Drones have the capability of delivering directly to the final destination, unlike railways.
In fact,Amazon could redistribute their inventory between warehouses overnight depending on predicted popularity of various items. Or it allows them to have a gigantic single warehouse with every single item in it, and just worry about distribution centers as opposed to warehouses that hold inventory. Then every hour they could send the packages via drones from their central warehouse to distribution centers where they are immediately put on trucks and sent out.
I always find it interesting how many people automatically agree drunk driving should be a crime. Drunk driving per se is victimless- only when life or property are injured is there a victim, and there are already crimes/legal remedies in place for those cases.
Consider the case where a drunk driver gets home safely while obeying all traffic laws. Or even the case where a drunk driver is swerving- she can already be pulled over under a reckless driving statute.
Be careful about the victimless label. Just because an individual action does not cause harm does not mean that it should not be punished as if it had. The act is the same. Whether or not someone is physically injured is largely a matter of luck. It would be horrific if punishments were handed out on that basis alone.
A long time ago I read a statement from a judge sentencing two defendants for felony murder. They both shot and a man was dead, but there was a debate as to which bullet actually killed. "The only difference between the two was aim, and I am not going to let one off for being the poorer shot."
The more appropriate word for such laws are "regulatory crimes". They are meant to regulate behavior to prevent or reduce an evil that does not occur in all cases. This covers everything from practicing medicine without a license to drug possession, neither of which necessarily cause a physical harm in every case.
And yet, punishing people who haven't hurt anyone seems far worse the crime. Victim-less isn't a label, it's a statement of fact that no one was hurt and thus cannot claim injury; there should be no such crimes. "Regulatory crime" is way of putting a soft label on a terrible practice, punishing the innocent just because something "might" have happened.
What you call luck, others call knowing their limits.
I know you may not mean this literally, but taken at face value, you're saying even attempted murder (assuming you don't end up harming your intended victim) shouldn't be a crime. I would actually argue that an attempted murder should be considered almost as great, if not as great, a crime as one that succeeded. Similarly for most crimes, in my opinion the intent is at least as important as the act itself.
Basically just because someone hasn't been hurt, it doesn't mean that a behaviour is acceptable in society.
Nobody gets into a car drunk with the intention of harming someone else. With attempted murder there is clear intent to do harm. A better comparison would be to manslaughter - if you do something dangerous which leads to the accidental death of somebody you are punished. The question would be, if you do something dangerous and nobody happens to be hurt, should you still be punished? Should "attempted manslaughter" be a thing?
No, but they do get into the car reckless as to harming someone else, which is a culpable state of mind as well. E.g. You shoot a gun into the air in downtown Chicago and the bullet happens not to kill anyone on the way back down. You didn't mean to kill any body, but it certainly was criminally reckless.
Besides that, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Why is manslaughter different than murder? The only difference is the intent--the end result is the same (someone's dead). When the state of mind is the same, why should luck in the outcome change the punishment?
> No, but they do get into the car reckless as to harming someone else
False, you can be charged with DUI while perfectly sober; DUI applies to far more than alcohol.
> Why is manslaughter different than murder?
Manslaughter means accidental, murder means on purpose; if you don't see the difference, perhaps you need to think about that a bit harder.
> When the state of mind is the same, why should luck in the outcome change the punishment?
If you don't see the difference between an accident and doing something on purpose as requiring different punishment, well then you just fundamentally disagree with about all of mankind. If your car tire blows and you hit another car and kill someone through no fault of your own, apparently you think that's an equal crime to murder. Really... c'mon... really?
> > When the state of mind is the same, why should luck in the outcome change the punishment?
> If you don't see the difference between an accident and doing something on purpose as requiring different punishment, well then you just fundamentally disagree with about all of mankind. If your car tire blows and you hit another car and kill someone through no fault of your own, apparently you think that's an equal crime to murder. Really... c'mon... really?
You miss the question here.
If I am driving my car and I take y attetion off the road for a moment to adjust my car radio, and then plough into another car...
1) ... And kill the driver of that other car
2) ... And injure, but don't kill the other driver
Why should y punishment for (1) be more severe than for (2)? My intent was the same, my poor behaviour was the same. Perhaps the difference between causing death and not causing death is the quality of the crashed driver's car.
Murder requires intent to kill. Man-slaughter also requires intent to cause harm. That's why there are seperate laws for vehicular death - causing death by dangerous driving or vehicular manslaughter. It's hard to meet the burden of proof required by murder or manslaughter.
At some level punishments based on outcome are a practical necessity. We cannot lock up everyone who takes their eyes off the road and causes a minor accident. Even though we know the did everything necessary to cause catastrophic injury, we let them off.
It's a balance between the modern concept of punishments based on state of mind and actions, and the oldschool concept of an eye for an eye, punishment based on outcome.
