Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do Pa.'s Tough DUI Laws Work?

Are Pennsylvania's strict drunk driving laws working? They sure keep DAs busy. According to Northampton County DA John Morganelli, thirty-six per cent of his caseload last year consisted of alcohol-related arrests. This year, it's forty-four per cent.

"That's a huge increase in a short time," remarked Morganelli. It appears that, instead of deterring people, this lower 0.08 BAC is actually leading to more arrests.

But you can pick up a six-pack at Wegmans.


A.J.C. said...

At bars, there are usually signs that read "If you appear intoxicated, we can't serve you," or something along those lines. I'm sure they just can't wait to turn away money, especially when the economy is going down the toilet.

Drinking is now pop-culture. The number of cases will likely rise again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As something of a n expert when it comes to booze, I don't think tougher laws are the answer. Sadly, I don't know the answer.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

No booze on Sundays never did much. Other than cause people to buy up on Saturday.

Liqour stores turn folks away often. They are state employees with UFCW 1776.

But Joe Sixpack never gets turned down by bars and pizza places across the commonwealth.

Then again when you make $6.00 a hour in a hot pizza place why would you care, how wasted a customer is.

There should be more protection for private employees who refuse sale to a drunk.

And .08 was done to give DA's more cases to close and use for re-election.

Speaking of Morganelli I heard he may want t run against Arlen Spector, and Corbett may whish to be governor.

Why did either run for Attorney General then?

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

I saw the Chief of Colonial Regional give a soberity to someone at the Wine and Spirits in lower Nazareth Township one day at 11:00 am.

The stores manager called them, the Chief was the one person not on call.

I got the story the next morning from the PDs dispatcher who loves Black Iced Tea.

Anonymous said...

Partially the overly aggressive youthful suburban police departments have made the #'s rise.

They pull anyone over after midnight and have a pretty good chance of a drinking driver.

There have always been drivers that have been drinking but the mind of the younger police officer is warped and getting revenge from video game defeat...

gene mauch said...

"Then again when you make $6.00 a hour in a hot pizza place why would you care, how wasted a customer is."

If you stand to pay huge fines, lose your very expensive license, and even your business, you tend to watch your employees who watch this stuff very closely. The ratio of violations to licensees is minuscule. The overpaid union hacks who drive up liquor prices under a medieval monopoly are never under threat of investigation by their brethren at the LCB. I'd love to see their performance if ever monitored honestly. Stop flacking for Wendell Young, big liquor, and the nanny state.

tinkerbell said...

i cant wait until i can once again purchase beer, liquor, wine at any gas station or 24 hr walgreens. guess i'd better move back to florida bc i dont see that happening in PA anytime in the near future.

but seriously, people should never drink and drive. i am appauled by people who are older than me...and im 29...who think its okay to get drunk and get behind the wheel. its like, ya think they'd know better, but apparently some people just dont get it.

i dont know how to change the law to fix the problem, i mean, you see people who get like 20 dui's and its like how the hell does that even happen??? (i think that was in wisconsin or someplace like that a year or so ago)

i do know that bartenders need to be held accountable by law if something happens to a patron that the bartender gets drunk. its not okay when a 20 year old walks out of a bar completely intoxicated and while attempting to cross the street to walk home gets hit and killed by a car.

maybe if people had a little more self-control, there'd be alot less of everything bad in this world.

lighthouse said...

Tinkerbell's comment:
"i do know that bartenders need to be held accountable by law if something happens to a patron that the bartender gets drunk. its not okay when a 20 year old walks out of a bar completely intoxicated"...

1. if a bartender is selling to underage drinkers, that is a violation.

2. however, if selling to legal drinkers, it is (or SHOULD be)the drinker's responsibility for his/her own free-will actions. Don't pass liability of their irresponsibility onto someone else. Free will in privileges equals free will in consequences.

3. Age should be consistent. Being old enough to live on your, get married, die for your country, be charged "as an adult" for a crime, and having a beer should ALL be the same age. 18, 19, 20, 21 whatever, but they should all be the same in my opinion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"maybe if people had a little more self-control, there'd be alot less of everything bad in this world."

Tinkerbell, as you know, I'm an alkie. Before I retired from drinking, I don't think any law would stop me. It definitely is an impulse control problem.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

YO GENE! It is PRIVATE bussiness not the state stores that are so unscrupulous with booze sales.

And Bernie is 100% right. My dad who also is named Bernie (no relation, that we know of we are Irish, and well watch any Denis Leary show for that angle) and no law would have stopped him before he quit.

it was me being hundreds of miles away that snapped him out of it.

Anonymous said...

There are two separate problems here: drinking, and driving drunk. I have the greatest empathy with people who are struggling with alcohol addiction, but no sympathy at all for people who get drunk and insist on driving. The solution is simple: buy your booze, go home, drink it there. But some people are so selfish that it isn't enough to just get drunk - they must endanger and involve other people.

One answer would certainly be to impound drunk drivers' cars, including any car that is being driven by a drunk driver but is registered to someone else. It wouldn't completely solve the problem by any means, but it would cut into it. Even a spouse is unlikely to want to lend their car under those conditions.

Ivan Denisovich said...

WELL, DUH, IF THE LEGAL DEFINITION OF 'DRUNK' IS LOWERED from .10 to .08, of course there will be more arrests. Simple logic, which most people are incapable of, dictates that. Lower it to .06 and watch it increase even more.

If the BAC threshold were raised to .12, DUI arrests would significantly decrease.

It's funny to see lawmakers and the idiot special interests people lobby and petition for stricter laws and then get all befuddled when the numbers go up.

We've also seen in this in other areas. They ban handguns in DC and the crime gets worse. lol. Idiots.

Sometimes I don't know who's more inept, lawmakers who pass these laws or the people who insist on them.

So, let Morganelli deal with the guy who had "one too many" and came in at .09 or .10. We all know those are real problem people in society.

As a society, we've already shot our feet off. Pretty soon it will be arms then when all four appendages are gone, someone will lead us all to the guillotine.

Anonymous said...

I just got a dui last night, apparantly I passed all three roadside test, and then after waiting a long time with a breathelizer reading, the cop said "I was about .08".. The two other cops didnt want anything to do with the case and asked the one cop what he wanted to do since I passed and my breathalizer was so low, he said to take me in... Apparantly they did a complete search on my car afterwards, and then impounded the car, even tho they pulled me over right in front of the entrance to the holding station. There is such thing as reponsible drinking but apparantly that isnt good enough for some people. 3 miller lites and 4 shots of goldschalger(over 3 hours 9:30-about 1am) and at least and hour and a half between the last beer and the last shot... I mean it was probably that last shot that brought me up too .08 "if I had .08" but I am fairly confident the blood test is going to come back under .08. Moral of the story if your going to the DD dont drink at all, even if you are ok to drive, dont.

Anonymous said...

O and mind you I weigh 230lbs.. you all can do the math..