6 Dumb Traffic Laws That Should Be Repealed

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

Just because it’s “the law” doesn’t mean it’s right — or even sensible — when it comes to traffic law, anyhow.

While we may have no choice but to obey — or risk a ticket — that doesn’t make bad traffic laws any more worthy of our respect than the Prohibition ban on alcohol.

Here are a few current laws that ought to be on the other end of a piece of payin’ paper for a change:

1) No Right On Red
This is a form of idiot-proofing designed to protect over-cautious, under-skilled drivers with poor vision and a weak sense of spatial relationships — the kind who need both lanes to be totally clear for at least a football field’s length before they feel confident enough to make the turn. Since they can’t safely judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic, we get to wait at the light like morons, too — even if there isn’t another car in sight.

Everyone else gets to stack up behind the piece of arteriosclerotic traffic plaque clogging up the road, awaiting the fleeting green light that’s also timed to coincide with pedestrian right-of-way on the opposing cross street – thus assuring only a handful of cars get through before it goes red again.

Instead of dumbing-down the roads to accommodate dumbed-down, least-common-denominator drivers, why not encourage (even demand) better driving? Those lacking the skills to perform basic maneuvers such as safely pulling into an intersection without the aid of a green light ought to be taking the bus.


2) Midnight Red
It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you come to a red light that stays red for an eternity. You sit and sit and sit — engine idling, gas and time wasting — even though there isn’t another car around for miles. Sometimes, the light even cycles without giving you the green. (A common problem for motorcycle riders.) Of course, if you become exasperated and run the light — even after stopping completely to make sure it’s safe and the way is absolutely clear — it’s almost guaranteed there will be a cop lurking nearby, burning the midnight oil just for you.

In Europe, where sensible traffic laws are more the rule than here, many signaled intersections switch over to flashing yellow — “proceed with caution” — after a certain hour, when traffic has died down to a trickle. It is assumed that drivers are competent enough to make a judgment call on their own — and it seems to work perfectly well. It’s a custom we should definitely import.

3) No Left At Light
Cousin to the no-right-on-red rule, this is the one where you find yourself at an intersection wanting to make a left turn across an opposing lane of traffic onto a sidestreet. But instead of a “yield to oncoming traffic” green light – sensible policy – you’re stuck with a red light made just for you – on the assumption you’ve got inch-thick cataracts and the ability to judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic of Mr. Magoo. You’re supposed to wait patiently for the green arrow — even when there’s no oncoming traffic at all and you could literally get out and push the car safely across the intersection. Like no right on red, it’s a well-intended law designed to protect the worst drivers out there from their own marginal skills and poor judgment — at the expense of everyone else.

4) Under-posted Speed Limits
Speed limits are not supposed to be random numbers picked at whim by a government bureaucrat — or revenue-minded police chief. They’re supposed to be done according to traffic surveys that indicate an appropriate speed that balances safety with the goal of smoothly flowing traffic traveling at a reasonable pace for a given stretch of road. (The formal traffic safety engineering term for this is the “85th percentile speed.”) Yet most posted speed limits are set well below the 85th percentile speed — typically at least 5-10 mph below it.

This turns almost every driver on the road into a “speeder” — in the legalistic/technical sense of driving faster than the number on the sign. It usually has nothing to do with safe driving, however. Things are set up this way to give police an easy reason to pull over just about anyone at just about any time — and to generate lots of tax revenue by proxy.

We’ve all encountered what amount to obvious speed traps — the classic example being a broad, two-laned divided road posted at a ridiculous 30 or 35-mph instead of the 45-50 mph everyone’s driving. Since most of us routinely drive faster than posted maximums, we’re all either reckless fools — or the speed limits  have been set absurdly low for the road. Common sense says it’s the latter; any law that is flouted by almost everyone is probably a bad law — like Prohibition.

Roads with under-posted speed limits are designed to be “revenue enhancers” for the local constabulary. But this sort of thing only creates antagonisms between the otherwise law-abiding public and the police — whose motto should be “To Serve and Protect,” not “To Harrass and Collect.” Genuinely dangerous drivers should be aggressively targeted; but using the law to extract the “motorists’ tax” from unwary drivers over trumped-up BS “speeding” charges is an altogether different matter.

5) Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Laws
This is the name given to laws that give police the authority to pull a motorist over simply for not wearing a seat belt. The question, though, isn’t whether it’s prudent to buckle-up — of course it is. Rather, it’s whether failing to wear a seat belt ought to qualify as a “moving violation” — and give police pretext to pull over an otherwise law-abiding motorist.