Please apply the principle of charity here: it is very likely that rayiner knows that "under the influence" applies to substances other than alcohol, and wants his conclusions to apply to those circumstances as well. (Although, personally, I define "sober" as not under the influence of any intoxicant, not just alcohol.)
Then he should know DUI applies to more than just drinking and shouldn't be making such a silly point. And being a lawyer means he knows the existing law, it doesn't mean his opinion about what the law should be in regards to punishment is any more valid than anyone else's.
I absolutely agree with your last sentence. My intention is not to stand on the law as authority, but try to work through the logic of the law.
Why do we punish people criminally? For doing bad things with malicious intentions. Intention is the most important thing in criminal law, because a guy who shoots at someone is equally a bad, culpable person worthy of punishment whether or not his aim is very good. On the flip side, someone who kills someone while driving in an accident that could happen to anyone is not worthy of punishment while someone who kills someone intentionally with their car is worthy of being punished as a murderer. Even though the end result is the same--the intention is what matters.
That's why drunk driving is illegal in and of itself. You make a conscious reckless decision to put other people at risk. Even if you don't hurt anyone, you're guilty of that act and that recklessness is a form of malicious intent justifying punishment.
> Why do we punish people criminally? For doing bad things with malicious intentions.
Agreed, however, the problem is what's considered "bad" isn't a matter of fact but of opinion. What is law is a matter of fact, but legal/illegal != bad/good.
Also, please stop calling it drunk driving, the law pertains to more than just alcohol which is why it matters and why it's unjust. Getting in a car and driving while sober can still get you a DUI because the law is stupid in defining what intoxicated/impaired means, this is especially important now that marijuana is legal for recreation in several states. Just because someone gets a DUI does not mean they were in any way reckless, beyond that it's just as reckless to drive tired as to drive intoxicated yet no one argues that should be DUI worthy, additionally "reckless" is a matter of opinion, not empirical fact.
The law is not logical, it is political, a popularity contest, not a logically evidence based means of helping society. There's certainly logic in keeping law self consistent for sure, which is where lawyers and judges have a role, but what becomes law has little to do with what is actually just. As you're a lawyer, you know this already.
I'm not talking about applying DUI to marijuana or people sleeping in cars, which is why I'm saying drunk driving and not DUI. I'm talking about why drunk driving is legitimately criminal even when it doesn't result in harm. And that's because it's voluntarily reckless conduct that creates risk to the public.
Law is absolutely logical, you just have to be willing to look at the premises. And it is absolutely a structured expression of what people think is just.
The premise of criminal law is that it's an action taken with malicious intent that makes someone a criminal, not just causing a bad outcome. The law follows that logic to its conclusions. For example under the Model Penal Code, an attempt at murder is punished the same as a completed murder. Someone who, with intent to kill, points a gun and shoots at someone is no less criminal if he misses than if he hits. Criminal law is about punishing culpable conduct. It's illogical to punish two people differently who engage in the same culpable conduct because circumstances outside their control lead to one result versus another.
Now, you can disagree with the basic premise and apply a different logical framework. Just because the premise of the law is that intent is the most important thing does not mean you can't believe something different, such as actual harm being the most important thing. But you gotta wrestle with the implications of that. If harm is the most important thing, killing someone should always be murder. Shouldn't matter whether you hit a jogger wearing all black at night or whether you ran over your boss in broad daylight on purpose.
In my experience, the people who complain about the law being illogical and not the same as justice are the ones abandoning logic. They know what resuls they want, based on what "justice" means to them, (X should not be illegal) and get upset that's not the law. They don't take the time to look at the premises underlying the law to see if the rules logically follow from those premises. If you do that, you'd be surprised how often you conclude "well I think that premise is incorrect, but I can see how the rule follows logically from that."
Ps: also, reckless is a precisely definable concept: when conduct causes a measurable rise in the risk of some negative outcome. Where the line between acceptable and unacceptable rise in risk can't be precisely defined and must be established by social concnsus, but that doesn't make it an illogical concept as you imply by calling it an "opinion."
> I'm not talking about applying DUI to marijuana or people sleeping in cars
Great, but I am, and that's the disconnect. I agree with most of your comment, but the issue isn't that the premise is wrong, it's that the implementation is wrong. When I say that law isn't just, that's what I'm referring to.
The law may be logical in its premise in the abstract, but the actual implementation of DUI laws strays far outside those logical premises, the real world doesn't match the abstract. You're talking about what the law intends to be, I'm talking about what it actually is because imho that's what actually matters. I don't care about the good intentions behind the laws, I care about those being fucked by the poor implementation of said laws.
We don't have the highest incarceration rates in the first world because our laws are just, we have it because they aren't.
