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Author Topic: NE2: Mind-Altering Substance Accountability Act of 2012 [Failed]  (Read 1112 times)
AverroŽs Nix
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« on: May 23, 2012, 04:05:04 pm »
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Mind-Altering Substance Accountability Act of 2012
1. Any person who chooses to use mind-altering substances such as marijuana, LSD, alcohol, psilocybin, salvia, MDMA, etc. is responsible for their actions while under the influence of said substances.

2. If a person under the influence of mind-altering substances causes the death of another Atlasian, they are to be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and sentenced according to standards set by the region in which the offense is committed.

3. If a person under the influence of mind-altering substances causes a vehicular accident that does not take the life of another Atlasian, but instead causes them severe injuries such as paralysis, coma or amputation, they are to be charged with Reckless Endangerment and sentenced according to standards set by the region in which the offense is committed.

4. If a person under the influence of mind-altering drugs is operating a motor vehicle and is pulled over by a law enforcement official, said law enforcement official reserves the right to test the offender for sobriety. If the offender is found to be impaired by any mind-altering substance, as outlined in Section 1, they are to be charged with Driving Under the Influence of a Mind Altering Substance and should be sentenced according to standards set by the region in which the offense is committed.

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« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 09:52:05 pm by AverroŽs Nix »Logged

AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 04:13:32 pm »
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Eliminate the fourth provision and I'll support this bill. But I won't vote for any legislation that calls for mandatory sobriety tests.
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AG Simfan
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 08:19:19 pm »
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Eliminate the fourth provision and I'll support this bill. But I won't vote for any legislation that calls for mandatory sobriety tests.

It's not mandatory, the term is "reserves the right" after being pulled over.
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Napoleon
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 08:28:23 pm »
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I stand firmly with Speaker Nix regarding Section 4. Also, it isn't good enough to have a list followed by etc. Be specific.
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AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 08:30:13 pm »
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It's not mandatory, the term is "reserves the right" after being pulled over.

i.e. the officer has the right to demand the test and a driver can't opt out .

Technically the law is worded so that only people under the influence of mind-altering drugs are subject to testing, but it's not clear what the consequences would be for demanding a test that reads negative.
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 09:12:04 pm »
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It's not mandatory, the term is "reserves the right" after being pulled over.

i.e. the officer has the right to demand the test and a driver can't opt out .

Technically the law is worded so that only people under the influence of mind-altering drugs are subject to testing, but it's not clear what the consequences would be for demanding a test that reads negative.

Realize I've used the language of the federal proposal. But doesn't refusal give the officer the right to arrest? This is already the law. But I could change the wording to "a person suspected of being..."

Governor, would you or the region have a comprehensive list of mind altering drugs?
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Napoleon
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 09:16:32 pm »
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Legal or illegal?
I don't have a list but mind altering substances could be anything from coffee to heroin.

I'm of the opinion that one should only be tested after having been caught committing a crime; you can't test someone and then decide to arrest them.
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AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 09:59:05 pm »
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Doesn't refusal give the officer the right to arrest? This is already the law.

Federal or regional?
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AG Simfan
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 10:06:49 pm »
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Legal or illegal?
I don't have a list but mind altering substances could be anything from coffee to heroin.

I'm of the opinion that one should only be tested after having been caught committing a crime; you can't test someone and then decide to arrest them.

But when it is not clear if an act is criminal or not? Is this not how things are conducted in the real world?

To me right now it sounds like you two want people under the influence to be allowed to go off scot free. You are free to elucidate my understanding of the situation.
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AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 10:11:38 pm »
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To me right now it sounds like you two want people under the influence to be allowed to go off scot free. You are free to elucidate my understanding of the situation.

You're correct about my opinion. Assuming that they have not committed some other crime, their activities shouldn't concern law enforcement.
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AG Simfan
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 10:14:52 pm »
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Is DUI not currently on the Northeast's books? Are you seriously suggesting there be no limit as to how much alcohol, for example, one can consume and still drive? Your stance would put thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.
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AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2012, 10:21:34 pm »
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Driving puts thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.

