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Author Topic: Discuss "Double Standard" Here  (Read 12602 times)

Octale

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Vaulisel

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 12:20:26 AM »

I agree that getting a DUI while on a bicycle is pretty daft (it's the same in New Zealand I believe), especially considering how much the law tightens the thumbscrews on DUIs in cars, making it a waste of time to drive to a bar unless you have a designated driver.

I think their argument is that people on bicycles under the influence of alcohol aren't so much a risk of inflicting fatal injury by hitting someone, but through poor driving causing a serious accident by interfering with the driving of other cars on the road.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 12:24:43 AM by Vaulisel »
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Tak

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 04:40:16 AM »

I agree that getting a DUI while on a bicycle is pretty daft (it's the same in New Zealand I believe), especially considering how much the law tightens the thumbscrews on DUIs in cars, making it a waste of time to drive to a bar unless you have a designated driver.

I'm betting that's the intention of the law, yeah. DD or a cab.

I think their argument is that people on bicycles under the influence of alcohol aren't so much a risk of inflicting fatal injury by hitting someone, but through poor driving causing a serious accident by interfering with the driving of other cars on the road.

Agreed, I'd say that's it as well. The "Share the Road" policy a lot of states and roads have implemented means that bicyclists are often on the road with you, not on sidewalks, and if one swerves in front of you...well, that's enough to ruin anyone's day.

Getting off of the first comment and onto your original post Octale, I'd first like to point you to the following link:

http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/PDF/COLORADO%20DRUNK%20DRIVING%20LAWS.pdf

At the bottom of the first page, you'll see that bicycles are defined as a vehicle not in a court's interpretation, but in the state statute itself. Unfortunately I can't seem to find anything besides the index for that law online, so all I have is their "cheat sheet" version to link.

Quote from: Octale
We certainly don't restrict the movement of people who take Zoloft while they're on their way to Walgreen's to get their latest prescriptions filled.

Depends on how the drug affects the individual, and of course if a cop is around to see it. As that link also will point out, most DUI laws are not simply anti-alcohol. Any substance which impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle can get you a DUI. Sure, it's a lot harder to prove you're high on the spot (and again, I can't bring up their laws to see how they determine such things...side rant, you'd think that in the information age this sort of stuff would've been the first things to go up on the government's websites. Bloody disgraceful), but the law is still worded that way. This is to include any prescription or over the counter medication (most include a warning to not use while operating machinery, or to at least find out how you will be affected by it before operating said machinery, and warn about drowsiness).

Quote from: Octale
So, if a narcotic is legal to use, and legal to distribute real time, shouldn't it also be legal to get to and from the dispensary?

No. Similarly, is it legal to consume alcohol while walking down Colfax? The laws are a little different here in Vegas, but I believe you can get hit for public intoxication in most cities. Bars and other establishments get a liquor license BECAUSE they are the exception to the rule. And as I said above, it's being pushed to either have a DD or call a cab. As I'm sure you know, drunk driving is especially bad here in Vegas, and when I worked day shift I'd see at least one person swerving erratically on the 215. Was it due to alcohol, texting, or their makeup? I can't say. Either way, it's a problem, and I'm starting to get off point here so I'll nip it there.

When it comes to the double standard about addictions and vices, you'll find no disagreement from me. I've long stood in bewilderment that smoking and alcohol are placed on such different pedestals. Both cause death and suffering, just one causes it in the short term and one in the long term. Smoking's been getting a lot less socially accepted through the no-smoking laws in restaurants, public buildings, and even public property in general in certain cities. Taxes are getting higher and higher as well, making it more beneficial to quit (that habit, at least).

Personally, I'm the kind of guy that enjoys a drink from time to time, but I've had enough friends get their lives and careers wrecked by alcohol related crap to make me jump into something without knowing how I'll get out. I'm also not the kind of guy who goes to the pool only to dip his toes in, if you catch my drift. I've never been a "two beers at dinner" kind of guy, so maybe I can't relate to the type of guy who'd get a DWAI or DUI and be surprised. As it happens, I also can't sympathize.

-edit- Just noticed your map pin shows you near Colfax and 70...I wasn't trying to make it personal for you, but as a guy who used to live in Colorado, I think of places drunk people go and Colfax springs to mind :P
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 04:42:57 AM by Tak »
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Vaulisel

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 07:02:32 AM »

No. Similarly, is it legal to consume alcohol while walking down Colfax? The laws are a little different here in Vegas, but I believe you can get hit for public intoxication in most cities. Bars and other establishments get a liquor license BECAUSE they are the exception to the rule. And as I said above, it's being pushed to either have a DD or call a cab. As I'm sure you know, drunk driving is especially bad here in Vegas, and when I worked day shift I'd see at least one person swerving erratically on the 215. Was it due to alcohol, texting, or their makeup? I can't say. Either way, it's a problem, and I'm starting to get off point here so I'll nip it there.

