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A dark dark time for Canberra

By johnboy 1 November 2013 96

There’s disturbing news on the Canberra Times about a very rare drink cycling conviction:

A teenager who rode his bicycle drunk through Canberra streets has been convicted, despite protesting that he didn’t know “drink-riding” was a crime.

The 19-year-old Canberra man, who was caught riding under the influence earlier this year, has been fined and has been banned from driving for six months.

The teenager was riding drunk at 3am, wearing all black, and without a helmet.

Sounds like a real numb nuts has gone and ruined everything for everyone.

What’s Your opinion?


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A dark dark time for Canberra
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rhino 1:04 pm 28 Nov 13

thebrownstreak69 said :

Although people riding drunk is a problem, what really worries me is all the people doing burnouts on bicycles.

lol yeah that’s pretty much how these type of things go, isn’t it?

thebrownstreak69 11:44 am 28 Nov 13

Although people riding drunk is a problem, what really worries me is all the people doing burnouts on bicycles.

rhino 11:02 am 28 Nov 13

I’d just like to repeat my point, that seemed to not get picked up, that the punishment for this including licence suspension is an equality issue.

If you happen to have a licence, you get a massive penalty by losing it for potentially up to 3 years. That could cost you jobs, livelihood, relationships, custody of children, mental health etc. It’s a very severe punishment. And yet if you have no licence then no worries, it’s just a fine and off you go riding around. Punishment for crimes is meant to be equitable.

I did get a response that the punishment allows for very large fines and potentially imprisonment. But I very highly doubt that these would be used to try and balance this inequality. The only scope they have to try and make it equal now is fining people far more harshly if they don’t have a licence. Or throwing them in gaol. To me, neither of these options seem that equitable either, but i doubt they are used deliberately in any attempt to provide equity.

I don’t know where exactly, but I’m quite certain that I’ve read something that said that crime and punishment is intended to be equitable and fair in the ACT, but this is clearly a counter example.

dtc 5:21 pm 25 Nov 13

rhino said :

Some people have the attitude that “it’s legal, so i’ll do what i want!” which I find obnoxious.

I agree, there is no answer.

But you are clearly not a tax lawyer from your final sentence.

Robertson 2:21 pm 25 Nov 13

rhino said :

The way I see it, if you’re annoying someone else by being in their way when you could be more considerate and get out of their way, I can’t see that as any more clear on what should be done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z50p2v5Of0

rhino 1:05 pm 25 Nov 13

dtc said :

rhino said :

To me, common sense and basic morality overrule legality. I think it’d be pretty easy to find extreme examples in the past where something has been legal but clearly wrong and vice versa, so accepting laws as the authority on morality seems clearly flawed.

But whose morality?

Easy targets as an example – Marijuana. Abortion. Wrong? Not wrong? .

We will all have our own views on these and many other similar issues. Who is right? Abortion, for example, is clearly immoral if you believe that a foetus is a person, in which case why treat a foetus any differently to a child who is born. But if you dont believe that, or you believe that the health of the woman overrides the issue, then it can’t be immoral.

Run down the list to minor issues like is driving over the speed limit in safe conditions right or wrong, in a moral sense?

I agree that there are some grey areas where people will disagree on what is moral. I’d think in cases like that, the position that the law should ideally take should be based on evidence where possible or else at the very least not be overly harsh against those who may have a fairly legitimate argument for having done something that they believe to be moral. Assuming they hadn’t harmed anybody else in the process. Abortion is the most troublesome case for this concept that I can think of. That’s because you’re balancing the rights of one person against another whilst also balancing a conceptual idea of what defines a person. You can’t define a person in an objective way, so abortion is tricky. I wouldn’t throw someone in prison for having an early term abortion after being a victim of rape or something like that if it were up to me. I don’t have a strong position either way on abortion though. That one is tricky. But for the usual things that are complained about on here, it’s quite easy to see what is common sense and moral to the vast majority of sensible people. Generally, if someone is a victim of the actions of someone else, then that should be illegal and there should be punishment for it. Purely being offended or disagreeing with someone else does not make you a victim automatically however.

This discussion can easily end up taking up 100 pages if we discussed each of the most difficult extreme cases like abortion and marijuana. Although personally i think the scientific evidence surrounding marijuana compared to alcohol/cigarettes is fairly indisputable and so it’s a fairly black and white thing to me, despite it being controversial.

