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Monday, December 24, 2012

You're Never Too Drunk to Know You're Too Drunk to Drive

Posted by on Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Shortly after I got my drivers license I drove to a New Years Eve party and got totally blitzed. The next morning my mother burst into my bedroom, startling me awake. "What happened to the car?!" she angrily screamed at me.

"What?" I replied from my half-awake hungover haze.

"What happened to the car?!" She demanded again.

I thought for moment, and then settled on the truth. "I got really drunk last night," I told her, "so I left the car at the party and walked home."

I was not punished for my behavior. In fact, I think my mother was kinda proud. I wasn't particularly experienced at either drinking or driving, but even at sixteen I had the commonsense (or perhaps the fear instilled from my recent drivers ed course) not to combine the two.

And that's what makes it such a big scandal every time an elected official like Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) gets pulled over on a DUI. These are people who should know better. (They're also people, as Atrios repeatedly points out, who can afford a cab or a driver.) And no, the booze is not an excuse for their lack of judgment. A 0.11 percent blood alcohol level is drunk enough to know you're too drunk to drive, but not so drunk that you're incapacitated to the point that you just don't give a shit.

So to dismiss this as a temporary lack of judgment is to let him off to easy: Senator Crapo chose to drive drunk because that's who he is. Something to remember the next time he moralizes on anything.


Comments (60) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
A police officer woke me up at 5:10 am to ask about my car. "Oh, I drank and did not know my blood alcohol limit so I left the car in the park & ride." Maybe that sort of thinking is "wrong" like universal health care and adequate funding for public education and sober driving, because a Mormon Republican senator could not come around to that idea.

Maybe the craziness of the GOP has driven Sen. Crapo to drink.
Posted by crazy but sober, alive and no criminal history on December 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
laterite 2
lol, "Crapo".

Also, he's a Mormon.
Posted by laterite on December 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 3
Grandpa, you are such an exciting storyteller. Can you change my diaper for me?
Posted by dnt trust me on December 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
"It's cray-poe."

"Yeah, well, it's 'bay-ner' too and when you get that right I'll get yours right."
Posted by LMcGuff on December 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
A drunk driving conviction in 1992 (when he was 50 years old) didn't stop Butch Otter, then a second term Lieutenant Governor of Idaho. Otter was re-elected twice more as Lieutenant Governor, three times to the U.S. House, and twice more as Governor, where he has served since 2006.
Posted by Richard Pope on December 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 6
Staunch Moron KKKonservatards are the most responsible ones.
Posted by Original Andrew on December 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 7
Cool story, bro.

What's actually of interest about drunk driving is that even in the early 80s when MADD was founded, driving after a few drinks was considered normal. Even a right. Some thing men -- real men -- did. Sixty thousand highway deaths a year was just a price you paid to live in a modern world where you didn't have to walk home from the bar.

These men thought of themselves as "responsible drinkers". They were the ones who could "handle it". So today the same Lake Woebegone Effect drives the same kinds of men to pat themselves on the back as being the ones who can handle guns. Letting these men have their guns is necessary, and the deaths that follow are the price of freedom. The deaths are all the result of the guys who "can't handle" firearms, in some way, anyway.

In the early days they said MADD was a joke. Everyone said you can't change the way people think about drinking and driving. They said it was too engrained. That we wouldn't sit idly by and give up our right to a well-earned drink without the emasculating loss of our car keys. Serious DUI enforcement would infringe on our automotive rights. People used to think there was a Constitutional right to do what you wanted with your car. Something about driving being a kind of speech? Or an extension of your home? Some of them still think there's something about cheap gas written into the bill of Rights.

They got drinking and driving wrong. They were on the wrong side of history, as usual. The gun lobby knows they can't win this debate and their only chance is to stop the discussion before it starts.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
cressona 8
Mug shot now gracing the home page of the Idaho Statesman. Bigger (and thus even more unflattering) pic with the story.

