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Knowing when to stand your ground...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by keyman512us, Sep 3, 2007.

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  1. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Hope everyone is Enjoying the long LaborDay weekend...Thought it would be particularlly fitting to post this at this time...We have all heard the PSA from time to time "Friends don't let friends drive drunk" and "Take the keys...do whatever you have to do".
    This fellow decided "He was fine to drive". After taking ten minutes to stumble into the Local Dunkin Dougnuts (How Bright was that choice??) And "gibbering" to folks working behind the counter...he couldn't hold his thoughts long enough to say "Coffee"...
    He decided to get into his truck and leave. A friend and I tried to talk some sense into him. We offered to call him a cab and even went so far as to tell him "HAND OVER YOUR KEYS...one of us will drive you and your truck home...but you aren't getting back behind the wheel".
    Now at this point...who would be so bold as to refuse??? After the insults and profanity he uttered...I walked back to my car (to grab my cell phone). My friend Jay kept an eye on the guy and tried to talk more sense into him.
    Luckily...A phone call was not necessary...A neighboring local police officer that pulled in to get a coffee...called the locals...
    And that's all it took....

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  2. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    When strangers have to get involved you should have listened to friends.

    Well we might have been strangers...since nobody was "Enough of a friend to keep him out of trouble." He should have been his own best friend and listened to good advice. If you've been drinking and someone tells you so...maybe you should save some headaches' and listen.

    "This gentlemans' ride home was first class". A ride in a cruiser...and an "easier ride on his truck"...all in all the safest way home for him.

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  3. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    So why get involved???

    The driver was to drunk to notice his surroundings. We were not. The tree branch (see the second photo) hanging from his front bumper was the icing on the cake. Even though from his vantage point in the cruiser...he was still to drunk to spot the damage he did to his truck.

    I'm sure someone will end up with some firewood from his attempt to drive home.

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  4. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Luckily this one turned out with a "good ending"...but it could have been different.

    After things had calmed down and the story unfolded...This particular individual was well known to local authorities. This would have been his forth DUI had he gotten behind the wheel. At any rate...he will at least "pay from his wallet" and hopefully has learned a valuable lesson. At least folks are safe for one more night.

    If you find yourself in a similiar situation ...get involved. Pick up the phone, do whatever you think is right...just don't ignore it. You may prevent a tradgedy. And if you do have "one or two" and "someone calls' you on it'.." don't get angry...just listen to what you know is good advice and save yourself (the potential headache) the trouble this guy had to go through.

    I'm not a 'goody good' but If it comes down to me or my family being put in peril for someone elses bad choices..."I'll do whatever it takes".

    Sometimes "Doing what is right" isn't always "cut and dry". When you give somebody options and they refuse...just remember tradgedies can be prevented. You never hear about "happy endings" but this is as close as it gets.

    So "Chalk one up for the good guys"...Knowing that "Beverly would be taking his truck home for him"...

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  5. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    Even that can not be enough. The last fatal accident I took was an 18 year old kid who had graduated from H.S. the week prior. He physically fought his best friend because the best friend was the "key master". The 18 year old got his keys and left with several friends running down the road after him as he drove his Ford Contour away. The friends could hear the impact that killed the kid 1/4 mile from the house as he hit a tree at 60 mph. I woke the kids mom at 4 a.m. to make the death notification.....always alot of fun.
  6. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Stories like that were "playing in our minds". Now that my friends and I are a little older we think of "friends lost", funerals attended etc. The guy we stopped was very bealigerant to say the least. It had gone through our minds (Jay's especially) that the guy was just about ready to "take a swing" at us. Although it was doubtfull he would have been able to connect we were glad he didn't because he would have been praying for the cops to show up...as we weren't the only ones a bit angry at his attempt to get back behind the wheel. The first cop on the scene (a 'friend of ours'...although he was somewhat smaller than the driver...knew 'his back was covered'...). When the "local boys arrived" we stepped aside. Faced with the rather large fellows we have on the force here...he quickly changed his tune and surrendered quietly.

    Massachusetts is not one of the states where "All there has to be is intent". The guy wasn't caught behind the wheel...so no OUI...but seeing as he already has 3 DUI's...hopefully he is on probation and the system will work.

