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Utah lowering legal DUI limit to 0.05% provides impetus to correct some problems

Fallschirjmäger

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Cumming, Georgia, USA
Probably because the law doesn't conform to your definitions. I recommend doing a web-search for "in control of vehicle" and reading what the law says (for better or worse.)

"In control of" isn't dependent on one's mental state, whether being awake or asleep. One can be totally out of one's mind and completely insane and still be 'in control of' a vehicle if one has the means to operate it. Normally that means being in the possession of the keys to operate the vehicle.

Arizona used to be that way (probably still is, but I don't want to make any assumptions) and we had an officer tell how he'd often write citations to people who had the keys to their car in their possession, even if they were in the back seat because they realized they were in no condition to drive. He actually seemed happy that he could issue a citation to someone who was taking steps to ensure they were not a danger to other motorists.

I asked him if I gave my 10-year old son the keys to the car to get daddy's laptop or his homework, out of the car, would he still write a citation. He hemmed and hawed and pretty much said yes. That didn't make him too popular with anyone else in the audience with a modicum of sense and his popularity rapidly declined.
 
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countryclubjoe

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nj
Probably because the law doesn't conform to your definitions. I recommend doing a web-search for "in control of vehicle" and reading what the law says (for better or worse.)

"In control of" isn't dependent on one's mental state, whether being awake or asleep. One can be totally out of one's mind and completely insane and still be 'in control of' a vehicle if one has the means to operate it. Normally that means being in the possession of the keys to operate the vehicle.

Arizona used to be that way (probably still is, but I don't want to make any assumptions) and we had an officer tell how he'd often write citations to people who had the keys to their car in their possession, even if they were in the back seat because they realized they were in no condition to drive. He actually seemed happy that he could issue a citation to someone who was taking steps to ensure they were not a danger to other motorists.

I asked him if I gave my 10-year old son the keys to the car to get daddy's laptop or his homework, out of the car, would he still write a citation. He hemmed and hawed and pretty much said yes. That didn't make him too popular with anyone else in the audience with a modicum of sense and his popularity rapidly declined.




Great story, hence my term, over zealous LEO... A person sleeping in their vehicle is not a threat to anyone.
A sleeping open carrying person is NOT a threat to public safety..

The over zealous LEOS need to look for more nefarious folks to hassle.. Sleeping is not a crime, in my humble opinion..

Fallschimager, always a pleasure Sir!

My .02
Regards
CCJ
 

JoeSparky

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Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA
Probably because the law doesn't conform to your definitions. I recommend doing a web-search for "in control of vehicle" and reading what the law says (for better or worse.)

"In control of" isn't dependent on one's mental state, whether being awake or asleep. One can be totally out of one's mind and completely insane and still be 'in control of' a vehicle if one has the means to operate it. Normally that means being in the possession of the keys to operate the vehicle.

Arizona used to be that way (probably still is, but I don't want to make any assumptions) and we had an officer tell how he'd often write citations to people who had the keys to their car in their possession, even if they were in the back seat because they realized they were in no condition to drive. He actually seemed happy that he could issue a citation to someone who was taking steps to ensure they were not a danger to other motorists.

I asked him if I gave my 10-year old son the keys to the car to get daddy's laptop or his homework, out of the car, would he still write a citation. He hemmed and hawed and pretty much said yes. That didn't make him too popular with anyone else in the audience with a modicum of sense and his popularity rapidly declined.
And the former PROVO officer who told me the info that got us on the "in control of" stuff was quite proud to have written these citations also.... Yes, we do need to change the law!

BTW, I didn't realize we were in a debate, simple discussion of a law that none of us agree with especially in its application!
 
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countryclubjoe

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And the former PROVO officer who told me the info that got us on the "in control of" stuff was quite proud to have written these citations also.... Yes, we do need to change the law!

BTW, I didn't realize we were in a debate, simple discussion of a law that none of us agree with especially in its application!
Any post, and any reply thereof, even in agreement, creates the possibility of debate.. Without debate, we only see one point of view.. Debate leads to thinking and thinking leads to research and obtaining knowledge.. A win-win for open minded folks, that can agree to disagree, with good thoughtful reasoning..

