Do you want to know why California is damn near bankrupt, both fiscally and morally? It's because of ridiculous laws that are enacted because they "feel good". Never mind that there is proof based upon research that the basis of the law is ineffective and won't work. Oh, NO! That doesn't matter! What matters is that it sounds great! And while we're at it, never mind that it has the potential to infringe upon the civil rights, not to mention just rights-rights
Case in point this time is California Assembly Bill 91. The bill, which was signed into law by the Governator yesterday, will "...require a person convicted of DUI to (a) install an ignition interlock device (IID), as specified, on all vehicles he or she owns, and (b) participate in a county alcohol and drug problem assessment program." This isn't for repeat offenders. This is for first time offenders. This isn't for a blood-alcohol level above a certain amount. This is for even the minimum blood-alcohol level that will net you an extremely expensive and completely unnecessary (you didn't have to drive!) DUI.
I'd like to just state for the record that I am 100% against drunk driving. There's no reason for it. It's dangerous. It kills people who should not have been killed. That being said, I can't say that I'm 100% for this law for a variety of reasons.
First of all, it requires the little blow device to be installed in any vehicle that the offender has use of. Um, so...wait a minute. Let's say I'm married to some drunk driving moron and he has a car and I have a car. His car is titled to him and my car is titled to me. On occasion, I drive his car and he drives my car. You mean to tell me that you're going to put one of those little blow thingees in my car?? Um, I don't know if I speak for everyone who would be in that situation when I say this, but, um, like hell you are.
Tell me how that is legal. How would it be legal to require that a blow thing (I'm sure I should be calling it an IID, but that reminds me too much of IUD and I just cannot continue to picture my steering wheel outfitted with an IUD. It's just wrong and it kind of makes me laugh and cringe at the same time.) be put on a car that is titled to me just because I'm married to some dillweed who doesn't know enough to not drive when he's plastered? I have a hard time understanding how that would be constitutionally lawful. (And please don't hit me with the argument that it would have to be lawful otherwise they wouldn't have been able to pass the bill. This is California. Our legislature is full of morons. Pass laws now, deal with litigation later. That seems to be the motto.)
Second is the issue of cost. Studies have shown that the people who tend to get the majority of the DUIs are those in lower income brackets. That's not to say that everyone who gets a DUI is poor. That's not it. But when you look at income levels, the higher the income, the less of a chance someone in that bracket will get arrested for a DUI. That's not necessarily my issue. My issue is that these people who are racking up the most DUIs will not be able to pay for them. Thus, for some inexplicable reason, there is going to be some sort of a sliding scale for what the fees will be if there is an issue with the offender's ability to pay.
Is the blowy tube going to still be installed? Of course it is. Is there going to be a blowy tube installation cost? Of course there is. Is that bill going to have to be paid? You bet it will. And who will pay for it then? Oh, wait! Don't tell me! Will it be subsidized by the state? I'm guessing it will! Why does that not make me happy that it will be paid for? It doesn't make me happy because where in the hell do these people (You know. The ones who think that it should be thought of as a great thing that the state pays for it.) think that money that the state will use for the subsidy will come from? That's right! Taxpayers! Hey, wait a minute. I'M a taxpayer! That's MY money!!!! Why am I now paying for some nitwit drunk driver to have a blowhole on his steering wheel?! (How many different names do you think I can come up with that involve some sort of a variation on the word "blow" before I get done with this? I'm guessing quite a few!)
Let me ask this question: Why are we only doing this for those who can't afford blower in-ers? I mean, what if a lower income person gets a speeding ticket? Is there going to be a sliding scale for that fee? No? Well, why not? Isn't it the same? Oh, no! Of course it isn't the same because there is NO way that anyone could justify having the state (aka, the taxpayers) pay for someone else's speeding ticket just because they couldn't afford it. It also wouldn't give anyone an incentive (not like it does anyway, but who said this wasn't partially hypothetical?) to not speed if they knew that they wouldn't have to pay the massive ticket that would await them when they were pulled over going 87 in a 20mph school zone. (Wearing that rubber duck head whilst naked wouldn't help that situation either. I'm just saying. That's what I've heard.)
According to the California Chronicle (a periodical that I have never heard of until five minutes ago. I have no idea who they are or what they write about or even if they have the slightest shred of ethics. That's just a disclaimer. They could be lovely folks, I have no idea.) "... law enforcement made 203,866 DUI arrests in 2007, averaging out to 558 DUI arrests every day." According to the Bill Analysis by the folks over there at the Assembly Committee on Appropriations "The cost of an IID (that's the blowhard device) varies, but runs about $1,000 per year". 203,866 arrests times $1,000 per wheel blower comes out to $203,866,000 per year. Wow. That's a hell of a lot of money for these folks that make these devices, wouldn't you say? I wonder how many of these manufacturers contribute heavily to the office or campaign/election funds of a one Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who wrote the bill. Hmmm. I'm guessing more than one. That's pure speculation right there, but I'll eat my computer if NONE of the manufacturers of these devices have contributed ONE dollar to Mike Feuer. (And my desktop has a 26" monitor, so that would be quite a meal for me.)
But back to those same Bill Analysis folks for just a minute. Actually, back to those same folks for my favorite point. Their analysis concluded that "...the DMV released a report in 2005, An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock in California, which concluded in part that mandatory IID for first-time offenders are not effective and that the state should incentivize IID by allowing offenders who install an IID to have their licenses reinstated earlier." Wait. What now?
Did that just say that mandatory blow puffers are NOT effective, aka INeffective? Is that what that just said? It IS! It IS what it just said! This law, the way that it is constructed and intended, has been analyzed and determined that this sort of a program is NOT effective! So what do people do with that information? Do they rewrite the bill and follow the suggestion of the Bill Analysis which was based on the information contained in a California DMV report from only FOUR years ago? God, no they don't do that! What is wrong with you? Haven't you been paying attention?!
They can't rewrite the bill because that wouldn't feel as good. This way feels great. (I'm sure it feels even more great for all of the manufacturers and installers of these huffer-puffers who are going to have their pockets lined with alcohol soaked profits from here on out.) HOW can they ignore a study that says it's ineffective? How can they justify going ahead with it anyway? How can the Governator justify signing it into law? How? How? !!
But don't worry. I'll find out who the manufactures and installers of these devices are and how much they've contributed to the Führer's war chest or whatever it is. (What's that? Oh. Right. That should read Feuer. Sorry. The Führer was Hitler. My bad.) If none have contributed so much as a dollar, I'll eat my computer. So stay tuned for that!Sphere: Related Content