Do you think much about your drivers license. 10 -- 3 -- 07.
Recently, my wife and I took a trip to Phoenix. Although I have had real concerns about the way drivers license privileges are being suspended for an increasing multitude of reasons,I have recently been reminded of why I have these concerns.
My original concern stemmed from the people around me, extended family members acquaintances etc. having their drivers license suspended for one infraction or another. Many months ago I began to research drivers licenses. While interviewing a candidate for governor in our state. I mentioned to him that it appeared to me that this was becoming a problem. His statement to me was, driving is a privilege not a right can't they take a cab. This elitist attitude was silly and missed the point. When the courts or other government bureaucracies suspended someones license, they aren't really harming that person as much as the people around them, who have to then provide for them, because they were unable to travel and handle their own business.
I know that at first thought drunken-driving comes to mind. However, after doing some research on the Internet I found that there is something like 109 reasons you can lose your drivers license in Oregon, including allowing your tree branches to hang into the neighbor's yard, after being warned to trim them. I do however agree if a person can't not drink and drive drunk, they should not be driving. California or Oregon now everywhere else later that's how it works!
Being without a driver's license seems like something that can easily be remedied by taking the bus to work mass transit or a cab. And this is mostly true. If you live in the city and work during periods that public transportation is scheduled to run. However, if you live in a rural area where travel is necessary for work groceries and other services this is not a solution. Having your drivers license suspended or revoked, is the equivalent of being neutered or spayed, at least in the realm of self-sufficiency. When you also consider that DUI laws, (which by the way I've never had a problem with personally) have become more and more restrictive. In Arizona, I believe the original level of criminal intoxication was a reading of .12 and over the years, it has been reduced to .08. At present, the law has now been changed to require that on a first offense of driving while under the influence. You are required to install a Breathalyzer in your car, which will not allow the car to start until you have blown into it. Did I forget, you also have your license suspended, car towed away etc.
Ask yourself this, what kind of unreasonable, unfair and silly regulations would I comply with. If I were told that was the only way I could have a drivers license and the right to travel?
Even though you don't drink and drive and you cut your trees back, so they're not hanging in the neighbors yard, and you may not do any of the other, up to 109 different things that would cause you to lose your license. If you're brother, son, wife or close friend does have their license suspended, it may be more your problem then you think. You didn't do anything wrong, but you may have to add time to your schedule to drive them here and there, or you could find yourself supporting them because they can't support themselves without the right to travel.
In my research. There was a state where they had a statement from the director of the motor vehicle department, which said; all of our state agencies have a big problem with bad checks "insufficient funds". We don't have that problem, because we will take your license, your registration, and even your car. Also in my research, as I had already assumed the original intent was to prove you could drive a car with a reasonable amount of proficiency. However, it has evolved to a required form of ID, and many other things that are undesirable in my opinion.
Recently, my wife and I both received letters from the Department of Motor Vehicle. One was to me, because I have held a commercial driver's license for many years just in case I might need it some day. Although it was kind of silly to keep it all these years without actually being in the profession. I always thought it was good to have if I ever needed it. My letter stated that Homeland security required me to update certain things in order to continue holding a commercial driver's office. Having not used it in well over 10 years, I decided to just revert to a regular drivers license, saving me a physical examination every two years for my medical card, which I was also required to maintain. This of course caused me to relinquish my old license and be issued a new license. Of course, this new license carries a magnetic strip, with much of my personal information. I will explain later how this magnetic strip is used. My wife's letter informed her that she must go in for new drivers license photo. Her license did not expire for a number of years. This of course caused her to be reissued a license with the magnetic strip.
I have a tendency to digress. So I will try to get back on course. On a trip to Phoenix with my wife a few days ago. I stopped to buy a cigar at a convenience store. Now I am 49 years old, and like to think I look pretty good for my age, but know I look over 18. Which explains my surprise when they asked me for identification to purchase tobacco. I told the convenience store clerk that she must be kidding. She said no. We are required to card everyone now. So I handed her my new drivers license and was very surprised to see her reach over and swipe it through a credit card type device. I ask, couldn't you just look at the date? She gave me an answer that I found quite prophetic for a convenience store clerk. She said, I don't think it's alcohol tobacco and firearms anymore, I think Homeland security requires this now.
Now I know some of you are yelling right now, " if you're not doing anything wrong, why do you care". Trust me when I say, those are words that will come back to haunt us all. I care, because I was raised to believe that American citizens have a right to privacy. By swiping my card with all of my information. I have now informed, any government agency who may ask where I was at what time and on what day. That doesn't matter now because I was just taking my wife to a doctors appointment. But it will matter if the government decides to outlaw being a Christian, and I'm on my way to a revival. Or, one political party gains enough power to persecute those who have other political beliefs, and I'm on my way to a political gathering. Ask yourself this, if the British had that much knowledge of where people were during the time of our independence, would we be free people today.
Last but not least is this a grand experiment, learning how to track and control people? Do the people of Russia believe today that they would want their leader (Mr. I used to be head of the KGB) to have this kind of information about them. Are we guaranteed that our government will never be that bad?
HANG ON TIGHT TO YOUR RIGHTS