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On Bowden, Bad Proposed Florida DUI Law and New Beginnings

Today, I will slightly digress in my blog, in that, quite frankly, it is my blog and thus my prerogative to digress. Let me first congratulate Bobby Bowden on his winning the "Gator Bowl" in Jacksonville, FL and on his maintaining the longest winning streak for bowl victories in college football. Let me also thank him for everything good he has done for FSU, college football, civility, ethics and morality. I attended my first game with him as the head coach in 1982 while a  freshman and I watched his last game with my wife & son on New Year's Day 2010. He is everything good and that is something that we all should strive for everyday.

Now drinking and driving too excess is not good. Unfortunately, folks forget to moderate their drinking at tailgate parties. So off they drive out of the stadium, only to be stopped for a minor traffic infraction. As so often happens, the officer smells alcohol on you and you are now a DUI suspect. Just as Coach Bowden focuses on doing what is right, so should you. Before you tailgate -  designate  - who will be the designated driver or choose to take a cab to the game. The NCAA [who I don't like for trashing Bowden's record]; your family and everyone else out there, will thank you.

Now, just as one needs to play fair in college and life, the same should  apply  for law enforcement. However, some legislators, state attorneys and law enforcement are trying to loosen the rules to make it easier to arrest folks for DUI. http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-01-05/story/florida_lawmakers_consider_bill_to_make_dui_arrest_easier  Again, I believe consuming alcohol too excess and driving is wrong. But what is far worse is stopping people for questionable grounds and thereby eroding all of our civil rights. The current proposed law would simply allow cops to stop people if they thought they were drunk at somepoint. So that includes arresting the preppy mom; the professional leaving a Chamber event; the priest who drank from the chalice; etc. Accordingly, this new proposed legislation in Florida opens up a whole new constitutional can of worms. Folks, the challenges to these stops will cost law enforcement more than there worth. They are a penalty we can't afford.

I say follow the current law and play fair. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. To quote Bobby Bowden, "that's dog gone good advice. dadgummit." A good cop can make just as many arrests by utilizing probable cause violations for all stops observed in his presence, then by "assuming" that "someone" was "drunk" at "some point."

We'll enjoy this arctic breeze in the tropics. I'll be here on the Treasure and Space Coast fighting for your constitutional rights in DUI and drug stops long after it warms up. Until then, check out my website www.duiguy.info or www.drugdefensefirm.com  Enjoy the rest of your College Football games too.
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