Interesting @5 about Butch Otter. You figure Crapo will come out of this just fine, just so there's no "wide stance" involved (see former Idaho Senator Larry Craig). Idaho: beautiful state, stupid politicians.
Posted by cressona on December 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM · Report this
I think booze effects different people in different ways. Like Goldy, I've never been too drunk to know I was too drunk to drive, even when I was new to both drinking and driving. On the other hand being drunk has never been much fun for me either. When I used to get wasted at parties I didn't start fights or have risky sex. Mostly I would just fall asleep in the corner. I think being drunk alters some people's consciousness on a much more profound level than it does mine. I can't excuse Senator Crapo's actions, but I think Goldy is being a judgmental asshole by assuming that simply because he has never had a problem knowing that he is too drunk drive, that nobody has trouble knowing when he or she is too drunk to drive.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 24, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Different generation. My grandfather, dad and uncles all continue to drive drunk, sometimes even with highball glass between their thighs. They swear their years flying in the war(s) while totally blitzed made them expert drunk drivers. After 40+ years, I just keep my fingers crossed and try not to think about it.
Posted by mitten on December 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
internet_jen 11
I have never operated a car in my life. I have, though, operated many beers and spirits. I grew up in the Fife/Miltion area, car heaven. Moved the city as quick as I could.
Posted by internet_jen on December 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
@9 I'm okay with being judgmental about drunk driving.
Posted by shabadoo on December 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 13
I have to (personally) disagree with your headline Goldy. I was at a party with a guy who had a breathalizer and I blew into it and hit .05 bac, and I wasn't even slightly buzzed. If I'd been driving and pulled over, I'd have gotten a DUI.

It was a bit worrisome actually, since I had no idea I was legally drunk, yet I was too drunk to drive.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 14
Just another high and mighty, right wing shithead.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
@12 I certainly don't think driving drunk should be tolerated. All I'm saying is that resisting the temptation to do stupid shit when your drunk is a lot harder for some people than it is for others. Goldy doesn't seem to get that.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 24, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
#13, the legal limit is .08 so you'd have been fine. As for the rest, I'll take Goly and the others seriously when they're equally moralistic about the next "progressive" in a similar situation.
Posted by Mister G on December 24, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Griffin 17
A former roomie of mine got busted for DUI some years ago. In the court-mandated DUI class, he learned that the average drunk driver drives drunk 200 times before being caught (in the case of that individual, I totally believe it). It's entitlement coupled with "haven't gotten caught yet" causes people to drive drunk.
Posted by Griffin on December 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
@13 "A driver may be charged with DUI if: The results of a breath or blood test show the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood to be: .08 or higher for adults (21 and over)."…
Posted by checkavailability on December 24, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
@15: If you have a propensity for doing stupid shit in the first place, such as leaning right wing or living in Idaho, the alcohol certainly doesn't help. On the other hand if you have a conscience it's not that damn hard. People have a harder time resisting doing fucked up stuff when they're drunk because deep down they REALLY WANT to do fucked up stuff.
Posted by tired and true on December 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
@13 @16 @18

0.04 is enough for a DUI charge. Blowing .08 or more relieves the state from proving impairment.

They will cite you with a DUI if you blow 0.04 -- you might beat it in court but you will still have to pay $10,000 for a good DUI lawyer.

Posted by BooWho on December 24, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 21
Did they find the under age Black prostitute in the back of his car? This is so La Cage Aux Folles it's comic.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
#20, .04 is not enough by itself. Read #13. He described himself as sober.
Posted by Mister G on December 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Cray-poe, which is different from Cray-Cray, the name LaPierre asked us all to call him. I've given up on trying to guess how wingnuts pronounce their names.

(Amy Poehler isn't "Pay-ler", but then she's not a wingnut.)
Posted by originalcinner on December 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
One good story deserves another. Here's one that landed in my inbox recently:
With the Holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with my family and friends about drinking and driving.

As you may know some have had brushes with the authorities from time to time on the way home after a "social session" out with friends. Well two days ago I was out for an evening with friends and had several cocktails followed by some rather nice red wine. Feeling jolly I still had the sense to know that I may be slightly over the limit. That's when I did something that I've never done before - I took a cab home.

Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block but since it was a cab they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise as I had never driven a cab before, I don't know where I got it and now that it's in my garage I don't know what to do with it.
Happy Holidays………
Posted by RonK, Seattle on December 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Not even punished for drinking underage huh? Must have had a very liberal mom.
Posted by Seattle14 on December 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Not just Crapo.

TENS of MILLIONS alcohol drinkers drive drunk.

And KILL TENS of THOUSANDS of innocent Americans each year.

Many of them children......

OBVIOUSLY all Alcohol must be BANNED.


are we right, Slog?

Irresponsible alcohol use KILLS TENS of THOUSANDS!!

