November 14th, 2007

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Driver Asleep with Key on Seat Can Be Convicted of DWI, Court Says

Normally I am an out spoken supporter of DWI laws, but even I think that this goes a little too far. Before I go any more into this, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty and It should be said that the driver has entered a conditional plea of guilty to the DWI charge in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

So with all of that taken care of, this is from a news story in the Albuquerque Journal.

    SANTA FE — A driver who was found passed out behind the wheel with his keys on the passenger seat next to him can be convicted of drunken driving, according to a divided state Court of Appeals panel.
    The appeals court said Mark Sims had "actual physical control'' of the vehicle — the test established in an earlier case by the state Supreme Court — and affirmed his conviction on one count of driving while intoxicated.
    "Based on the facts of this case, there was nothing to prevent defendant from awakening, reaching for the keys, and driving from the parking lot," Judge Celia Foy Castillo wrote in an opinion issued Wednesday.
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Now I have issues with this ruling. This is the start of a very slippery slope if I may say so. From here it will go to if you are drunk and just go to make sure your car is locked before you get a ride home, they will charge you with DWI. Next it will be if you are drunk and have car keys in your pocket, but are no where near your car, you will get charged with DWI. From there, who knows, but my guess is very much down hill.

As much as I really think we need to toughen our DWI / DUI laws, this is not the way to do it. So here is a note to all of you, if you get drunk and want to sleep it off in your car, make sure you sit in the back seat of your car, with your keys safely locked in the trunk. Now the much better option would to A) just not get drunk in the first place, or B) make sure you have a DD (Designated Driver) or call a cab.
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A quick note to you all:

I just wanted to drop you all a note that I will be away from my computer until Sunday evening. I am heading up to the Rocky Mt. Synod Senior High Youth Gathering in Estes Park, CO for the weekend. I will have some access to my email (via my Windows Mobile Device) and I will have my mobile phone with me too.

If you need to get a hold of me, my profile here on LJ has many different options for doing that. You can use my LJ email claystorm at livejournal dot com (which forwards to my main e-mail) or, if you are my friend here on LJ (physical on my friends list), you can use LJ to send me a text message.

Also, should you need to call me for what ever reason (and you don’t have my mobile #), you can use my GrandCentral # which is 505-796-8273 and leave me a voice message with your name and number (so I can call you back). Also, if you need an uber-fast reply from me, make sure you tell me in your message (this goes for all forms of contact, email, text, or phone / voice message). Other wise if you don’t, it might be a few hours or more until I am to get back to you.

So that is where I will be. If I hear from you, cool. Otherwise, I will be back blogging sometime Sunday or Monday!
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