Senate Passes Bill On Open Containers In Cars

MJS

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I'm sure this topic will stir up a hornets nest, due to the fact that I'm sure we will see some abuse of power claims, but hey, it'll be interesting to see how it pans out.

From todays paper.


Many state drivers wrongly assume that it's illegal to have an open bottle of beer in a car.

But the state Senate took the first step Tuesday toward changing that and making Connecticut one of at least 40 states to ban "open alcoholic beverage containers" in motor vehicles.

Of course, one part that caught my eye was:

Senators unanimously approved a bill making it an infraction for anyone to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the driver or passenger seats of a vehicle on Connecticut roads. But, in one of several compromise moves, police would not be permitted to pull someone over for an open container violation alone.

No worries though because of this....

State Sen. Kevin Witkos, R-Canton, who works as a local police officer, said that the bill puts an officer in an odd position if he sees a moving car with someone drinking in the back seat. "The police officer is going to have to find a reason to stop [that] car."

In making his argument, Witkos confirmed what many drivers believe that if the police want to stop you, they can find a reason.

"Nine out of 10 times," Witkos said, the officer could stop the car in which he had seen an open container for exceeding the speed limit by 2 mph, or having a defective light or weaving in the travel lane. But that's not the right way to do things, he said, adding that the stop should be based on the real reasons for the law to ban open bottles of alcoholic beverages in cars and to fight drunken driving.

This is something that I know I've said in other threads...if they want to stop you, they will find a way.

I'm split on this. I do not think that anyone should drink and drive...period! Way too many accidents due to alcohol. If you can't control your intake, stay the hell off the damn road!!!! On the other hand, much like the cell phone bill that was passed in my state, in which the driver of the car can't be talking unless they're using a hands free device, nothing stops the passenger(s) from using a phone. So in this case, is it that big of a deal if the passenger(s) are drinking as long as the driver isn't?

Then again, how tempting is it for the 17yo girl, with her carload of girlfriends, all chatting, for the driver to grab a phone and engage in the chatting? I'm sure its no different than 3 others in the car drinking....I find it hard to believe that the driver would want to miss out on the fun.

So, yes, at this point, while I am a bit split, I find myself leaning more to the supportive side of this bill. Kinda like those that would like to see liquor stores open on Sunday, because they need their fix and didn't buy enough to get then thru until Monday, I'm sure there are many that won't be able to wait until they get to their destination before they start drinking.

Thoughts?
 

geezer

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One thought. Drinking and driving kills people. I've got no problem with such a law. Your freedoms end when they start infringing on the essential rights of others... like the right to stay alive and not be killed by a drunken driver.

Oh, and regarding the fact that police can usually find a reason to pull someone over. Well duh. And as long as they do it for a good reason, not racial profiling or harassment, but to keep us safe, I don't have a problem.
 
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MJS

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One thought. Drinking and driving kills people. I've got no problem with such a law. Your freedoms end when they start infringing on the essential rights of others... like the right to stay alive and not be killed by a drunken driver.

Amen!!

Oh, and regarding the fact that police can usually find a reason to pull someone over. Well duh. And as long as they do it for a good reason, not racial profiling or harassment, but to keep us safe, I don't have a problem.

Agreed. However, I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time before the 'they're infringing on my rights' group, jumps on the bandwagon, and cries foul. While it may seem dumb to pull someone over for failing to signal on a turn, having something hanging off of your rearview mirror, window tints too dark...and the list goes on...fact is, those are all legit violations, and is all thats needed for a stop. :)
 
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Thesemindz

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First off, I don't agree with drunk driving. It's dangerous and irresponsible and gets people killed. That said,

One thought. Drinking and driving kills people. I've got no problem with such a law. Your freedoms end when they start infringing on the essential rights of others... like the right to stay alive and not be killed by a drunken driver.

I agree, but that isn't what you are advocating. If I drink and drive, I haven't harmed you in any way. I only infringe on your right when I cause you harm. You're advocating that my right to swing my fist ends not where your nose begins, but rather where your nose could theoretically begin. Until there is a quantifiable provable harm, there is no victim and no justifiably actionable crime, except under color of law.

Oh, and regarding the fact that police can usually find a reason to pull someone over. Well duh. And as long as they do it for a good reason, not racial profiling or harassment, but to keep us safe, I don't have a problem.

So all it takes is a good reason? What if I think racial profiling is a good reason? What if I think harassing hippies is a good reason? Or sexual harassment of women is a good reason? Who decides what "a good reason" is, and when it justifies action to "keep us safe?"


-Rob
 
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MJS

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First off, I don't agree with drunk driving. It's dangerous and irresponsible and gets people killed. That said,



I agree, but that isn't what you are advocating. If I drink and drive, I haven't harmed you in any way. I only infringe on your right when I cause you harm. You're advocating that my right to swing my fist ends not where your nose begins, but rather where your nose could theoretically begin. Until there is a quantifiable provable harm, there is no victim and no justifiably actionable crime, except under color of law.