You're Tiny Cold Black Liberal Hearts are OUTRAGED, right?


you are so full of shit.
Posted by did anyone mention how full of shit you are? on December 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
sperifera 27
@7 - You win the Internet today, Mr. UnpronouceableNameWithCthulhuInIt
Posted by sperifera on December 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
thatsnotright 28
Drunk driving is not a choice or a lifestyle; those people are born that way (stupid).
Posted by thatsnotright on December 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Goldy, what is your source for the assertion you made in the Morning News that Crapo is a Bishop?
Posted by the Pulitzer Committee on December 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
In German, the letter combination"oeh" is consistent with the long "a" sound. Thus," Baynor" for our Speaker and the correct pronunciation of my last name.
I've always assumed that Amy Poehler's family just got tired of correcting people and adapted a mispronunciation
Posted by pb1025 on December 24, 2012 at 3:31 PM · Report this
@30 When I learned German, oe was o with an umlaut, and pronounced "uhhh" (ur, but non rhotically). Boehner rhymes more or less, using an English accent, with Turner. I don't get where the ay sound comes from.
Posted by originalcinner on December 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 32
@16, 18, 20, 22...

I'm in Colorado, the legally intoxicated limit is .08. I think you'd get a DWI at that level. However, cops can still give you a DUI at .05.

I don't want to suggest that ANY amount is ok. Just that I certainly didn't feel drunk and not even a little buzzed or light headed. When I blew a .05 I thought the breathalizer was broken, I couldn't believe it.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on December 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM · Report this
seatackled 33
@24: That's funny--thanks!

@31: The "a" sound seems to be kind of half standard in U.S. pronunciation. You have Charlie Brown's Shroeder pronounced as a long "O," but I remember hearing William Schroeder's name all over the news when he got that artificial heart pronounced as if it has a long "A."
Posted by seatackled on December 24, 2012 at 6:52 PM · Report this
very bad homo 34
@15 Maybe those people shouldn't drink then.
Posted by very bad homo on December 24, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
@34 Maybe they shouldn't, but usually those people are the ones who like to drink the most. People like being drunk because it removes their inhibitions. My inhibitions, and perhaps Goldy's, run sufficiently deep as to be beyond the reach of pot or beer. The sort of people who have fun when they drink tend to be the ones who do dangerous stuff like drive under the influence.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 24, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
Fear not, I read that Randy Travis has volunteered to drive Senator Crapo to and from his appointments.
Posted by Ryan Dunn was lyin' low at the time on December 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM · Report this
schmacky 37
You guys all seem to be missing a crucial element of alcohol's effect on one's brain. In short, it makes you way more confident about your ability to handle something like driving than you should otherwise be based on your level of inebriation. It's a chemical thing. You don't have to be some kind of entitled asshole to drive's completely common for otherwise non-asshole types to believe they're fine to drive. That's one of the reasons it happens all the time (as evidenced by the aforementioned stat that most people with DUIs have actually driven drunk an average of 200 times before they get caught).

It's also why the access and ease of public transit is such a principal factor in DUI rates per capita.
Posted by schmacky on December 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM · Report this
Goldy, what is your source for the assertion you made in the Morning News that Crapo is a Bishop?
Posted by you're never too drunk to fuck up a story on December 24, 2012 at 11:35 PM · Report this
If it is possible to be too drunk to consent to sex, it is also possible to be too drunk to be held responsible for driving.
Posted by ishf on December 24, 2012 at 11:44 PM · Report this
#37 is spouting the usual Seattle "progressive" bullshit. Turns out that San Francisco, which has plenty of mass transit, is #5 on the list DUI per-capita city rankings, and New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia are in the top 20.

But hey, what Seattle "progressive" ever let any facts get in the way of a good old-fashioned baldfaced lie?
Posted by Mister G on December 25, 2012 at 2:00 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 41
And Senator Kennedy chose to drive drunk and drown a woman because that's who he was.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on December 25, 2012 at 3:11 AM · Report this
schmacky 42
@40: Did you even read that article? They just took the top 20 most populous cities and ranked them according to DUI rates. You do notice that NYC, the most populous (and transit rich) city, is 17th on the list? And that outside of SF (which is in California, a state with high enforcement emphasis), all the cities in the top 10 have shit transit?
Posted by schmacky on December 25, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 43
@42 but don't you know the exception disproves the rule?
Posted by Max Solomon on December 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Skye Blu 44
you would think someone with the last name Crapo who survived grade school would have the sense not to do anything stupid... wait, a mor(m)on... ok, never mind my last statement...
Posted by Skye Blu on December 25, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
schmacky 45
First, just want to say again how amusing it is that @40 is so very wrong and a fool for posting a link that proves the very point he's attempting to refute.

Second, while anybody who drinks can make the mistake of driving drunk, it is nevertheless something that is not to be tolerated, particularly when those who are guilty of it are moral absolutists like this Crapo a-hole.
Posted by schmacky on December 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Ah schmacky. The average Seattle "progressive" really isn't very smart, is he? Or is it just the lying? There are thousands of cities in the U.S., but four of the most transit heavy of the bunch are in the top 17 for DUIs. And here we have a Seattle "progressive" trying to tell us that his point was proven.
Posted by Mister G on December 25, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
schmacky 47
Mister G @46...are you just a troll, or did you get dropped on your head when you were a baby?