Not wearing a seat belt may increase your risk of injury or death if there is an accident. But is that anyone’s business but yours? Not wearing a seat belt has about as much effect on others as failing to eat right or exercise. It increases your personal risk, perhaps — but it’s really no one’s business but your own. What’s next — random blood pressure and cholesterol checkpoints? Are they going to begin issuing cops calipers to measure our body fat ratio?

Turning on the flashing lights and pointing Glocks our way for this “violation” is completely over the top — and ought to stop.

6) Sobriety Checkpoints
In the name of law and order, we’ve come to accept the idea of being randomly stopped, questioned and made to produce ID — rigmarole that would be familiar to a citizen of Berlin in 1940 or Moscow in 1970. “Your papers, please!” is not what America is supposed to be all about. The goal of getting drunks of the road is beside the point. Probable cause is — or ought to be — the point.

It’s wrong to subject people who have done absolutely nothing to suggest they’ve been drinking and driving to random stops and interrogations. It violates one of the most basic tenets of the Western European legal theory going back to Magna Carta. Until you, specifically, have given the authorities a specific reason to suspect that you have violated (or may be about to violate) a law, the authorities should have no authority to interfere with you in any way. That we have lost sight of this basic, once-cherished principle and are so willing to  give it up in the name of “safety” or “getting drunks off the road” shows we’re very far down a Dark Road, indeed.

By all means, stop and check out any driver who appears to be weaving, driving erratically or otherwise giving good reason to suspect he may be liquored up. But leave the rest of us alone and free to go about our business until we’ve given good reason to warrant a closer look.


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65 Responses to “6 Dumb Traffic Laws That Should Be Repealed”

  1. MacK says:

    For 2) Midnight Red: What ever happened to blinking red lights (stop – check traffic – proceed)? I used to see them quite often for low traffic flow hours of the night, but have not seen them around in North Carolina for some time now.

    Also they do have a law in North Carolina that allows a motorcyclist to proceed left through a red light after 3 minutes if the magnetic loop is not triggered due to the size of motorcycles.

  2. John says:

    All agreed, and this list is by no means complete or comprehensive. As for #2, MacK, my parents have for 11 years lived near a traffic-light controlled intersection. Long before that, it was impossible to trigger a left-turn arrow unless you were in the right-hand lane. They have failed to fix this problem to this day. I've run it countless times. Incidentally, I couldn't make a right-turn on red, either. That's your careless local government for you.

  3. Randall says:

    I agree with all of those. I know my area has flashing yellows and reds at some intersections, but it could be done at just about all of the signals. And in Owings mills, MD I have found my self at 2 am leaving my friends house sitting at a red light for 4 minutes, wondering if it will ever turn green.

    Here's another dumb law, but i like it. In MD if you proceed through a yellow light you have a right to finish through the intersection if it turns red while doing so. being that you make it past the white line while it's yellow you have the right of way to continue through. However there have been instances where 2 cars can have the right of way in the intersection. Pretty much making a legal accident. Both drivers would not be at fault if a collision would occur.

  4. me says:

    There are 387 comments on the /blog/the-effect-of-speed-limits-on-actual-travel-speeds/ talking about under posted speed limits .

    On lights ignoring motorcycles , this has been an issue since I started driving . I did know about the NC loophole . I've talked to cops in western US states about this one . I was told look both ways then proceed cautiously .

    Sobriety check points , I've said for years they weren't about safety but about revenue .

    Primary seat belt laws , I lean twards they are a good idea as most Americans refuse to wear them otherwise .

    Right & Left on red , for the most part I agree with where the R O R is restricted . But many states fail to allow L O R this should be remedied .

  5. Ruby says:

    What about these two laws. My brother got a ticket for not giving a signal. He was in a turn only lane. A friend of mine got a ticket because the cop said the light above his back license plate was too bright. (huh?) How are we suppose to respect police officers when they give out chicken sh*t tickets like these? What do I tell my 7 year old granddaughter when she tells me police scare her?

  6. donleedon says:

    This is in regard to the last of the six dumb laws as I can expand on this one.

    It also ties into going after the problem drivers swerving into oncoming lanes, etc. Definite signals of actual drunk driving. It has to do also with the instance of probable cause and the astounding number of Americans being convicted each and every year of DUI/DWI (and all the other initials in you weirdo states… j/k). 1.2 million… and only a very small fraction of these occur at sobriety check points.

