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  Fight Irresponsible DUI Laws

The Irrational laws that deal with drinking and driving.

A legitimate police stop for a suspected drunk-driving incident does not have to rely on trick questions, sensing devices, or gimmicks to justify a chemical test of the driver. The driver's lack of control of his or her vehicle, an inability to reasonably react to questions and requests, and physical reactions will all be dead giveaways of an impaired condition.

Unfortunately, the government, insurance companies, and self-serving organizations have institutionalized a negative stereotype of anyone who drinks and drives, no matter how responsibly. By labeling virtually all drivers who drink and drive as "drunk drivers," they have created a situation where responsible and constructive citizens are at risk of suffering huge fines, high insurance charges, loss of driving licenses, confiscation of personal property, and even incarceration, all for the singular act of violating an arbitrary and unreasonable BAC standard.

How to fight and win a DUI charge

The underlying rationale for the current DUI hysteria is based on propaganda. The enforcement tactics are dubious, invasive, and abusive. The real solution to this problem - a legitimate campaign gone wrong - is to honestly determine the real magnitude of the "drunk driver" menace. Then, we must establish legitimate standards to define "drunk driving," eliminate the enforcement excesses that have been allowed to fester, and return the legitimate due process rights that all citizens should be entitled to, regardless of the "crime" they are charged with committing. This won't happen without taking the first step - Each and every one of us must demand change.

Everyone should write letters to elected officials, letters to the editor, and provide support to organizations such as the National Motorists Association, who is leading the fight to put some sanity back into the laws that deal with drinking and driving. Rest assured that doing nothing is the guaranteed route to more abusive use of government authority to harass honest, hard-working citizens who are a threat to no one, including themselves.

If you plead guilty (or "no contest," which is treated by the court the same as a guilty plea, although it cannot be used against you in a civil lawsuit), you will be placed on probation for three to five years. During that time, you will be required to do many things, such as pay fines, attend DUI classes, and so on. One of the terms and conditions of probation in any DUI case is that the probationer is not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their body.

This can be a real problem if the second DUI arrest takes place while someone is still on probation from the first. In order to convict someone of a criminal act (such as driving under the influence), 12 jurors must unanimously agree that they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt in the defendant's guilt. It is the highest standard in the law, and it is the jury that gets to decide it. As mentioned above, if only one out of 12 sides with the accused, a hung jury is the result, which is great news for the defendant.

However, in the case of a probation violation, where someone is accused of violating the term and condition that they not drive with any alcohol in their body, they don't get a jury trial. It is up to the judge. And the judge doesn't have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge only has to be convinced by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not the same high standard of a criminal case; this is a much lower standard, which has been described as just tipping the scales in favor of one side or the other. Being on probation is, potentially, a recipe for disaster. It is not a responsibility to take lightly.







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