Listen (read, I guess) to what happened to my cousin. He just sent me an email telling me what happened to him this week.
(background info: he’s 20 years old and lives in NJ)
He goes over to his friends apartment to relax, have a few beers, etc. He told me that he had 3 beers while watching TV and had finished drinking at about 8 or 9. He ends up leaving at about 11 or 11:30 (he wasn’t very specific as to the exact times).
Anyhow, he’s drivin home, and he’s doing 74 in a 65 lane (not because he’s drunk, just because he’s a speeder) and he gets pulled over. He’s pissed, but not too worried, he figures he’ll get a ticket, maybe a warning if he’s lucky, no problem. The cop comes up the car and yada yada yada. Now the car reeks like marijuana, however, there was no marijuana in the car. Thinking that there is marijuana in the car, the cop asks my cousin if he can search the car.
My cousin doesn’t have anything illegal on him, so trying to get out of there ASAP he allows the cop to search. The cop finds a sealed six-pack in the trunk that my cous forgot he had purchased earlier that day. This is a problem since he is underage by about 6 months. At this point he knows he’s in trouble, and he is given a breathalizer on suspicion of intoxication. (Note that having a driver’s liscence gives implied consent to a breathalizer, if you refuse you’re arrested) His blood alcohol level is .01, well below the .1 legal limit… for driver’s 21 and older. However, being 6 months underage, anything above 0 is illegal :eek:
He is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, his liscence is suspended for a few months, he has to pay a substantial fine (100’s of dollars) and he has to go to some bullshit course about driver education, as well as the stigma of having a DUI arrest on his record (see how far you get at a job interview with that conviction on your sheet).
What the fuck!?!
A combination of bad luck and a bullshit law got him arrested for a “crime” that he certainly did not commit. Far from irresponsible, he waited a good deal of time after consuming a fairly small amount of alcohol. Was the fact that he was 6 months too young to legally drink alcohol make him a dangerous driver when had trace amounts of alcohol in his blood? Does being 22 make it safe to drive with a BAC of .09?
What exactly is this bullshit law trying to prevent? The aim is obviously to try to stop young people from drinking and driving.
However, this could easily be stopped by creating a threshold that is not a catch-all but does provide for catching young drivers whose ability is at all altered (eg a BAC of .04). If they’re trying to catch underage kids drinking, then a small amount of alcohol could be legitimately used to arrest people for underage drinking, without accusing them of a crime that they really did not commit (driving under the influence of alcohol).
They’ve got their heads situated further up their asses than ever before! This is fucking ridiculous! Argh!