    While incredibly unconstitutional, these check points don't even come close to the damage that most DUI/DWI stops incur. Let's suppose this instance… OK, so it really happened to me… you are driving along, within the lane, not swerving, no entering the other lane or running off of the road… straight in your lane until you come to a right hand turn… and your turn signal on the used vehicle you just bought fails to work…

    Just so happens that it is 2 am and you have come from your friends house after having 4 beers in the course of 2 hours after work (which is not enough to make a 90 lb person legally drunk, no offense to any 90 lbs persons out there)… and the next thing you know, you have flashing lights in your rear view mirror.

    The officer asks for your 'papers' and asks if you have had anything to drink. You stupidly admit the honest amount that you have had and the next thing you know, you are asked to exit your vehicle and take 3 FSTs (2 of which have been proven to be virtually impossible to pass by most people even when totally sober).

    You pass the two 'impossible' ones yet fail the 'eye test' and your breath smells of the four beers you had in 2 hours. The next thing you know, you are being whisked away to the police station where you are surely going to spend the next 8 to 12 hours because while they are taking you to the station for 'suspicion of DUI/DWI' they are already having your vehicle towed (don't tell me that your guilt has not already been determined).

    The LEO fires up his 'infallible' breathalyzer and watches you for at least 15 minutes. He orders you to breathe into this machine and if you do not do it just right he yells at you to keep breathing and breathe harder. The result comes back that you are well over the legal limit.

    So it seems at the moment, that you luckily have the option of taking an independent blood test at a local hospital for them to test your BAC as well. You take this knowing that you in no possible way are over the legal limit. This takes a few weeks for the results to return, so you spend the night in jail anyway.

    In the morning you have to swallow your pride and call someone to come and get you so you can claim your vehicle which is impounded a town away and pay to have it released (apparently at a premium under this circumstance).

    No court has seen your case, yet you are only allowed to drive with a receipt of your license that expires 30 days from the date of issuance. Oddly enough, your first court date is after this has expired and you are at the mercy of Driver Control as to whether you get a temporary permit that allows you to drive to work and back.

    No mention of your lawyers office or court, so if you get caught driving to these locations, you automatically spend 10 days in jail, also with out ever standing before a judge. If the court system is inept and you cannot get in contact with your lawyer and you just happened to be heading for court that day and get stopped, you don't show up to court because you are on your way to jail for 10 days. So, you get a failure to appear, which holds in most cases a sentence of 30 days as well as a blood thirsty judge that adds contempt of court to the charge, which is 1 day of jail and a fine.

    So now you have spent 41 days in jail, luckily they know you are in jail now and continue your case until you are no longer in jail (in another county which is why they didn't take you to court in your jail clothes).

    Reminder, you have not appeared before a court, judge or jury and you have spent 41 days in jail, so it is safe to say that you no longer have your job.

    Your lawyer quits the case because of non payment. You go to all of your court dates to arrive at the one where the judge says guilty or not. You made too much money while you still had a job, so you do not qualify for a court appointed attorney, so you are defending yourself.

    You present the evidence from the more accurate blood test and the judge dismisses it and goes with the breathalyzer. Oh yeah, didn't mention that this is your second DUI/DWI so you get to spend another 14 days in jail and lose the job that you just accepted last week…

    All of this was because of a faulty turn signal and the (faint) odor of beer on your breath. Oh yeah, and your eyes shake (which can be caused from fatigue to faulty test as well as alcohol).

    Tell me that DUI/DWI laws aren't the stupidest around? Tell me that at 2am that the standard question isn't how much have you been drinking? Tell me that the breathalyzer is more accurate than a test of your actual blood. Tell me that it isn't stupid that at 0.080 you are just as guilty as someone at 0.300 BAC? Tell me that police departments and judge only courts don't cling to breathalyzers like Obama claims that conservatives cling to their guns and religion?

  7. Jake says:

    I agree with everyone of these as being dumb traffic laws. As for number 2, the midnight red, in Wisconsin if your on a motorcycle at a red light and you believe the light to be triggered by the weight of a car, once you have waited 45 seconds you can travel through the intersection when traffic is clear even if the light is red. As for number 6, Sobreity check points are illegal in Wisconsin.

  8. Highway says:

    Randall, Right of way through an intersection is not given until the intersection is clear. So if there is a vehicle that is legally in the intersection (vehicle completely clears the stop bar under the yellow light), they have the right of way to clear the intersection on the far side, and anyone who hits them will be at fault. The green light doesn't automatically give you right of way.

    However, any car entering the intersection MUST be able to clear the intersection before entering, so in a gridlock situation, if someone pulls into the intersection and stops due to traffic, they are in the wrong.

    Jake, inductive loop sensors are not weight based, they are metal based. The problem with motorcycles is that they generally don't have the mass of metal, or the width to span the inductive loop. Thankfully, video detection of traffic signalization works much better for motorcycles.

