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The Road to Prohibition

The Road to Prohibition

Information courtesy of Lawrence Taylor - DUIblog

In a post some time ago, I wrote that the ultimate goals of Mothers Against Drunk Driving lay well beyond lowering DUI levels to .08%, .05% and ultimately to .01%. The ultimate goal is, simply, resurrecting the failed experiment of prohibition.

The first step, of course, would be a gradual shift of focus away from drinking and driving to one of just drinking. And the logical starting point would be the more politically-acceptable target of underage drinking.

I mentioned in the post that in 1999, MADDs National Board of Directors unanimously voted to change the organizations mission statement to include the prevention of underage drinking. Not underage drinking and driving -- just drinking. Thus, this huge (annual revenues over $49 million) and politically powerful organization formally shifted its focus away from "drunk driving" and towards the broader "problem" of drinking.

Where does this lead us? How about laws that authorize the police to stop American citizens under 21 on the streets or even in their homes and force them to submit to breath tests or face arrest? Exaggeration? Even paranoia? Consider the following news release:

DETROIT, August 8 - In a case with far-reaching implications for young adults and minors throughout the state, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit today challenging a state law that allows police to force pedestrians under the age of 21 to take a Breathalyzer test without first obtaining a search warrant.

"It is time to stop the widespread practice in this state of punishing young people who are walking down the street for refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test," said Kary Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan. "The Constitution is clear - no search warrant, no Breathalyzer. Police cannot force pedestrians to submit to an unconstitutional search."

Attorney Kathleen Carey

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