> Where the line between acceptable and unacceptable rise in risk can't be precisely defined and must be established by social consensus
That's just rephrasing what I said, something that relies on social consensus "is" just opinion and is not precisely definable, and by that I mean it isn't empirical, rather it's a popularity contest, i.e. political.
Very interesting comment, thank you. I guess as this applies to drunk driving, the tricky thing is the intent to cause harm. One one hand there is very rarely an intention to hurt someone while drunk driving, however on the other hand there is a demonstrably increased risk of hurting someone. It seems hard to me to square those two things up.
I would disagree with the second sentence. I give more weight to a lawyer in regards to the law and politics. As lawyers they have put thousands of hours into studying these types of issues. I respect his/her opinion more in the same way I would respect any doctor's opinion on biological matters.
Well the lawyer himself just agreed with me on that point. The day defining justice is a specialized matter only the initiated have valid opinions on, is the day freedom is gone. Lawyers are trained in interpreting law, they have no special qualifications in defining what is or isn't justice. Law and justice have little to do with each other.
No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that even in cases where it does not harm the intended victim, it should still be a serious crime. For example, say you tried to kill someone, failed, and they never even found out about it. Victimless, yes, but still a crime (as it should be).
It would harm my psyche if I thought everyone on the road has been drinking. I actively avoid it during times when it is in fact more likely (New Years eve etc). People who think they know their limits kill people all the time.
> People who think they know their limits kill people all the time.
So do people who are tired, or old, or stressed, or any other number of reasons. People kill people all the time, singling out one group and basically charging them with pre-crimes is not just. The world is a dangerous place, jailing people so your "psyche" feels good is not just. The world is dangerous, how about you accept that and act accordingly rather than supporting jailing those who haven't hurt anyone.
Perhaps, but drinking and driving is quite a bit more preventable than being stressed. Certainly people get distracted and accidents happen, but purposely driving impaired is in fact something different.
That being said, generally speaking, a drunk driver who happens to not do anything wrong on the road is extremely unlikely to have any legal issues. Mostly they are going to have problems when they start swerving or exhibiting signs of being impaired. A tired driver who is swerving wildly is also likely to get pulled over.
> That being said, generally speaking, a drunk driver who happens to not do anything wrong on the road is extremely unlikely to have any legal issues.
That might be true if it weren't for things like DUI checkpoints, which make it untrue. You can be perfectly fine to drive and still get caught and punished because of what are essentially baseless mass searches.
You bring up a great point. I'd argue that, instead of being required to go to medical school, you should be tested on the merits.
If you meet the objective bar (no lawyer pun intended, though see California's attempt at doing this for the legal profession), then yes, you should be able to practice even without a multi-year degree.
> One could consider med school to be a series of tests on the merits, including the subsequent internship/residency and licensing standards.
Only if one doesn't understand that medical schools are a cartel. There are far more people qualified and willing to be doctors than are allowed to be doctors, cartels have to keep their supply low to keep their wages high.
This makes more sense for professions that are "all books", so to say. E.g. law, where all you really need is a slightly longer test (or not even that).
But this makes no sense for medical school, which teaches a lot that would be extremely difficult to test directly. Often the direct test would basically amount to going to medical school for some non-trivial amount of time anyways.
Law is not all books. There is something physical about law school. It may not be as physical as med school, but the three-year process of getting the JD is more than a pile of textbooks. Interaction with students and professors, structured or not, is as important as the reading. It changes people. By third year you realize exactly how vast the practice is and no longer focus on the gritty aspects of constitutional debate.
Sorry, I didn't mean to disparage Law School. I assume it's valuable as well.
But the barriers inherent in medical training are really far and beyond pretty much any other field -- you need a bunch of dead bodies and a lot of very expensive equipment. By the time you pay for just the materials necessary for the series of tests and exams that would reasonably certify someone to be a doctor, you might as well make a degree program out of it.
So even if someone could get all of the book learning and also find a gaggle of doctors to study with and learn from, Medical School is one of the very few professional programs where having a degree program would still make sense, totally independent of learning and development, just from a logistical standpoint. In that sense Medicine is pretty unique (unless you count graduate degrees in experimental sciences, I guess).
Yes actually, if someone freely chooses to visit an unlicensed medical practitioner, perhaps because it's all they can afford, that should be legal as long no fraud is being committed. Perhaps you like the nanny state making all your decisions for you, I do not.
Kudos for stating a taboo or at least unpopular opinion in a reasoned manner. I do think that drunk driving should be a crime, because on balance I expect making it so does more good than harm. There are certainly people who choose not to drive when intoxicated for no other reason than fear of being caught and punished. That said, I agree with aspects of your point: it should certainly be a greater crime to be swerving around the road while intoxicated than to simply blow slightly over the limit on a breathalyzer with no other symptoms, and while it could already be charged as multiple offenses, I'm not sure that that's often done in practice. Also, I tend to lean against "zero tolerance" laws, where any BAC whatsoever is a crime.