  9. Mike says:

    Donleedon, you make an impassioned argument about the DWI process, one that I might agree with in spite of a couple fallacies in your argument. Unfortunately, Carrie Nation is not dead, and her followers are just as zealous as ever to reinstate Prohibition. It used to be that DWI was a fine. If you can afford to pay enough to drive drunk on a regular basis, then have a ball. (Most people can't afford such a 'tax'.) Kill someone while driving drunk nets you jail time, or even some prison time.

    But now that's not good enough. We must, no, it is decreed from On High, that we WILL determine how someone could possibly have ever driven drunk in the first place, let alone drunk enough to kill someone. The penalty for a First Offense is summary execution. And then it gets progressively worse with subsequent offenses.

    Of course, some of you may wonder how you can punish someone worse, after he's already been executed. But let's say we then execute his family for his second DWI offense. Third offense is execute the entire neightborhood. And if that isn't sufficient to deter any good corpse from driving drunk, for a 4th offense, we execute the entire country. After that, we'll get really tough. One way or another, we'll stamp out that ol' devil Alcohol!

    Or guns. Or tobacco. BATF will be totally out of business. How long before we'll have to spend the entire Sunday sitting in church on hard wooden benches, with someone to rap us with a stick if we fall asleep?

  10. Richard G. Alexander says:

    I agree that seatbelt ticketing is stupid but I disagree that it’s really no one’s business but your own. My insurance rates are based, in part, on the cost of treating injuries that could easily have been prevented. Why not just a cap on insurance claims if the victim was not wearing a seat belt or a cyclist his helmet?

  11. Jeff says:

    Or if someone decides to drive a small car that offers less crash protection than a large SUV?

  12. Mike says:

    Richard, please, that is a specious argument. To save insurance costs is an argument that can be made for the regulation or prohibition of nearly any activity with which one may disagree. Health insurance is also affected by injuries incurred during skiing, boating, skateboarding, parasailing, and even golf.

    The principle behind seatbelt laws violates the nature of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the only reason such laws have prevailed is due to the fact that driving on government-built roads is not a right, but rather a permission by the government. In that light, government has wide latitude to regulate the activity on those roads. My own position is that it still violates the 14th Amendment, Equal Protection Under the Law. Front seat adult occupants must use seatbelts while rear seat adult occupants do not. Adult occupants in the front seats of pickup trucks must use seatbelts, while adults may ride unencumbered in the bed of the truck. If the issue is safety, riding in the pickup bed is inherently more dangerous than the front seat. While a bus driver must wear a seatbelt, in most jurisdictions the passengers do not, including minor children. And seatbelts are not required on motorcycles, a vehicle which is inherently more dangerous by its very design.

    Granted, most states have helmet laws for riders to reduce deaths, so that more people can survive crippling motorcycle accidents, and subsequently become a drain on the insurance system for lifelong support of quadriplegics to live in their misery. To keep my health insurance rates down, we need to repeal the helmet laws.

  13. Jeff says:

    Why weren't auto insurance rates reduced when the 55mph speed limit was implemented in 1974?

  14. Todd says:

    Driving should be a right!!! Unless your reckless.

  15. Liz Ramirez says:

    Here is what happened to my college student daughter the day after Thanksgiving. She is not a child, in her 30's driving through Lenoir, NC on her way to her part time job around 9:30 in the morning. She was stopped for no seat belt and when the cop saw the trash and recycle cans and bottles in the back floor of her car (you have to take your own trash to the dumpster and recycle bin), he used the two beer bottles he saw in the group as reason to charge her with DUI. She was not able to blow hard enough on the breath alyzer to get a sufficient reading so he charged her with refusing to take the test and then drove her to the local hospital for a blood test. Aftewards he told her it would take 90 days to get the blood test results, he arrested her, mug shot her and made her sit in jail until she was able to find a bondsman to post her $300 bond. Her purse, cell phone and all else were left locked in her car out on the highway by order of the cops. They took her driver license away from her and after almost all day, she was let go. She may have lost her job now since she never showed up, she is responsible for paying the bondsman's fee, $300 for the hospital blood test and $100 to get her license back when her court date arrives in 6 weeks. Meanwhile she can't drive to her classes, to her job, to a lawyer, etc. She is in college in another county and has to hire a lawyer in Lenior but has no driver's license to drive there to visit him. The hospital has refused to release her blood test to her and it is a total nightmare that is beyond belief!! I live over 6 hours away in Georgia and feel frustrated to the max. So how is that for abuse of the Seat Belt Law? And why are cops allowed to harrass citizens like that? All she did was forget to rebuckle her seat belt.

