Bullshit DUI Laws

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!

This may be totally off the wall, but maybe, just maybe HE SHOULDNT DRINK AND DRIVE! Who gives a fuck if he wasnt wasted, he was under age, and stupid ((marijuana smell)(beer in the trunk) If he obeyed the law he wouldnt be in trouble now would he?

He asked for it.

Here’s the flaw in your righteous indignation. It wasn’t bad luck; he was speeding. Not only that, he did in fact break the law by drinking when he was not legally permitted to do so.

It’s a tough break, but it is ** entirely ** his fault. If he wanted to drink and drive (illegal already) he should have stuck to the speed limit. If he insisted on speeding, he shouldn’t be drinking.

Ya know, I’m sure your cousin is a perfectly nice guy, but it really doesn’t break my heart too much when people do stupid (often dangerous) things that they know they are not allowed to do, and then they bitch and whine when they get caught. “I was only breaking the law a little bit!” Spare me.


Did you know that your reflexes are noticably impared after one beer, one glass of wine or one shot? Maybe the legal limit should be 0.00 for all ages.

And quit bitchin’. fnord1966 is right. If you don’t want to get arrested, don’t break the law. Drunk driving laws are there for a fucking good reason!!! He was under the influence (and don’t give me that “he only had 3 beers” bullshit, I made my point with that already) and speeding, both of which slows down reaction times. He was being a major hazzard, and deserved what he got. Thank God he didn’t kill himself or anyone else.

I agree it’s a valid point that he did break the law.

However he was not under the influence. His blood alcohol level according to the breatlizer was .01 which is a trace amount. You are twice as likely to cause an accident at .05, 6 times as likely at .1, however, at .01 effects are barely above baseline.

The point wasn’t that he got arrested for doing something illegal (drinking underage, having beer underage) he got arrested for drunk driving when he wasn’t drunk. If he were 6 months older he wouldn’t have been arrested at all!

I am not encouraging people to drink and drive! I am saying that is completely a double standard that he was not noticably impaired, and had he been older his BAC could have been 9 times higher and he wouldn’t have done anything illegal.

Please. 1 drink raises your BAC by more than .01, less than 4 drinks can raise you above .1, you could easily be at .03 after 1 drink, especially if there is a noticable impairment. To call what he did stupid (as obviously he was risking arrest) is justifiable, but I disagree that it was any more dangerous than any other driver. And furthermore, my anger isn’t about what he was doing, it’s that a person a year older could have done exactly what he did legally! It seems like a double standard to me.

Flame me at will.

**Adam… ***(ooh look at me I’m so fucking cool cause I smoke pot)*420, you fucking dirty nutsack. Your brother broke the law. He got arrested for it. What the fuck? IF your brother had a fucking ounce of brains, he would have known that speeding was a bad idea when your car SMELLS LIKE FUCKING POT, YOU HAVE ILLEGAL ALCOHOL IN THE TRUNK, AND YOU’VE BEEN DRINKING! But he didn’t. He was a moron. And he got arrested because he was a moron. I assume it’s genetic, otherwise you wouldn’t have posted that here.
So what if it would have been legal if he were older? It might also have been legal in another state. Laws change based on the time and place you happen to be. Get over it.


Hey since this is the pit, Scratchie, it was his cousin, not his brother. Dumbass :slight_smile:

damn 'scratch 2 fuckups in one post and I still agree with you.

The six-pack was legal. Transport age is 18, drinking is 21.

There’s a difference? I just figured for them both to be this stupid, there would have to be a lot of inbreeding goin on. Cousin, brother, sister, wife, is there really any difference in Adam’s family.

As for slowhand, you may be right, but he didn’t mention that anywhere in the thread. And it does vary from state to state.

You’ve got a good point–why is a 20 year old DUI at .01, but a 21 year old not. That doesn’t follow.

But this law is obvisously intended to keep minors from drinking and driving, which is a good thing (and not just for minors). Today there was an accident on the Capital Beltway (that’s DC) that invovled six injured and a drinking 17 year old driver on the local news tonight (actual facts pending).

To keep minors from driving after drinking, there’s the threat of substantial consequences. And your cousin did "break the law " by drinking underage.

