Politics

Why does MADD hate designated drivers & public transportation?

pO157.

Posted to Politics on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 11:11:42 PM EST (promoted by port1080). RSS.

Albuquerque, Generic western city and state capital of New Mexico, has a had a service since the Fall of 2010 wherein some guy would show up at your car and drive you and it home safely. This group, Street Guardian, charges a flat rate for pickup and then a per mile charge. Another charity, Safe Ride, also offers cab rides to and from home for people who plan on getting really loaded. Last Thanksgiving they had 400 customers for a free service weekend and police thanked them for reducing the number of DUIs from 33 to 13. Sounds win/win, right? The county thought so, and increased funding for the free charity by $20,000 (paid for by the DWI fund). The loudest opponents of this move? Not fiscal conservatives. Not taxi companies. That's right, anti-DWI groups like MADD and the DWI Resource Center.

"I have a big problem with that," said Linda Atkinson with the DWI Resource Center. "The victims we work with and the victims that MADD works with los their jobs, lose their homes. They lose everything and there's no pot of money that helps them." She wants the money from the DWI fund to be spent on education and law enforcement rather than on programs like these, which she admits have reduced drunk driving incidents.

Ms. Atkinson says the "offenders" picked up by designated drivers in a responsible fashion and taken to bars to celebrate legally should not be catered to. "I'm sure there are plenty of people that like getting a cab, picking them up and taking them to the bar, but is that really a gap? Is that a need? It's almost like we created an industry to help take care of these offenders and the victims be damned. And I think that is so wrong."

Her group maintains links to databases where DUI convictions can be publicly searched to see who has been in trouble with the law. She also encourages citizens to publicly "monitor" courtcases of DUI offenders, saying that when people from her group show up to watch cases dismissal or acquittal rates suddenly drop.

County Manager Tom Swisstack disagrees. "It's important that the county takes a proactive approach in helping to minimize any type of injury to any citizen. The goal here is to minimize accidents and people dying." He says these programs have prevented 6,000 people from getting on the road since they were started.

DUI cases can be extremely expensive, involving $20,000 in expenses. Much of that money is funneled into MADD, with courts often requiring people to donate money to groups like MADD to get out of their case.

Tags: edited by Port1080, written by pO157, drunk driving, MADD (all tags)

This story: 61 comments (3 from subqueue)
Post a Comment
1

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

joshv.

Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 11:59:38 PM EST

5.00 (astute, jaded, astute)

I try not to become cynical and jaded, but it seems to me that every cause, not matter how just and pure its beginnings, is eventually corrupted by money and power as it grows.  Eventually money and power become the sole object, the original cause trotted out only to garner sympathy and donations.  Witness Catholicism.

2

^ 1

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

Lou.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 12:19:47 AM EST

5.00 (astute, tooted, astute)

...or any organized religion for that matter.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

3

^ 1

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

T Slothrop.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 01:11:20 AM EST

4.60 (astute, drunk, astute)

I think you've illuminated the biggest reason for MADD's bizarre stance on this issue, but there is something else going on here, too. Groups like this, especially once they've been around for several years and aren't grabbing headlines literally every week, tend to be taken over by their most loony tunes fanatical adherents. I think it is extremely clear now that MADD's real agenda is a return to full-on prohibition of alcohol, not the prevention of drunk driving.

[I'm not that guy.]

7

^ 3

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

Lou.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:51:01 AM EST

5.00 (addicted, agreed)

They'll take my booze from me when they pry the bottle from my cold, DT shaking fingers.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

4

Um, hi

natophonic.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 01:39:27 AM EST

5.00 (pedantic)

Albuquerque is not the state capital of New Mexico.

5

^ 4

Re: Um, hi

Gaius Petronius.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:40:51 AM EST

5.00 (funny, recovering, funny)

Albuquerque is where the state capital woke up after the bender.

21

^ 4

Re: Um, hi

pO157.

Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:00:48 AM EST

5.00 (funny)

Here's the thing. If the mainstream media is allowed to run poorly edited stories without basic fact checking, then so am I. It's in the 14th amendment or something.

Can I have some of your cookies? Can I have some of your pie?

24

^ 21

rise of the new media

natophonic.

Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 02:16:45 AM EST

3.00 (rational)

Well, that's what the reader comments are for: to politely correct factual errors, and calmly and rationally offer alternative points of view to the topic at hand.

25

^ 24

Re: rise of the new media

pO157.

Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:08:52 AM EST

1.00 (agreeable)

I agree.

Can I have some of your cookies? Can I have some of your pie?

6

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

Gaius Petronius.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:46:28 AM EST

5.00 (prohibitive)

I see both sides. MADD is more of an anti-drinking group than an anti-DWI group. They are driven in many cases by their anguish over having a loved one injured or killed in a DWI incident. Giving drunks a lift home might seem like a slap in the face, when their child never did come home.

On the other hand, is there a shortage of regular taxicabs in Alb? What is the fare as compared to the flat rate the Guardians charge?  If you have enough judgement left after all those jell0 shots to call for a car, why not just call for a Yellow?

8

^ 6

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

buffalopete.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 04:48:02 AM EST

5.00 (coldhearted, astute)

I see both sides. MADD is more of an anti-drinking group than an anti-DWI group. They are driven in many cases by their anguish over having a loved one injured or killed in a DWI incident. Giving drunks a lift home might seem like a slap in the face, when their child never did come home.

I have no sympathy for that position whatsoever. Nobody's kid died because they got hit by a 75 mile an hour bottle of High Life. They died because they got hit by a car. They're not trying to outlaw cars.

On the other hand, is there a shortage of regular taxicabs in Alb? What is the fare as compared to the flat rate the Guardians charge?

This is different. They bring you and your car home.

Buffalo Pete: Raving batshit loony? Or HOPE FOR MAN???
(I may be that guy.)

9

^ 8

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

port1080.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 05:02:55 AM EST

5.00 (informative, beaten, violent)

Nobody's kid died because they got hit by a 75 mile an hour bottle of High Life.

Well, actually...

Allons-y!

15

^ 9

This Wednesday on CBS!

Lou.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:50:52 AM EST

5.00 (mapped)

CSI: Nevada County

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

10

^ 6

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

improper.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 05:35:26 AM EST

5.00 (planning)

It would be cool if they had a pre-paid car service so nobody gets ripped off by cab drivers.

12

^ 10

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

HidingFromGoro.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 06:54:02 AM EST

5.00 (gassy)

That's how we do at some clubs in AZ, there is a cover (waived for military & students) but you get a no-cover card which is good for the month, and they'll give you a free limo ride home if you're too drunk and come get you to pick up your car the next day- they'll even come pick you up beforehand if you call ahead too.  Lots of people were getting DUI's and pressure was put on to shut them down, so clubs just said fuck it we'll drive these drunks home ourselves.  Of course some people refuse and drive anyway, but the really drunk ones tend to get persuaded to take the free lift one way or another.

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

13

^ 12

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

improper.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 06:59:52 AM EST

5.00 (loquacious)

That's fuckin awesome.

16

^ 13

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

HidingFromGoro.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:08:30 AM EST

5.00 (explanatory)

Yeah that's basically harm-reduction in a nutshell and it definitely is awesome.  Same for the halfway houses where late-stage alcoholics are allowed to drink themselves to death.  In a sense it's a band-aid on a cancer patient, but you get to the point eventually were you have to just take it one offender at a time, as in the volunteer work I do (unrelated to alcohol or other substance abuse).

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

17

^ 16

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

buffalopete.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:27:27 AM EST

5.00 (impressed)

Wow. That article's just...wow. I did not know we had one of those in town. I did not know those existed. I'm not quite sure what to think about that. It's rare that I'm moved by a newspaper article.

Buffalo Pete: Raving batshit loony? Or HOPE FOR MAN???
(I may be that guy.)

19

^ 17

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

T Slothrop.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 09:02:45 AM EST

5.00 (beating)

If reading that doesn't move you at least a little, you'd better check your own pulse.

Damn...

[I'm not that guy.]

18

^ 16

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

tjb.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:49:39 AM EST

5.00 (winning)

Huh - I had no idea somebody actually set something like that up.  The dudes who are there get to go out on their terms, the way they want to live and die, and the rest of society is saving a lot of money.  I call it win/win.

22

^ 16

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

pO157.

Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:08:00 AM EST

none

That was the most depressing thing I've read all month. I hope you're happy.

Can I have some of your cookies? Can I have some of your pie?

11

^ 6

Re: Why does MADD hate designated drivers & pu

T Slothrop.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 06:43:52 AM EST

5.00 (pissed, astute)

While I have sympathy for their anguish I do not have sympathy for their transparent attempt to extend the war on some drugs to alcohol. We went there and did that 90 years ago, and the resultant social disaster severely damaged the credibility of government and law enforcement while ruining millions of lives.