  16. Randy says:

    Liz Ramirez it sounds like you may not have all the facts. Let your daughter explain what happened.

  17. southernboy says:

    Man do I feel for you . This is complete crap but MADD was allowed to lobby for and get passed without resistance from any group . In NC it's well known by all WEAR YOUR SEAT belt or something like this can happen . In NC you drink much of anything and are unlucky enough to go through a check point your life as you have known it is over in NC . It is unfortunately like this in many states now . We went from a culture of not punishing drunk drivers to destroying their lives .

    Extremes seldom give the result advertised . A good lesson for us all next time someone starts to beat the heart strings drum on an issue .

  18. southernboy says:

    And along comes Randy with his clueless safety rants ………….. After all your clueless ides on speed limits I am not surprised that you are a DWI/DUIs laws defender .

    How can can one person be so disconnected from all realities . What is described happens every day across NC , in NC's Driving system of you are guilty until proven innocent .

    Good meaning idiots like you Randy are the ones that got this ridiculous US driving system of guilty until proved innocent on the books . Photo enforcement , automatic license suspension without being proved guilty of anything , speed limits that in no way are related to safety .

    Randy I just hope that at some point you are not caught in this system you adore . Like many/most of us have been in the US driving system . And like most of us were proved innocent after much expense$$$$$ was wasted .

  19. Liz says:

    Sorry, but my daughter explained it all to me clearly and completely. It is apparent that she came driving down the highway on Thanksgiving weekend with out of state tags and got railroaded by two officers trying to fill a quota and thinking she was going to say "just tell me what I owe, I'm only here for the weekend". Sad commentary on a state that I had always held in high regard and total abuse of the law. She had hoped to go to work for the National Park Service after she graduates next year but these cops have probably destroyed that.

  20. Randy says:

    southernboy do you want to be run into by a drunk? I sure don't. Do you think that 10 drinks in a couple of hours is ok? Any organization that promotes drinking and driving is pretty bad in my opinion. I was wrong in my last statement. I should not have said pretty bad I should have said very very bad.

    Liz if she is inocent then she has nothing to worry about. There are very few that are arrested for DUI if they in fact are not. The chances of someone being arrested for not drinking and being charged with DUI is so close to 0 that it does not have to be a discussion item. From what you said it sounds like your daughter was drinking and throwing the bottles in the back of the car. If she did not have alcohol on her breath they would not have charged her with DUI. By the way, 30 year olds drink also.

  21. Mike says:

    Randy, of course you are very right. Being run into by a sober person who cannot pay attention to traffic while eating, applying makeup, bopping to the radio, yakking on the cell phone and reading a newspaper while tapping on a computer keyboard, is all very preferable to being run into by a drunk. By all means, let's pinpoint someone who's had a beer or two while all the rest of the bad drivers continue veering from lane to lane.

    As for having nothing to worry about if you're innocent, what incredible naivete. The prisons are full of people who didn't believe they needed a lawyer because they were innocent. After all, the state has to prove its case, right? Wrong, all the state has to do is convince the jury that it's made its case. If your premise were correct, that if one is innocent and need not worry, then courts would be unnecessary as the police never make mistakes, right? And corruption or abuse of authority is unheard of, naturally.

  22. Randy says:

    Mike there are thousands of those victums each year. Not just one that did not try hard enough to get out of the way. You do not trust one story but there are hundreds of those stories that are true. You do not have a clue what you are talking about. Blame the victum is what you say. They should not have been on the road when drunks are out is what you are saying. The rights of those driving drunk is more important than anyone else being able to drive safely on our roadways.

    The logic is that anyone that drinks and the more they drink cause more accidents and many are fatal. That is the logic in this discussion.

    Maybe we need more signs put up. Drunk drivers keep to the right.

  23. NLA says:

    By all means, let's make our DUI/DWI laws weaker, since they violate our rights. I'll be sure to mention that to a friend… Oh, that's right, I can't. She was killed when a drunk driver crossed the center line and hit her car head on. I am sure the her students waiting for her that morning can appreciate your arguments.

    I am unsure the total usefulness of checkpoints, but when our rights endanger others rights (say, to live), they cease to be rights.

  24. Mike says:

    A: That's an argument based upon emotion, not logic, when you bring in the poor victim in an attempt to make your point.

    B: Every argument for the definite curtailment of all people's rights is predicated on the "possible" violation of one person's rights if they just happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right set of circumstances.

    C: While I'm not inclined to blame the victim, I do have to question the veracity that a totally innocent person was 'slammed into head-on' with absolutely no forewarning that a car was headed at them.

