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Essay: "You Drink and Drive, You Lose??"

You Drink and Drive, You Lose by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

“You Drink and Drive, You Lose” National Crackdown is an $11 million brief advertising program plus increased police action against drivers who have consumed alcohol. The U.S. Transportation Secretary has warned that “If we catch you drinking and driving, we will arrest you and prosecute you.”

Does the Secretary really mean that people who drink and drive, regardless of blood alcohol concentration (CAC), will be arrested and prosecuted? If he doesn’t, then why does he make the empty threat? Is it to intimidate light and moderate drinkers who have very low BACs? Apparently so. The Department of Transportation describes the National Crackdown as a “campaign to reduce drinking and driving,” not to reduce impaired or drunk driving.

It’s highly inappropriate for either a “public servant” or a government agency to engage in a systematic, well-funded campaign to intimidate law- abiding citizens. Does Congress realize that taxpayers’ money is being used in this way against innocent Americans?

References
Doyle, J. Under the influence? Chicago Tribune, 7-29-03. Mothers Against Drunk Driving. U.S Transportation Secretary Mineta Unveils $11 Million Campaign to Reduce drinking and Driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving press release, 6-19-03. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. National Crackdown on Impaired Drivers Begins July 4th Holiday. U.S. Department of Transportation press release, 6-27-03.

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