No amount of personal anguish justifies creating chaos on a mass scale throughout a society.

[I'm not that guy.]

14

^ 6

'one of the good ones'

HidingFromGoro.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 07:14:55 AM EST

5.00 (loving, brilliant)

I've got no love for MADD- they take advantage of victims as much or more than offenders, and they lie about a lot of shit- but some MADD chapters actually believe in harm reduction and members will straight-up tell offenders "look I know you're going to drink, I drink too; it's all good but here's a couple cell phone numbers if you get drunk and need a no-questions, no-sermon, no-bullshit ride home."  Some of them charge, with the justification of "hey you can pay me $30 or you can pay the state another four grand for a DUI," but others don't.  I can respect that, people who say hey my loved one is never coming back and nothing is going to change that but I'm willing to sacrifice my time and gas money to make sure it doesn't happen to someone else.  I'm sure that doesn't apply to the majority of MADD members or their mission or whatever- like I said I got no love- but those people are out there.  You kind of get into the whole enabling thing- if someone knows they have a ride home then they're going to just go and get smashed- but if someone is an alcohol abuser then they're going to abuse, plain & simple, until they get help or worse.  There's just not much you can do about that- and I ought to know, I struggled with substance abuse for a long time and it cost me almost everything- but for the ride home, that's not the time to be worrying about enabling.  It's the time to be worrying about getting this guy home before he ruins two families- the guy he hit and his own family (because he'll have to deal with the consequences)- and when you do time you don't just do your time, you do everybody's time because everyone who loves you does time with you; and shit just ain't the same when you're done.

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

20

^ 14

Re: 'one of the good ones'

arromdee.

Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 04:16:18 PM EST

none

I'm reminded of the idea of giving needles to drug addicts to avoid the spread of AIDS.  That can be seen as enabling the addicts too.

23

^ 20

Re: 'one of the good ones'

natophonic.

Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 02:15:00 AM EST

none

Or letting kids test ecstasy pills themselves to see if they got more than they paid for.

26

^ 20

Re: 'one of the good ones'

pO157.

Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:28:47 AM EST

none

The thing about those programs is they actually could help the addicts in the long term. Lets say after 5 years of shooting up they decide to get their shit together and find a job, etc. It's easier to do if they are HIV- due to the needle donation policies than if they had full blown AIDS and were sick all the time.

Can I have some of your cookies? Can I have some of your pie?

27

^ 26

Re: 'one of the good ones'

HidingFromGoro.

Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:18:27 PM EST

none

You're forgetting the GOP talking point- founded in hardline predestinationist (i.e. Protestant) blasphemy- that addicts deserve AIDS for shooting up in the first place.  Good things happen to good people, bad things happen to bad people.  People get what they deserve.  The CEO deserves every penny he gets, the homeless man deserves everything he gets.  To suggest otherwise would be to suggest that there are flaws in the system, in the market, and that can't be- because just look at it: those who are most deserving have whatever they want, and those who are least deserving have their lot (and ought to be grateful for it).  You worked hard, you're white, you got good grades, nose-to-the-grindstone, no bastard kids, stayed out of trouble, right?  You're one of the good ones, so you're rich, obviously.  Right?

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

28

^ 27

Re: 'one of the good ones'

zyxwvutsr.

Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:04:46 PM EST

5.00 (funny)

It's true! It's true! A homeless derelict contributes just as much to society as a CEO!

33

^ 28

Don't dismiss the homeless

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 02:19:38 AM EST

5.00 (interesting)

They provide a very valuable service to society.  To wit:

-They provide examples of just how bad things can get so we'd better mind our Ps & Qs.

-They provide a source of charitable giving so we can feel superior about our position in life.

-If one doesn't make enough money to give to charity, they still provide a ready target for Schadenfreude.

-Think of all the money we're saving from closing the mental hospitals and reducing some veteran's benefits.

Sure, they might not be pillars of righteousness that are our heroic CEO's...but without them we might not feel as good about ourselves, nor would our cities be as interesting.  The homeless are a vital part of our vibrant urban tapestry.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

35

^ 33

Re: Don't dismiss the homeless

zyxwvutsr.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:09:36 AM EST

none

Think of all the money we're saving from closing the mental hospitals and reducing some veteran's benefits
I don't see how either of those items relate to homeless derelicts.