    You always hear the stories "If someone would have just tried to stop them from getting behind the wheel" from a grieving loved one...a spouse, a sibling, a grandparent. Well we did our part...hopefully the judge will do the same.
  7. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    keyman.......my co-workers and I have sat around and tried to figure out just how much of our jobs is alcohol related. Whether it is a crash, assault, domestic, malicious destruction of property, runaway juvenile, or even a loud music call .......we guess-timated that 75% or more of our calls or self-generated complaints had some kind of alcohol involvement. It is job security.......I am no proponent of drug legalization, and will tell anyone that your average street sold marijuana is 50-100x stronger than the stuff we messed with in H.S. 25 years ago, so it is nothing to screw around with. But on the other hand, in 15 years as a road officer of large departments, I have never taken a fatal accident, stabbing, shooting, bar fight, or homicide that involved marijuana............ Of course, crack or meth is a whole different story, and I have yet to meet an addict who told me that they did not start by smoking marijuana...........
  8. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    oh yeah...............nice snag by you and your friend....
  9. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    As far as the arrest, here in Michigan, you and your friends testimony that you had seen the suspect behind the wheel in the drivers seat, with the vehicle running or not, would be enough PC for the arrest (along with sobriety tests and maybe even a quick preliminary breath test). The only real contention the suspect could make in court is that between the time you confronted him and the time the officer arrived, is that the suspect knocked down a few beers or shots.........
  10. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I'm glad to hear your thoughts on the subject. In the course of your duties (seminars, talking with legislators etc.) be sure that the lawmakers understand those are the tools needed to keep the streets safe for all of us. The laws are getting tougher (and IMHO rightly so) but some areas are slow to change. We did let it be known that we were willing to testify if need be but were told more than likely it would not be necessary given the fact this person was already on probation (and therefore should not have been drinking as a condition of his probation) and that he "would have some explaining to do".

    The officier that was first to arrive (from a surrounding town) I knew well. A year and a half ago I talked with him at length at the courthouse (we were both there to testify...in..of all things another DUI case...I as a witness for the state). In that case I pulled (and restrained) a 23 year old kid from his car that did a "barrel roll" off a maple tree doing 45MPH.

    The car 'launched' and rolled off the tree and landed on it's roof in the on-coming lane...luckily the family in their minivan missed being hit by mere inches. Once the kid got to his feet...he tried to flee the scene. He was kindly (but firmly) pushed to a sitting position on the curb by a few people including myself and politely told:

    "Relax Kid...Have a seat and tell your story to the Police...they will be here shortly...You can't just walk away from this".
  11. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Nicely put 11-B! I hear exactly what you are saying. So often people bring up "certain points" but rarely do we hear from "those on the front lines" that do a job few would want to do.

    Personally I gave "More than a serious thought" to a career in law enforcement. I have quite a few friends in that line of work...It's a profession very few fully comprehend...just glad there are men and women willing to do (and deal with the job).
  12. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    I'm assuming not all of those DUI's resulted in convictions, otherwise this guy should already have permanently lost his license to operate a motor vehicle in MA. 3 strikes and you're out.
  13. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    ....Or drinking milk.

    Alcohol, meth, crack, herion and all that stuff is dangerous. Alcohol probably more than the others, for all the reasons you mentioned and more. Pot is more powerful these days, but people smoke less. It's a pretty benign drug compared to the others, IMO.
  14. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Ah, the famous "gateway drug" argument. I assume almost all addicts start on alcohol and tobacco, making those the true gateway drugs in that sense. Pot might be their first illegal drug, but surely very few people go straight to pot. Remember - correlation does not imply causation. The right question is not how many crack/meth/heroin addicts started with pot (alcohol, tobacco, chewing gum, etc.), but rather how many pot smokers graduate to crack/meth/heroin. I.e., does pot use actually facilitate the use of harder drugs, or is it simply the (unsurprising) case that most heavy drug users used pot (alcohol, tobacco, chewing gum) in the past? I actually don't know the answer, but I know that the government can't be trusted to give honest numbers on this issue.

    I'm subject to random drug tests (2 in the last several months) to maintain a security clearance, and what's crazy is that I can be drunk as a skunk and pass, because alcohol is legal. But the slightest THC, and I might be looking for a new job. Luckily, I'm not into that scene.
  15. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Well people do make bad choices "under the influence" of (choose the substance). Before the discussion drifts too far off...let's not make this into an ashcan topic. I posted it here in the "non hearth advice" so that anyone faced with the dilema of "should I make a call or not...should I get involved" would know they "aren't alone" and other people do get involved from time to time. This particular story "had all the classic hallmarks" and would have been hard to ignore.