My .02
Regards
CCJ
 

solus

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Aug 22, 2013
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here nc
Any post, and any reply thereof, even in agreement, creates the possibility of debate.. Without debate, we only see one point of view.. Debate leads to thinking and thinking leads to research and obtaining knowledge.. A win-win for open minded folks, that can agree to disagree, with good thoughtful reasoning..

My .02
Regards
CCJ
and the key concept of discussion, or whichever hair is wordsmithed, is the ability for everyone to be able to enter into and engage said dialogue(s) so communication can transpire.

tis quite amusing to watch commentary flowback w/some who threaten to go to moderator(s) to close 'their' thread cuz the don't feel the communication is suiting their preconceived notion(s) or the infamous threat 'na na na' can't see you cuz i put you on ignore!

so much for establishing any type of open minded dialogue on any subject ~ huh!

as my pop used to say...if ya don't like the answer...don't ask the flippin question!

sidebar...btw, thanks to fallschirmjager for finding the commentary regarding the concept...'if you have the keys ~ you are in control of...' i had been researching and couldn't put the right terminology together to find the right definition...thanks again!

ipse
 
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Firearms Iinstuctor

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Jul 12, 2011
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3,163
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northern wis
Thru out the years the definition of being in operation/control has changed over the years.

In my early years of being a LEO one needed to be actually operating the motor vehicle to be arrested for intoxicated driving.

Meaning actual vehicle movement.

Then with this push against intoxicated driving the definition changed from being in operation to being in control.

I can relate several stories when finding intoxicated persons asleep in their vehicles parked in various places that raised suspicions. That a call was made resulting in a LEO showing up.

More then once after having a conversation with said vehicle occupant and informing them that they needed to stay where they were and not to drive.

They would be caught driving down the road or then caused a crash in their intoxicated state.

Intoxicated people do not always make intelligent choices.

Cases as mention above where the emphasis for changing the definition of what constitutes in control or operation depending on the state law.
 
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OC for ME

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White Oak Plantation
...

Presuming ill intent where there is none, is not productive, even when dealing with legislators. Between your idea of perfect, and what we all know is really bad, there is a lot of room in the "better" or even "acceptable" realms of the spectrum. The perfect should not be made the enemy of the good enough.

Charles
I provided no idea for perfection. I did provide a example from Missouri that is a reasonable approach. Our relevant statute was changed in 2010 to the language provided. Good luck.
 

utbagpiper

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Utah
Charles, in your great state, what is a more horrific, " Polygamy" or sleeping in ones vehicle?..
What do you think should of more concern to the state and the public, countryclubjoe: The private sexual conduct of consenting adults, or someone operating a motor vehicle on public streets with demonstrably impaired sensory functions, impaired reaction times, and reduced inhibitions?

When someone brings up polygamy in the context and manner you just have (and in a way contrary to all liberal and libertarian views on the proper role of government in human sexuality), I tend to think they are operating from a position of incivility or even bigotry, rather than serious and thoughtful inquiry.

I've already stated that I believe issuing a DUI to someone sleeping it off in the back seat is going too far. OTOH, Firearms Instructor has provided some personal, historic information about the likely motivation for such over-reach. Doesn't mean I've changed my view on a guy sleeping it off in the back seat. But it means I have some understanding of the likely motivation behind the law as being something other than evil legislators and cops wanting to micro-manage my life. I recognize the challenge in such cases. "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." I don't claim to have a good answer. But, DUI is not the area I'm expected to come up with answers.

Now with that, I fear that my analogy between firearms and automobiles may have caused some to have drifted from the topic at hand which is RKBA/OC into an area where the strongest of supporters of RKBA/OC can, very legitimately, have differing opinions. Whatever I may think personally of Utah's DUI laws, for me to publicly advocate one way or the other on them would diminish my effectiveness when working on RKBA/OC laws. I say and write about DUI laws as I say and write about immigration, taxes, drugs, abortion, UFOs, and bigfoot: I don't care what your views are on those issues as long as you either keep them to yourself, or are respectful of contrary views. I will happily work together to advance RKBA.

So might we drop the DUI issue from this thread, and move on with any remaining discussion about actual RKBA/OC while drinking or intoxicated?

