Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

St. Patrick's Day preview Show: 3/16 at the Broad Ripple Tavern, 11 a.m.

   The 17th of March is upon us again. The day before, this week's Show will stream from The Broad Ripple Tavern, 735 Broad Ripple Avenue, from 11 a.m. Of course, since it falls on a Sunday, and "Civil Discourse Now" shoots on a Saturday, we only can preview the following day. Is "preview" the right word?

   I will re-phrase my comment. On The Show this week we shall discuss political topics (of course) but have a special focus on how to avoid alcohol-related arrests in Indiana on St. Patrick's Day.

   There are several common sense approaches to that notion. There also are several ideas that members of our panel---three lawyer as of now---will share with our listeners (and viewers on YouTube).

   One central concept (not a spoiler alert, but an indication of where some ideas travel) is the notion that if one can avoid a situation, that often is the wisest course. I have read a lot of affidavits for probable cause in cases in which an individual has been charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated. The largest percentage of individuals who face such charges (usually three, actually---OVWI as a Class-A misdemeanor/Public Intoxication as a Class-B misdemeanor/Operating with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or Greater as a Class-C misdemeanor), when asked by a law enforcement officer "Have you had anything to drink?" reply "Yes---two [whatever---beers, glasses of wine, mixed drinks]."

   Whether the machine is a BAC Datamaster, an Intoxilyzer 2000 (or whatever number it is to which they have arrived), it does not measure alcohol in the blood. Rather, the machine requires the subject to blow into a tube. The tube uses infrared light to determine the shapes of molecules that pass  a specific point for a specific amount of time. The molecules of some substances are highly similar to alcohol. The machines do not necessarily distinguish. Hair dye sometimes can enter the blood stream. The molecules of whatever the dye will register as alcohol. What a person has had to eat, how much, and when also can affect the reading of the machine.

   The bottom line is to choose a bright-line rule. If you drive, don't drink. If you drink, don't drive. This is a notion rather easily followed in a place like Indy where, if one is not within walking distance of a bar, there is a pseudo-bus system and there are cabs. If one lives in a rural area, the matter becomes more difficult. That is when one should consider alternatives: staying with a friend overnight, designating a (non-drinking) driver, etc.

   I hope you enjoy the holiday. If you have a chance, catch The Show. We live stream on UStream and on Indiana Talks.   

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