Heck, you could even argue that a particularly good driver and/or someone with a high alcohol tolerance may be safer even when impaired than some drivers are unimpaired; perhaps then the oldschool impairment tests - walk in a line, touch your nose, etc., are fairer than the theoretically more impartial breathalyzer. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it seems like a reasonable argument at least.
Your comment made me think of cops pulling over a driver and sticking them in a VR driving sim for a few minutes to test their response time and motor control. Implausible, sure, and we'll probably have autonomous cars before it can become a reality... but it would be interesting to test for actual driving impairment rather than a proxy like a breathalyzer (or even walking in a straight line).
It would also give police an opportunity to remove other dangerous drivers from the road, e.g. certain elderly or sleep-deprived drivers.
Ha, thinking about my comment after the fact last night, I went there too, and I agree. (Especially given other responses here stating that even minor impairment shows up as reduced performance in simulators; that suggests this could actually work.)
This wouldn't work. Motor control isn't the only (or most significant) problem with drunk driving. It's the combination with impaired judgement/attentiveness that can be so deadly.
If you're in a VR driving sim with a cop standing next to you, you're going to pay attention and (virtually) drive, constantly paying attention to the speedometer and road signs. Rather than flipping through stations while turning around to tell a joke to the people in the back seat. Or just zoning out on a routine drive and not realizing you're 40 over.
It's why people often say "I'm a better driver when I'm drunk" -- not true for sloppy drunk, but probably true for slightly drunk because the fear of DUI causes them to intently focus when otherwise they would be on auto-pilot not devoting their full attention to the operation of a deadly machine.
> It's why people often say "I'm a better driver when I'm drunk" -- not true for sloppy drunk, but probably true for slightly drunk because the fear of DUI causes them to intently focus when otherwise they would be on auto-pilot not devoting their full attention to the operation of a deadly machine.
No, we know that mild intoxication increases risk. A rule of thumb is 4 uk units increases risk by four times. A uk unit is a small amount of alcohol - 4 small glasses of weak wine (125 ml of 8% ABV * 4 is 4 uk units).
We know this because we put people in simulators and test them.
tl;dr: Inattentive driving kills. Alcohol can cause inattentiveness. So can texting. If someone constantly texts while driving except for when they're 0.081, then they're probably a safer driver drunk than sober. Which is to say, they shouldn't be allowed to drive in either condition.
1. Regarding the last sentence of my prior post, I think you're also underestimating the extreme danger associated with inattentiveness while sober driving and/or how common distracted sober driving is. I 100% believe an very attentive person at .081 is less dangerous than an idiot texting and messing with the radio while driving. Which is to say, both are extremely dangerous.
2. You / the grandparent are under-estimating the impact that attentiveness has in drunk driving accidents, and also underestimating the ability of drunk people to be attentive on demand. The VR test is not a good test of impairment because the drunk driver will be artificially attentive during the administration of the test.
Driving drunk is dangerous even before motor control is significantly impaired. And the reason for that is mostly psychological -- a bit reduced reaction time, okay, but the reduced attentiveness and judgement are really far more dangerous. The guy flying down the road 40 over "just wasn't paying attention". It's not that he would have noticed but didn't because "delayed reaction time". He never would have noticed because he was drunk and didn't have the good sense to pay attention while driving.
The problem with the VR test is that, when put on the spot, a drunk person can focus for a short or intermediate period of time. So that VR test isn't an accurate reflection of the actual typical behavior of an impaired driver.
Under-estimating the only-on-demand abilities of drunk people would be a deadly mistake when designing measurements of impairment. Measuring ability, not behavior, is not enough. Drinking changes behavior in ways that are dangerous while driving for for which a drunk person can often compensate (e.g. when confronted with a potential DUI, but often not when driving home on a routine route).
But isn't swerving is victimless too? And running a red light or speeding or driving against traffic on the freeway?
If we only punish people for behavior that results in injury or damage then you're relying on each and every driver to correctly assess the risks of their behavior. People are notoriously bad at doing that, so any punishment will be ineffective as a deterrent.
Yes indeed! For some kind of evidence towards this, try walking on the streets of a city where running red lights, speeding, and driving on the wrong side of the road are reasonably common. (I'm not joking - where I live, this /is/ common.)
It's a victimless crime, all right - but only until the next victim.
I'd argue it's not. People breaking traffic rules erode my ability to travel. If they were to regularly speed through red lights, I'd have to stop at green lights to watch for them. I have a right to travel through on a green light, but they'd take that from me.
We need to obey the rules of the road so other drivers can reason about our behaviour. We could have no rules, but it would be much less efficient. This is the prisoner's dilemma and the law enforces cooperation.
