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  • restricting alcohol sales to dui offenders

    It occurred to me the other day that the existing alcoholic beverage control laws (at least in California) could be modified to deny sales of alcoholic beverages to DUI offenders in the same way that they are denied to those under the legal drinking age. I brought this idea up to various people I know, and even wrote an opinion piece for the local paper, but most of the feedback I have received (so far) has been skeptical. I am very curious as to what members of the law enforcement community think about this.

    Here is the link to my opinion piece...

    http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/...b4e32b735.html

    It seems to me that expecting bars, restaurants, and liquor stores to card everyone is not such a big deal, but this seems to be the area of greatest push back. Many bars I have been to card everyone at the door, and when I attend concerts or other large gatherings, there is often a carding station that provides wrist bracelets or hand stamps to indicate that a person is able to buy alcohol.

    My local law enforcement department has been conducting sting operations with minor decoys to ensure that local liquor establishments do not sell to minors, and they also conduct 'shoulder tap' operations. It seems to me that they could use these types of operations to target those selling to DUI offenders just as easily (I would think DUI offenders would participate in sting operations to get leniancy).

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    It's impractical. How are the stores going to know who has been convicted of DUI? It would be too time-consuming for clerks to look up every customer in a database. And it won't stop shoulder-tapping. Alcoholics will still get their drink, one way or another.

    The more effective method is for judges to add alcohol terms to repeat offender's probation. They are prohibited from consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages, and from being in any place where alcoholic beverages are the chief item of sale. A search clause really helps enforce that. Get caught with a beer in the fridge and it's right back to jail.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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    • #3
      ateamer,

      The way I see it, the clerks would not be responsible for looking anyone up. Basically, the court would confiscate any existing drivers license or ID card of an offender, and notifiy the DMV that an alcohol restriction has been placed, and for what period of time. Then when the offender gets a replacement card, it would say 'Alcohol Restriction' right on the card. All a clerk would have to do is card each person, and verify that the person is over 21, and that the card doesnt say Alcohol Restricted.

      I also think that having this printed right on the ID card would help law enforcement officers when they pull someone over, who has an alcohol restricted license, any search clause would be easily identifiable, and I think a lower blood alcohol content would be needed for a subsequent DUI conviction for someone who is restricted (.05 or .01 -- not sure what the law currently says for minors)

      I definitely agree that this would not STOP alcoholics from getting their alcohol, anymore than it currently does to minors.

      Also, I recognize that military and out of state ID's would not be affected by this process, but I think that they would not necessarily need to be for this to be effective.
      Last edited by FreeAmerican; 11-03-2009, 02:09 PM. Reason: add content

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      • #4
        Can you imagine waiting at the liquor store to clear the background check to buy alcohol? Can you imagine filling out a form at a bar to purchase a beverage? Can you imagine how much the price of alcohol would increase to pay for the administrative side to this law?

        I do appreciate you efforts to reduce DUI, however.

        You never know, the Democrats in California might love this law.
        I have the heart of a child..................................No really, it is in a jar on my desk.

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        • #5
          A noble if not novel idea for sure but to add another layer of beauracy and/or government intervention in everyone's daily lives usually creates more problems than it solves. Has had little impact with firearms on the streets. Will have just as little if not less with alcohol.

          Virginia in effect already has such a prohibition in place for repeat alcohol offenders/abusers. They are restricted from purchasing any alcohol. Violation of which is a Class One misdemeanor (up to one year in jail).

          § 4.1-333. Interdiction of intoxicated driver or habitual drunkard.

          A. When after a hearing upon due notice it appears to the satisfaction of the circuit court of any county or city that any person, residing within such county or city, has been convicted of driving any automobile, truck, motorcycle, engine or train while intoxicated or has shown himself to be an habitual drunkard, the court may enter an order of interdiction prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages to such person until further ordered. The court entering any such order shall file a copy of the order with the Board.

          B. The court entering any order of interdiction may alter, amend or cancel such order as it deems proper. A copy of any alteration, amendment or cancellation shall be filed with the Board.