Thank you most kindly.
 

solus

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What do you think should of more concern to the state and the public, countryclubjoe: The private sexual conduct of consenting adults, or someone operating a motor vehicle on public streets with demonstrably impaired sensory functions, impaired reaction times, and reduced inhibitions?

snip.
sorry, polygamy, the acknowledged concept of having more than one wife, has nothing to do with 'the private sexual conduct of consenting adults' as some involved with polygamy need their caregivers to give their consent to have their marriage solemnized ~ truly how did you get lost in those differences?

of interest, both concepts are a blight to our societal norms and should be a significant concern to all our nation's citizens!

ipse
 

deepdiver

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Southeast, Missouri, USA
So, to get back on topic... MO's statute on the matter, as previously posted, is the best statute on the issue that I have seen. I am quite proud of our state for coming up with such a well worded and functional statute that penalizes actual bad, dangerous behavior without prior restraint. If Utah, and probably every other state, could get this wording for this particular matter, I think it would be a positive steps for gun rights and carry.
 

OC for ME

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76-10-528. Carrying a dangerous weapon while under influence of alcohol or drugs unlawful. ... Amended by Chapter 226, 2008 General Session
Utah has had two opportunities prior to 2017, that I can find, to remedy the link between BAC and possession/carry, one in 2005 and then again in 2008. It appears that H.B. 112, 155, and 237, of the 2017 session, did not address the link. It is being portrayed as a oversight in the available news reports on H.B 155 being signed into law. The legislature certainly should have seen this "unintended consequence" coming.

Perhaps the link in 76-10-528 to BAC will be removed in a special session this year, or perhaps next year.
 

utbagpiper

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So, to get back on topic... MO's statute on the matter, as previously posted, is the best statute on the issue that I have seen. I am quite proud of our state for coming up with such a well worded and functional statute that penalizes actual bad, dangerous behavior without prior restraint. If Utah, and probably every other state, could get this wording for this particular matter, I think it would be a positive steps for gun rights and carry.
Thank you for bringing us back on topic.

As OC for Me posted it, the MO statute is:

RSMo 517.030.1 A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons, except as otherwise provided by sections 571.101 to 571.121, if he or she knowingly:

(5) Has a firearm or projectile weapon readily capable of lethal use on his or her person, while he or she is intoxicated, and handles or otherwise uses such firearm or projectile weapon in either a negligent or unlawful manner or discharges such firearm or projectile weapon unless acting in self-defense; or...
Help me parse this statute just a bit.

Does it mean it is unlawful to:

Handle the firearm, or to (use the firearm in a negligent or unlawful manner)?

Or, does it mean that it is illegal to:

(Handle or use) the firearm in a negligent or unlawful manner?

IOW, is it legal for an intoxicated person to handle a gun he is carrying so long as that is not done in a negligent or unlawful manner?

It appears discharge is prohibited while intoxicated except for lawful self-defense.

Thanks for whatever clarification you can provide. Using prototype language already proven in other States is often a very good idea.

Thank you.

Charles
 

utbagpiper

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Utah has had two opportunities prior to 2017, that I can find, to remedy the link between BAC and possession/carry, one in 2005 and then again in 2008. It appears that H.B. 112, 155, and 237, of the 2017 session, did not address the link. It is being portrayed as a oversight in the available news reports on H.B 155 being signed into law. The legislature certainly should have seen this "unintended consequence" coming.

Perhaps the link in 76-10-528 to BAC will be removed in a special session this year, or perhaps next year.
Actually, the Utah legislature has had far more opportunities than that. Any year, any legislator can introduce a bill on any topic. So if one is looking for "evidence" to bolster a bias against legislators, one can look at decades of not fixing this issue as that evidence.

On the other hand, until a legislator notices or is alerted to a problem, he can't very well be expected to fix it. My guess is that gun owners are responsible enough that we've simply not given prosecutors much chance to use this law against anyone except as a piling on charge when there were 15 real charges already involved.

I've tried to be a bit subtle. Let me be blunt.

I'm not really interested in nor keen on your negative attitude toward legislators, and doubly so when you project that onto legislators in my State. If you've got something to add to assist me, great. If you just want to engage in self confirmation bias of thinking the government is out to steal your rights, infringe your liberties, and make your life bad, please take it elsewhere. I've long since had more than a gut full of those kinds of negative waves. We've made and continue to make good progress in Utah by making incremental improvements on a regular basis.