You're confusing crimes with civil violations of rules, so let me be more clear; when I say crimes I mean things for which you can be incarcerated. A ticket and a fine for a civil violation is outside the scope of my meaning. A DUI can get you put in jail, even if you're fine to drive, even if you haven't ingested a substance in days. DUI's don't just apply to alcohol you know.
Sobriety is one of the conditions of the social contract you sign (literally, on your license application) in exchange for access to society's roads.
Jail time is not really appropriate. Really, you should just lose access to public roads. But license revocation is adulthood revocation for all but the privileged few in SF, NYC, and maybe Chicago. In most of this country you can't get groceries or primary medical care without driving, and you certainly can't hold a job or provide a normal life for your children. A five-figure fine and even a month or two in jail is many times less severe than permanent loss of driving privileges; that's life-destroying (pretty much your only option is to drop everything and move to a high-cost-of-living area of a high-cost-of-living city to get adequate public transit coverage).
> license revocation is adulthood revocation for all but the privileged few in SF, NYC, and maybe Chicago
This is almost certainly true in America, but keep in mind that some other societies view driving somewhat differently. America represents less than one twentieth of the world's population. In major European cities, at least, car ownership seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
Car ownership rates in European countries are not vastly lower than in the US. In some, it's actually higher. On average the rate is a bit lower, but it's not anywhere close to "the exception rather than the rule."
It's not really true in America, either. The (small) European cities I've lived in have far better transit than even major US cities, but any American city with a "greater metro area" population in the millions will have enough public transit that you can survive without a car and without living in an extremely costly area.
It requires some walking and biking, and some employment options do disappear. But most of those employment options are recoverable because the salaries (e.g. at suburban office parks) pay well enough to cover the cost of a cab from the nearest bus stop to the office every morning.
IME the lack of public will to walk a half mile, ride a bike in the rain, or wait ten minutes at a bus stop is by far the greatest barrier to use of public transit in America.
No, I'm not. I was giving two conditional scenarios, and dismissing the "salary" one precisely because the people you're telling me I'm ignoring are unlikely to work in those locations.
IF you are not working in an office park off an interstate near an affluent suburb, most mid-sized American cities have enough transit to get by.
IF you are working in an office park off an interstate near an affluent suburb, then you're probably making enough that you can stitch together a combination of public transit and taxis to get to work from a low-rent area.
And yeah, long commutes suck when you're paying for child care. Which is why a lot of people choose a child care facility close to work.
Basically, my point was that I know a lot of Europeans whose commute involves > 1/2 mile of walking. And also a lot of Americans who live in cities that "don't have any public transit" because they have to walk 1/2 - 1 mile to get to a stop that takes them directly to work.
I'm not saying American public transit doesn't need to improve. Just that if Americans always demand door-to-door service, then public transit will never be good enough. And, more over, will always suck because that's an impossible demand.
Rights are unconditional is the sense that they apply to everyone equally. But almost all are conditional in the sense that they don't give carte blanc permission without exception.
It might help to think of rights like axioms. (A & (A -> B)) -> B is true unconditionally. It is an axiom. But it is also conditional. It is universally true, and yet, B is not universally true.
Nearly all rights we have are unconditionally conditional in this way. They always apply to everyone (universally), but that doesn't mean there aren't conditions (that get applied universally).
For instance, being convicted of murder triggers conditions on most of the rights we have as citizens. Not all of them, but most.
Privileges are different from rights because they don't have to apply to each person equally in the way rights do. The two are separated by the fact that rights are extended universally and privileges aren't, not by the presence or absence of conditions.
Yes, I'm aware of that, I'm disagreeing with it as a matter of principle. Just because things are a certain way doesn't require that I accept it. Driving should not require a license and an annual fee to the state; the conditions we've accepted our on rights have destroyed many of our once long held freedoms. It didn't require a license to ride a horse or drive a buggy, licenses are just another way for the state to make money and restrict my right to travel via the common means of the day.
Beyond that, you understand what I'm saying, so rather than try to redefine what I mean when I use a word, how about just understanding my point. We're not in court, I don't need a lesson on the legal meaning of the word right.
> I'm disagreeing with it as a matter of principle.
Please don't do that. Redefining words for yourself and then using your secret meanings in discussions is both irritating (because it wastes other commenter's time) and comes off as arrogant (because it demonstrates a clear disregard for other's time and a willful unwillingness to communicate effectively).
If you know something is a Right in the conventional sense even though it has conditions attached, state that you disagree with those conditions. Don't call it "not a right" to make a point. Doing so derails the conversation and wastes other's time.
> licenses are just another way for the state to make money and restrict my right to travel via the common means of the day.
That's obviously not true. You really think your $20 license fee pays for... anything? It's probably not even offsetting the cost of the licensing regime.