          (Code 1950, § 4-51; 1956, c. 53; 1982, c. 66; 1993, c. 866.)
          I do applaud your efforts but doubt there is one single magic bullet that will effectively address the DUI issue other than more stricter enforcement by LE. Not the clerk at the local 7-11.
          sigpic
          Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
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          • #6
            PRESSHRD5COPIES,

            Originally posted by PRESSHRD5COPIES View Post
            Can you imagine waiting at the liquor store to clear the background check to buy alcohol? Can you imagine filling out a form at a bar to purchase a beverage? Can you imagine how much the price of alcohol would increase to pay for the administrative side to this law?
            None of these things would be necessary. All the law would do is add DUI offenders to the same legal class as minors with respect to buying alcohol.

            People buying alcohol WOULD HAVE TO SHOW ID, and sellers would not have to do anything other than CHECK ID. The offender's ID would state that they are alcohol restricted.

            Any administrative costs would be court/DMV related and would be paid by each DUI offender (such as when they obtain their replacement ID). I don't see how the courts/DMV could incur any costs greater than they currently do when a DUI offender's license is suspended...

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            • #7
              In Florida people on probation for DUI are not allowed to consume or possess alcohol, but it's too impractical to make it impossible to sale to them.

              Comment


              • #8
                You can't keep alcohol out of the hands of underage people, how do you think you're going to keep it away from someone who is 21 or over?

                Comment


                • #9
                  In Georgia 2nd DUI will get your picture in the newspaper. We also have Habitual Violator tags/license.

                  I am typical for small government but in the case of a drunk driver who doesn't care about others. After the third offense I would support a X year ban on selling him alcohol. His ID card could be stamped HV ( i think they are already).

                  I'd also like to see a reflective 4" decal on a vehicle be required front and back window - on drivers with multiple DUI's.
                  Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

                  nom de plume

                  This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FreeAmerican View Post
                    Then when the offender gets a replacement card, it would say 'Alcohol Restriction' right on the card.
                    Sort of a selective prohibition?

                    It is not illegal to consume alcohol, even in large quantities. If a person is on probation/parole for DUI, and a condition or probation/parole is no alcohol, then I would have no problem with the idea.

                    But once the sentence is completed, the person should be free to drink all he wants.
                    You can now follow me on twitter.

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                    • #11
                      KapsFB,

                      Thank you for the information on the Virginia interdiction law (that looks like something worth researching a bit).

                      I definitely agree that there is no silver bullet to the DUI problem, and this certainly would not fit that bill.

                      StudChris,

                      Likewise, thank you for the info on the Florida law. I will research this one as well. Do you know off-hand if they provide a new ID to the offenders that indicates they cannot purchase alcohol? Also, do you know if it is illegal to sell to such people in Florida?

                      just joe,

                      Originally posted by just joe View Post
                      You can't keep alcohol out of the hands of underage people, how do you think you're going to keep it away from someone who is 21 or over?
                      I agree that there is no way to absolutely prevent people from buying alcohol. Your question is particularly troubling to my position because I am relying on the legitimacy and quality of the existing ABC laws, which are supposed to prevent people under the age of 21 from purchasing and consuming alcohol (which are similar in every state as far as I am aware.) My position absolutely relies on the assumption that the existing laws are both appropriate and useful. Although they are not 100% effective, I believe that our society has found them to be both, if for no other reason than they provide law enforcement officials with tools that can be used when under age drinking creates a problem. In other words, I think that underage drinking pretty much slides until police officers feel the need to take action, at which time the law becomes a tool for the officer to keep order.

                      ryker,

                      Originally posted by ryker View Post
                      I am typical for small government but in the case of a drunk driver who doesn't care about others. After the third offense I would support a X year ban on selling him alcohol. His ID card could be stamped HV ( i think they are already).
                      I just had to copy that because that is exactly how I feel, as well.

                      SlowDownThere,

                      Originally posted by SlowDownThere View Post
                      Sort of a selective prohibition?

