Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A Drinking Bill

There's a bill moving around in the Oklahoma legislature that has drawn some national interest. No one is sure if it will pass....if it will be challenged in court....and if the cops will even attempt to enforce (one of our modern problems....a law that won't be enforced).

The bill basically says.....if you get convicted of a DUI (driving while intoxicated)....you are directed to get a news driver's card via your county court house.  The card will identify you as under restriction (big BOLD letters) on the front.  With this restriction....for whatever period that the judge determines (it might be one month, one year, or several years)....you can't buy booze anywhere in the state.

The bill would also criminalize the act of your buddy buying the beer for you.....putting him at risk of serving jail-time.

The general thought on passing?  It's being given mixed results because people are somewhat fearful of the intentions.  Would cops even enforce it?  Would bartenders and grocery folks be willing to card EVERYONE (even a ninety-year-old grandma when she bought wine at the local Piggly Wiggly)?  What about the church wine event around Easter....would it be legit to serve all adults?

I kinda like the idea.  I'd probably break it up into two episodes.  Your first offense.....a minimum of six months with no booze.  Your second offense?  Permanent.  The odds are.....you will pack up and leave the state.  Maybe that's not such a bad thing.

From my Air Force years, I worked around a dozen-odd characters who got a DUI.  I worked with one pilot who'd had several DUIs and they'd kept this guy hidden in Panama....helping him get to twenty years and retirement.  Four months prior to retirement.....he got drunk and drove his car through the wing commanders front yard.  The wing commander instructed this guy's wife.....to drive him around for the remaining hundred-odd days.

On one base.....we had a guy who'd accomplished three DUI's over a four-year period.  After the third one, they decided enough was enough.....discharging him with roughly fifteen years of service (a general discharge).  A month or two later....he was in the National Guard.....at his old rank.

Through the 1960s....most DUI episodes ended up with the drunk guy dead, and the public just said some sorrowful words.  In the 1980s....the trend reversed and the drunk survived most of the time, while the other passengers or the opposite car suffered greatly.  Maybe we made better cars that could survive accidents.  

My humble guess is that this bill will fail to pass.  But somewhere down the line, the concept is going to be brought up in Mississippi or Alabama in two years.....and pass.  I'm not sure if the cops would desire to enforce it, and it might just end up like a thousand other laws.....just written text and not much else.

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