Wednesday, July 10, 2013

DWI - Driving Without Intellect

Just stumbled upon this intellectual exercise in freedom:

This video was posted by Randy Stroud, a "TRUE Constitutionalist" who is running for Tennessee State House in 2014. He's all about he sovereignty of the U.S. citizen. And, this past Independence Day, he was apparently driving in inclement weather without headlights, in a car with a lapsed insurance policy. In many jurisdictions, that's known as "breaking the law." But these freedom-lovers will hear nothing of it. When asked for his license, Randy refuses on principle. Then he says he doesn't have it. Then he hassles the cop about this being America. Then the woman filming the footage answers a question about this being America or Nazi Germany by affirming the latter. The car has a decal on its side window saying that the driver does not consent to unlawful searches.

When the officer inexplicably lets them go, the girl exclaims, "Holy shit, that was badass!"

No, it wasn't badass — it was stupid. If these activists ever want to be taken seriously, they should pick better battles.

Public highways are governed by the rule of "implied consent" — that is, anyone using them tacitly agrees that they are subject to regulations of the road. This includes, among other things, traffic stops with probable cause, sobriety checks and other enforcement of vehicular law. In this case, the driver was not using headlights in rainy weather, which authorities deem a threat to public safety. When pulled over, the occupants declare that they don't have to submit to the police, because freedom. They're driving with their headlights off, the insurance is expired and the driver doesn't produce a license. Far from being unfairly hassled, they're actually (and aggressively) breaking several laws. Nevertheless, they're let go. If their point was that they stuck it to The Man, they failed miserably; the officer is polite and patient throughout, and even takes their word on the insurance alibi. The fact that they got off scot-free is discouraging in terms of serving the public trust. 

Are there abuses by police? Absolutely. The charge of "driving while black" comes to mind, as does the image of the corrupt Southern sheriff busting taillights. This, by comparison, is lame.

The car crew did get one thing right. As they pull away cheering their victory over the flatfeet, the passenger says, "You do need to turn your lights on, though."

You know, for safety. So it isn't a victim.

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