"Three of the nation's top five locations for big-city DUI citations are in California, according to data on DUI citations in 20 of the nation's largest U.S. cities for Nov. 1, 2010, to Oct. 31, 2011."

Your reading comprehension needs serious work, man. They are only focusing on the biggest cities, not every city in the whole damn country.

And then there's this:

"A city may rank near the top of the DUI citation list for a number of reasons, including a lack of public transportation, or a police force that's good at doings its job – or both."

They support my argument verbatim right there in the goddamn article!

I hope Santa got you a new brain for Christmas.
Posted by schmacky on December 25, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Poor schmacky. Can't read a list. No wonder "progressives" want to throw more money at the public schools. They were trained so well there!
Posted by Mister G on December 25, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Okay, schmacky, I guess I need to spell it out for the retards among us, i.e., you.

1. There are 285 cities with populations of at least 100,000.

2. There are about 10 cities with rail transit in the United States. Of those 10 cities, four of them (New York, Chicago, Philly, and San Francisco) are in the top 17 cities (of 285) for DUI.

Yet, we have a typical Seattle "progressive" telling the lie that having transit decreases DUIs, when the data show that exactly the opposite is true. You people are just pathetic.
Posted by Mister G on December 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Come on, schmacky, put down the joint and think for a change. Yeah, yeah. It's hard to think. But you can do it!
Posted by Mister G on December 25, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
Try this another way, my little retard. Four of the top six cities for transit ridership are in the top 6% of American cities when it comes to DUI. schmacky, a mind (such as yours is) is a terrible thing to waste!
Posted by Mister G on December 25, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
watchout5 52
They don't care about the laws they make, they do it for the money, the fame, the power. They don't care about us, they make these laws because it makes them lots of money, then they get to go home and do whatever they want while people who participate in this behavior normally aren't allowed employment. What this senator represents is the negative justice in America, in the worst possible way.
Posted by watchout5 on December 26, 2012 at 7:09 AM · Report this
"Source and methodology: based its list on the top 20 cities by population, according to the Census Bureau. (No data was available for Massachusetts.) We then looked at people in those cities who requested car insurance quotes at and, and calculated the percentage of people in each city who reported having at least one alcohol-related violation."…

Reading is fundamental...
Posted by Ms. D on December 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
#53, yeah, and read the list. It's not the top 20 cities. And to survey only 20 of the country 285 cities with populations over 100,000 was meaningless to begin with.
Posted by Mister G on December 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
They're only missing ONE of the top 20 cities. Why they jumped from 20 to 23 to include Baltimore beats me, but the simple fact is that they only included 20 cities, not all 285 as you implied. My best guess is that Baltimore has been losing population (this much is a known fact), and was in the top 20 when they first made the list (this is supposition), so they wanted to keep it for continuity. Also, there's the pesky little fact that there are significant numbers of people WITHOUT individual car insurance in areas with significant transit (by virtue of not having cars), so the rate of people reporting DUIs on insurance quotes is going to be skewed by thousands, perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands, of people never getting DUIs by virtue of not owning cars. Not owning a car is FAR less likely outside of the biggest cities with the best transit and transportation alternatives.
Posted by Ms. D on December 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Edit would be nice...

*skipped to 24. Still don't know why.

*Those who do not get DUIs because they don't own a car will not be in the denominator of those requesting insurance quotes. I'll admit that it's somewhat unclear whether they did DUIs/total population or DUIs/number of quotes, but it sounds like the latter to me, which does not include a large number of people without DUIs in the denominator.
Posted by Ms. D on December 26, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
The entire study is bogus, but the lying "progressives" here preferred to ignore that because the conclusion told them what they wanted to hear. You people are every last bit as stupid and arrogant as Sarah Palin.
Posted by Mister G on December 26, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Um, YOU posted the study. We just intelligently critiqued it. I'd agree that it's not very informative. If you'd like to back away from it now, we won't hold it against you. We just pointed out that it didn't say what you thought it did, before you actually read it, after we actually did. You might try reading before proposing articles as supporting your asinine points, in the future.
Posted by Ms. D on December 26, 2012 at 8:57 PM · Report this
Though you did vociferously defend it before I directly quoted it. Sorry, I'm not sorry for pointing out how you are a lying hypocrite, as you are now accusing me of being.
Posted by Ms. D on December 26, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Um, touche, iinda-sorta, #58
Posted by Mister G on December 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this

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