And restricting your travel obviously is not the goal of a driver's license. Where did you even get that idea?
"The State" doesn't require licensing because it wants to screw you out of money or keep you down. We, the people, require licensing because driving is dangerous and we don't want idiots to kill us.
> Driving should not require a license and an annual fee to the state
Of course, assuming you live in a democracy, you're free to try to change that.
I think you'll find this an impossible reform because given the danger of driving, licensing is an extremely important first step toward making roads safer.
> It didn't require a license to ride a horse or drive a buggy
Yeah, right, because horses and buggies didn't kill millions of people a year.
As an aside, in almost every state you can still ride horses on most public roads without a license.
I didn't redefine any words, I used the word in the common sense of the word, you're trying to use it in the legal sense. I made myself clear when I said applying conditions makes it a privilege, if you didn't understand my meaning after that, well then I can't help you, it couldn't have been clearer.
We used to live in a democracy, we now live in a plutocracy, the government hasn't represented the will of the governed in quite a long time, that's why voter turnout is abysmal.
We're done here, we obviously won't come to any agreement.
You said it was unjust because it was a right, he explained why it was just, you started the semantics argument with "Conditions would make them privileges." and then when you were proved wrong you started with personal insults.
You didn't even address the argument that "being convicted of murder triggers conditions on most of the rights we have as citizens"...
Edit: 'it' being the very concept of restrictions on rights, not really this particular variety
No he didn't explain why anything was just, he got pendantic about the meaning of the word right, and no I didn't start the semantics, I clarified my meaning. And I wasn't proven wrong nor did I start with any insults. Read much?
> You didn't even address the argument that "being convicted of murder triggers conditions on most of the rights we have as citizens"...
No, I didn't, because at that point the debate had already turned sour with his pedantics so it wasn't worth addressing as there's no point in continuing such a discussion with someone so anal about every word.
The only argument you have presented is that restrictions on [rights or whatever you call them] are fundamentally wrong. No matter what words you choose to use, he disproved that argument and you have presented no other.
That was not the point being made, the whole focus on what rights meant was him being pedantic and obtuse about what was being said. That was the diversion, that you think it was the main point just shows he ruined the discussion by ignoring the point. Why would I partake in a hijacking of the thread when my comment was about what constituted justice? Don't bother answering, it was rhetorical.
While I agree that all laws should be questioned your example here misses the point.
When intoxicated with alcohol your reaction times and concentration level are slowed. You may obey all road rules perfectly on your normal drive home when drunk, but one night something may be a bit different - a train crossing that isn't normally used, an inattentive driver who pulls out slightly two late, or a pedestrian who crosses a bit slower than most people - and you're now in an accident that would have been avoided had you been sober and had your normal reaction and reasoning skills.
It's not the stereotypical swerving red-light-running drunk driver that we target with drink-driving laws, as you've mentioned that's already covered by dangerous driving laws.
There absolutely are - there is a minimum age, in may states reexamination is triggered above an age threshold, you must pass a test that the developmentally disabled may not be able to pass, and driving while tired is absolutely illegal. It ma be poorly enforced, but professional drivers have to maintain regularly audited logs showing that they are properly rested; trucking companies get fined for having employees driving for too many hours in a day.
Drunk driving causes 10,000 deaths/year according to the article. How many are caused by the factors you mention? Doubtless some, but it's clearly not our top priority, especially given that it's much easier to give someone a breathalyzer test than to check for "stupidity" or "tiredness".
To be fair, tiredness is likely attributable to a great deal of road related injuries, but it isn't tracked because being tired isn't a criminal act.
I'm not saying you're wrong, per se, but suggesting that you're right due to the absence of evidence is premature.
That said, while I don't know how official these numbers are, the NHTSA attributes 100,000 accidents to driver fatigue per year, and while the victim count is currently lower than your assertion for drunk driving, I think that driving while fatigued is underreported for the reasons I mentioned above.
Here's part of the problem. The actual statistic is that 10k deaths occur where one driver had a BAC of 0.08 or higher. It's purely an assumption that these deaths would not have occurred if the drivers were sober. Some, certainly; some, certainly not. We need better information.
The discussion lacks "scientific integrity", as Feynman would put it.
Yet. If we are ever able to reduce DUI to almost non existent the focus will move on other incident causes. I am sure there are already some people who would love to place camera inside every car to check if driver was paying attention.
They do, and almost all countries have a minimum driving age. Some (including where I live) now have compulsory re-testing at intervals after a certain age, and there's the requirement to pass the a practical test to weed out the stupid.
Driving while tired is definitely an issue though.
I have argued this many times, but it usually gets heated on the internet where someone undoubtably knows someone who died from a drunk driver. That said I honestly believe the far and vast majority of drunk driving is victimless, and probably less dangerous than distracted driving.
