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(Boston Globe)   Man feels too drunk to drive, so he parks car to sleep it off. Cop busts him for DWI anyway   (boston.com) divider line 613
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26700 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Sep 2003 at 11:07 AM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2003-09-29 01:03:57 PM
it's not legal fiction. It's a reality. You're "driving" the second you put the key in.

Bullshiat. In the wintertime I let my little brother and sister go start the car to warm it up before I drive them to school. I'm not letting them drive. They're just turning it on.
 
2003-09-29 01:04:19 PM
Why haven't any of you bright lawyers out there mentioned that the "presumption of innocence" doesn't apply to traffic courts?

Or does this only apply to cases without jail time?
 
2003-09-29 01:04:24 PM
Ok, we have it solved!


Here is what you do - if you want the engine running for radio or heater/AC... then you get yourself a steering wheel lock ("The Club") and put that on. Then just make sure you don't have the keys in the club.

That way you have no control, right?
 
2003-09-29 01:04:42 PM
Oh, so driving should only count if the car's moving?

Nivce crime prevention there.


Yes.

If they catch someone in the car and think they can't trust them to stay there, they should take them home and have their car towed.
 
2003-09-29 01:04:50 PM
Nivce crime prevention there.

Preventing what crime? Sleeping in the parking lot?

it's not legal fiction.

drive ( P ) Pronunciation Key (drv)
v. drove, (drv) driven, (drvn) driving, drives
v. tr.
To push, propel, or press onward forcibly; urge forward: drove the horses into the corral.


Yes, it is, despite your ignorance of common English.
 
2003-09-29 01:05:10 PM
He committed a crime - he was in control of a vehicle while drunk. Whether he was sleeping it off is irrelevant.

Like many others in this thread, I was not referring to the specifics of this case; but to the broader question of the encroachment of law into regulation of intent - and the inevitable abuses that ensue from it.

The law was written that way so that prosecutors wouldn't have to prove that someone was engaged in behaviour that endangered the lives and property of others - only that they "might" have been in a position to do so. That is presumption of guilt, whatever way you cut it.
 
2003-09-29 01:05:43 PM
you can still drive with a club on, you just wouldn't be able to avoid pedestrians.
 
2003-09-29 01:05:44 PM
DeanMoriarty: the law has plenty of alternatives for idiots who can't make it home awake because they're too drunk.

It strikes me that this sentence betrays your real motives. People who drink to excess are idiots (and I'm of course assuming that you're not a member of this demographic) who get what they deserve if they get arrested for sobering up in their car. You've just made the jump from arguing a safety issue to hassling drunks for sport.
 
2003-09-29 01:05:59 PM
Precisely Myrna. I used to start the car for my mom all the time when I was younger.

We have a better system among my circle of friends. You don't get a drink until you give your keys up or produce your designated driver. Whoever is hosting will let you crash, just so you don't have to try to drive drunk and you get the keys back in the morning.
 
2003-09-29 01:06:15 PM
weemill

I never understood why daiquiries were so popular in New Orleans until I went to the quarter in July and got a beer. It was hot within 2 minutes.
 
2003-09-29 01:06:25 PM
He realized he was too drunk to be driving and pulled off the road. If he hadn't been trying to do the right thing he would have continued home.

Ah, the old "false dichotomy". Continuing home drunk was wrong, therefore anything other than that is right? Don't think that follows, logically, dude.

A better analogy would be if I pick up a watch in a store and conceal it in my hand with the intention of stealing it, but put it back before leaving the store.

Hmmm...Well, arguing by analogy is always bad. My analogy was needlessly inflamatory, and referenced irreversible harm. In your analogy, a crime has not yet been committed. Also inappropriate to the case at hand. An appropriate analogy would involve a law having been broken, another law not yet having been broken, but in either case, no tort yet actually committed.
 
2003-09-29 01:06:44 PM
A) Cold-autumn/winter night and B) Flat out broke (or not enough cash for a cab ride).