When it comes to the double standard about addictions and vices, you'll find no disagreement from me. I've long stood in bewilderment that smoking and alcohol are placed on such different pedestals. Both cause death and suffering, just one causes it in the short term and one in the long term. Smoking's been getting a lot less socially accepted through the no-smoking laws in restaurants, public buildings, and even public property in general in certain cities. Taxes are getting higher and higher as well, making it more beneficial to quit (that habit, at least).
For the sake of comparison, here in New Zealand it's a fair approximation to say that it is illegal to smoke anything in any place other than private property or a designated smoking area. Designated smoking areas exist because it is illegal to allow smoking in the workplace in general, and if employers want to allow smoking it must be in a marked, outdoors area of their premises. Technically, you can smoke wandering around town, but if you're in a city, odds on it's not worth lighting up because practically everywhere is a no-smoking zone.

In the case of alcohol, sale is regulated of course, but many city districts have bylaws in place which place liquor bans on large chunks of the CBD and surrounds, where you're not allowed to carry alcohol or be intoxicated.

So yeah, these narcotics are legal to use (only where the law specifies you may) and distribute (when you have a license to do so). Basically, in practice, your three categories should be four in my experience:

1) Legal narcotics: Caffiene, aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen and suchlike.
2) Prescription narcotics: Supplied by pharmacies requiring a written prescription.
3) Illegal narcotics: Anything where possession is a crime.
4) Regulated narcotics: Things like alcohol and cigarettes, where they are allowed to be sold and used subject to certain restrictions.

There's no reason to try and forcibly lump regulated substances in with unregulated ones.
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Theranos

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 11:54:11 AM »

I agree, a Bicycle should not be considered a vehicle and certainly should get you a DUI or have any such consequences to do with your driver's license. I do understand why they wouldn't want a impaired drunk to be riding, hell most of us have a hard enough time not crashing into crap sober. That said, the penalty shouldn't be the same for the same reason you put, it's 99% of the time not going to be fatal. Short of running into someone with a blood disorder, they ain't gonna die.

On the other side of the coin, I think you take the seriousness of how many idiot drunk drivers are out there and why those laws were formed in the first place way too low. I will say, even if we strapped the laws to a .01% B:A lvl it still wouldn't stop everyone. Infact, if anything, most people would just ignore it and play Russian Roulette on whether they would get caught. But the fact of the matter is that some people do pay attention and because of that, we do have fewer accidents from drunk drivers.

The big problem I see is the lack of knowing what your B:A lvl actually is... Sitting in a bar, wondering if you should have another drink is a bit of misnomer as to exactly what extent of drunkenness you will be at. And atleast the bars I go to, aren't equipped to tell you yes or no, they just keep telling you to buy more. And let's be honest, sometimes when a pretty Irish lass is sitting there with a short miniskirt asking you if you'd like another round, it's a bit hard to say no.

As for treating narcotics different but equal, some of them are worse than others, some can affect some people one way and make others flip out in a murderous rage, it's all based on their internal chemicals at the time. For the most part, Caffeine is fairly harmless unless you use it 24/7 or depend on it non-stop. Hell, pot is the same way for most people and some people it doesn't even affect. The most obvious one that is looked at as 'bad' but legal is nicotine, which can kill you and yet has one warning on it saying 'You will die!' in many more fancy words.

In short, drinking and driving, a car, is probably not a the best thing ever but is far from the worst. Riding a bicycle is not driving a car. And yes, our government sucks at making laws that actually make sense, let alone getting their asses in gear to bloody change or make new ones.
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Daz

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2010, 05:27:15 PM »

The law was based on idea that simply using the road while under the influence of alcohol is dangerous to your own safety and is never a responsible thing to do. It doesn't matter if your walking, driving, or cycling while intoxicated, you still pose a risk to yourself which creates a hazard for all other drivers on the road.

Although it is rather unfair to revoke your driver's license for crimes unrelated to your ability to drive, I suppose its easier than attempting to regulate cycling. I think a fine or even mandatory community service would be a better punishment, since revoking their drivers license doesn't deter them from riding a bike home.

As for making it harder to obtain a license in exchange for the privilege of driving home, your ability to drive and obtain a license from the DMV while sober is irrelevant once your intoxicated beyond a certain point. The root of the problem lies in our over reliance on roads and motor vehicles in America. Until the bars and other distributors of legal narcotics are within walking distance of our homes, the government will be under constant pressure to impose stricter regulations on driving while under the influence.

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Gincairn

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2010, 06:59:21 PM »

While you make a valid argument there is one point I would like to expand upon.

Quote from: Octale's Blog Post
And there's the crux of the issue. We pick and choose which narcotics are socially acceptable to use openly in public, and we pick and choose which addictions are socially acceptable and which ones are tragedies that deserve our pity.

