I have a bit that I go over with every DWI or DUI that I take to jail:
Sure, you were keeping it between the lines. Nope. You weren't weaving. I agree.
Yep, you stopped at the stop sign. You didn't run it.
No, you weren't speeding.
And you didn't run into anything or anyone, and you didn't throw a beer can out the window or half a dozen other clues that say "by golly, that driver is drunk!"
But when I stopped you for the inoperative tail light or busted license plate lamp or for an expired inspection sticker and said howdy, you turned out to be drunk. Not BAD drunk, mind you-- you weren't falling all over as you stepped out. You managed not to fall down while walking heel-to-toe, and you didn't fall down, really, while doing the one-leg stand. And you surely did follow my pen.
But my tests and the totality of the circumstances have given me probable cause to believe that you have consumed enough alcohol or whatever intoxicant so as to rob you of the full use of your mental and/or motor skills. You are technically intoxicated.
But, you say, if you weren't driving bad, what's the difference? That's not what I pulled you over for.
Absolutely. When everything is going right, you're an excellent driver, even while intoxicated. Believe me-- I've met a bunch of 'em. Seriously.
But here's the thing-- what about when things don't go right?
How many times have you slammed on your brakes, and thus saved someone's life? That little old lady who just didn't look well enough before pulling out into traffic-- she probably shouldn't be driving, but does she deserve to DIE for her mistake? Or should a sober person be able to show the quick reaction time and judgement to be able to deal with her clear failure to yield right-of-way?
How many times have we all cussed that silly little 16 year old (boy or girl) who was chatting with his friends and not paying attention, and cut us off? How many times have we all wanted to smack him and tell him what we thought of his reckless driving, after having locked up our brakes and our seatbelts? But do we need to give them their just deserts, and hit them when our reflexes are just that little bit slower? How would you feel explaining that to a father that you're sorry, but you were just a little bit too TECHNICALLY drunk to keep from causing his immature but otherwise sweet daughter to die on the side of the road?
Drunk. Let's cut the crap. Drunk is drunk.
And if the emotional plea doesn't get to you (the daddy part does to me, even now), then howza bout this? If you're a drunk driver and are in a wreck for whatever reason, and the investigating officer can find ANY way that a sober person MIGHT have been able to avoid that accident, and someone gets hurt, you've just committed a felony. In Texas, it's called Intoxication Assault. Someone dies, and it's called Intoxication Manslaughter. And if we have the slightest suggestion that someone's going to die, we draw blood.
All because you blew a tire and couldn't control your car as well, perhaps, as a fully sober person. Or whatever.
It's not worth it.
Call a cab. If you're my friend, call ME.
That could be your family out there. That could be your wife driving home the kids from a night of shopping, when something goes wrong. And because you're TECHNICALLY drunk, you can't make it right.
Oh, you don't have a wife and kids? I do.
Now, will you be providing Breath or Blood, sir?