What alternatives are there? You'd rather he freeze his ass off, then sleep in the warm comforts of his own car? All because he is too intoxicated to drive?/b>

you know what? if the twit goes out on a cold night, drives to a bar, gets too drunk to get himself home, and doesn't have the foresight to bring cab fare with him? and thinks an adequate solution is to drive home drunk?

let him freeze to death. He's a selfish, irresponsible fark, and if he doesn't kill someone tonight, he'll do it some other night.

or, use some friggin' common sense. Every state has repurcussions for bars or establishements that server someone past the point of inebriation. Tell the bartender you're driving because you're broke - they'll get you home.

what a bunch of apologists.
 
2003-09-29 01:06:55 PM
what ever happened to probable cause? Police should be required to observe the drunk driving. Somebody sleeping in a car is not necessarily breaking the law and should not be subject to an unreasonable search. Another annoying matter is electronic observation. I have received more than one summons for running a toll when I had pre-paid using my electronic pass. You would think that the "toll authority" would identify me as a paying customer, rather than to require submitting proof that they already have in their records. Question authority but expect abuse by those not given to a test of reason.
 
2003-09-29 01:08:21 PM
2003-09-29 12:56:39 PM DeanMoriarty

get in the back. put the keys somewhere it's obvious you won't be driving this particular vehicle. problem solved.


Again, this is assuming the person will be driving. Erroneous assumption.


you guys don't seem to understand that driving, by law, doesn't mean the wheels are moving. There's no presumption of guilt here. Society has decided that DUI starts when you put the keys in, not when you get on the highway.

Driving legally has 2 components, control and operation, or so it seems. The problem is the former doesn't necessarily have to lead to the latter. DUI laws assume such, and inappropriately so.

So yes, if you're drunk and you put the keys in to start the radio or turn on the heater, you are, in the eyes of everyone else, intending to drive drunk. If you have your wits about you enough to do all that without thinknig you can drive home, you probably have your wits about you enough to make it obvious that you don't intend to drive anywhere for a few hours.

You are in control of the car, but you have no intent to operate the vehicle in the manner it was designed to be operated. See those wheels? That's the operation of the vehicle.

And the 50 foot law exists so drunk drivers looking for excuses (seems like there are a lot of them here) can't just throw the keys out the window and say "You can't prove I was driving". Again, control doesn't necessarily lead to operation. The 50 foot law assumes that the holder of the keys will attempt to operate the vehicle, and presumes guilt. Bad law.
 
2003-09-29 01:08:34 PM
That lawyer has killer logic...


...dumbass
 
2003-09-29 01:08:35 PM
Hmmm...Well, arguing by analogy is always bad. My analogy was needlessly inflamatory, and referenced irreversible harm. In your analogy, a crime has not yet been committed. Also inappropriate to the case at hand. An appropriate analogy would involve a law having been broken, another law not yet having been broken, but in either case, no tort yet actually committed.

what's a tort?
 
2003-09-29 01:08:50 PM
Okay...
For all you "This is Asinine" putz's
1) Sitting, passed out, in a running vehicle, in a parking lot not near any bar means, likely, that asshat DROVE there.

1.a.) Passing out was the result of being drunk, so, he woke, maybe he would drive drunk AGAIN.

2) The, "Sorry, officer, no, I wans't driving drunk, I was sleeping" isn'r a legitimate excuse for being drunk in a running car nowhere near a bar, at 1:40 in the AM.

3) what if this asshat ahd woken, drove and rammed his car through your house, killing your kids, animals or opther such precious things. Were you to find out later that cops found him passed out drunk, in a running car, and said "No Harm Done." and walked away, right before the drunk bastard started out again and rammed your house... You'd be screaming bloody murder he wasn't arrested.

4) Getting a drivers license requires that you have some common freaking sense. Like not sitting in a running car, behind the wheel, drunk, at 1:40 in the morning.

5) Had the asshat saved a few bones for a cab, this would all have been a non-issue, refer to point 4.

Shaddup!!!
 
2003-09-29 01:09:04 PM
2003-09-29 01:05:44 PM DrBreRuthlessVillain


DeanMoriarty: the law has plenty of alternatives for idiots who can't make it home awake because they're too drunk.

It strikes me that this sentence betrays your real motives. People who drink to excess are idiots (and I'm of course assuming that you're not a member of this demographic) who get what they deserve if they get arrested for sobering up in their car. You've just made the jump from arguing a safety issue to hassling drunks for sport.


Actually, Freud, if you read up a bit, you'll find that I WAS one of those idiots.
 