    D: Anecdotal evidence (stories told by a friend who knew someone who had a brother, etc) is exactly the reason why poor laws are passed at the expense of the rest of the population.

  25. Todd says:

    Randy's said "Maybe we need more signs put up. Drunk drivers keep to the right." Randy I can see what you are saying, I respect what you said, and I'm not saying your wrong but how about a sign that says drunk drivers keep off the road or risk serous consequences (Example – Jail time, lossing their drivers licsense, etc).

  26. Mike says:

    Randy, you are not rebutting my position with your own points, but attempting to restate what I've already said in an attempt to change it. Nobody here has said that drunk drivers should have more rights than anyone else. They do, however, have the same rights as anyone else. And any attempts to reduce the number of drunk drivers certainly should not be at the expense of the rights of those who have not been drinking at all. There are hundreds of thousands of drivers who never touch alcohol. Why should they be stopped, searched, questioned, and detained just because someone among them MAY be drinking?

    Our legal system is predicated upon the position that it's better to let 100 guilty people go free than to wrongly convict 1 innocent person, but many people believe that it's better to convict 100 innocents than to let 1 guilty person get away. It's trading freedom for safety, without safety being assured.

  27. Randy says:

    Mike I for one would be willing to be stopped for a minute or two a couple of times a year if it saved your life and hundreds of others. I guess you just do not care about anyone else. Your couple of minutes a year is worth more than thousands of lives.

    Why do you need to stop at stop signs then if it is slowing you down so much? That is affecting your freedom of just cruising through stop signs. Why should there be any speed limits if it is affecting your freedom of traveling as fast as you like? Why should radar guns be allowed if it is affecting my freedom of only being the one to know how fast I am going?

    If it were not for some of our past veterans stopping the freedoms of other countries of taking over other countries and our own then we would not have any of the freedoms that you hold so dear.

  28. southernboy says:

    Randy , Randy , Randy ……. You poor clueless idiot .

    It's never been about being pulled over for a minute . It's about being unlucky enough to be the one they decide to take that "check" of your sobriety over the line .

    You have a drink but are not drunk but the cop decides to take the check of your sobriety over the line like the below story . Your not proved guilty of anything but you get an automatic Suspension of license without being convicted of anything . They take your car without you being convicted of anything . They force you to pay fines and to pay fees without being convicted of anything . You loose your job because you have no license and no car to get to work . In the end all charges are dropped and the officer is admonished for improper actions . But you are out thousands of $$$ even though you were in fact innocent . Now have no job now , no home and your life as you knew it no longer exists .

    These are not made up things Randy they in fact happen all across the US every day .

    Oh why bother , you go ahead and live in your little bubble .

    I take it back , Now hopefully someday you are minding your own business not breaking any laws and you get caught up it the described nightmare . Maybe then you will have a clue . But after dealing with all your clueless arguments I highly doubt it .

    I suspect you will make a good sheep for the system . That will be funny to watch …………..now that would finally be a reality show I would watch .

    It is illegal to drive drunk .

    But not illegal to drink a drink and drive below the limit . But the current system assumes that if you drink even a drink you are drunk and danger to all on the road . Complete and total crap !!!!!!!!

    There are plenty of studies that show distracted drivers far more dangerous than a so called drunk driver under todays DUI/DWI system . But in todays system you are guilty until proved innocent . I guess you still don't get that , more than likely will not until you get caught up in it someday . Which after having to deal with your clueless arguments again I hope you are now . I really hope you are innocently caught up in it someday to learn how clueless you really are .

  29. Randy says:

    No southernboy I guess I do not get it. Your willingness to have drunken drivers on the road. There are now laws against certain distractions in many states like you say for things like talking on cell phones. You say it is still ok to drive drunk though. I personally do know people that do not drink and drive anymore because of the consequences of being caught. That is a good thing in my estimation. If people are not smart enough to stop after knowing such things I guess they are not smart enough to drive anyway. If people like that want to have a drink or two and still drive then they can buy a personal breathalizer to test themselves before they get in their car. Anyone that is found over the current limits today are at a far greater risk of causing an accident.

  30. Mike says:

    Randy, it's all very fine that you are willing to give up your rights for some safety. Many people said the same thing after 9-11, but screamed later when the Patriot Act eroded those same rights they were willing to give up.

    But it's not about drunk drivers having more rights. It's about sober drivers being subjected to the same unwarranted intrusions in the name of 'safety'. After all, why do we need a 4th Amendment about warrants if you have nothing to hide? Simply allow the police to search your home when looking for dangerous escpaed criminals. Actually, you can do that, but to expect me to do the same thing against my will demonstrates your police state mentality. That your possible safety is dependent upon my enforced submission to a governmental parent figure.

