22/09/2013 at 3:08 pm #176595182
On reading the NMA article, I have a couple comments.
NMA says the NYTimes, by including only one contributor against lowering the BAC rate & four for it, is not presenting a journalistically fair debate.
However, that argument contains several false assumptions.
1.) Maybe the NYTimes found a 4 to 1 ratio of major organizations are FOR the lowering. So their ratio of contributors reflects their general readership.
2.) Maybe the NYTimes found several unique arguments & therefore contributors for lowering. By contrast, maybe NMA presented all the unique arguments the NYTimes came across for maintaining the current rate.
Therefore NYTimes would be presenting a perfectly balanced, complete view.
This NMA article #265 also implies that the law & the MADD contributor only focuses on lowering rates. However the MADD contributor titles her piece “Other Measures Are Just as Important” and goes on to list them.
This NMA article claims other contributors weren’t asked to substantiate their data, the way NMA was contacted …before the NYTimes article was published. How does NMA know if others weren’t contacted with the same need to substantiate? Several other contributors list their data sources very explicitly, more explicitly than NMA does.
The NMA contribution to NYTimes also is disappointing. Rather than focusing on what else can be done to deal with the high end drinkers, that it says is critical (and is critical). Or adding anything about injury rates (not just death rates) vs levels of BAC. Instead, the NMA focuses on a false claim about breathlyzers. Portable breathalyzers are used at the scene to determine whether to arrest, but are largely inadmissible in court & only stationary breathalyzers are used for formal charges, which have much better accuracy rates. Plus now I wonder if there are any rebuttals to the common pro-lowering claims, instead of focusing on this breathlyzer claim, which anyone with any basic info will immediately recognize as not a valid argument.
While there are arguments to be made in many directions on this topic, I’m disappointed the the NMA’s article #245 uses inaccuracies.
In my personal experience & info from insurance adjuster & prosecutors who deal with accidents — at the .08 level, they’ve dealt with serious accidents with an impaired driver. These certainly do exist, and impaired drivers tend not to swerve or avoid at the last minute, the way most other drivers do even if they are at fault in a collision. At least that’s the anecdotal feedback I’ve heard repeatedly. So a lower rate is one I’d want to research & explore, and learn the pros & cons.
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