Herman Cain Fought Stricter DUI Laws
Republican Presidential nominee Herman Cain fought tougher DUI laws when he was leading the National Restaurant Association in the 1990's. When Cain took over as CEO of the National Restaurant Association in 1996 he opposed the decrease in the legal limit from .10% BAC to .08% BAC. At that time, the majority of states used a .10 limit as their standard. The restaurant industry was concerned with a potential decrease in business if the .08 standard was adopted universally. Cain lobbied hard on their behalf arguing that there was little evidence to support the contention that the proposed new standard would result in less DUI related accidents and deaths.
"The problem is not the responsible drinker," Cain wrote in one letter. "It is the alcohol-abuser who gets behind the wheel of a car. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two-thirds of all alcohol-related fatalities are caused by drivers with a BAC of 0.15 or higher"
This prompted an angry response from MADD. MADD vice President Diane Riibe qouted figures alleging that in 1996, 3,700 people were killed in traffic accidents involving a driver with a BAC under .10.
Ofcourse, MADD and their supporters eventually won out and .08 is now the standard in 50 States.
Very few politicians will go on record to oppose stricter DUI laws and penalties. There is no effective lobby supporting the rights of defendants charged with DUI. This despite the fact that constitutional protections have been reduced consistently over the years, penalties have increased unfairly, and it is routine for the police, prosecutors, judges and DMV hearing officers to treat otherwise hard working and law abiding citizens as if they have killed someone even if they are a borderline reading and have no priors. It comes as a shock to most people charged with DUI that the system is so heavily stacked against them, that even with a .08 BAC, no accident and an unblemished record it can take months of court appearances to get anything other than a DUI conviction.