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Alcohol impairment

DON WHITTAMORE • Feb 28, 2014 at 9:05 AM

The fanatical have a very difficult time thinking outside the box. When it became time to address the problem of impaired drivers on our roadways, studies were done to define the meaning of impaired. The results were that the average person was impaired at a 0.2 percent blood alcohol level. Mathematically, this means that half of those testing at this level are not impaired. This made the test of impairment questionable so the law was made to read “legally impaired.” The law was adjusted through the years to change the definition of legally impaired from 0.1 to 0.08 and a desire to go to 0.04. The portion of the unimpaired for those testing at level 0.1 is about 75 percent, for .08 is about 80 percent or 90 percent (determined by just eyeballing the Cauchy distribution curve). The Associated Press article in the Johnson City Press on Saturday questioned the circumstance where a Sevier County man passed six field sobriety tests, but tested 0.15, had his DUI charges dropped and then reinstated by the Tennessee Supreme Court. It is extremely likely that he was not impaired.In 1215, the Magna Carta introduced a concept that judgments should err in favor of the innocent, even if some of the guilty are let free. That is why a jury is required to find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.DON WHITTAMOREJohnson City

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