I am in favor of strict penalties for those at fault when irresponsible behavior on the road leads to fatalities, injuries, or damages to property.
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AG Simfan
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2012, 10:27:52 pm »
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Driving puts thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.

I am in favor of strict penalties for those at fault when irresponsible behavior on the road leads to fatalities, injuries, or damages to property.

Clearly we have a very different perspective on the matter. If the Governor and other members of the assembly echo your concerns, I will introduce an amendment to remove Article Four.
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Napoleon
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 10:30:27 pm »
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I suspect Speaker Nix and I will have the same position on anything related to this bill.
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 07:21:44 pm »
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To merely say that driving puts thousands of lives in danger every day is really not addressing the issue or the problem.  The issue is reducing risk to the public, in this case by the introduction of a mind-altering substance accountability act.

I am of the view that there should be meaningful consequences for driving while under the influence of mind-altering substances, as well as for driving while under the influence of alcohol.  But the alcohol issue is another matter.

In order for this legislation to be as effective as possible, clearly, law enforcement must have the authority and the ability to test the driver for the use of these substances, in much the same way as they would test for alcohol use.  However, this authority must be kept within the bounds as set by law, and the law must be reasonable and justified.

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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2012, 10:07:27 pm »
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Driving puts thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.

I am in favor of strict penalties for those at fault when irresponsible behavior on the road leads to fatalities, injuries, or damages to property.

But how does one determine if one is at fault without such techniques as field sobriety testing? I hope you don't mean enforcement of DUI laws is necessary only AFTER a fatality or injury has occurred?

I'm of the opinion that one should only be tested after having been caught committing a crime; you can't test someone and then decide to arrest them.

But if one fails field sobriety testing (done properly) is indicative of the driver having committed a crime. To say otherwise not only reduces DUI enforcemnt to post injury/death prosecution--much like only arresting someone for shooting a gun into a crowd of people only after he actually hits and kills/wounds someone, but takes away a reasonably scientific basis for protecting the non-impaired driver from arrest. "I know drunk when I see it, Your Honor, so I arrested him".
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AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2012, 10:52:52 pm »
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Driving puts thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.

I am in favor of strict penalties for those at fault when irresponsible behavior on the road leads to fatalities, injuries, or damages to property.

But how does one determine if one is at fault without such techniques as field sobriety testing? I hope you don't mean enforcement of DUI laws is necessary only AFTER a fatality or injury has occurred?

Short answer: I don't think that DUI laws should exist.

Crash investigators have other kinds of evidence from which to draw conclusions. Proving that a driver is at fault for a crash (or, going further, that a driver's egregiously irresponsible behavior led to a crash) does not require that investigators demonstrate that a driver was drugged at the time of an incident. Maybe the irresponsible driver wasn't drugged! Irresponsible driving comes in a wide variety of flavors of which driving under the influence is only one. I think that it's a mistake to demonize drugged drivers alone, or even especially. (Also worth noting: It's always possible that the drugged driver isn't at fault.)

The problem with drugged drivers isn't that they are drugged: It's that they're driving irresponsibly. That's the kind of behavior on which the law should focus.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 10:54:58 pm by AverroŽs Nix »Logged

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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2012, 11:02:34 pm »
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Also, firing a gun into a crowd of people involves a different level of risk than drunk driving. Please don't think that I'm suggesting that drunk driving isn't a morally unacceptable risk. I'm not. But the comparison is an absurd one if you have any goal beyond scaring people.
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2012, 11:16:36 pm »
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Driving puts thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.

I am in favor of strict penalties for those at fault when irresponsible behavior on the road leads to fatalities, injuries, or damages to property.

But how does one determine if one is at fault without such techniques as field sobriety testing? I hope you don't mean enforcement of DUI laws is necessary only AFTER a fatality or injury has occurred?

Short answer: I don't think that DUI laws should exist.