2003-09-29 01:09:11 PM
NeonDog - What if you live in an RV? Does that mean anytime you drank in your home you'd get a D.U.I.?

At least in Michigan, if your vehicle is regestered as an RV passangers can have open containers and be intoxicated, as long as the driver is not drinking and sober.

I have a friend that has a conversion van registered as an RV (instead of a station wagon) so he can drink in it. It costs him more to renew it, but he doesn't care.
 
2003-09-29 01:09:23 PM
Ah, the old "false dichotomy". Continuing home drunk was wrong, therefore anything other than that is right? Don't think that follows, logically, dude.

A.) I'm not a "Dude."

B.) How in the hell is taking yourself off the road because you realize you are too drunk to drive the "wrong" thing to do? Yes, he was wrong to drive in the first place--but I'd certainly prefer his pulling over before he does anything stupid to his continuing driving.
 
2003-09-29 01:09:41 PM
Vociferocicuss


weemill

I never understood why daiquiries were so popular in New Orleans until I went to the quarter in July and got a beer. It was hot within 2 minutes.


Heh, kinda like a snowball with an extra kick, no? That's usually our "we've been walking too long, let's rest our feet" thing. Go into the Market Cafe, get a strawberry daquiri and cool the fark off.

Though I think it was the bottle fo wine me and mommy split at the Court of Two Sisters that did us in....
 
2003-09-29 01:09:45 PM
you know what? if the twit goes out on a cold night, drives to a bar, gets too drunk to get himself home, and doesn't have the foresight to bring cab fare with him? and thinks an adequate solution is to drive home drunk?

No, I think the adequate solution is to LET HIM SLEEP IT OFF IN HIS CAR. But clearly you don't think so.
 
2003-09-29 01:10:40 PM
Bullshiat, he had to drive drunk that far before he decided to pull over. Busted, go to jail....asshat.
 
2003-09-29 01:10:49 PM
I wonder how many cops are out there with DWI convictions. Probably not many, right?

I mean, is another cop going to give awaya brother/sister cop?

What a scam.
 
2003-09-29 01:11:43 PM
Continuing home drunk was wrong, therefore anything other than that is right? Don't think that follows, logically, dude.

No, if he had decided to rape and murder people instead of driving drunk, that certainly wouldn't be right.

Getting himself off the road was the right thing to do, even if it was ILLEGAL.
 
2003-09-29 01:12:06 PM
2003-09-29 01:02:13 PM DeanMoriarty


the guy was not driving

Oh, so driving should only count if the car's moving?

Nivce crime prevention there.

maybe we should abolish DUI laws and jsut make it harsher if they hit someone, and let everyone take their chances.

it's not legal fiction. It's a reality. You're "driving" the second you put the key in.



You're silly. You're trying to prevent crimes through making laws. More laws = more crimes broken.

Making it illegal for someone to be in their car is based on an erroneous assumption (i'll say this again) that the person is going to drive. And that assumption is an automatic assumption of guilt. Our criminal system is not based on guilty until proven innocent.
 
2003-09-29 01:12:19 PM
PS, just because he didn't get caught DRIVING drunk, but rather sleeping drunk after realizing that his havinfg been driving drunk does nothing to detract from the fact that he was DRIVING DRUNK and admitted it to begin with.

Should we assume, had he not been CAUGHT committing murder, but taking a nap after, he didn't commit the murder? Covered in blood (Booze stink)as he may be, Knife (Keye) in hand?

Hello... Is anybody there?
 
2003-09-29 01:12:23 PM
AcadianSidhe

A bottle of wine on a hot summer night in New Orleans does not sound appealing at all. You are a better drinker than I am.
 
2003-09-29 01:12:31 PM
and thinks an adequate solution is to drive home drunk?

He's not driving home you stupid fark. THat's my point. He's trying to AVOID driving home.

let him freeze to death. He's a selfish, irresponsible fark, and if he doesn't kill someone tonight, he'll do it some other night.

So, AVOIDING driving home by sleeping it off in your car makes you an selfish, irresponsible fark. Hmm...I'd think that jumping in the car and taking off for home would make you a selfish, irresponsible fark.
 
2003-09-29 01:12:57 PM
All you people saying this guy should be commended or whatnot for "trying to do the right thing" are ridiculous, he obviously drove WHILE drunk, then decided he would take a little nap to sober up, then drive some more. He broke a law, doesn't matter that he "tried to do the right thing".