That's only the number of fatalities. A large number of serious injury occurs across a wider range of vehicles than just HGV's. I'd say the majority are probably down to poor driving judgement, and a modest number are due to distractions. A lot of these HGV injuries are to do with bad road design and poor cyclist judgement - pulling along side the left-hand side of a HGV while it's stationery into both the drivers blind spot and being unable to see the vehicles indicators. A few of the fatalities I know of were pretty unnecessary, since there are more than adequate cycle paths to skip around the dangerous sections of road. The Elephant and Castle roundabout is particularly notorious, but is surrounded by much safer cycle paths. Despite this, a large majority of cyclists stick to the highly dangerous road, and probably the same majority that decide to risk running red lights. (I am a cyclist, so I'm not starting a cyclist vs driver debate)
The HGV pulls up to a traffic lighted junction. The driver is indicating to turn left. The traffic lights are currently red, and so the driver is stopped.
A cyclist undertakes the HGV - passes on the left. The cyclist is attempting to reach the cyclists junction box.
While making this manouver the traffic lights change from red to red-amber and then green. The HGV driver checks the mirrors but does not see the cyclist (who is in the HGV blindspot) and pulls off, turning left, crushing and killing the cyclist who is trapped between the HGV and the curb.
I've tried to word this neutrally. It's a tragic situation and there's learning for cyclists and HGV vehicles, and road designers here.
So a design fault of his vehicle made the driver unable to follow the rules of the road and properly check for the presence of other road users. As a result, he kills someone.
This isn't a tragic situation. It's a probable situation, and we know the root cause. It's the driver, of course, since the burden of lawfully operating his vehicle at all times falls on him, no matter the particularities. And it's the vehicle maker, because clearly the HGV isn't fit for traffic.
Disregarding the fact that someone else violating a road law doesn't entitle you to run them over, that is an unnecessary complication in his scenario. You can be just as much in the ominous "blind spot" standing in a separate bike lane, or even just in a separate lane when the HGV tries to change lanes.
I think the difference between distracted driving and drunk driving is the foreknowledge of impairment, and intentional increase of danger to the public. As such, in many states driving while texting or on the phone without a hands-free system are also illegal. The reasoned decision that someone's convenience is above the safety of the public is what I see as the problem here (and of course if someone isn't sober enough to make a reasoned decision about that, then I definitely don't think they have any place operating a piece of heavy equipment).
Yes, as in using a phone or being subject to a perception altering substance, as I stated. But you can also become distracted while driving without the ability to quickly stop driving. This could be the fault of the driver (paying attention to irrelevant things), or out of their control (conditions warrant splitting your attention between the road in front of you an another circumstance you have no control over). We don't punish these because we person is either not willfully causing the situation, or there is no way to determine if their behavior contributed.
Another way to think of it is that you aren't punished for drunk driving, but for breaking the law, and the law has been decided by determining that drunken driving provides unacceptable risk overall. Whether individually a person would have caused harm is irrelevant, we create a enforce laws for the good of all, and without enforcement, or selective enforcement without due process, we have a slew of other problems.
I was trying to additionally distinguish between accidental and intentional distracted driving, because I find that when a distinction can be made like that but it isn't made clear, people end up talking past each other about slightly different things but with the same name.
Is it OK to shoot at you as long as I miss? Is it OK to poison your food if you turn out to be immune? Is it OK if I cut corners building your house to the extent that it's structurally unsound, as long as it doesn't actually collapse? Is it OK if your car's airbags spray shrapnel when they activate, if you never activate them?
So, you raise an interesting point. I have two follow-up questions.
Firstly, I'm not sure what "victimless" means exactly, and I think you may be taking it too literally. As people in the many comments below have pointed out, there are plenty of crimes which are "victimless", e.g. taking a machine gun and "spraying" a crowd of people with bullets, but failing to hit anyone. Is this a "victimless" crime? At what point do we decide to set the bar?
Come to think of it, there are charges of "reckless endangerment", where someone it can be a crime to do something which endangers other people in a reckless manner. Drunk driving certainly falls under those, so I'd say that drunk driving laws are simply enhancements of "reckless endangerment" laws, providing more specific context.
Secondly, we as a society will often choose to make our laws based on certain factors, like what an average citizen knows For example, driving under the influence causes a variety of physical changes that are not obvious and not known by every single driver, e.g. slower response times. These are things that a reasonable driver might not even realise are impacting them, and might not feel when they are partially drunk. But we, as a society that has done scientific tests, know that these effects always happen. In this case, it makes sense to block actions that we know are harmful.
> Firstly, I'm not sure what "victimless" means exactly, and I think you may be taking it too literally. As people in the many comments below have pointed out, there are plenty of crimes which are "victimless", e.g. taking a machine gun and "spraying" a crowd of people with bullets, but failing to hit anyone. Is this a "victimless" crime?