I sympathize, I was once pulled over for driving with my arm out the window flicking the ashes off the cigarette I was smoking. The cop asked me why I was motioning him to pass him, WTF,? Once he pulled me over, he claimed he smelled alcohol on my breath; fair enough, but I was giving a friend a ride home and had been drinking O’Doul’s. When he asked me to stand and perform the roadside test involving standing on one leg, after asking me if I have a problem with my legs (something I’m sure lawyers have used to beat roadside tests), I refused to stand one one leg because I have a medically docuemented fucked up knee (it’s missing ligments and cartilage, and other problems, but I digress).

The cop sez: “You refuse. Now you’re under arrest for DWI” No breathanalyzer or option to take one invovled in this arrest.

It sounds like your cousin needed a good lawyer. I was taking a cold medicine that contained alcohol type defense.

In my particular case, the cop was so stupid as to claim in the arrest report that he didn’t stop me for waving him past, but that I was weaving. Specifically, crossing the white line of the shoulder. And the shoulder was paved and that I didn’t have reasons to claim my bad knee might be unstable on a gravel shoulder, because he described the shoulder outside the white line as paved.

Photgraphs of the road where I was pulled over–photographs that the cop admited on the stand as being the place of the incident, ain’t got no shoulder. No white line that I could have crossed. The road has a double yellow and then a curb.
At trial,the DA’s closing arguement was to throw his hands up–he had no closing arguement. The judge was like there is MORE than reasonable doubt in this arrest. Still, it cost me like $2 grand for a decent lawyer, because I don’t want a conviction on my record (and, basically, I paid not to have one).

Is it fair that some dumbshit cop costs me two grand? It’s not, but that’s life. You cousin needs realize that the court system is not equitable. It’s a money generating network for the people that work with it.

I’m talking about the minor bullshit cases here. I don’t feel the need to be educated about how courts works in punishing crime by the lawyers out there.

If I pay $2 grand for a top-notch lawyer, I walk away. It seems like adam’s cousin didn’t, and got nailed.

I have friends that are police officers, and it seems that their attitude is that: even illegal searches or arrests curb crime, and they’re doing their job. One cop told me he illegeally found a pound of dope during a pullover. He was like: “so I can’t bust the guy for possession; but that dope ain’t going on the street”.

If you’re breaking the law, shit like this sucks, but the community in general probably wants it to be so.

If he knew the law said that anything above a 0.00 was DUI for him, would he have driven at all? I wouldn’t think so… that’s just too risky. As your example shows. So it’s really just his ignorance of the law that you’re complaining about, and that’s just crappy luck.

Did anyone read the title of this thread? The issue here is not whether people should bear responsibility for breaking the law. I think we can all agree that the person in question certainly does bear some responsibility for breaking the law. The issue is whether the law is reasonable. Is it really legitimate to defend a law by saying “Well, anyone who gets hurt by it was breaking the law, so they deserve what they get”? Isn’t that begging the question? The charge of DUI implies that the driver is significantly impaired. A BAC of .01 has less effect than driving while talking on a cell phone, or even driving while tired. If the state wants to charge him with illegal consumption of alcohol or something, that would make sense. But charging him with DUI when he wasn’t significantly impaired is a misrepresentation of the situation.

I’d say that he earned the speeding ticket and the underage consumption charge…but…the DUI charge was bullshit.

How is it a double standard to have things treated the same all across the board? EVERYONE under 21 CAN NOT LEGALLY DRINK ANY FORM OF ALCOHOL. EVERY over 21 can.

Listen, dumbshit, I’m sure you think the world should give your cousin a break, 'cuz it’s such a little thing, but we have set standards so we don’t have to deal with all the little "maybe"s and "I was only SORTA breaking the law"s. I think you should be thanking your lucky stars that there’s a clear, unbending law that anybody with half a brain (I guess you lack that) can understand. Otherwise, we’d have people 21 and older complaining about the cops pulling them over for a BAC of .09.

The underage consumption charge covers the under 21 illegal drinking…the DUI just seems like getting charged twice for the same offense since his BAC was .01

And, if his cousin’s smart (hey, it could happen!) he’d try to talk that charge down in return for a guilty plea.