Thats like saying I choked someone to death, then administered CPR to bring them back to life.

Judge: Your charged with attempted murder!
Me: But I also saved their life!
 
2003-09-29 01:13:05 PM
All of my friends have been killed by drunk drivers. The guy should get the chair.
 
2003-09-29 01:13:27 PM
If they don't want us to drink and drive, why are there parking lots at all the bars?

/doublestandards
 
2003-09-29 01:13:30 PM
Eh, I don't think they shouldn't have punished him at all, but he could have gotten a lighter sentence for at least realizing he should get off the road.
 
2003-09-29 01:14:26 PM
belome - I live in a RV and we carry at least 2 cases of microbrew (mix of styles) and 12 bottles of the strong stuf with us. We haven't had trouble, but all it takes is one asshole cop.

Also pretty common for us to have engine running (long warmup in a diesel capable of hauling a 45000 RV)... and my wife and I are packing up without any indication of which one of us is in the drivers seat (of course the one not drinking is the one driving).

The problem with laws like this is that the cops can arrest you for anything. If they are wrong, YOU are the one who has to prove otherwise.
 
2003-09-29 01:14:55 PM
AcadianSidhe

I agree he is still guilty but he should have gotten some consideration for pulling over.
 
2003-09-29 01:14:59 PM
MyrnaMinkoff,
I'd prefer he called a cab to begin with and anything past that, including driving and parking once he realized, "Shiat, I am snookered. I should pull over since I am breaking the law." is breaking the law.
 
2003-09-29 01:15:16 PM
re: he was sleeping, not driving:

the legal definition of "operating" -

In People v. Zervakos, N.Y.L.J., Feb. 27, 1998 at 33, col.6. (Nassau Co.), the court set forth several factors that are typically considered when the element of "operation" is challenged. These factors are:

Whether or not the person in the motor vehicle was asleep or awake;
Whether or not the motor was running;
Whether or not the keys were in the ignition;
The location of the vehicle and all the circumstances bearing on how the vehicle arrived at a given location;
The intent of the person behind the vehicle.
In Zervakos, supra, the court went through this five factor analysis and concluded that the defendant won "... on factors 1, 2, 3 and 5, but not factor 4, the crucial factor of the van's location and how it got there." As a result, the court found that the accusatory instrument adequately alleged the element of operation.
 
2003-09-29 01:15:22 PM
myrna...

With all due respect, it doesn't matter what you think. What matters is what the statute says. It is illegal to "operate" a motor vehicle while under the influence. I suppose you could argue that "operate" is synonymous with "cause to be in motion," but that would be silly.
 
2003-09-29 01:15:46 PM
2003-09-29 01:09:41 PM AcadianSidhe


Vociferocicuss


weemill

I never understood why daiquiries were so popular in New Orleans until I went to the quarter in July and got a beer. It was hot within 2 minutes.

Heh, kinda like a snowball with an extra kick, no? That's usually our "we've been walking too long, let's rest our feet" thing. Go into the Market Cafe, get a strawberry daquiri and cool the fark off.

Though I think it was the bottle fo wine me and mommy split at the Court of Two Sisters that did us in....


I wish there were a daquiri shop up here in DC.
 
2003-09-29 01:16:15 PM
Vociferocicuss


AcadianSidhe

A bottle of wine on a hot summer night in New Orleans does not sound appealing at all. You are a better drinker than I am.


I've just lived in Louisiana long enough to get used to it. Besides, it went with the food so well... (mm... Court of Two Sisters... drool...). Heh, you live in this area, where if you don't like the weather, all you have to do is wait half an hour, you learn to drink under funny conditions. Hurricane parties, tailgating for LSU games in both 110 degree weather with 75% humidity to almost freezing temperatures the next week... etc. Besides, I got a vibrator out of it (Mommy's funny when she's trashed...)
 
2003-09-29 01:16:24 PM
MyrnaMinkoff but stopping doing something wrong doesn't make the first action "right" in the first place. Let's take another crime, I can think of a few that are applicable, but I'll go with one of the less offensive ones.

