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My country's government is enforcing a new law which states that any driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.75, or more, is facing the suspension of his driver's license, the permanent confiscation of his vehicle, and up to three years in prison. The confiscation of the vehicle is supposedly valid as this country's constitution allows the confiscation of any private property used in criminal acts. I don't drink, but I don't think the best solution is to steal my property. Is there any way to confront this?

Edited by 0096 2251 2110 8105
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My country's government is enforcing a new law which states that any driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.75, or more, is facing the suspension of his driver's license, the permanent confiscation of his vehicle, and up to three years in prison. The confiscation of the vehicle is supposedly valid as this country's constitution allows the confiscation of any private property used in criminal acts. I don't drink, but I don't think the best solution is to steal my property.

What country is that?

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Given the proper nature of government, which is to protect individual rights, prosecutions for drunken driving is wrong to begin with, let alone confiscations of vehicles. Unless, of course, the owner of the property (the road) has made explicit that his terms of use does not allow for drunken drivers on his property, or drivers at all

If it is the case that the owner has made clear that he does not want drunken drivers on his road and that a drunken driver has been caught on his road by the police, then the permanent confiscation of the vehicle would be an unjust punishment in comparison to the crime (the crime in this context being the violation of contract or of property rights).

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Given the proper nature of government, which is to protect individual rights, prosecutions for drunken driving is wrong to begin with,

I'm not going to argue the rest of your post, but I strongly disagree here. It is absolutely proper, for the same reason it is proper to prosecute you for carelessly firing a gun in some random direction--even in your own back yard. It is your right to own and fire a gun. It is your right to drive a car and drink alcohol. It is not your right to fire a gun without consideration as to where the bullet is going. It is not your right to drive a car if you are impaired to the point that the chances of you killing another person have exponentially increased.

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Technically, anyone with a BAC that high is dead, twice. But let's not focus on what the level of intoxication is, and instead focus on the fact that roads are not privately owned as they should be. The problem is that when the government owns property that really ought to be private, people get this idea that their rights are being infringed on if the government enforces a rational code of conduct on that property. Why? Because there is no competition -- you can't opt to drive on some other privately-owned road -- and because the road is maintained with involuntary taxation. Thus we have yet another case where improper government involvement in the private sphere have live qua man (reasoning being) impossible.

If there were a market for drunk-driving, then someone could open up a road of their own where people could drink as much as they want and then drive (with suitable waivers of liability, of course). Nobody would be allowed on the road without signing that waiver, and of course paying the entrance fee. Of course, such roads would probably not operate for very long, since the patrons would kill themselves in a short period of time.

So turning now to the normal roads, where drunk driving is prohibited, the question is, exactly what would be the possible consequences for violating the contractual clause against being drunk on the road. These restrictions are right and just, because the road is privately owned and the owner can do whatever he wants as long as he does not violate the rights of others. And there is no "right" to drive drunk! Obviously a huge economic penalty along the lines of "everything that you own", including confiscation of the vehicle, would be appropriate. But could it go further, to include jail time? The law typically reserves imprisonment as a punishment for committing a crime as defined by the law, but it's not at all obvious that a contract couldn't include an incarceration clause for breach.

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If there were a market for drunk-driving, then someone could open up a road of their own where people could drink as much as they want and then drive (with suitable waivers of liability, of course). Nobody would be allowed on the road without signing that waiver, and of course paying the entrance fee. Of course, such roads would probably not operate for very long, since the patrons would kill themselves in a short period of time.
I'm thinking there would be a market for privately owned roads that allowed for drunk drivers. I personally feel confident that I can avoid any and all drunk drivers as the roads stand now. I'm aware, and drunks are like giant neon standouts on the road for me. Drivers generally are not aware, which, to me, seems like the bigger issue. Of course, people who are so drunk that they cannot even stay on the road can be a problem for these "drunks allowed" roads just because they may slow down traffic.

If a portion of the populace did not want to drive on roads they knew they might be sharing with drunks, those roads would just be cheaper, and thus people who were willing to take that risk, for a cheaper rate, would create a market for such roads. But there would be a market, and I doubt, with the heightened awareness, that the roads would be much more dangerous than "no drunks" roads.