    Whatever people choose to do behind closed doors, in the privacy of their own home or whatever...so be it. When they put your life and mine in jeopardy it's time to act accordingly.
  16. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    It more then a gateway drug. It is a gateway into lifestyle of having"friend" that are into illegel activities. There is a correlation between
    illegel actvites and crime. You lay down with dogs you get fleas.
  17. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    Sorry, but today's cannabis is roughly the same strength as it always was. It may be now grown better, or delivered without leaves, etc. but it's the same plant. The method used by the gov't to fabricate those stories in testing was completely unscientific and skewed so badly that it's useless. There are strains that are more powerful than others, but overall there is no "super weed" out there now that wasn't around in 1934.

    I give you great credit since most LEO would die before they admit that cannabis doesn't cause crime or death (directly). Addicts are just that- addicts- whether it's drugs, food, or sex, they'll get hooked on whatever is available. Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now! ;) Marijuana is a racist term picked up by Anslinger and his butt-buddies to scare Americans that the Mexicans would get all psychotic on the stuff and go on ****/murder escapades in nice, white neighborhoods. It was just a Mexican slang term for it, he turned it into a racial issue to help out his father-in-law and cronies to make more money on synthetic fibers and drugs. I avoid using it now, and Cannabis is the proper name anyway.

    Hats off to keyman for doing what is right, even if it is hard or a PITA. Were there more like you on the streets, I think people would be less inclined to take off after drinking.
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't buy it......

    That's like saying that a person who took some excess deductions on his income tax form is the same as Ken Lay and friends (at Enron) - or, more timely, like saying Bush is as bad as Stalin.

    My friend that operates the Jaws of Life says he smells booze on a good percentage of the cases when he prys cars apart. Legal, of course.

    Personally, I don't like the "buzz" of marijuana.....but if I did, I would probably smoke (or eat) the stuff in moderation....and especially if it fixed my bad back (see: Opiates).......

    The point is that the whole War on Drugs is just more of the same like "A terrorist under every rock". There is always a tiny bit of truth in these things - but follow the money......on all sides.

    A person has to think a little deeper and ask 'why is this substance illegal, while this other one is legal?". In the case of a soft drug like Pot, it is simply because the people who used to smoke it had black or brown skin.....look what happened when they tried to make booze illegal - that was because white people drank it!

    Anyway, not as simple as that either, but for the government to tell you or I that we cannot ingest coffee, tea, or even hemp or poppies is really far-out!

    An interest consequence of the war on drugs has been the rise of MUCH more dangerous substances...which OUR kids and citizens are using to poison themselves. They sniff tapping fluid and kill their brain cells, or do meth and burn out. Or, they get prescriptions (legally or illegally) and get hooked on that stuff.

    A perfect example was the King himself - Elvis....who joined Nixon and others in anti-drug efforts, but took as many as hundreds of various pills each day. Or Rush, with his 300+ doses of opiates per day.

    Funny thing....a lot of this stuff was legal for hundreds of years and society did not fall apart.
  19. 11 Bravo

    11 Bravo New Member

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    Web.....Societies didn't fall apart, but I think that because of the context in which the drug was done and its strength. As far as marijuana being a gateway drug, I am not so sure about that, but we say in the business, "just because you smoke pot doesn't mean you will do meth or crack someday............but most meth users and crack heads started out by smoking pot."
    ...........But honestly, my co-workers and I have thrown more weed out the window than we have ever charged anybody for. We know who's smokin...and that group never bothers anyone. They work, they come home, and they smoke their dope. They stay home and nobody is the wiser. It's when they get behind the wheel that I have a problem, but that is usually alocohol involved, not marijuana.
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Good seeing you again, Gibbonboy. I agree completely. Some of the Canabis Indica strains are very good for pain relief and are used my many people as organic, herbal medication for chronic conditions, such as back pain. In these cases, I think that denying them medication is the crime, not supplying or using it.
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    When my son was in high school I lectured him about drinking and driving, and also about smoking pot and driving. He responded by showing me the British studies of how pot smoking actually made the test subjects MORE careful!

    I still don't buy it - at least one should wait until the initial buzz wears off! The problem, also, is that many people today "team up" on drugs, beer and whatever legal (usually stolen, or else bought from another kid who has a script)..... no doubt that the combo of pot and other things is extremely mind altering.

    Yeah, pot isn't my thing but I have no problem with folks who partake it. The government might have a problem, but I don't. As I said, if it was the wonder drug for me I would not hesitate - then again, I would not drive around smoking it either.