You've just terrorized a crowd of people, that's hardly victim-less; plenty of people there to complain about direct harm you've caused them, perhaps a few who will suffer years of PTSD. Plenty of lawsuits about to happen, victims by definition.
> At what point do we decide to set the bar?
If no one is aware enough to try and sue you, then you haven't hurt them, and thus your action is by definition victimless.
You seem to think DUI means alcohol only, it's a bigger issue than that and it's an absurd law that can get you in trouble literally days after you've been sober because it applies to all substances, not just alcohol. We have several states now with legal recreational marijuana, think about that. Many things people do while driving are far more influential on their response times than being "intoxicated", being tired is far more dangerous, being old is far worse on response times. DUI laws are unjust.
What's really telling to me is that in my state, you can even be arrested for sleeping one off in your car instead of being on the road. That says something to me about the purpose of the law. It suggests that its main purpose is to punish you for drinking, but that it has a side effect of encouraging you not to drive.
Yup. The only purpose most laws have, is getting someone elected. DUI laws are quite simply unjust but they exist because appearing tough on crime tends to work. We don't pass laws to be effective, if we did, many of the existing ones wouldn't exist.
In terms of harm minimization though, having a law which punishes you when you try to make the safest decision out of those available to you is messed up. I would much rather someone sleep 4 hours of a drunk off rather than trying to swerve home. Chances are, after 4 hours, they'll be closer to sleep deprived people in terms of their driving ability.
Its not victimless. The moment you got in the car, you created an increased risk for everyone else on the road. If someone came up to you, and asked you: how much would I have to pay you for an extra 0.1% chance that some drunk driver kills you on your way home from work tonight? The answer would not be $0. The risk it creates is in and of itself something that justifies criminalizing the activity.
I'd actually grasp the other horn: I think the penalty for impaired/reckless/distracted driving should be the same whether you happen to kill someone or not. We all know that you drastically increase the risk of killing someone, it is only blind luck that prevented it. The penalties should not be capricious.
Shooting at people is victimless- only when the bullets actually hit people is there a victim, and there are already crimes/legal remedies in place for that.
Consider the case where a shooter sprays bullets in a crowded building wildly, but no one is actually hit.
Rightly or wrongly, drunk driving is considered endangerment of others.
endangerment comprises several types of crimes involving conduct that is wrongful and reckless or wanton, and likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm to another person.
Similar to crimes like attempted murder, we do not allow endangerment even though it may be the case that no one was hurt, because Person A took a high risk with Person B's life and we do not consider that acceptable.
Here is the thing: through tens of years of auto dominance and "it's just an accident" precedent it has been rendered pretty much impossible to even charge anyone for killing someone with a car. Or injuring them, but then cops won't even investigate if all there is is an injury.
The simple reason we need drunk driving laws is exactly because they are victimless. It rightfully establishes strict liability.
I agree with you that it is not a crime by definition. But I think there should be a sufficient detriment to prevent people from doing this. And I think labeling it as a crime is the easiest thing to this end.
What is the alternative? Being frowned upon?
You say about how people automatically agree drunk driving should be a crime. But I always use to wonder how blindly we trust others on the road to behave responsibly. How often we leave our lives and our loved ones, to the fair judgement of a stranger.
Driving on roads will be impossible, without that trust. When you are drunk, and choose to drive when you judgement is poor, you are betraying the trust implicitly placed on you by every other person on the road. So isn't that something like a crime? Just thinking loudly.
Perhaps others could take the time to better explain to people why, when 10,000 people in the U.S. alone are killed every year, it's probably far from a victimless crime?
You might want to consider that you might save a life by being a little less polite. Thirty years ago I had a friend who's dad was drinking and driving, and he put someone in the hospital. He couldn't understand why the other family kept giving him evil looks. So, in those 30 years, the 300,000+ people killed and the millions injured, would have been much better off if we simply took a less tolerant view of drinking and driving.
"The spicier the food, the more water you drink (maybe)."
Negative. Water actually amplifies the sensation. The sugar in the desert counters the sensation, as does milk. If I go awhile without eating "11" hot, when I return I have to follow it with milk or sugar(or both=Thai Tea or Cafe Sua Da). Otherwise, the subsequent burning sensation can be quite unpleasant. I always go to "11" when I feel a cold or flu coming on to combat the contagion, it works 9 times out of 10. YMMV.
>problematic is that there is "no way to reissue a fingerprint," Lee said, meaning that once a set is in the hands of a foreign adversary they are vulnerable as long as that person is working in government.... That reality could create a squeeze on government for decades to come, as agencies may be forced to forgo fingerprints for things like two-factor authentication and instead rely on another biometric, such as facial recognition or iris scans.
I see people on HN say it all the time, biometrics are for identification, not authentication.