While I see your point Rob, DUI, whether you actually make contact with another car or person, is still against the law. Its really no different than a 16yo going in to buy beer. By your logic, as long as he doesnt actually consume it, it should be ok for him to buy it. Again, that is another violation of a law.



So all it takes is a good reason? What if I think racial profiling is a good reason? What if I think harassing hippies is a good reason? Or sexual harassment of women is a good reason? Who decides what "a good reason" is, and when it justifies action to "keep us safe?"


-Rob

Well, as I've said before, there are LEOs that are bad apples, and ruin the reputation of the ones that are not. I think it'll be interesting to see how things turn out down the road.
 

geezer

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If I drink and drive, I haven't harmed you in any way. I only infringe on your right when I cause you harm. You're advocating that my right to swing my fist ends not where your nose begins, but rather where your nose could theoretically begin.

Right. So if someone takes a swing at your nose, you are gonna wait till it reaches the actual tip of your nose before you evade and counter? Not bloody likely! Once I see 'em start to swing, I'd be counterstriking. In the art I train, we have a saying, "Start later, arrive first". It goes along with the ideas that the best defense is a good offense, and that when the attack is imminent, you pre-empt it. Same goes for an open container. If you ain't drinkin', why's it open?

So all it takes is a good reason? What if I think racial profiling is a good reason? What if I think harassing hippies is a good reason? Or sexual harassment of women is a good reason? Who decides what "a good reason" is, and when it justifies action to "keep us safe?" -Rob

Who decides what a good reason is? We, the people do. And we've got a Constitution with a Bill of Rights to make sure we get it straight. Something our last president didn't seem to comprehend... along with a lot of other things. Also he didn't get that preemption thing right either, did he? Somebody actually has to be starting to punch you "for reals" before you go all "shock and awe" on their **** over some hallucinated WMDs.
 

CuongNhuka

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I agree, but that isn't what you are advocating. If I drink and drive, I haven't harmed you in any way. I only infringe on your right when I cause you harm. You're advocating that my right to swing my fist ends not where your nose begins, but rather where your nose could theoretically begin. Until there is a quantifiable provable harm, there is no victim and no justifiably actionable crime, except under color of law.

Let me ask you a question. If you go into a crowded mall and shout 'fire', there are no victims. But, when people panic and rush out in every direction, someone is going to fall, and they will probably be crushed. Go into the same crowded mall swinging your fist, eventually someone is going to get hit. If you get drunk and go driving, eventually someone (or something) is going to get hit. These are all the same basic situation: you are doing something which (theoritically) do not infringe on anyones rights, but it is almost certain that someone is going to get hit, or something will be brocken. So, rules such as 'you cann't shout fire in a crowded mall', 'you cannot swing your fist in a crowded mall', and 'you cannot get drunk and go drive'

So all it takes is a good reason? What if I think racial profiling is a good reason? What if I think harassing hippies is a good reason? Or sexual harassment of women is a good reason? Who decides what "a good reason" is, and when it justifies action to "keep us safe?"

The People. Welcome to Democracy.
 

MA-Caver

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I too am against drinking and driving and against texting and driving and being on the damned phone while driving. However if my passengers wish to engage in such things then I've no qualms as long as it does not interfere with MY driving.
I've been Designated Driver (DD) several times and honestly I wouldn't have appreciated it if I got pulled over (today) just because an officer passing us or whatever saw my passengers drinking the last couple of beers from the party we were just at... I was not drinking... yet if I was doing something wrong or gave the officer reasonable cause to pull us over then I will have to submit to the DUI testing irregardless because I know that an officer cannot just take MY word for it "no officer I'm the designated driver..." The officer HAS to make sure. So that is okay, but why we got pulled over needs to be a legitimate reason, was I weaving too much? Over the speed limit tolerances (some states tolerate 5 mph and others tolerate 10 mph over) or whatever that is wrong that makes me a suspected potential hazard for others. I understand the officer is just doing their job.
I only ask that it be within reason and not just because he saw folks drinking in the backseat. ... HOWEVER... how do THEY know that I wasn't? They don't... so they HAVE to check it out. I've lost friends to DUI's (alcohol and drugs) so it's better to be safe than sorry. For those nay-saying this... think about the officer who might've suspected someone at first, then ehh, blew them off and then get called to an accident scene 1/2 hour later and finding it's the same car that they could've/should've pulled over, now tangled up with a family enroute home from vacation.

How about this... you want to drink... fine just don't do it in the car, wait to crack open that last beer when you get home. If you're driving or KNOW you're going to be drunk but still have to drive... find a DD and/or save a few bucks necessary to pay for a cab ride home! Live too far from the party? Crash out there... if you're at a bar then find a DD and learn the lesson of knowing "when to say when". It's that damned simple. It saves lives... your own and someone else's.
 

jetboatdeath

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There is nothing wrong with drinking and driving, I think some of you assume that "Drinking and driving" indicates intoxication and there for Driving under the influence, that is bad. But just because you had a beer on the way home from work like some do with a soda does not mean you are DUI. That is what they are talking about not DUI.
 
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