So Who Profits From This?
Who Profits from the ever-lower drunk driving arrest thresholds and higher taxes?
The anti-drinking and driving industry is interwoven throughout our private and public sectors. Whole federal and state bureaucracies are funded with your tax dollars for the sole purpose of making sure you get arrested for drunk driving, suffer accordingly, and repent for your anti-social behavior, namely drinking beer, wine, and or liquor. That no one was hurt, or even inconvenienced, doesn't matter!
Then there are the private organizations, most of which have abbreviations that end in "ADD." These groups gather in millions of dollars in donations to keep the war on drinkers focussed and intense. They can't afford to "solve" the problem. That would eliminate their reason to exist. They can't admit that folks with a .1% or .08% Blood Alcohol Content are not likely to be involved in a serious automobile accident. Nor can they afford to shift their attention to the chronic hard-core and dangerous drunk driver. This kind of person and his or her problems don't lend themselves to "cookbook" solutions and demagoguery.
In far too many areas, the courts and enforcement agencies have a vested interest in the arrest and conviction of drinking drivers, even though these drivers are not endangering themselves or anyone else. State laws are rampant with surcharges, fines, assessments and noble sounding gimmicks to extract as much money as possible from so-called "drunk drivers." Wages, salaries, capital improvements, and even retirement programs are increasingly dependent on traffic fines of all kinds. But, DWI fines, property forfeitures, and insurance surcharges that ultimately can reach several thousands of dollars are the real "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow."
At the onset of this discussion we acknowledged the need to address the true drunk-driving problem. But, the true drunk-driving problem will not yield to slogans, heart-rending stories, PR campaigns and ever lowering BAC standards. There are no "one size fits all" solutions. Medical treatment, counseling, supervision, ignition interlock devices, vehicle confiscation or incarceration are commonly available "tools." What will not address the true drunk-driving problem is the harassment and abuse of a portion of the population that is not causing the problem. Unfortunately, the latter is the approach being taken by government agencies and anti-drinking organizations. This is evidenced by tactics such as roadblocks, diminished due process rights, absurdly low per se BAC standards, and tax-supported propaganda that distorts the real issues and misleads the public's understanding of the magnitude and real nature of this problem.