Mass hysteria is a form of groupthink, in which several people with something in common begin to think in the same way. In mass hysteria, the group members all develop a common fear that often spirals into a panic. The group members feed off each other's emotional reactions, causing the panic to escalate.Some riots, witch hunts and other events can be linked to mass hysteria. (about.com)
DWI has turned into a sociological mass hysteria. Our highways blare out Drink.Drive.Go to Jail. and other similar campaigns, our radios and tv networks broadcast DWI commercials, nationwide many companies have policies that terminate an employee or refuses to hire one based on a DWI, apartment and housing complexes are turning away tenants for a DWI, families are becoming divorced over DWI. The public is scared of DWI only second to terrorism. This groupthink people with something in common that started this hysteria was MADD. Now the groupthink has infiltrated the American population. Mass hysterias of the past include the Salem Witch Hunts of the 1690s. Over 2500 people died on 'specter evidence' . In the French Revolution of the 1790s, over 16,000 were beheaded, the majority for the mere fact they were wealthy aristocrats and no other crime as the masses would gather to witness the heads roll off the guillotine in public spectacles. In the 1950s, Senator Joe McCarthy took advantage of the public's fear of the Cold War by accusing many of being a Communist in the Red Scare. Predating all this was the mass hysteria of the Spanish Inquisition. In an attempt to convert all to Catholicism the government in 1478 under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella established a tribunal to subject its citizens to an Inquisition which eventually evolved into widespread torture and over 3,000 deaths for those who would not convert. Fear causes the masses to act irrationally. Money and politics drives governments to tyranny. With DWI, MADD conveniently has both. Fear is used to justify action and money and politics are the machines that drive tyrannical laws and sentencing.
Fear. More than half of highway fatalities are due to deficient road conditions and 59 billion a year is spent by the government on this. (http://www.autoblog.com/2009/07/02/study-majority-of-highway-fatalities-caused-by-deficient-road-c/ ). Yet the public mistakenly believes that DWI is the number one cause of highway deaths. Laws which were meant to discourage irresponsible drinking and then driving have turned into mechanisms for punishing anyone who drinks and drives as legal definitions across the US vary from ‘impaired to the slightest degree’ to alcohol concentrations as low as .02. What started out as an attempt to enact laws that correlate to intoxication has turned into an attempt at bringing back Prohibition (neoprohibition). Lost in the system is the person who drove who was not intoxicated but smelled like alcohol; the person who gets convicted on inaccurate breath tests (infrared spectroscopy has widely known limitations even admitted to by state scientists), the person who gets convicted on balance tests which have no scientific correlation (outside of criticized NHTSA funded studies that don’t meet minimal criteria for scientific peer review per the sfst creator’s own admissions- Dr. Marcelline Burns “it’s getting there”); the person who gets convicted on blood tests in states like Texas where there are no regulations for what is acceptable standard operating guidelines and where unacceptable practices like single point calibration which reports inaccurate results is the norm.
It is time to bring back common sense to the DWI table. Just as Senator Alan Simpson released a report on Joe McCarthy on the Red Scare that eventually brought it to a close, we need to stand up to MADD. We need to change Mothers Against Drunk Driving (albeit started with good intentions) into Masses Against Deceptive Disorder. We need to demand laws that reflect science not a groupthink’s ‘morals’. We need to demand DAs and Judges stand up for evidence not junk science and moralistic grandstanding. We need to end the mass hysteria and start responsible actions toward justice. It is not illegal to drink unintoxicated and then drive. We need to stop the public flogging of our own citizens in the manner which exists today. We need to honor the Constitution’s 8th amendment which forbids unreasonable punishment. It is time to take back America and the honored freedom to drink and then drive responsibly. How can we follow the laws when the laws are not ethical, legal and are unconstitutional ? In conclusion, as our proprietors who make and sell alcohol remind us: Drink Responsibly. Let’s stop the mass hysteria. Mimi Coffey