As for the common things discussed on here, they are usually transport related. The way I see it, if you’re annoying someone else by being in their way when you could be more considerate and get out of their way, I can’t see that as any more clear on what should be done. And if you’re not harming anybody else and trying reasonably to do the right thing, I don’t see a need for the law to come down on you like a tonne of bricks. Also, just because something is legal doesn’t mean you should do it. Like blocking the right hand lane sitting below the speed limit. Why annoy everyone else and be a source of negativity in the world when you can just stay to the left? Another example is how parking on the road in a street is legal but parking with your wheels up on the grass is not. There are many cases where parking partly up on the grass is safer and more sensible (depending on visibility issues and being in people’s way etc) despite being less legal. I personally would opt for the more sensible common sense approach and try to leave my car out of everyone’s way as much as possible. Some people have the attitude that “it’s legal, so i’ll do what i want!” which I find obnoxious.

KB1971 12:08 pm 25 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

davo101 said :

IrishPete said :

pink little birdie said :

I fell off my bicycle near the little wooden bridge over the creek in John Knight park… I was taken to hospital and they had to do an alcohol blood test because I was in a public place. So it’s checked if something happens in a public place. Didn’t hear back but then I also hadn’t drunk any alcohol in a while before that.

hmmm… not so sure about this. who did the test, police or nurses?

Test must be done by the doctor or nurse that attends the patient (Section 15AA).

IrishPete said :

I have a feeling that tests done for medical reasons are not routinely accessible to the police. And sometimes it is not practical for police to test you (because you are receiving medical treatment).

Sample must be passed on to an analyst (section 15AA).

IrishPete said :

Also, really, would they breathalyse a child who had fallen off a bicycle? a teenager?

No, it’s a blood sample. If the child appears to at least 15 years old they are required to take a blood sample (Section 18A).

IrishPete said :

What would have happened if you had refused?

If you can’t convince a judge that your refusal was based on religious or other conscientious grounds or on medical grounds then you could be in for a fine up to $4200 (Section 23).

However, I don’t know what they do with the information if you were riding on a road related area because section 24A only applies to roads. That is, you can be as pissed as you like so long as you don’t ride on a road (at least they’ll have to get you with something other than section 24A).

Thanks but this legislation seems to relate to drivers. It doesn’t mention bicycle riders, which was the topic.

I didn’t read very far so maybe there’s another section for bicycle and sheep-riders?

IP

You missed this then?

“vehicle” means—

(a) a bicycle; or

pink little birdie 12:06 pm 25 Nov 13

pink little birdie said :


I fell off my bicycle near the little wooden bridge over the creek in John Knight park… I was taken to hospital and they had to do an alcohol blood test because I was in a public place. So it’s checked if something happens in a public place. Didn’t hear back but then I also hadn’t drunk any alcohol in a while before that.”

hmmm… not so sure about this. who did the test, police or nurses? I have a feeling that tests done for medical reasons are not routinely accessible to the police. And sometimes it is not practical for police to test you (because you are receiving medical treatment).

Also, really, would they breathalyse a child who had fallen off a bicycle? a teenager?

What would have happened if you had refused?

If you are right, then it is very wrong, if you get what I mean. [/end quote]

The nurses did the test It was a blood test within 4 hours of the event. They did say they needed to do the test and they were going to give it to the police. I had no reason to refuse – I didn’t care, I wasn’t drunk or on drugs. It was a simple fall off my bicycle with some non-lasting damage (bruises, deep grazes, was wearing a helmet and shock) so non-suprisingly no follow up from the police.

dtc 11:54 am 25 Nov 13

rhino said :

To me, common sense and basic morality overrule legality. I think it’d be pretty easy to find extreme examples in the past where something has been legal but clearly wrong and vice versa, so accepting laws as the authority on morality seems clearly flawed.

But whose morality?

Easy targets as an example – Marijuana. Abortion. Wrong? Not wrong? .

We will all have our own views on these and many other similar issues. Who is right? Abortion, for example, is clearly immoral if you believe that a foetus is a person, in which case why treat a foetus any differently to a child who is born. But if you dont believe that, or you believe that the health of the woman overrides the issue, then it can’t be immoral.

Run down the list to minor issues like is driving over the speed limit in safe conditions right or wrong, in a moral sense?

davo101 11:49 am 25 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

I didn’t read very far

That’s fairly obvious. If you had bothered to read section 18A you would have discovered that it applies to cyclists, motorist, pedestrians, sheep riders et al.

IrishPete 11:39 am 25 Nov 13

davo101 said :

IrishPete said :

pink little birdie said :

I fell off my bicycle near the little wooden bridge over the creek in John Knight park… I was taken to hospital and they had to do an alcohol blood test because I was in a public place. So it’s checked if something happens in a public place. Didn’t hear back but then I also hadn’t drunk any alcohol in a while before that.

hmmm… not so sure about this. who did the test, police or nurses?

Test must be done by the doctor or nurse that attends the patient (Section 15AA).

IrishPete said :

I have a feeling that tests done for medical reasons are not routinely accessible to the police. And sometimes it is not practical for police to test you (because you are receiving medical treatment).

Sample must be passed on to an analyst (section 15AA).