    And don't bother playing the heartstring ploy about vets fighting for the right to safety. I'm one of those vets, enlisted not drafted, who risked his life for your rights that you would so easily surrender in the name of safety. You're right; I don't care about any one person more than another. I care aobut all people, which necessarily must include those who may be suspected of a crime, too.

  31. Randy says:

    Mike the public roads are not something that you have the right to do as you wish. Driving on public roads is a privilege. If you are found drunk in a public place you can be arrested. Why not in your car?

    What is your solution to the problem? Is it to wait until someone has a major accident and then do something? Prevention is what is needed. If there is no prevention we will continue to have thousands of deaths each year. How many wars have had as many deaths as from drunken drivers on our highways have the past 100 years? Probably none would be my guess.

    It seems to me that drunken drivers have a lot more rights than anyone else. They have the right to take someones life if they drink too much.

    It is too bad that you feel that being checked for sobriety a couple of times a year is as bad as being killed or a friend of yours being killed or severly injured.

  32. Mike says:

    Rnady, as others have pointed out, you are indeed clueless. Drunk drivers do not have more rights than others, no matter how it may seem to you. And if preventing dangerous incidents overrides the right to privacy, then you should have no objection to the police routinely searching your house a couple times a year for illegal drugs. Just to be safe, of course. And while you may be fine with that, your neighbors will not agree with you. So let's stop being disengenuously obtuse.

    But the drunk drivers who are acutally responsible for traffic fatalities are not at .08%. THey're at .24 and even .32%. They're blind stinking drunk, not simply impaired. .08% means you're reflexes areslower. Same as if you're tired. Or bopping to your MP3 player. There are people who want to drop the DUI threshhold even lower, to .04%, and some even want it at 0%. This is nothing to do with drunk drivers. It's a continuation of Prohibition. MADD does not want to only remove drunk drivers from the road, they want to remove alcohol from society so that drunk drivers cannot even exist.

    In the meantime, stopping and hassling thousands of legitimate drivers, in an effort to MAYBE catch one or two who might be impaired, is a violation of the basic premise of American society, that if you've done nothing wrong, you should not be unwillingly detained, no matter how lofty the excuse. Your arguments are the same reason that thousands of American citizens were locked up during WWII simply because they were originally of Japanese ancestry. But, hey, what's a few lousy years compared to America's security in time of war?

    There are a number of countries that subscribe to your point of view and people are trying to leave them. I invite you to join their society and discover the benefits of your viewpoint.

  33. Randy says:

    Impared drivers are impared drivers. If society was able to find out who is too tired to drive safely then I think they should do it. Society does know of how to determine impared drivers from alcohol.

    You still did not tell us any way to stop drunk drivers. I guess you feel there is no problem at all and if your wife or child or closest friend is killed our severly injured tonight or tomorrow it is no big deal.

  34. Mike says:

    You've been, and continue to be moreso, argumentative for its own sake. What difference does it make whether it's my wife or child or closest friend who is killed? Does that impart special consideration on their importance as opposed to a complete stranger? According to your premise, anyting that the government can do under the guise of safety is justified. I don't remember if it was Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin who said something that "Those who would trade essential liberty in return for temporary security deserve neither."

    100% prevention toward security is a realistic impossibility entertained only by young children, idiots, and politicians. Please take your sophomoric blather to some other forum.

  35. Randy says:

    Mike what liberty are you giving away when you are stopped on the roadway and asked to open your window to talk? It is little more than that to determine if you have probably had too much to drink. If Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin heard that you would rather have thousands killed instead of that then they would have laughed in your face. It is just too bad that they are not here.

    By the way, how many drinks did you have tonight before you drove home?

    I suppose if there was a major shooting or something else bad in an area that you do not want police to stop at your door asking if you could provide any details of the events that happened in the area. It is pretty much the same invasion of privacy.

  36. Jeff says:

    I can be asked to open the car window. I do not have to honor that request.

  37. southern boy says:

    As you get your window broken out and you get slammed face first to the ground for not obliging the nice officers request . So sure you can refuse their request for about 15-20 seconds …………..

    Randy as on other strings ,,,,,,,, Ignore .

    No point in trying to engage in a discussion with a brick wall . No offense to the brick wall intended .

  38. po po says:

    Most comments here are just the ramblings of people who should not be driving.

    1. You're right, cops just randomly stop people and lock them up. Because there really aren't drunks on the road cops just stop anyone for their quotas.