I think drinking and driving is one of the most dispicable things on earth (that means you, Mr. Bush) My first reaction was that your friend is a dumbfuck. . I still think that, but I think that DUI law in and of itself is BS.He broke the law and should pay for that, but I dont think that law is moraly valid.

DUI laws are presumably about preventing accidents. We would not have DUI laws if driving under the influence was a perfectly safe practice. It has been agreed that there is a certain threshold at which driving becomes unacceptably dangerous. That threshold is usually .1 or .08. I think it is pretty much agreed that a .01 BAC is such a trace amount that it would not impare driving unacceptably. So why is it that one falls under DUI laws at that point due to one’s age. I can understand the idea of wanting to prevent drinking and driving, but handing out increadable penalties to people whoes driving is not impared is not the way to go about it. Think about it…DUI stands for ‘Driving Under the Influence’. That inplies that you are driving while a substance influences you. At .01, there just isn’t a hell of a lot of ‘influence’ involved. Of course if I am wrong and driving at .01 is dangerous, please correct me and then explain why our laws allow over 21 people in droves to drive in such a dangerous state.

So my solution is that they should change the underage DUI law and make it instead the ‘youth alcohol consumption prevention act’ or something, and make it applicable to all situations when a kid has been drinking. To use youth DUI laws as an excuse to lay down major penalties on people who are not ‘driving under the influence’ when you really want to punish them for the act of drinking (as oppoesed to the act of driving in a dangerous state) is wrong.

from http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/html/statutes.htm

This is the DUI law for NJ regarding underage drivers. Does it hold underage drivers to a different standard? quite plainly it does. Does it also reduce the penalties from the standard ones listed in 39:4-50? Abso-fucking-lutly.

Let’s also not forget that he could have been arrested for DUI while blowing a 0.0 as alcohol is not the only substance prohibited under the statute

When you first get the responsibility of a drivers liscense the government reserves the right to put you on probation of sorts.

So for new drivers, young drivers, there is a zero tolerance level for any drinking and driving.

These are citizens who will be driving for the next 50+ years so it might be worth teaching them a thing or two now.

Do I support this?

100 %

As someone who came very close to being killed by a drunk driver. Not drunk drunk, you understand.

“Happened to” and “asked for” are not the same thing.

So you’re telling us your cousin is an adult, so he presumably (by law) knows not to break the law.

Cousin’s friend is very lucky this didn’t happen in California. Here, buddy could also be arrested (if the cops can prove he’s the one who provided booze to someone under the legal age). A quick web search shows that the buddy, in NJ, can be fined $500 bucks for purchasing booze for someone underage.

So you admit the police officer had a valid reason to pull him over and check on his ability to actually drive within the legal limits.

Ah, the optimism of youth!

You know, the odor of weed is valid cause for the cop to investigate more.

Cousin can also be fined five c-notes in NJ for “misrepresenting his age to purchase alcohol.”

This is covered in law, is it not? Your cousin knowingly violated more than one law.

WTF happened is that (a) your cousin broke more than one law, (b) got caught, and © is lucky he didn’t also get locked up for 30 days.

Your opinion of the quality of the law does not negate the fact that such law is, in fact, law.

(a) It is quite irresponsible to (1) break a multitude (well, 3) laws and then (2) cry about it when caught.

(b) A small amount? 3 beers for someone underage is not a small amount given the fact that merely consuming one beer is enough to send one over the 0.01 limit.

The law presumes so.

Someone over the age of 21 can be arrested, charged, and even convicted for DUI with less than 0.10 BAC if the police officer proves that (a) the driver was driving in an unsafe manner (i.e., 74 mph in a 65 mph zone) and has consume alcohol prior to driving in such unsafe manner.

Actually, the law is trying to prevent ANYONE from driving in an unsafe manner.

The flaw in your theory is that the law covering DUI does, in fact, say that the charge of DUI is appropriate for someone under the age of 21 who has a 0.01 BAC.

I’d say that those who have their heads up their asses are (in descending order based on how deeply inserted the crania are):

  1. Cousin - for drinking booze under the legal age, purchasing booze whilst under legal age, and then griping about the whole situation after getting caught.
  2. Cousin’s friend - for providing booze to someone under the legal age.
  3. You - based on your gripes about the whole asked-for situation.

Here’s an abbreviation for you: TDB.
It means “Too Damn Bad.”