IrishPete said :

Also, really, would they breathalyse a child who had fallen off a bicycle? a teenager?

No, it’s a blood sample. If the child appears to at least 15 years old they are required to take a blood sample (Section 18A).

IrishPete said :

What would have happened if you had refused?

If you can’t convince a judge that your refusal was based on religious or other conscientious grounds or on medical grounds then you could be in for a fine up to $4200 (Section 23).

However, I don’t know what they do with the information if you were riding on a road related area because section 24A only applies to roads. That is, you can be as pissed as you like so long as you don’t ride on a road (at least they’ll have to get you with something other than section 24A).

Thanks but this legislation seems to relate to drivers. It doesn’t mention bicycle riders, which was the topic.

I didn’t read very far so maybe there’s another section for bicycle and sheep-riders?

IP

davo101 11:14 am 25 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

pink little birdie said :

I fell off my bicycle near the little wooden bridge over the creek in John Knight park… I was taken to hospital and they had to do an alcohol blood test because I was in a public place. So it’s checked if something happens in a public place. Didn’t hear back but then I also hadn’t drunk any alcohol in a while before that.

hmmm… not so sure about this. who did the test, police or nurses?

Test must be done by the doctor or nurse that attends the patient (Section 15AA).

IrishPete said :

I have a feeling that tests done for medical reasons are not routinely accessible to the police. And sometimes it is not practical for police to test you (because you are receiving medical treatment).

Sample must be passed on to an analyst (section 15AA).

IrishPete said :

Also, really, would they breathalyse a child who had fallen off a bicycle? a teenager?

No, it’s a blood sample. If the child appears to at least 15 years old they are required to take a blood sample (Section 18A).

IrishPete said :

What would have happened if you had refused?

If you can’t convince a judge that your refusal was based on religious or other conscientious grounds or on medical grounds then you could be in for a fine up to $4200 (Section 23).

However, I don’t know what they do with the information if you were riding on a road related area because section 24A only applies to roads. That is, you can be as pissed as you like so long as you don’t ride on a road (at least they’ll have to get you with something other than section 24A).

Robertson 10:22 am 25 Nov 13

Tooks said :

Despite me taking the piss out of CraigT’s silly story, there are some cops who are morons, some who aren’t very bright, some who lie.

It happened exactly the way I told it. Classic case of denial there from Tooks.

The dumb copper radioed in that the bad guys were in the bag and every cop in Civic showed up, including a van to throw me into. Then she had to try to justify her stupidity by making things up, and I called her on every bit of bullshit I heard her say. The big copper stepping on my toes and poking me to try to make me push him away so they could do me for assault was called “Todd”, from memory.
The guy who turned up and told them all to get their $#@% together was an old guy with a silver moustache who asked the rest of them two questions, taking him about 10 seconds to figure out what was going on:
– Was this guy even at the Private Bin?
– Does this guy match the description of who we’re looking for?

So anyway, I know cops make stuff up, because I’ve seen them do it.

rhino 10:16 am 25 Nov 13

Back on topic though, does anyone else have a view on the equality aspect of punishment for this crime? If you happen to have a licence, you suffer the harsh penalty of losing it and potentially losing employment, relationships, custody of children, mental health etc. But if you have no licence, your punishment for the same exact crime is significantly less severe. Is that not unfair? Or do people believe that the sentencing would definitely take this into account and grant a gaol sentence for someone without a licence or a larger fine to try and make it more equitable? I doubt this is the case personally.

rhino 10:12 am 25 Nov 13

I think one view that some people on here have is that the law is equal to what should be allowed in society. If it’s legal then you have every right to do it and you should. If it’s illegal then you are a criminal if you do it. Whilst that may be accurate from a crime and punishment perspective, from a common sense perspective there’s only a correlation and not a causal relationship there. Many times there have been laws that were unnecessary or ineffective or do more harm than good or label people following common sense as criminals. Or allow people violating common sense to justify themselves by saying it’s legal.

To me, common sense and basic morality overrule legality. I think it’d be pretty easy to find extreme examples in the past where something has been legal but clearly wrong and vice versa, so accepting laws as the authority on morality seems clearly flawed.

rhino 10:06 am 25 Nov 13

Why? Are you one of these people who likes to annoy others for no reason other than for your own personal entertainment?

Yes he most certainly is one of those people who likes to annoy others. I haven’t worked out if he is doing so by trolling people on riotact or if he genuinely believes and acts on his idea that being in the right lane is his right and tailgating is more dangerous than skydiving without a parachute. He once told a story about how he slowed down to 40kph in an 80 zone because he was being tailgated and he believed that was far safer than just getting out of everyone else’s way. So he’s either trolling ultra hard or he’s dangerous and lacking common sense. Either way, there’s probably not much point in engaging him on it because i’m sure trolling is part of the pleasure he takes in it whether it’s true or not.

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