It’s a damn fine idea!
He “ain’t hurtin’ no one” … so why not leave him be?
Let the drunks safely gimp themselves home. It jibes with the NAP principle: No harm, no foul.
But, it does not jibe with the moralistic hectoring of the Clover Mind, which really wants to punish people most of all. Not “keep us safe.” Control us – and punish us when we resist or defy control. When any of us do something they do not like. Which affronts their Puritanical (but now secularized) urge to compel uniformity – and stamp out heterodoxy. Everything must be one way… their way.
If that were not the case, then they – Clovers – would not object to the proposal above. A drunk driver cautiously making his way home, his car barely moving at walking speed, presents no significant danger to himself or others – to property or persons. I suppose it’s possible a child (to anticipate the Cloveritic cry sure to erupt) might by playing on the shoulder at 2 a.m. after last call – but it’s unlikely. Mailbox posts are more threatened, but I’d rather deal with a knocked-down mailbox every now and then than a uniformed thug scrum hassling me for no reason because someone else might be “drunk” driving.
The real danger as regards drunk driving is that the system provides every incentive for drunks to drive … at normal road speeds. Indeed, slightly faster than normal road speeds. Because to drive exactly the speed limit – or below the speed limit – in the wee hours of the morning is like throwing buckets of bloody chum in the ocean. It’s guaranteed to draw the attention of cops. So, the drunk driver drives faster in order to avoid being noticed. Rendering him a real danger to himself and others – just the opposite of the case were he to “walk” his car home at 5 MPH or so on the shoulder.
But, the Clover will cry, he shouldn’t have been driving at all! Perhaps – except here again the Clovers have set up an impossible Catch 22. In the first place, they have managed to dumb-down the legal definition of “drunk” driving to absurdity. A drink or two over the course of a meal is sufficient. It probably won’t result in any meaningful impairment of a person’s capability to safely drive home. But it is sufficient to cross the BAC threshold at which point one may be cuffed and stuffed. Which is not .08 BAC, incidentally. In most states, a BAC level of .06 or even .04 is sufficient legal pretext to arrest a person for “drunk” driving. A .08 BAC is merely presumptive drunk driving – while lower BACs require additional evidence of “drunkeness” to establish the fact (such as a cop’s say-so).
Well, ok – then maybe just sleep it off in the car. The parked car. Surely, that’s responsible and “safe.” Even if the occupant’s BAC is .16 and he is well and truly soused, if the car’s parked then he is utterly harmless. Ergo, the law should be pleased.
He ain’t hurtin no one…. so leave him be.
But of course it will not. If a person is found sitting in his parked car – even if he is asleep in the back and the engine’s stone cold – he may still be arrested and carted off to a cell for the crime of drunk driving. Hence, another incentive for the drunk to drive. Because he is more vulnerable sleeping it off in his car. He’ll be there – in the same place – all night long. His odds of avoiding the drunk driving bust are improved if he actually drives while drunk.
In effect, anyone who drinks at all has become a “drunk” as far as the law is concerned. Just as we’ve all become presumptive criminals – terrorists – even. An offhand joke is sufficient to land one in a cell for 24 hours. Just ask the Peanut Butter Terrorist.
John Adams once said:
“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.
But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,’ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
His was a re-stating (and refining) of the comment attributed to Thomas More – Henry VIII’s unfortunate (because eventually headless) Lord Chancellor – in the classic drama A Man for All Seasons:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
More also said: “I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live.” I might add to this: Or arrested, waylaid, fine, hassled, caged.
So much wisdom – lost on the conscience of our age.
People who are innocent of having caused anyone else any harm are now routinely treated as if they had in fact caused harm. Which is evidence that harm isn’t the criteria – despite the Cloveritic protestations about “safety,” “security,” “the children” and so on. The critera is simply, “Do as I demand” … because it is demanded.
Conform. Submit. Obey.
Or be punished.
It is the new American creed.
Throw it in the Woods?