So, I read this morning that Justin Bieber was arrested in Florida for driving under the influence, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to send a message both to Justin’s fans, and to my fellow libertarians.
If Justin hasn’t been release by the time you watch this video, I’m sure he will be soon, but I’m still calling on the State of Florida to free Justin Bieber, because his problems have only just begun.
When a person is arrested for DUI, it begins a lengthy and expensive court battle, that destroys many of its victims. Most of us do not have the financial resources that Justin has, and the lawyers fees alone can cost thousands of dollars, often enough to bankrupt the average middle class citizen.
They repeatedly, over the course of months and even years, have to take the day off of work to go to court, and when they do, they have to take a cab or find someone to drive them because their drivers licenses are suspended, and in many cases, their vehicles are seized.
This process continues for months and even years, and during that entire time, the accused is treated as if they were found guilty, long before they are ever convicted of this so called crime. This happens to more than 1.4 million people every year, in the United States alone.
Now, for sure, government, media, and institutions like Mothers Against Drunk Driving have told us time and time again that drunk driving is a dangerous crime, and attribute tens of thousands of deaths to this behavior, but the truth of the matter is, more than two thirds of these “victims” are completely fabricated.
According to the NHTSA something like 14,000 people die each year from drunk driving related accidents. The thing that they do not tell you is that they have no evidence of that whatsoever in more than two thirds of those cases. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration assumes that drunk driving fatalities are actually under reported, despite the fact that they are constantly on the front page of local newspapers all over the country. So they use an equation they call multiple imputation to manufacture these statistics. Based on the time of the accident, the age and sex of the driver, the type of vehicle involved in the crash, and numerous other factors that have nothing to do with intoxication, the NHTSA enters non-alcohol related accidents into the Fatal Accident Reporting System, ironically acronymed as FARS, or FARSE, as a drunk driving fatality.
So for example, the NHTSA assumes that an accident at 3am is more likely to be a DUI than an accident at 3pm, an accident in a pickup truck or motorcycle, is more likely to be a DUI than an accident in a sedan or minivan, a male, more likely than a female, a person in their 20’s more likely than a person in their 40’s. So if a 25 year old man wrecks his motorcycle in the middle of the night, this is considered a DUI death, even if there is a blood test proving that no alcohol was present in his bloodstream.
So the real number is really closer to 4500 than 14,000, and surely, that’s still a cause for concern, except that when we take into consideration the fact that speeding, talking on cell phones, texting, and many others behaviors that society does not punish as a crime, actually cause far more death and destruction than drinking and driving. So why is drinking and driving punished more harshly than other behaviors that are far more destructive?
Because drinking and driving is an extension of the war on drugs. Alcohol is popular, it is easy to make, powerful people and politicians enjoy drinking it, and this makes it very difficult to ban as was painfully evident during prohibition. So instead of banning alcohol itself, people who drink are persecuted under the law. Driving, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, noise complaints, you name it.
And the fact of the matter is, it’s not even possible to to prove intoxication under the law.
The way intoxication is presently determined under the law is through the officer’s observation, Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, also known as SFST’s, and chemical tests, usually done by breath.
The standardized field sobriety tests have changed over the years, once upon a time, we used to see videos of people touching their nose with their fingers, reciting the alphabet, standing with their arms out, and other ridiculous stunts on the sides of our highways, but those tests were proven to be bogus by the NHTSA.
The NHTSA set out to find field tests that were more efficient, and created a new battery of 3 tests which are now used today.
The One Leg Stand test, or OLS
The Walk and Turn test, or WAT
and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, or HGN
According to the NHTSA’s own documents, these tests were developed to test for blood alcohol concentration levels of .10 or higher, but when the federal BAC limit was changed to .08, they acknowledged that it would work just as well for .08, and in their own documents, they say it will discriminate all the way down to .04, half the legal limit.
If the SFST’s will show a person as drunk at .04, and the BAC limit is .08 or .10, that means that millions of innocent people are failing these tests and being charged with drunk driving, even though they are sober.
Even at .04, the NHTSA acknowledges that any one of these tests only determines the presence of alcohol with 65% accuracy, which is just a little bit better than a coin toss, and if all three are failed, they say it is 80% accurate. But if 1.4 million people a year are arrested for DUI, and 20% of your evidence is faulty, that means that you have wrongly arrested 280,000 people, and will continue to do so every year for as long as these laws exist.
The breath alcohol test is another piece of faulty evidence. In fact, the warranty on the Intoxilizer 5,000, the most commonly used evidentiary breath tester in America, says quote “There are no warranties expressed or implied, including but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose”.
The manufacturer of the Intoxilizer 5,000 is a company known as CMI inc, they have contracts with nearly every law enforcement agency in America, and they do not guarantee their product to determine blood alcohol concentration, yet they make millions selling this device that judges more than 1.4 million people every year.
The Intoxilizer is a computer system, it has a program that it runs that determines guilt or innocence. The source code to that program is a secret, nobody has access to the original code of the program, not even a DWI defendant. So he cannot confront his accuser in court, because his accuser is a computer program, and the program is a secret.
When one similar device was examined by computer programmers, they found numerous errors in the program, and the evidence was allowed to stand anyway.
The source code is very important, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is, the computer has to do a lot of math to determine BAC. The sample chamber in the breath tester is about the size of a paper towel roll, your lungs hold less than 2 liters of air, but the intoxilizer is attempting to determine how much alcohol is in a 55 gallon drum. It takes what it believes to be alcohol in a minute sample of breath, and multiplies it thousands of times, so the slightest mistake in that initial reading, is going to be drastically blown out of proportion by the computer program, in order to give us the .xx BAC levels that juries love to see.
This is especially troubling because the breath alcohol test is not only sensitive to alcohol, it can also detect non-alcoholic, naturally occurring chemicals in the body as alcohol, such as aceteldehyde, a chemical common in people with low carb diets in a state of ketosis, or smokers.
But even aside from a flawed court system, junk science as evidence, and fake statistics to justify insane laws, what do we as a society lose or gain from this system?
We’ve gone from a country where the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was all but sacred, to a place where there are checkpoints on our highways.
We’ve gone from a country where one could not be compelled to be a witness against oneself, to a country where a man can be forced to do tricks like a trained seal on the side of a highway.
We’ve gone from a country where a man was innocent until proven guilty, to a country where punishment begins upon suspicion.
We’ve gone from a country that used to say it is better that 10 guilty men go free, than one innocent man go to jail, to a country where caging a quarter million innocent people a year is seen as the cost of doing business.
But the most important point of all is this. We know that Justin Bieber hurt nobody. There is no victim, and where there is no victim, there is no crime. Nobody has the right to use violence against someone who isn’t using violence against them, but police kidnapped Justin and put him in a cage, and he will be threatened with violence to show up for court and do whatever the court tells him to. This happens to more than 1.4 million people a year over drinking and driving in the United States alone, millions more will be kidnapped in the name of the war on drugs and other victimless crimes, and this problem is happening all over the world.
Since the fase flag terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by police in the United States, more than all the soldiers lost in the war in Iraq. People today are actually safer as combatants in a war zone, than they are as citizens on the streets of what was once the freest country on earth.
If we really want to live in safety and peace, the first thing we all need to learn is that government violence is never the answer.