Wednesday, June 14, 2006

 

DUI or DWI

I apologize ahead of time for anyone who is offended by this posting.

I disagree with the current legislation and enforcement of DUI and DWI laws. Additionally, I disagree with the laws currently regulating the governmental monopoly of illegal drugs involving 'intent', i.e. intent to sell, distribute, or transport.

My problem with these laws and their enforcement is that they are based on the potentiality for criminal action, rather than the act itself. Personally, I find this to be problematic. The Utilitarians can easily legitimize this intervention because of the possible deterence of criminal acts and loss of life and injury. However, that viewpoint, when taken to its logical conclusion is very limiting to individual liberty and freedom. Just about anything could be pursued for the "greater good". To me, this is just not good enough.

If there is no loss to life, liberty, or property, then why is it criminal? Why should it be considered criminal? What's the justification?

I got to thinking about this after reading this article today.

Comments:
Well, even if there were loss of life liberty or property, that doesn't mean the action should be punishable. What about the "criminal"'s "rights"?

Both natural rights arguments and utilitarian arguments can lead you to conclusions you wouldn't want to live with.
 
What are a criminal's enumerated negative rights?
I own property, so no one else has a right to my property.
A criminal stole my property, but he didn't have a right to it protected by law, so anyone can take it from him. No one else knows that it isn't his, so I will take it back from him.

An action should be considered criminal only if there is a victim, I agree with Chris.
After 4 years in athletics at a major university one would reasonably assume that a young man would have a rather high level of alcohol tolerance. If his blood alcohol content happens to be .03% higher than an arbitrarily set standard, does that mean he is a threat to himself or society? I think not. (Full disclosure - I am a Duke fan.) Whom has he hurt? What property has been damaged? What contracts were broken?
Nathan
In other news, Craigslist has a JJ Redick jersey for sale, cheap!

Also, GW Bush is against Baghdadians 2nd amendment rights... funny how the Bill of Rights stops at the border.
 
In practicality, I suppose that Common Law is supposed to clarify all of these sort of issues over time. If I was a lawyer, then perhaps I might be able to give a little more.
 
I thought about this post when I saw the "To Catch a Predator" show on MSNBC about older guys who try to solicit sex from 13 year olds online, then go to the house where they think the 13 year old is, and run into the reporter. Turns out the 13 year old was more like 30 and works for a sexual predator prevention organization.

On the way out, after having been lectured by the reporter, they are arrested on the spot.

I just thought this fit right in with the whole "criminal intent" argument. Should they be arrested or not, according to your different philosophies?
 
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