36

^ 35

Re: Don't dismiss the homeless

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:12:27 AM EST

none

Possibly because most homeless people tend to be mental disability and/or veterans.

38

^ 36

Re: Don't dismiss the homeless

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:25:18 AM EST

none

Being a veteran, you'd think he'd know that.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

39

^ 38

Re: Don't dismiss the homeless

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:36:42 AM EST

none

This kind of knowledge wasn't around during the Civil War.

41

^ 38

Re: Don't dismiss the homeless

zyxwvutsr.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:01:55 AM EST

none

Why would a veteran have any particular knowledge of homeless derelicts?

40

^ 36

Re: Don't dismiss the homeless

zyxwvutsr.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:01:16 AM EST

none

You could say most homeless tend to have mental illness and/or smoke cigarettes. But what has that got to do with tobacco?

29

^ 27

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Mon May 02, 2011 at 03:25:18 AM EST

none

those who are most deserving have whatever they want, and those who are least deserving have their lot (and ought to be grateful for it)

More or less, yes.  There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, you have to make some really bad choices to end up homeless and it is difficult to end up as the CEO without making a string of very good (and often bold) choices.

30

^ 29

Re: 'one of the good ones'

HidingFromGoro.

Mon May 02, 2011 at 12:54:30 PM EST

none

Then why aren't you wealthy?  Do you just not work hard enough or is there a drug problem you're not telling us about?

I got more styles than prison got bricks- ain't that some shit?

31

^ 30

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Mon May 02, 2011 at 01:07:47 PM EST

none

I do ok, but no, I don't work particularly hard - rarely more than 40ish hours a week.  And I do like the booze, but I try to keep it under control (sometimes more successfully, sometimes less so).

I don't really have the work ethic to be uber-rich, but that's fine, I'll settle for my upper middle class existence

32

^ 31

Re: 'one of the good ones'

improper.

Mon May 02, 2011 at 01:09:44 PM EST

4.00 (hopeful)

"I don't really have the work ethic to be uber-rich"

Or the narcissistic, egotistical "fuck everyone but me" mentality.

34

^ 29

Re: 'one of the good ones'

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 02:21:34 AM EST

5.00 (funny)

you have to make some really bad choices

Or unlucky...but that's a sign of god's disfavor so it's all good.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

37

^ 34

Re: 'one of the good ones'

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 05:15:21 AM EST

none

Like those people that made the bad choice of investing with Madoff.

42

^ 34

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:09:14 AM EST

none

Becoming a drug addict is not luck, its a choice.  Being mentally ill, well it may cause you to make bad choices, but they are still choices.  More reasonable laws about involuntary commitment and euthanasia would go a long way towards solving a lot of social ills in a humane manner.

43

^ 42

Re: 'one of the good ones'

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:26:44 AM EST

none

Being mentally ill is a choice now? LOL Drug addiction doesn't have to be a choice either, some people take a drug like cocaine and never have any addiction towards it while others are "predisposed" to addiction. Also, it's not necessarily the drug addiction that leads to homelessness, but rather the factors surrounding a person's life and the addiction. There's alot of function drug and alcohol addicts that aren't homeless and never will be homeless because they haven't been mandatory sentenced and have to pay outrageous fines because of drug laws. There's guys that I see who gotten multiple DWIs and yet still go on like nothing ever happened because they have cushy jobs and lives, while others get one DWI and it could severely fuck up their life, because now they can't get to work (no license), have to pay crazy fines, lost their job, can't get another job... etc.

44

^ 43

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:35:59 AM EST

none

Drug addiction doesn't have to be a choice either

If you never choose to partake in the drug, you'll never become an addict in the first place.  I guarantee it.

(BTW, I stay away from opiate painkillers for exactly this reason, even after surgeries and injuries)

Being mentally ill is a choice now?

Being mentally ill is not a choice in most cases, but the decisions made by the mentally ill are.  Their choices may not make sense to the neurotypical, but they are indeed choices.

45

^ 44

opiate of the masses

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:45:03 AM EST

none

I eschew opiates in all forms as well...but not because of addiction worries, but because I have kind of weird sensitivity to the stuff and I wind up projectile vomiting.  Even Tylenol 3 makes me feel like I'm having an epic hangover/migraine.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

46

^ 44

Re: 'one of the good ones'

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 06:58:56 AM EST

none

Have heard of crack babies?

