Gove'nor Bush and DUI Laws : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

On October 10 a 31 yo woman was killed in Morgantown WV by a Texan. Oh, turns out he had THREE DUI violations in Texas. Here in WV that would be a felony charge.

However the state of Texas did not see fit, after the three DUIs, to revoke his CDL (commercial driver's license) so he was driving a drilling rig at 9:45 AM and lost control and killed a young woman. Did I mention he was drunk at the time? He has been appropriately charged but is out on bond. That makes his forth offense and he now faces charges for the death of this woman, who was sitting at a traffic light at the time.

Why hasn't Bush done anything about such antiquated laws? Is it true that you can drive in Texas with an open container (beer can) as long as you aren't driving under the influence?

We are all very angry here in WV. Just wanted to vent a little.

-- Anne (, October 13, 2000


One could ask, why didn't Democrat Ann Richards do something during her tenure as Texas governor?

-- Steve in TN (, October 13, 2000.

It was not legal to drive and drink when I finally left Texas for the West Coast back in 1968. But when I went back to visit an old high school buddy, I got quite a shock. He had picked me up in his car, given me the required beer (yes, it's ungodly hot in Dallas in August, and humid. The beer helped). As we cruised along towards his house, I told him "watch it - there's a cop". He stuck his friggin ARM out the car window, and TOASTED the cop!

I about died. He informed me that it was now legal to drink and drive in Texas.

On some levels, it makes sense. I occassionally have a beer on the way home from town. One beer. Big deal. But I realize that, with some folks, one beer leads to ten beers. So I'm not going to freak out one way or the other.

What do you guys think about this law?


-- jumpoffjoe (, October 13, 2000.

Oh my my in our state the DUI laws are tough! The limit for alcohol is 0.08...I think that's the equivalent of 2 drinks for a person 150 lb...not quite sure, but you don't have to hardly be buzzed to be busted. There is NO joking about it. Folks actually use designated in your party won't drink and will be responsible for the driving if everyone wants to drink a bit (or actually, I suppose a lot, more!)Makes sense to me.

-- sheepish (, October 13, 2000.

Here in NC we just passed a law making it illegal to have an open alchohol container in the car, even in the backseat - ie no one, passengers or otherwise, can have any such beverage in a moving vehicle. Serious fines. We also have a "Booze it and Lose it" campaign that (theoretically) allows officers to impound and keep any vehicle belonging to someone who is driving it while intoxicated. The vehicles are donated to schools, who sell them for funds. There are provisions for dual owners and hardship (the only car in a two-job family, etc). So far, the law is rarely inforced because of appeals, etc. But it's a good idea IMHO.

-- Soni (, October 13, 2000.

Hi Anne, People that illegally drink and drive are right up there with child abusers in my opinion, honest to God, I believe that alcohol kills more people in this country than guns and other type drugs (I consider alcohol a should be controlled substance that should be a lot more restricted) combined! If you want to drink at home, fine, you get behind the wheel under the influence, then I believe you are now the equivalent of carrying a loaded weapon and are pointing it at people with your finger on the trigger. Four people in my immediate family have lost their lives directly due to alcohol, and they were not what most label as alcoholics. I don't believe it should be outlawed, prohibition doesn't work, but, I do think people should be 100% responsible for their actions, you kill someone under the influence, that's murder, no parole, no plea bargain crap! You hurt someone while under the influence, full restitution made to the victim, and charged same as assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. If all judges thought this way, drunk driving would be down by 90% or more. I'm a Libertarian and some might think I shouldn't feel this way, but Libertarianism preaches personal responsibilty and equal consequences for all that break the law, no plea bargains, deals cut or immunity from prosecution. Make a change, vote Libertarian in November. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, October 13, 2000.

My turn to vent...Another remark of dispargement??? One against whom? Governor Bush nor Governor Richards make laws.. Correct me please - Governors only enforce laws made by state representatives and state senators who are chosen by the people of their state..No, I am not a Texan.

-- James (, October 13, 2000.

This is a very sore subject in my family. We've had three members killed and two left with permant disabilities because of drunk drivers. This is from two seperate accidents. My uncle and cousin were killed by a man that had been stopped earlier in the day because of drunk driving and driving with an open container. The prosecutor wasn't going to try the case but my uncle had a friend in the police force who wouldn't give up. Then the judge only gave the guy time served, which was a year in the hospital because he'd injured his leg and needed rehabilitation. So the state paid for that as well. It seems that the judge and the prosecutor both had drunk driving records. Now this was in the early 1970's and since then, California really changed their laws. But it was because of abuses of their powers that forced the law makers to finally face the problem. A local college student here, in Utah, contracted with some of the business men, to drive their customers home when they were too drunk. The local authorities and juries really hit the owners in the pocket for allowing patrons to leave drunk. The business owners are very glad to call this student and have him drive the drunks home. I thought it was very enterprising of him. If someone is going to drink, they should hand over their keys and make other arrangments first. And those on prescription drugs should do the same, if the drugs effect them.

-- Cheryl Cox (, October 13, 2000.

I live in Texas, and no, I do not drink and drive. I know several local people who've had lovely vacations at Texas premier penal colony, Huntsville, working on the "farm", because of DWI and DUI's. One infamous doofus, loved it so much, he made a return trip. He simply could not refrain from getting falling down drunk after each paycheck, and driving to thirty miles to the liquor store to buy more. Our county is "Dry", no liquor drunks drive through our county to the "Wet" county. The doofus is out now, still falling down drunk at every opportunity, but doesn't drive.

Point is, you can have all the laws in the world...ain't gonna stop people from doing wrong. Take away their license, they'll still drive. Put em jail, fine, when they get out, their gonna start over. Something to the old saw 'you can't legislate morality'.

I know family members who perished because of drunk drivers. I'm afraid I'm a little bit draconian on what I'd do to drunks that drive, and thank goodness I'm not in charge of their sentences.

-- phil briggs (, October 14, 2000.

No, governors don't make laws......They just take credit for every 'good' (popular) law that is passed. I say if a politician is willing to take credit for one side of the coin, they get stuck with the other.

-- Anne (, October 14, 2000.

It is legal to drive in Texas with an open container. The legal blood alcohol level is 0.08. The man driving the truck should have already been in prison for having that many violations. First strike, jail time and fine. Second strike, prison. Third strike, more prison. Fourth strike, I think is 20 years. It is the fault of the local authorities where he was ticketed before that he did not go to prison. The laws are on the books. They just are not evenly enforced.

-- Green (, October 14, 2000.

I have worked for the Department of Public Safety in Texas. It is NOT legal to drink and drive in Texas or even drive with an open container. The story about the guy "toasting the cop" above is either fabricated or about a fool. Second DUI offense in Texas is a felony. First offense is a felony if the driver refuses a breath test. "Bush" can't do anything about laws. Legislators make laws and cops enforce them and lawyers get around them. Governors to not make or enforce laws.

-- Joe Cole (, October 19, 2000.

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