Ohio enacts tough new drunk driving laws
on 9/1/2003 (12)
Long known for stiff penalties for such seemingly trivial misdemeanors as littering and soliciting without a permit, Ohio legislators have enacted tough new DUI laws, the likes unprecedented in legal history.
Walter Watts, his hands flat and heavy on the hood of a police cruiser, pondered his next move. He had been pulled over for suspected DUI. Watts, sweat beading on his tightened, furrowed brow, cast a frightened, steely glance up at the trooper, then back down to the cruiser hood.
"K-Kings pawn to bishops 4". Watts declared in a barely audible, rasping voice.
Watts, hand trembling, half dragged the chess piece forward, his mouth dry, tasting of metal.
Trooper Buford Tyler responded, a small grin cracked his normally dry visage, transforming into a grimacing, toothy smile.
"Checkmate, boy!" Put your hands behind your back. You're under arrest for DUI!"
Such scenes have become all-too common on Ohio roadways.
Ohio governor Bob Taft explains:
"We found the standard tests for driving under the influence were only effective when a suspect was really, really juiced. It's my opinion that one sip of beer or wine is too much, so we created a new body of tests to truly determine if a driver is impaired."
Taft opened a logbook and withdrew a legal pad.
"Here are some other methods we plan to enact. A suspect must be able to execute 100 solid center hits on a rubber ball and paddle while singing "Thank God I'm a country boy" without a miss, no excuses for not knowing the lyrics. Or they have their choice of juggling three bean bags, while hopping on one foot while humming 'achter lieber Augustine', or playing 'Sweet Georgia Brown' on the spoons without losing rhythm. I've tried that one myself, and it's a cinch."
Other tests in the works include saying: "If I think, I don't drink, my breath won't stink, my liver is pink" 50 times in rapid sequence without a mistake, and flipping a silver dollar, Vegas handle man style, from finger to finger for three minutes without choking.
When confronted with the seemingly obvious fact that the average human, even stone-cold sober, couldn't likely pass these extreme tests, and that the state of Ohio was just digging in deep pockets to alleviate mounting debt, Taft responded playfully:
"I can roll my tongue, see! Try it, it's easy!"
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