The same can be said for Nicotine, I realize that I have taken only a very small part of the post but this is a part that is becoming more and more relevant.

Let's wind the clock back 5 years, in the UK at least it was still legal to smoke in bar, club and even some restaurants, now though, you can be fined heavily for doing so, or even for smoking too near the doors of some areas, most places where a large amount of people congregate now have signs stating that you cannot smoke anywhere on the grounds, even if that's in the open air miles away from anyone else.

While I understand the basic health arguments against smoking in public, the change in the law changed us smokers from regular people to social pariahs, now more than ever we get the fake coughs, disgusted looks, nasty comments and are generally made to feel like second class citizens, we are looked down upon for our addictions, with everyone wondering when we are planning to quit.

The government knows it can't just out and out ban cigarettes due to the amount of money they would lose in taxes each year, the same can be said for alcohol, banning the substance would cut heavily into their coffers. So what do they do instead? They make it near impossible for anyone to use those products anywhere except within the home, - unless you're a smoker, if you smoke and have some form of working individual coming to your home (plumber, electrician, etc) then you cannot smoke a cigarette IN YOUR OWN HOME for a couple of hours before they arrive and certainly not while they are on the premises - with heavy fines being levied to anyone who breaks those rules.

While I can understand that drinking and driving is indeed bad (if the drinking part is taken to excess) there were even those who tried to ban smoking in cars, for that argument we turn to the late great Mr. Bill Hicks. . .

Quote from: Bill Hicks
No matter what anyone tells you, it is impossible to kill someone by smoking while driving!. . .
And I've tried! Turn the lights off and rush them, they always see the glow.

The argument is that while you hold that little white stick between your fingers, you are not in full control of the car, in fact the last I heard in the UK, if you have an accident while smoking, and if the cigarette can be blamed in any way, shape or form, you can be arrested for dangerous driving.

Going back to the original point of the post however, riding a bicycle while drunk should not have any effect on one's ability to drive a car, while it's a stupid idea (coming from someone who has not only done that, but roller bladed while drunk. . . at 2am. . . uphill) the penalty to the driving license can only be based on the assumption that you would take a motorized vehicle out for a spin while drunk.

If you're being a danger to other road/walkway users then I would understand and even agree with a fine, but to penalize someone by taking away their driving license for riding a bicycle (which in most places does not require any form of license) that's just a stupid act being manipulated to fit a more serious crime and one that should not be tolerated.


Sorry for the essay (especially since it's my first post)
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Rhapsody

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2010, 09:00:45 PM »

I have to say I agree with previous posters this should have been a fine under a public intoxication law it shouldn't have fallen under DWI laws. As far as the other arguments in my opinion there is a lot of inconsistency in the drafting and enforcement of laws in general like were the letter of the law is enforced instead of the spirit of the law it seems to me law makers also have a big problem with treating symptoms instead of the source of problems.

I also feel that the war against drugs is one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money there is. There are as Octale pointed out wild inconsistency's in the treatment of various drugs, like were marijuana is illegal even though it is widely considered no worse than alcohol as an intoxicant and its gotten to the point that some states are turning a blind eye to its use like California so all the federal money being dumped in stopping it in other states seems like a waste and one should also include the cost of housing a prisoner in that, just for example it's a minimum of 5 years for distribution so when you consider this tidbit "The average annual operating cost per state inmate in 2001 was $22,650, or $62.05 per day; among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, it was $22,632 per inmate, or $62.01 per day."(source) the amount of taxpayer money involved in this seems insane to me.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 10:25:57 PM by Rhapsody »
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Vaulisel

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 10:40:27 PM »

...marijuana is illegal even though it is widely considered no worse than alcohol as an intoxicant...
As an intoxicant, yes. However, cannabis regulation is a purely political issue relating to "protect the people from themselves" directed political philosophies. The long term effects of THC on the human brain are still hotly debated; don't ever let anyone tell you there is a consensus on if it is harmful or how harmful it might be because there isn't. Unfortunately, depending on which side of the debate has a stronger political lobby in a given area, studies with contrary conclusions are often suppressed, and the idea that there is a consensus on the safety of cannabis consumption is often espoused anyway. As a result, no definitive education of the public on its effects can really take place.

I wish politics and academia/education were better separated so that we could actually get something done without constant interference from political lobby groups and agendas, but people only ever hear what they want to hear in any case...
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Rhapsody

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Re: Discuss "Double Standard" Here
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2010, 11:03:25 PM »

Yeah I agree that THCs effects haven't been conclusively proven to be good or ill but you can say the same of the long term effects of a lot of legal drugs that's all besides the point I was merely using cannabis as an easy example of the inconstancy's in how drugs are treated by the government and that I think anti-drug enforcement is a waste of time and money because of that. I also agree with you on your other point maybe there should be some consideration to applying the same kind of church and state separation to academia/science.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 11:44:48 PM by Rhapsody »
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