mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mothers agains Drunk Driving - and everything else...

This is one of those stories I meant to blog about a while ago but didn't get around to. Via NRO's The Corner comes a story aboutparents sentenced to jail for 8 years for buying alcohol for their kids. They threw a party for their 16-year old kid where there was drinking - but they also confiscated the kids keys when they walked in the door so they wouldn't drive drunk.

The sentence was reduced to 27 months - still way to long. And what was interesting was that when the 8 years were announced, MADD had this to say:

Charlottesville Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) president Jill Ingram was surprised by the jail sentence— pleasantly surprised. "I'm not necessarily opposed to a judge trying to send a message that parents shouldn't supply other people's kids with alcohol. I applaud what [Judge Johnson] is trying to do .

But what the kid's parents were trying to do was reduce drunk driving by making sure that if their kids were drinking, that they weren't driving. Their methods were questionable, but that doesn't seem like something that should be punished, at least not if the goal of MADD were really to reduce drunk driving and not totally ban alcohol.

Speeding and underage drinking have a strange role in our society - they are pretty much the only two crimes that most people commit at some point in their lives, which would seem to suggest that they are laws that people don't agree with. But few people are willing to speak up against the stupidity of these laws, because of the social stigma with being for underage drinking or speeding that has been created by the safety lobby and the MADD lobby.

When I was in high school (class of '98), we got a keychain with a quarter in it from SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) when we turned 17 (the legal driving age in NJ). The idea was that if we went to a party or whatever and were too drunk to drive back, we could use the quarter to call for a ride. I wonder if they still do this, or if that's too pro-drinking - even though it does provide a good way to address the real problem, which is drinking and driving (or more specifically, drinking too much and driving), not underage drinking itself.


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