    2. Everyone thinks .08 is the legal limit – it is not. A .08 is the legal presumptive limit which means that is the driver at .08 is assumed to be impaired. You can be convicted of DWI with ANY level of alcohol below .08 provided additional evidence of impairment can be shown. For example driving activity prior to the stop, performance of SFSTs (there is no pass / fail), statements made, etc.

    3. Driving a motor vehicle is not your right. When you accept your license you are agreeing to the terms and conditions that come along with it. If you don't like it – take the bus.

    4. All the other things mentioned as being dangerous such as driving tired, reading, cell phone use, applying make-up are already illegal. The charge is failure to pay full time and attention to the operation of a motor vehicle.

    In short to those who think a couple of drinks is OK – grow up, get a clue…and a bus pass. I hope to see you out there!

  39. po po says:

    Oh, and Jeff you are correct you can be asked to roll down your window and you can refuse. However, you will just end up with a broken window, a tow bill, additional charges, and a pair of pretty silver bracelets. I end up with the bonus of having one more articulable observation of probable impairment since that is not normal or reasonable behavior during a traffic stop.

  40. Jeff says:

    My retirement will be funded by the lawsuit I win against the individual and his department for breaking that window and false arrest. I'm sure a jury will not find those actions amusing.

  41. po po says:

    Jeff, they are not meant to be amusing. I observe behavior that gives me grounds to perform a traffic stop. I stop you, approach your window and request your license and registration which you must produce on demand. Since you will not roll down your window you obviously can't and won't provide those documents. I go back to my car, complete the citations, and return to your car for a signature. Again, you don't sign for them since you don't roll down your window. I'm sorry sir but since your signature is your promise to appear in court and you haven't signed it and received your copy, a reasonable and prudent officer could not expect that you will comply with the requirements of the citation so at this point you are being placed under arrest. When my supervisor arrives, and I requested them back when I wrote your citation in my car, I WILL get the green light to take you into custody by any lawful means necessary – that includes breaking your window and removing you from the car.

    If my original stop was to investigate possible DWI, that process will continue after you're in custody. Either way, your actions dictate how the traffic stop goes. You can be an a55hat and make things hard for yourself or you can act in a reasonable manor and, if you are not DWI, be on your way no harm no foul. If you think for one second you can stop, sit in your car on the side of the road and not comply with a lawful request and hinder a criminal investigation, you'd be wrong.

    Traffic stops are not personal; the officer does not know you from Adam and cops don't randomly pick a car for a stop when no violation has been committed. When there are so many true offenders out there to pick from to think otherwise is just…well, dumb.

  42. Jeff says:

    When the jury views the videotape of the whole incident, what do you think will be the outcome?

    Did O.J. sign a ticket when he was finally caught after that long chase around L.A.?

  43. Randy says:

    Jeff you are an idiot again. Simpson was not driving. Get at least one fact right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O.J._Simpson_murder_

  44. Jeff says:

    I never said he was driving.

  45. Randy says:

    Jeff why would he have to sign a traffic ticket if he was not driving?

  46. Mike says:

    POPO, at a checkpoint, you aren't observing any behavior; you're stopping and checking everyone, whether or not they've done anything to warrant it.

    And if any drinks at all are considered to impair your driving,, then you're one of those who would stop someone for having ONE drink, and getting into his car a 1/2 hour later. He'd still blow .015% and you'd bust him, because even one or two drinks are unacceptable. You're not a representative of the law; you're an anti-alcohol zealot who's going to rid the country of that demon booze.

    You assert what YOU would do as a cop, and presume that every other 657,000 cops in this country do the same thing. Either you're pathetically clueless as a cop (very possible as there are many of them) or you're a pretend cop for the purposes of this forum only (again, very possible).

    If you believe that the 4th and the 5th Amendments are cumbersome obstructions to your job, then you are one of the many badge-heavy paternalistic apologists who help the unfavorable attitude of many toward the police. Granted that driving, due to government financing of public highways, is not a right but a permission. But that permission comes from the government, not from you and your buddies with badges.

    I support the police in my community, but they're not swaggering tinhorn Barny Fifes with an authority complex. Too bad other communities can't say the same.

  47. Mike says:

    Randy, they were chasing OJ, whether or not he was driving. So when they stopped him, did he have to sign a ticket?

  48. Randy says:

    Mike no he did not have to sign a ticket because he did not commit any traffic offense. He also was taken into custody so I do not know what he had to sign when he went to be booked but it was not a traffic ticket.

    It also would not have been classified as a chase by me but more of a following because no high speeds occured.

  49. Mike says:

    So, he was taken into custody. See what happens when you don't roll down the window and sign the ticket?

  50. Jeff says:

    In the city of Detroit, the person receiving the ticket does not sign the ticket.