                      It is not illegal to consume alcohol, even in large quantities. If a person is on probation/parole for DUI, and a condition or probation/parole is no alcohol, then I would have no problem with the idea.

                      But once the sentence is completed, the person should be free to drink all he wants.
                      I definitely see this alcohol restriction as a temporary condition, based on the number of DUI’s a person has had, such as 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, etc. It might even be more effective if the alcohol restriction was a voluntary way of keeping the driving privilege intact. Perhaps the court could ask each offender if they prefer to keep driving or drinking… but they can’t do both (for a period of time)?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FreeAmerican View Post
                        PRESSHRD5COPIES,



                        None of these things would be necessary. All the law would do is add DUI offenders to the same legal class as minors with respect to buying alcohol.

                        People buying alcohol WOULD HAVE TO SHOW ID, and sellers would not have to do anything other than CHECK ID. The offender's ID would state that they are alcohol restricted.

                        Any administrative costs would be court/DMV related and would be paid by each DUI offender (such as when they obtain their replacement ID). I don't see how the courts/DMV could incur any costs greater than they currently do when a DUI offender's license is suspended...
                        You assume that DUI offenders don't possess a driver's license. If the DUI driver didn't have a driver's license in his possession (for the officer to take) on the night of his arrest, then the officer can't take it away. He will later have a driver's license revocation but he may still have his original driver's license in his possession. I stop people all the time that give me a driver's license but they have an alcohol related revocation.
                        In short, possession of a driver's original license is not a guarantee of a valid drivers license.
                        Last edited by PRESSHRD5COPIES; 11-03-2009, 05:13 PM.
                        I have the heart of a child..................................No really, it is in a jar on my desk.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PRESSHRD5COPIES View Post
                          You assume that DUI offenders don't possess a driver's license. If the DUI driver didn't have a driver's license in his possession (for the officer to take) on the night of his arrest, then the officer can't take it away. He will later have a driver's license revocation but he may still have his original driver's license in his possession. I stop people all the time that give me a driver's license but they have an alcohol related revocation.
                          In short, possession of a driver's original license is not a guarantee of a valid drivers license.
                          That is a good point. In fact, I just renewed my license and now have the old one sitting at home (as I am sure many people do). Even though it is expired, I am sure I could use it to buy alcohol without too much hassle. I can also see that even though people should be able to produce a license when arrested for DUI, it doesn't always work out that way. Even if the law says they must, there is not much that can be done to make a knucklehead cough up their license. I suppose this is one of those 'looks good on paper' ideas, but because 'the devil is in the details', it may be unworkable in reality.

                          Thanks for the feedback!

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                          • #14
                            OK, so lets say there is law in effect that makes ALL people show ID to buy alcohol....DUI offenders will now get their friends, significant others, etc to buy for them

                            AND...its not illegal to be a DUI offender AND drink.....just when you drink and drive....I know a LOT of DUI offenders who walk everywhere and yes, even to the liquor store...These are the hardcore alcoholics, not the college kid who has 1 DUI under his belt, though.

                            Its a great concept, but it wouldnt work...just like the breathalyzer ignition interlock devices....I, again, know lots of alcoholics who just drive their girlfriends cars or buy old junkers cheaply and drive them, all while their ignition interlock car sits in the driveway.

                            Something like this will get so much flack from privacy acivists....If I look like I am in my 60's, then why would you ID me to buy alcohol?
                            If I am walking, then why would you care if I have had a DUI conviction?

                            Dont misunderstand me...I HATE alcoholics..they are disgusting and have no regard for their family or themselves, but it just wouldnt work
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                            • #15
                              I think its a novel idea but see many flaws (as others have pointed out).

                              It is a against the law to consume alcohol (over limit) and then operate a motor vehicle. You can do one or the other, but not both. So, even if someone gets a DUI but sells their car and is no longer driving, does this mean they can no longer buy alcohol?

                              I'd be more inclinded to have alcohol restrictions as part of a probation. Guy is convicted of DUI, then the judge can order no alcohol as part of the probation. Then let probation urine/blood test to make sure people are following their probation. If the are dirty, then violate them.

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