I decide to kill you. I've stabbed you a couple times, not fatally, and I suddenly realize I don't want to kill you after all and quit. Should the police ignore what I did, just because I stopped killing you? By your logic they should ignore the crime because it might encourage people to just kill their victims, rather than still risking going to jail if they just maim them.
 
2003-09-29 01:16:51 PM
With all due respect, it doesn't matter what you think. What matters is what the statute says. It is illegal to "operate" a motor vehicle while under the influence. I suppose you could argue that "operate" is synonymous with "cause to be in motion," but that would be silly.

Ah, the "it's the law, don't question it" argument.

I thought we were debating the reasonableness of the law, not the law itself.
 
2003-09-29 01:17:29 PM
2003-09-29 12:45:14 PM sthayashi
DeanMoriarty, Cokemonkey, et al
I don't think you guys get it. If I KNOW I'm too drunk to drive, I can't just sleep it off in the car without getting a DUI? Even if I make this realization before I get to my car? People commenting here have described how people DIDN'T go anywhere, and STILL they got busted.


Granted, Im only talking about this guy. These stories people tell of leaving a bar and immediately going to sleep in their car and getting busted, thats a bunch of shiat. Some have said that maybe hes inexperienced, or a lightweight, and honestly didnt feel drunk until after hed gotten on the road. If this is the case I say it sucks...but it doesnt mean he didnt commit the crime: he did. And if your idea is right, he spent 20 minutes driving around, so drunk he couldnt make it home. Someone up above pointed out that people all the time leave bars knowing they technically shouldnt be driving, but with some caution theyll do it and make it home ok. How farked up was this guy that he couldnt even do that? Pretty farked up, Im betting.
The vast majority of people who d&d know they shouldnt be driving. Scream 'thoughtcrime' all you want, but sometimes laws have to take into account what might happen based on the probabilities.
 
2003-09-29 01:17:51 PM
Good christ.


Sidi, i'm not saying that the first action was right. I am saying, though, that ticketing a person for sitting/sleeping in their car while drunk is asinine.
 
2003-09-29 01:18:21 PM
A.) I'm not a "Dude."

Arguing semantics, eh? Perhaps you are not confident in your position.


How in the hell is taking yourself off the road because you realize you are too drunk to drive the "wrong" thing to do? Yes, he was wrong to drive in the first place--but I'd certainly prefer his pulling over before he does anything stupid to his continuing driving.

I believe you answer your own question here.

Here's a parable for you. Can you answer the question at the end? I will post the answer later.

A man is having an affair. He has since quit the affair, and been a good husband from that point on. At some point, the vindication he feels from simply stopping his infidelity becomes tired. He begins to feel guilty about his past crimes. He has mended his ways--and could have done worse. But he has still done wrong. And he has not confessed.

To continue the lie would not be honest. To burden his wife with the pain of knowledge in order to ease his conscience would not be honest, either--for he would approach his wife with contrition on his face, but selfish motives in his heart.

The man desparately wants to be an honest husband.

What is the honest course of action?
 
2003-09-29 01:18:31 PM
weemill
I don't miss anything about Louisiana but the food and daqs.
 
2003-09-29 01:18:36 PM
If he hadn't driven to begin with, then he might have gotten off.
 
2003-09-29 01:18:47 PM
I'd certainly prefer his pulling over before he does anything stupid to his continuing driving.

me too. And he didn''t kill anyone before a cop kept him from driving any further.

how that's different from a regular traffic stop, I'm not sure.

But if you have your wits about you to not drive drunk (anymore), you can also figure out how to make it obvious that you're not driving drunk (anymore).

If you can't, i have little faith that you won't try to do it again later, before you've sobered up.
 
2003-09-29 01:19:05 PM
I've heard a lot of stories like this. Aparantly as soon as the keys hit the ignition you can be busted for a DWI, makes sense to me, hows the cop supposed to know for sure you were planning on sleeping it off? I don't know, im too tired and hungover to form complete thoughts.
 
2003-09-29 01:19:53 PM
Weemill

I wish there were a daquiri shop up here in DC.


Whoa, dude, none? Damn. Double shot white Russian usually keeps me going through the night with the girls.

btw, re: my tolerance. I'm 4'11 and 112 lbs. My tolerance is shiat. I'm just a responsible drinker and have gotten very very good at pacing myself.
 
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