Also, there are drugs, like the opiates you mentioned, where people have no idea that they could be addictive.

Being mentally ill is not a choice in most cases, but the decisions made by the mentally ill are.

I don't understand this logical.

47

^ 46

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 07:05:11 AM EST

none

Also, there are drugs, like the opiates you mentioned, where people have no idea that they could be addictive.

Do they live in a cave?

I don't understand this logical.

The mentally ill make choices.  The choice to devote yourself to the claim that the CIA & the aliens are building landing strips for gay martians outside of Des Moines may not be a particularly rational choice, but its certainly a choice (I swear to god, Stuart!).

48

^ 47

Re: 'one of the good ones'

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 07:10:22 AM EST

none

Well... I guess a cave might be considered a home.

The mentally ill make choices.  The choice to devote yourself to the claim that the CIA & the aliens are building landing strips for gay martians outside of Des Moines may not be a particularly rational choice, but its certainly a choice (I swear to god, Stuart!).

I don't know what the point is about talking about this. If it's not a rational choice in the sense that: "this is a good thing to do or a bad thing to do" vs "this is a thing to do", you can hardly say that they are responsible for their choices, especially pertaining to home ownership or general personal welfare. Stuff that we take for granted is extremely difficult for them.

49

^ 48

Re: 'one of the good ones'

ms sue.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 08:06:41 AM EST

none

I'm sort of surprised that neither you nor anyone else homed in on his solutions for such "choices":

More reasonable laws about involuntary commitment and euthanasia would go a long way towards solving a lot of social ills in a humane manner. (emphasis mine)

You can't make this stuff up.

50

^ 49

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 08:19:25 AM EST

none

You don't believe that people should have the option of assisted suicide and that perhaps counseling some desperate or terminally ill patients into such is the humane thing to do?  

Why is suffering so virtuous?

51

^ 50

Re: 'one of the good ones'

ms sue.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 09:28:43 AM EST

none

Huh? Your comment was regarding the mentally ill.

52

^ 51

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 09:43:11 AM EST

none

Yes, and the mentally ill should be allowed to make that decision as well (and many of them might do so to escape their demons)

54

^ 52

Re: 'one of the good ones'

ms sue.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 10:06:43 AM EST

none

But "Being mentally ill, well it may cause you to make bad choices..."

55

^ 54

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 10:07:18 AM EST

none

That is true.  That doesn't meant he choices are invalid.

56

^ 55

Re: 'one of the good ones'

ms sue.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 10:52:28 AM EST

none

If they're "bad," what does it make them?

57

^ 56

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 11:14:37 AM EST

none

Valid, bad choices?

58

^ 57

Re: 'one of the good ones'

improper.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 12:13:57 PM EST

none

What would be an example of an invalid, bad choice?

59

^ 58

Re: 'one of the good ones'

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 12:41:07 PM EST

5.00 (terrible, poetic)

What would be an example of an invalid, bad choice?

A blind and deaf paraplegic considers taking his own life because he feels he is a drain on society.  As he's about to take his own life, the scent of lilac wafts through the window and decides to live after all.

That's an invalid bad choice.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

60

^ 58

Re: 'one of the good ones'

tjb.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 12:44:35 PM EST

5.00 (astute, interesting)

That's a very good question.  I would say a choice that was influenced by external threat or intimidation would be invalid.  Any choice freely chosen would be valid.

61

^ 60

Re: 'one of the good ones'

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 01:54:48 PM EST

1.00 (wrong)

So, what if we're talking about mental illness here?  Have you ever encountered a person with mental retardation or mental illness?  I would argue that the threat or intimidation comes from more the internal than external.  It doesn't matter if the bad instructions come from some external entity, or from within one's own brain....it's still a threat/intimidation.  But it's all moot, right?  Since those folks should be euthanized to reduce their suffering.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

53

^ 49

Re: 'one of the good ones'

Lou.

Tue May 03, 2011 at 09:52:57 AM EST

none

I saw it...I just couldn't find the words.  He'll probably try to wrap it up in words of "ending suffering", but what it really means is that the handicapped person isn't contributing to society and therefore is a drain on his wallet.  Since this non-contributing person is reducing his enjoyment of life, the moocher should be immediately euthanized.

I guess I found the words.

You just want to cut a fucking tomato and get on with your day

This story: 61 comments (3 from subqueue)
Post a Comment