The "awareness principle" goes the same for anything. Ever see the video online of the intersection in India (or some such country)? Total chaos to an American (though I concede that those traffic "rules" are less efficient than ours, and no doubt less safe), but they got by OK.

Of course, with privately owned roads we would no doubt have a closed-in "drunk lane" by now anyway. No doubt, we would have half as many stoplights because of mini underground tunnels everywhere. The stoplights we do have would be twenty times smarter and there would be a fraction of the wait to go as now... No doubt the roads would be a thousand times smoother... and better...

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Of course, there is the possibility that someone may be so drunk as to have severely impaired judgment, leading them to drive on sober roads and causing all sorts of mayhem. Intoxicated people make for very poor judgment calls. Not saying that the drunk and sober lanes are a bad idea, though, this would simply mean that those that cause mayhem on the sober roads would have a heap of very steep charges to face. Too bad for them!~

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I don't think there's anything wrong with having losing some property as part of the penalty for breaking the law: I mean sure, the fact that the roads are public is wrong, but once they are, not having rules to make them safer would be madness. Madness I tell ya.

Not letting people drive drunk is of course one of those rules which make perfect sense. And guess what: Nothing stops irresponsible teens and drunk adults from breaking that rule again and driving intoxicated better than not having a car. Once person X is caught driving drunk, that's proof enough that he is refusing to stick by the rules, even with the fines in place. Sure, taking his license might be a solution, depending on the circumstances. But if that isn't likely to work or he gets caught driving without a license), the next step is either confiscation of the car of jailtime. Confiscation is often more effective than two weeks or a month in jail, and then having this person at the wheel again. And of course it doesn't cost the state as much.

So within the context of public roads, that's an excellent idea your government had there. I hope it spreads. (I hope roads get privatized, but if they don't, I hope this idea spreads.)

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If there were a market for drunk-driving, then someone could open up a road of their own where people could drink as much as they want and then drive (with suitable waivers of liability, of course).

I don't think it's a stretch to suppose that in a free society, there would be two kinds of roads: mass market highways which are cheap and regulated for driver safety and more expensive expressways which are only regulated for the road-worthiness of vehicles. Highways have a low fixed price whereas expressways vary in price to ensure guaranteed limits on traffic congestion. (As a consequence, expressways can get very expensive, but can afford to expand rapidly to meet demand.) Similar outcomes already exist where tollways are allowed to vary prices without legislative oversight.

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
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In retrospect, I do suppose that roads for drunks would be a tenable market; I expect that they would be highly supervised and could require some kind of screening to exclude people who are out of control and incompetent as opposed to impaired. I won't be patronizing such roads, I think.

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My country's government is enforcing a new law which states that any driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.75, or more, is facing the suspension of his driver's license, the permanent confiscation of his vehicle, and up to three years in prison.

I can't see how any of this would be a problem for a dead person. BAC of .08 is intoxicated. If you can *survive* to have a BAC of .75 you're a superman. .4 is usually fatal.

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It would be even more clear in a free country where the roads were *privately* owned. But, yes, there's no reason why the road owner can't demand that you sign a waiver whereby "if you get pulled over by our security and are found to have a BAC of >0.075, then your automobile will become the property of the road company and be confiscated".

But it'd probably be easier and more consumer-friendly just to say "you forfeit the right to drive on our roads"

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My country's government is enforcing a new law which states that any driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.75, or more, is facing the suspension of his driver's license, the permanent confiscation of his vehicle, and up to three years in prison. The confiscation of the vehicle is supposedly valid as this country's constitution allows the confiscation of any private property used in criminal acts. I don't drink, but I don't think the best solution is to steal my property. Is there any way to confront this?

In hits particular case, government acts as owner of the road and also like owner of tone well (the car); however, it's not it. There must surely be a better punishment in a non-free "country".

On the other hand, in a free place, where the streets and roads would be privates, the problem would not exist. The owners (with the load of the road) would decide payment of their roads. And why not, a security service which would intervene according to the imposed rules.

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I think it's as silly as this.

If/when it is appropriate to seize assets, such as in the Madoff case, the proceeds should be used to repay victims of the crime, then to pay for the prosecution and imprisonment of the offender. Any surplus, if any, should be refunded to the tax payers that fund the government agencies responsible for the seizures. Government agencies should not be incentivized to seize private assets.

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