Drunk driving laws don’t often come up as a campaign issue, but when they do my reaction isn’t always what the person who brings them up in a campaign usually intends. DUI law in our country is chock full of gross violations of Constitutional rights, so I find myself impulsively sympathetic to the candidate accused of being ”weak on drunk driving.”
This is because being “weak on drunk driving” inevitably refers to an apparent unwillingness to further demolish the rights of citizens who might be accused of drunk driving.
This is playing out in Virginia where Republican Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli is being attacked by his Democratic opponent for “consistently voted against tougher penalties for drunk drivers.” I’m sure I disagree with Cuccinelli on some issues, but if he has consistently opposed new DUI laws then he’s to be applauded.
I could write an entire essay about how DUI laws violate the Constitution, but that essay has already been written by DUI lawyer Lawrence Taylor. In “The DUI Exception to the Constitution” Taylor explains how nearly every Constitutional protection designed to protect the rights of the accused, most notably the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, has been utterly destroyed by the way our criminal justice system pursues the legitimate goal of prosecuting dangerous drunk driving.
In other words, if for no other reason than having “consistently voted against tougher penalties for drunk drivers” consider me pro-Cuccinelli.