Given the bossiness of the legislature in Annapolis these days, I had to check the calendar on this one. [Anita Park, Greater Greater Washington, April 1]
P.S. And from The Onion, where every day is April 1: “Mississippi Bans Soft Drinks Smaller Than 20 Ounces.”
Yet more: Didn’t Ilya Shapiro predict this? “Supreme Court upholds same-sex marriage as a tax” [Tax Foundation]
…you don’t actually need to have driven under the influence. If it’s an illegal substance, metabolites in your blood may suffice whether or not you were impaired at the time you actually did the driving. At least that’s the ruling of a state court of appeals; the Arizona Supreme Court could still reverse it. [John Ross/Reason, Scott Greenfield]
Watch out for this soon to be up-and-coming Safety First proposal, as outlined by Vivian Hamilton of William and Mary Law: raising the driving age from 16 to 18. [Concurring Opinions]
But how many actually deserve one? [CBS Los Angeles via Alkon]
My Cato post is here. I’d wish him bon voyage, but somehow it’s hard to associate him with happy travels.
Update: I’ve now expanded my thoughts into a Daily Caller op-ed.
I’m in the NYT’s “Room for Debate” feature dissenting from a proposed extension of criminal law (& Amy Adler/Advice Goddess).
Scott Greenfield has doubts about the approaching campaign to criminalize, as distinct from just warning against, drowsy driving. More: Radley Balko.
“…have seen crashes actually go up rather than down.” [Andrew Adams, KSL via Alex Tabarrok, on Insurance Institute for Highway Safety figures]
Politico quotes me on the latest harebrained idea from the U.S. Department of Transportation, known for Secretary Ray LaHood’s crusade against “distracted driving”:
Olson called the idea that law enforcement would be focused on using spotters perched atop overpasses “creepy” and suggested it turns police officers into “peeping toms.”
“We drive under [overpasses], so it’s not a perfect expectation of privacy; but if we saw someone staring down and hoping to look into our laps, we’d think of them as creepy,” Olson said.
Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, which has been out front of the effort to curb distracted driving, scoffed at the notion that there is any expectation of privacy in a car.
Earlier here, etc.
Raised on Hoecakes catches a NHTSA impaired-driving program telling a whopper:
“THE DAYS OF BEATING A DRUNK DRIVING ARREST HAVE BEEN RULED EXTINCT….
“If you are arrested, you will be prosecuted and likely lose your license, money and car.”
As Raised on Hoecakes says:
“Cool, huh? Only one problem: it isn’t true. Someone missed the memo telling judges to make arrests for DUI a resulting conviction 100% of the time.” In Florida, to take one state he says is representative, there were 55,722 DUI tickets and 33,625 DUI convictions in 2011, and although not all cases are closed the same year they begin, the estimated conviction rate still must run closer to 60 percent than 100 percent. Nor is it true that all arrests result in prosecution: prosecutors decline to press some charges where they deem the evidence in hand to be weak, and almost everyone, with the possible exception of certain hosts of TV crime shows, agrees that’s as it should be.
I suppose the generous way to interpret untruths like the ones on this poster would be as a fancier way to say, “Don’t drive drunk, you’ll get caught.” But they also send a rather more disturbing message: “If arrested on DUI and you believe the government’s case against you is weak, better not fight, just take a plea. Because it doesn’t matter how strong your defense is, a judge won’t save you.”
Presumably that second message is unintentional. [More: Scott Greenfield]
“Issues surrounding liability and law, rather than technology, now appear to be the biggest obstacle to autonomous vehicles.” [Ryan Avent via Alex Tabarrok]