't free, aren't fair, and are based on hype and propaganda. Using the term "alcohol-related" is the lynch pin that holds this whole fabrication together.
Organizations such as MADD and government agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) routinely mislead the public and elected officials with claims that grossly overstate the magnitude of the "drunk driver" problem.
According to the American Motorists Association, this nearly three-fold exaggeration of drunk-driving-caused fatalities has been perpetuated by the press, perverted judicial decisions, created arbitrary legal standards, warped enforcement priorities, and economically and socially harmed millions of decent, responsible people.
The American Motorists Association says it's time to put an end to what it considers a deliberate campaign of misinformation. Therefore, the Association, in collaboration with others, is offering $20,000 to the first person who can substantiate the NHTSA-MADD claim that 42 percent of all traffic fatalities, 17,970 people, were caused by drunk drivers.
Increasing penalties for repeat offenders and high BAC levels will address the drunk driving problem. Broadening the definition of drunk driving will not and will in fact criminalize behavior that provides no danger to society. Drivers creating no safety risk to themselves or others will soon be classified as drunk and face all the accompanying sanctions.