Finally, A Twitter Account Is Shaming The UK's Holiday Drunk Drivers
Can you surry, can you picnic? I’m still trying to figure that one out. But I’ll tell you this: if you drink and drive in Surrey, you’re going to be put on blast, as the kids say. (“Kids”, in this case, means “35-year-olds who listen to Eminem”, btw.)
The occasionally amusing Twitter account of the Surrey, UK road patrol is going to be naming and shaming drivers who are accused of driving impaired this holiday season. I’d be shirking my duty as TTAC’s resident putative wingnut if I didn’t point out that the cops won’t be waiting until the drivers are convicted. What’s the point, anyway, in today’s data-intensive world where Equifax will sell your employers your arrest history? Nowadays when it comes to your criminal history the nomination is the award.
Drunk driving is serious business, no mistake about it, and it continues to kill drivers at a rate several times that of its more popular and trendy younger sibling, “distracted driving”. It’s not something that should be swept under the rug… but should it be put on Twitter?
JB -- I've always been a sucker for Laura Nyro's unique (admittedly, an over-used adjective) compositions, but as the song says, you have to be stoned to surrey on down to the stoned soul picnic. In other news, perhaps the commentariat is mostly too young to remember the disastrous US experience with seat belt interlocks in the mid-1970s. The idea seemed simple enough: the engine won't start unless the driver's seatbelt is buckled. The execution, however, left a lot to be desire as many frustrated motorists were unable to get the cars moving. Popular revulsion killed the idea in a couple of years, if memory serves. I believe that the stats show that the drunk drivers who cause accidents, injuries and fatalities are those who are seriously drunk and, no doubt, chronic offenders. Thus, the ever-lower BAC advocated by folks like MADD is going to have little or no effect on drunk driving accidents, fatalities, etc. It will, however, be a boon to local revenue and to insurance companies. The issue is not, at what BAC you are "impaired." Hell, you are impaired when you've been up 18 hours straight, when you're having an argument with your spouse, either in the car or on a mobile phone, when your kid is screaming in the back seat, or when your bladder or bowels are about to burst. The issue is judge's unwillingness to get repeat offenders, caught with high BAC's off the road, in particular to jail people caught driving with no license or a suspended license that's been revoked because of multiple DWI convictions. This morning I saw the Lt. Governor of Missouri complaining about the fact that no one was standing up for -- or taking -- the cops' point of view in the Ferguson shooting. And I think the reason for that is not that everyone thinks that Michael Brown was a "gentle giant" who did nothing to provoke being fatally shot, it's because most people's interactions with the cops are increasingly unpleasant, not necessarily because of the cop's deportment but because of the interaction itself -- like finding your photo or name publicly posted as someone arrested or charged (rather than convicted) of an offense. One of the problems with policing of high crime, usually non-white, neighborhoods is that they are seen as an occupying force and residents are unwilling to cooperate with them. If this perception becomes widespread, policing will be less effective everywhere.
"Finally, A Twitter Account Is Shaming The UK’s Holiday Drunk Drivers" .... until a high ranking politician is caught DUI!
A few things: 1) If we're serious, let's be serious about it. Do a DUI checkpoint outside a football stadium after a game, or on a stretch of road near bars at closing time. 2) DUI charges need teeth. Why are people getting 2+ DUIs? I hate mandatory sentencing laws and believe judges have brains (if they don't, we need to remove them), but there should be a push for harsher penalties. First time, maybe I'd cut someone a little bit of slack. Second time? No driving for 3 years, minimum. If someone's caught driving during that time, they should spend the next 3 years behind bars so they can't drive or drink. 3) TSA is a joke. Pure PR, detrimental to actual security. I say this having quite a bit of knowledge of TSA/DHS' inner-workings and the security field. Case in point: I've never had to remove my shoes to enter a federal building or military installation, even in areas where security clearances are required. I've also been able to carry in as much water/coke/whatever. I've also never had a security officer at these places bark/yell orders out like the TSAholes do. There's plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff which I can't discuss publicly, but it's frightening.
BMW police cars? The UK police must have too much money.