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Coming To The Defense Of The Harassed Light Drinker

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In times like these, when police are cracking down on drunk drivers everywhere, who is willing to stand up and defend the impaired motorist?

The American Beverage Institute, that's who. They have gone on the record today opposing bills in the Texas legislature that call for breathalyzer ignitions for first-time offenders. They also hate roadblocks.

One of the bills "will force first-time DUI offenders, even those just one sip over the legal limit, to install breathalyzers in their cars," the ABI complains. (Ah yes, that "one sip over the legal limit." Kind of like the guy who gets caught in a porno booth "the first time ever" he's been in one.)

"By mandating breathalyzers for first time offenders regardless of their BAC level, and calling for sobriety checkpoints, these proposals ignore the root cause of today's drunk driving problem-hard core alcohol abusers," said ABI spokeswoman Sarah Longwell.

We think those guys would get caught at roadblocks too, but what the hell.

Actually, DWI roadblocks seem pretty shaky to us, Constitutionally. Texas now uses roving patrols, which the ABI likes well enough.

"Because they are highly visible by design and publicized in advance, roadblocks are all too easily avoided by the chronic alcohol abusers who comprise the core of today's drunk driving problem," Longwell said. "That leaves adults who enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner, a beer at a ball game, or a champagne toast at a wedding to be harassed at checkpoints. Texas is right to keep checkpoints out of the state."

Boy, that ABI sure doesn't think people do a lot of drinking, do they? "A beer at a ballgame" or "a champagne toast at a wedding"?

Not any ballgame or wedding we've been to.

-- Richard Connelly

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