Blood Alcohol BS

July 8, 2008 / 8:45 am • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

So a woman is stopped, harassed by a vindictive cop, and gets thrown in the poky. Her blood alcohol? 0.0

Back in the day, a classmate got stopped for erratic driving. The police were convinced he was drunk. He was not. He was in the middle of a blood sugar crisis, blowing ketones and went into a coma on the spot. Rather than take him to the hospital, the police decided to teach the privileged student a lesson by taking a comatose young man to the local jail and try to book him. He didn’t sober up. Finally, they realized something was wrong. Too late. He did come out of the coma and he was brain damaged.

Now, that’s a relatively rare situation. What is not so rare is police misusing authority. (I’m sorry to all the good cops out there, and I am friends with some.) But dang, between police and prosecutors and ticky-tack laws that make everyone criminals, average people receive persecution at the hands of those who are to help. Meanwhile, real criminals operate with impunity. It’s a pain in the ass doing the work to interfere with a robbery in progress. Easy pickins going after speeding motorists and people who don’t wear seat belts and purportedly drunk drivers.

So here comes my libertarian streak: avoid jail if you’re coming home after a good time. Follow this guy’s advice. Obviously, I don’t believe in driving drunk. Period. Still, a person doesn’t have to drink anything to be out of compliance with laws and I don’t put someone coming home from dinner or even the bar in the same category as a completely blitzed sot. And yet, they’ll both get treated the same way before the law.