This guy lost my vote - Jay Maynard

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Saturday, 11 December 2004

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0725 - This guy lost my vote

In an article in today's Fairmont Sentinel, Martin County Commissioner Steve Pierce is quoted as saying that area law enforcement is "too aggressive" in trying to catch people driving while drunk.

I can't believe an elected official would purposely come out and say that, instead of catching drunk drivers, they should "go out and get real criminals or something". Driving drunk is a crime, and one that hurts real people.

DWI is the biggest cause of traffic deaths. In my years as a paramedic, I found the saying "If you're at an accident after midnight and haven't found a drunk, keep looking, because you've missed someone" to be true more often than not. There is simply no excuse for DWI, and those that do it should be prosecuted.

Commissioner Pierce is, unfortunately, not up for reelection till 2006. You can bet I'll remember his statements two years from now. I just hope I get to vote against him.

I feel a letter to the editor coming on. I'll post it here when I get it written. He's got an email address, and he'll get a copy, as well.

current mood: [mood icon] incredulous

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I feel a letter to the editor coming on. I'll post it here when I get it written. He's got an email address, and he'll get a copy, as well.

I'd like to read it if you can post it in your journal when it's done.

Congratulations on being involved.
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I bet the folks at MADD would have a hissy if they saw this one. I do agree...drunk driving kills so many needlessly.
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I fully agree with you that DWIs need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also agree that drunk drivers are "real criminals" and that he definitely misspoke there. However... beyond that, I'm confused as to why you disagree with him so vehemently.

Usually you're one of those limited-government libertarian types, saying that the government shouldn't be able to do anything to anyone in their personal life unless there's real genuine proof they're actively hurting someone else. (I say "actively" because you obviously don't think the government should interfere on the grayer areas, such as harming people by needlessly polluting.) Usually in such cases you expect that there be "probable cause" that a person is actually hurting someone before you get the law involved--which is where gun ownership becomes legal, from what I understand of the libertarian viewpoint, that a gun owner should be free to own a gun and do whatever he wants with it until you can prove he's trying to hurt someone with it.

I'm wondering where the line of "probable cause" is drawn, especially if they're ticketing people who're below the legal limit. And if they're stopping people who're below the legal limit, then I get the suspicion that they're not exactly always waiting until a driver does something that says "Yep, he's drunk," before pulling him over. It sounds more likely that they're doing random checks, or pulling people over just because they "look" drunk, which is an entirely subjective thing that allows law enforcement the full freedom to choose whoever the hell they want to pull over and to search, which doesn't seem to mesh well with the libertarian view of freedom at all.

I don't see how one can say the government should stay the hell out of a person's life to such an extreme, and then say that it's not "too aggressive" to keep cops parked outside of bars ready to pull over anyone who tries to drive away from it.

I'm not disagreeing with the concept in this case. In fact, I agree with it fully; I think it's great to get DWIs off the road, by whatever means necessary--make sure everyone who tries to drive away from a place that serves alcohol is legal before they drive. That there's nothing that could ever be called "too aggressive" in stopping drunk drivers. But frankly, it's a rather liberal concept, so I'm surprised to see you agreeing with it.

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