DUI, DWI laws unfair

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By Sarah Dusthimer

You go out to dinner. You’re an average- sized girl at 120 pounds. You have two beers over a one hour dinner. You better not be driving home. The law says that if your blood alcohol level is over .08, you are intoxicated and qualify for a DUI or DWI. As it turns out, the equivalent of two drinks in this situation provides an illegal blood alcohol level. Any alcohol in your system, including alcohol from cough medicine, can cause you to receive a basic DUI. This can be issued even when your level is under .08. It will not put you in jail, but it will stay on your record. There are six basic kinds of DUIs, as provided by duiarizona.com. 1. BASIC DUI: Impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol or drugs. 2. COMMERCIAL DUI: Body alcohol content above 0.040 and driving a commercial vehicle. 3. MINOR DUI: Under 21 years old with any alcohol in system. 4. PER SE DUI: Body alcohol content above 0.080 within two hours of driving. 5. EXTREME DUI: Body alcohol content above 0.150 (extreme DUI) within two hours of driving. 6. DRUGS DUI: An illegal drug OR its metabolite in your system (no impairment required). So, I ask myself, “Is this fair?” No. My reasons are many, and although I know I will not change any laws with this article, hopefully it will clear some issues and misconceptions. The first reason that I don’t think you should be able to get any DUI if you are under the legal limit is this: Bad driving and accidents can be caused by many things. Other things on you mind, the radio, cell phones, or a crappy car are all reasons that you may be driving in an unsafe manner. The cough medicine you took two hours ago is probably not the reason, and surely not cause for a DUI on your record and license points. Secondly, you may be thinking, “Well, if only two drinks do not impair me, I won’t get pulled over because I’ll be driving fine.” This is not true. Around areas where there is more than one bar (or restaurant with a bar), police tend to hang out and pull over young adults to see if they have been drinking. It’s at the discretion of the officer. I personally have been pulled over for taillights, license plate lights and making a lane change too quickly. Never have I received a ticket for these infractions and every time I was stopped, it was dark out and I was near a cluster of bars. Watch out for 83rd Avenue and Bell. Their first question was not “Do you know why I pulled you over?”, as per usual. It was “Have you been drinking tonight?” The taillight is simply the physical reason to pull you over for their underlying agenda. Are they profiling or trying to frame young adults? That I can’t say, but sometimes it seems that way. I am no expert, but it seems that .08 blood alcohol levels is an unfair standardization of people and their eligibility for a black mark on their record. However, I know if I have six beers in a row, I shouldn’t be driving. We supposedly live in a society that is based on scientific process and proof, except when it comes to laws about drinking and driving. There are so many factors that contribute to a person’s intoxication; it is foolish to think that a level made up by the government could determine if a person is too impaired to drive. Some things I think should be considered, that aren’t: How frequently do you drink? Did you eat today, when and what? Did you snack while drinking? How much caffeine did you consume today? Have you taken any other medication before or while drinking? How much sleep do you average? All these factors make a significant difference in the way alcohol will affect you. I am not advocating drinking and driving by any means. It does occur to me that you should be able to drive home after dinner and your two beers without fear of a DUI. The chance of this law changing to lower the legal intoxication limit is non-existent. In all likeliness, it will become stricter in the future. My advice is that if you have any alcohol at all, don’t drive. However unfair this may be, you are at risk for a very damaging legal discretion. Welcome to the next level of prohibition.