This opinion piece was shocking to both my wife and me, and we very rarely drink anything alcoholic before getting into the car. We both discussed this and, although we do not completely agree, we do have some insights into the situation “Sarah Pease” faces/faced (“Revelers, take care,” July 3). I might add that my wife belongs to MADD.
Clearly, the message/moral is never drink before you drive. But, realistically, few of us are “perfect,” and how can we possibly know what our blood alcohol level is? Restaurants are not going to stop serving drinks to keep us from getting into trouble, and to discourage the local beverage industry is to put a knife in the back of tourism.
The police officer who pulled “Sarah” over could be accused of targeting/stinging. It appears the officer was determined to get a DUI pinch. “Wheels touching the white line” seems a bit of a stretch. Serving actual jail time seems excessive, just for answering a question wrong. I remember going to jail—as a young person—after making a supposedly illegal left-hand turn against a yellow light in Chicago. It was very traumatizing.
I will not say we are living in a police state—and certainly driving is a privilege, not a right—but driving is a necessity for many. We shouldn’t have to worry that we will get pulled over by a cop on the slightest pretense, anymore than we should expect a law-enforcement officer to enter our homes without a warrant.
I know the consequences, which “Sarah” didn’t spell out, to be enormous for a DUI, possibly up to $10,000 in fines, a suspended license, a blot on your record, insurance problems, etc. This opinion piece ought to scare the hell out of people who think they can get away with driving drunk. But it may also convince generally law-abiding citizens that the police can be inflexible tyrants (or worse) instead of the safety officers that most of us consider them to be.