    Personally I don't have a death wish....nor even a "mangled up in a crash" wish. So far I have made it to 53 relatively unscathed (no broken bones), so I'll keep on with being conservative about all these issues...when it comes to my own imbibing. It's cool, because I can ALWAYS be the designated driver whenever we hang with other folks.
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Apparently, your high school did not have that opiated afghani stuff, nor the hash oil. A few hits of that, and you were on your back either paralyzed, or snoring! I remember being 17 and having a summer apartment at the shore - we had some of that Afghani.....my friend smoked some and he fell asleep on his back with his hand on his chest...and snored loudly.

    We, who were still awake, decided to "bomb" him with our sneakers...throwing them up in an arc so they landed on him. He did not wake up - the shoes just bounced off of him!

    Try that with todays weed!

    Marijuana has gotten stronger, but how much depends on a few things. First of all, the real junk was Mexican "bush" which was the whole plant and probably contained males and females...sold by the kilo compressed.

    But soon after that, Columbian and Jamacian were being brought in - and that stuff was pretty strong....although not "good" (according to "heads" who study the stuff, the colombian gave you headaches!)...

    Now the science has advanced and the seeds are better - growing methods are better - AND, because of law enforcement, it pays to make the packages much smaller. But I would say that comparision....if taken over the columbian and jamacian...or even the Thai Sticks which were popular in the 70's, would be 2x to 5x as strong. And, as Eric says, they smoke much less - heck, at $500 an oz you are not gonna roll fat ones!

    All is all it is probably a good thing, since the smokers do not inhale as much smoke for their high - of course, I am thinking of their lung health. It is best not to smoke ANYTHING, and even much of the medicinal marijuana now is being given in drops or pill form.

    Even US DEA stats show average "old" pot at 1% THC and new pot at 4-6%. When the skinny joints are taken into consideration, that is not such a vast difference.
  23. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    Good points. The sad part is that DEA and the entire gov't have their heads in the sand when it comes to cannabis. They just couldn't ADMIT that cannabis is statistically safer than water to ingest (0 cannabis deaths vs. 100+ water-intoxication deaths every year)- and that they WRONGLY imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Americans because Mellon and DuPont just had to market their synthetic fibers and medicines. The gov't won't even allow unbiased studies into the benefits of cannabis- as far as their concerned, it should always be a Schedule I narcotic, so we can avoid the "Reefer Madness" in the U.S. You also can't argue the benefits in court, not admissable evidence, since, surprise! it's a Schedule I narcotic, which means it "CAN'T POSSIBLY" have any benefit. Crazy crazy crazy.

    Personally, I see cannabis use and driving just like drinking and driving- just a plain bad idea. Even now, the studies being done in some of the more civilized countries are showing actual benefits to smoking weed, since the coughing tends to clear your lungs of more than the tar/etc that you get from the smoke. And these same studies indicate a slight DECREASE in lung cancer among pot smokers.

    Drugs aside, the benefits of growing industrial hemp in this country would far outweigh risks of "addicton". Hempseed oil in a diesel engine is so much more incredibly efficient and cheaper than ethanol. But that would upset Monsanto and the others producing Bt corn seed and pesticides, so we can't have that!

    Sorry for the ranting, but our gov't is so full of BS that we probably could grow enough corn with all the fertilizer they produce!

    EDIT: maybe this should all be in the Ash Can?
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, it is ash can material, but it started out as perhaps "general advice" in the DIY (how to arrest your own local drunk)
  25. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    We Americans tend to overindulge in a lot of things - consumerism and all.

    You can go visit Peru today.....and the national drink is Coca tea....made from the same plant that makes crack! It is a mild stimulant, comparable to coffee and has benefits for those living at higher elevations. So if we walked around and chewed coca leaves we'd be OK. But instead, we get it refined with a bunch of chemicals that would have the Haz-Mat team running for cover....then we refine that even further (crack).

    Opiates and Cocaine were used openly in this country and many others for a long time - in fact, they were in a lot of those "cures" that were sold by street vendors and at carnivals. Coca was in Coca-cola!

    I read a book about the making of the trans-continental railroad - the rr was built by mostly Irish going west and Chinese going east. The Union Pacific brought the chinese over and at first thought that they were too small to get any work done. They were amazed and surprised that they ended up doing as much or more work than a strong European. All they needed, according to the book, was fresh veggies for their cuisine and their opium for Sunday (the day off).

    On the tracks coming west, an entire train of whorehouses and bars had to "support" the European crews and there was decidedly more trouble on that end - fights, murder, robbery, etc.

    So I guess it has always been the same - pick your poison. As a Law Enforcement officer it must be tough, because you have to enforce the law even when it is the law itself (not what the law is about) that creates the problem. I applaud you for using discretion. There are too many real problems to waste time on "people just being people".
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