Would drunk driving be classified as the initiation of force, or as an instance of preventative law?
asked Sep 28 '10 at 18:54
I hope someone will confirm or correct this, but my understanding is that preventative law outlaws some freedom in order to prevent it from being misused. I say this because an objective threat to individual rights is an actual step toward force. As such, outlawing it is not merely preventative.
Contrast outlawing terrorist plotting with a curfew. Terrorist plotting is an objective threat. Teenagers being out late at night is not; and so, if it is it outlawed on the basis that they might commit crimes at that time, then that is preventative law and is unjust.
In the case of drunk driving, or reckless endangerment, that is also an objective threat. And so, it should be outlawed, but would not fall under (what I understand to be) preventative law.
A rational government outlaws both the actual exercise of force, and the threat of force. Driving drunk is not in and of itself an exercise of force, but it is a threat. Therefore, it is totally appropriate for the government to outlaw drunk driving.
Driving while drunk is the exact equivalent of firing a gun into a crowd of people. It may not actually happen to hit anyone, but that's only a happy accident. It doesn't matter if the roads are privately-owned or public, driving drunk is a threat to innocent people, so it is illegal for just the same reason as shooting a gun into a crowd is illegal. Never mind whether the shooter targeted a particular individual, he did something objectively threatening to the people in that crowd.
It's a separate issue to ask how much alcohol counts as "drunk," and I do think our current system is fairly paranoid about it. The concept, though, of drunk driving is an entirely legitimate one.
answered Oct 14 '10 at 02:57
Robert Garmong ♦
To get clear on this question, ask the following: "Are there any good reasons for driving drunk?"
Contrast this with "Are there any good reasons for carrying a pistol?"
The second question is at least debatable. The first question is not.
Given this, and the fact that drunk drivers collide with and kill many people each year, it would be foolish not to outlaw driving drunk.
The law exists, fundamentally, to protect people from physical harm from others. Driving drunk is an objective threat. It's effectively a form of assault on everyone one drives near. Carrying a gun isn't an objective threat until you draw the gun and point it at someone.
Where there is an objective threat, the law should intervene. People cannot live while being threatened.
answered Oct 02 '10 at 13:14
John Paquette ♦