New Bill Would Outlaw Driving Under the Influence of Dog

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
new bill would outlaw driving under the influence of dog

There are few things that offer the same kind of trivial gratification as a photograph of a dog behind the wheel of an automobile. Assaulting several different pleasure centers of the brain simultaneously, the image of a dog driving a car is objectively perfect. Even thinking about it just now probably caused a positive reaction in your mind.

It’s as endearing as it is hilarious. Subaru developed an entire ad campaign around the concept and other groups have used similar tactics — resulting in viral videos and critical acclaim. However, as great as a dog pretending to drive a car is, there are few things less infuriating than when someone allows their dog to sit on their lap whilst operating a motor vehicle.

Apparently, I’m not alone in this opinion, as a bill has been introduced to crack down on this highly specific form of distracted driving.

According to a brief report from WZZM-TV, LaTanya Garrett, Democrat State Representative from Michigan’s 7th district, has introduced a bill that would prohibit anyone from operating a vehicle with a dog on their lap.

Breaking the proposed law would be a civil infraction, resulting in a $100 fine for the first offense and $200 for any additional offenses. There is an exception under the Americans With Disabilities Act if the dog is there for a medical reason.

Hawaii and New Jersey both have similar laws in effect already. But it might not be a terrible idea to implement this sort of idea more broadly. Sure, it’s not the most dangerous thing to do behind the wheel and you may have done it before without incident. However, I’m forced to remind everyone that driving while dogged means different things to different people. Having a calm Dachshund napping for the duration of a trip isn’t the same as having a Great Dane that’s suddenly overcome with the urge to lick your face as you attempt to merge with traffic.

In the end, it’s a pretty reasonable fine for a potentially dangerous activity. If it keeps inappropriately doting pet owners from taking their eyes off the road, I see no reason to be terribly critical of the bill — especially since avoiding the ticket would be so easy. Keep those adorable little maniacs in the passenger seat while in motion and move them behind the wheel only for those precious parked photo ops.

[Image: Josh Tremper/ Flickr ( CC BY-ND 2.0)]

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  • OneAlpha OneAlpha on Dec 01, 2017

    Nothing screams I'M NOT PAYING ATTENTION louder than some halfwit rolling around with a Toilet Brush in their lap.

  • Burgersandbeer Burgersandbeer on Dec 02, 2017

    It drives me crazy that time and money is spent drafting and possibly implementing laws aimed at narrowly-defined behaviors. This, as well as texting and any number of behaviors, should be covered by existing distracted/reckless driving laws.

  • Jeff S I haven't seen one of these since the 90s. Good find.
  • William Piper Ditch the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for starters….Mitzu has probably benefited less than the other two partners and it has shackled any brand creativity moving forward.
  • Tassos I knew a woman in the area, a journalist (at least she claimed to be a reporter of some kind) who owned one of these tiny pickups with a manual transmission. SHe was only 40 at the time, but she must have been hard of hearing, because she would routinely forget to shift and we would go at fairly high speeds in very low gear, which made a huge racket, which did not seem to bother her (hence my deafness hypothesis). Either that, or she was a lousy driver. Oh well, another very forgettable, silly car from the 80s (and if my first and LAST VW, a 1975 Dasher wagon, was any indication, a very unreliable one too!)
  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.