Thanks for staying on the topic of how to improve things, rather than dragging us off into negative wave land with constant bemoaning of how bad things are.

Charles
 

OC for ME

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...

I've tried to be a bit subtle. Let me be blunt.

I'm not really interested in nor keen on your negative attitude toward legislators, and doubly so when you project that onto legislators in my State. If you've got something to add to assist me, great. If you just want to engage in self confirmation bias of thinking the government is out to steal your rights, infringe your liberties, and make your life bad, please take it elsewhere. I've long since had more than a gut full of those kinds of negative waves. We've made and continue to make good progress in Utah by making incremental improvements on a regular basis.

Thanks for staying on the topic of how to improve things, rather than dragging us off into negative wave land with constant bemoaning of how bad things are.

Charles
I do not have a negative attitude towards legislators. I do have a bias against legislators who do not, or can not, see the obvious. Utah may indeed have a societal bias against the peaceable carry of a firearm while intoxicated. If this is the case, fine, if not then please state such. Utah in many respects far out paces Missouri where a citizen may lawfully carry a firearm and I like to think we are working to emulate Utah.
 

utbagpiper

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I do not have a negative attitude towards legislators. I do have a bias against legislators who do not, or can not, see the obvious.
I wonder how many legislators you deem as not seeing "the obvious". :) 98%? Or more?

What is obvious to one, may not be at all obvious to another. I expect you would be far less likely to even know to go looking for, much less to catch "obvious" problems in water-laws than would many legislators (from both parties) here in the arid West where such laws are both essential, and much examined. Indeed, if I were to attempt to explain water laws in the West without first providing the geographical impetus for such laws, you would be shocked and appalled that such laws even exist. Such laws are unheard of and unneeded "back east" where water falls precisely like manna from heaven. Here, the laws--while arguably less than perfect in any number of regards--are essential.

As I explain below, Utah's laws regarding carrying a gun while intoxicated are similarly easily overlooked by most.

Utah may indeed have a societal bias against the peaceable carry of a firearm while intoxicated. If this is the case, fine, if not then please state such. Utah in many respects far out paces Missouri where a citizen may lawfully carry a firearm and I like to think we are working to emulate Utah.
No doubt there are those who would argue Utah has a societal bias against alcohol period. I would frame it more as a simple matter of demographics. Enough people do not drink that we have far less societal concern with the whole "there but for the grace of God go I" mentality when it comes to endangering others after having had "one too many". Going a step further, for those who do not drink at all and who generally avoid locations where alcohol is a focal point, the primary exposure to alcohol is, all too often, witnesses the devastating effects of alcohol abuse on innocent victims of DUI, domestic violence, etc, or at least watching friends get stupid or annoying while "buzzed". Unlike drinking friends, non-drinkers retain full faculties to judge (and remember) how such conduct compares to the fully sober version they are used to.

Back to guns: Remember, until ~20 years ago, Utah, like almost the entire rest of the nation, had discriminatory laws about who could legally carry a concealed firearm in most areas. The issue of carrying while intoxicated simply hasn't come up in the 20 years I've been actively involved. I expect the prohibition was written about the same time our definition of "loaded" firearm was written, which law was clearly, heavily influenced by best practices when dealing with a non-drop-safe revolver.

The issue of carrying while intoxicated was raised as a result of the lowering of the BAC limit. We are now working to address it. In Utah, generally speaking, those who hate guns, also hate all limits on alcohol. Exceptions exist. But generally speaking...

So we have to deal with the issue of (Democrat, urban, non-LDS) gun haters feeling like if they can't drive at 0.06%, why should anyone (and especially GOP, rural or suburban, LDS) be allowed to walk around with those deadly guns at 0.06%. Obvious, and rational differences like "a car in motion is an imminent hazard if not properly controlled moment to moment while a gun in a holster is perfectly safe as long at is stays there" carry zero weight with such partisans or their allies in the media. So we are carefully examining what we can best do without over-reaching. The art of the possible.

We'll get there. And the code from Missouri is helpful. Thank you.

Charles
 
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