Crash investigators have other kinds of evidence from which to draw conclusions. Proving that a driver is at fault for a crash (or, going further, that a driver's egregiously irresponsible behavior led to a crash) does not require that investigators demonstrate that a driver was drugged at the time of an incident. Maybe the irresponsible driver wasn't drugged! Irresponsible driving comes in a wide variety of flavors of which driving under the influence is only one. I think that it's a mistake to demonize drugged drivers alone, or even especially. (Also worth noting: It's always possible that the drugged driver isn't at fault.)

The problem with drugged drivers isn't that they are drugged: It's that they're driving irresponsibly. That's the kind of behavior on which the law should focus.

Short answer: That is utterly and grossly irrespnsible.

You keep referring to "crash" fatality" injury" in the past tense. Do you not comprehend that DUI laws are sensably designed to avoid and deter such utter tragedies in the first place. Surely you are aware that driving under the influence VASTLY, almost immeasurably, increases the recklessness and "irresponsiblity" of driving?
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2012, 11:18:12 pm »
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Also, firing a gun into a crowd of people involves a different level of risk than drunk driving. Please don't think that I'm suggesting that drunk driving isn't a morally unacceptable risk. I'm not. But the comparison is an absurd one if you have any goal beyond scaring people.

Maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on how congested a crowd vs. how congested a highway involved.

Put another way, would you feel any safer being hit by a speeding car then a speeding bullet?
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Senator Alfred F. Jones
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« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2012, 05:31:50 am »
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Driving puts thousands of Northeasterners in mortal peril daily.

I am in favor of strict penalties for those at fault when irresponsible behavior on the road leads to fatalities, injuries, or damages to property.

But how does one determine if one is at fault without such techniques as field sobriety testing? I hope you don't mean enforcement of DUI laws is necessary only AFTER a fatality or injury has occurred?

Short answer: I don't think that DUI laws should exist.

Crash investigators have other kinds of evidence from which to draw conclusions. Proving that a driver is at fault for a crash (or, going further, that a driver's egregiously irresponsible behavior led to a crash) does not require that investigators demonstrate that a driver was drugged at the time of an incident. Maybe the irresponsible driver wasn't drugged! Irresponsible driving comes in a wide variety of flavors of which driving under the influence is only one. I think that it's a mistake to demonize drugged drivers alone, or even especially. (Also worth noting: It's always possible that the drugged driver isn't at fault.)

The problem with drugged drivers isn't that they are drugged: It's that they're driving irresponsibly. That's the kind of behavior on which the law should focus.
I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one, Nix. If you are under the influence of a mind-altering substance while driving, your mind will be altered in probably unsafe ways. It's pretty much a given.
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AverroŽs Nix
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« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2012, 06:27:04 am »
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Short answer: That is utterly and grossly irrespnsible.

You keep referring to "crash" fatality" injury" in the past tense. Do you not comprehend that DUI laws are sensably designed to avoid and deter such utter tragedies in the first place. Surely you are aware that driving under the influence VASTLY, almost immeasurably, increases the recklessness and "irresponsiblity" of driving?

We only disagree on the kind determent that will work best. (And if there's any empirical evidence that suggests that your strategy works better, I'm open to convincing.) I know that driving under the influence is dangerous, but I think that it's better for the law to focus on actual crashes rather than potential ones. Furthermore, irresponsible drivers of all stripes deserve the same kind of censure that's typically reserved only for drunk drivers.

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Put another way, would you feel any safer being hit by a speeding car then a speeding bullet?

That'd depend on whether I'm in a modern vehicle or not. But with some notable exceptions, drunk drivers are typically driving on almost-empty roads - which partly explains of why their crashes are often severe when they do happen.
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« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2012, 09:32:04 am »
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I am assuming that Rep. Winfield is of the same mind as I am due to his comments. Rep. Jones has made similar comments. I of course support it. I shall not amend to remove Article 4, as I believe this bill can pass in it's present state.
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Senator Alfred F. Jones
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« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2012, 06:57:38 pm »
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If you're sober, why not just prove it? It's better than killing someone in a car crash.
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Napoleon
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2012, 06:59:28 pm »
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If you're sober, why not just prove it? It's better than killing someone in a car crash.
Because numbers are quite arbitrary.
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