June 20th, 2015

We should change how we handle altered drivers and blood testing

Every time some story pops up about how horrible an experience a woman had with being drugged and then not receiving appropriate treatment/care or was treated as a criminal rather than a victim, I keep thinking, you know, we really need to fix this non consensual drugging problem, and we're not gonna get it fixed until we get a steady stream of data, ideally of high enough quality to stand up in a court case.

OTOH, we have all these sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums and so forth that make people really reluctant to do the testing or receive the testing. I bet we can fix that. Here's a rough idea of what I have in mind.

Currently, if you are at a traffic stop because the officer thinks you are driving dangerously, they're gonna do field sobriety testing: breathalyzer, blood test, walk a straight line type of thing. The testing is sometimes declined by the driver, out of concerns about that producing irrefutable evidence in a later court case. And sometimes the testing is refused because the driver is sleep driving or drugged out of their mind and doesn't even know it, because of medication error or because of non-consensual drugging. _You get to refuse the testing that will clear you_, even if you are not actually conscious. That seems like a problem.

Instead, we should quit requiring consent to _test_. We should instead replace it with consent for the police to access the results of testing. The person who was testing would always have access to the test results. The police could only get access to those test results if the person tested agreed WHEN THEY WERE DEFINITELY SOBER/awake/conscious.

That should dramatically improve data collection on medications that had weird side effects (ambien, some antidepressants + small amounts of alcohol in some people) AND non consensual drugging. You'd still have the problem of whether the drugged person took that drug on their own or were drugged involuntarily and without their knowledge, but at least you'd know what was in their system, and that it wasn't just two cosmos or margaritas or a scorpion bowl or whatever.

Not that you should be driving after any of those, either, but you know what I mean.

Same rules would apply if, not at a traffic stop, but at an ER or something, someone showed up acting very altered. You don't get to refuse the drug test; you do get to choose (WHEN YOU HAVE RECOVERED, or after your health care proxy or guardian or parent or whatever has shown up to sign for you) whether those results are shared with anyone other than you.

Today's Activities Include: horse show, town fair

We Saturday'ed today! The kids' therapeutic riding and its associated riding school had a horse show. The kids had a good time. I had a cup of coffee and got to talk to a friend whose two boys are in the therapeutic riding program earlier in the day and thus we rarely see each other (she also lives along my usual walking route). I got to talk about DEC history with her husband briefly. All in all, an excellent time. The coffee was kinda funny. T. wanted a drink, so I gave him cash and sent him off to the refreshments tables. He wanted me to help; I told him he could figure it out himself (come on -- this place runs a therapeutic riding program. I'm pretty sure they can help him out with this). He came back with those little creamer cups -- a handful of them, because that's what he wanted to drink. They charged him a dollar, and I briefly contemplated going down to get the cup of coffee that almost certainly went with that dollar and those cups, but I was in the shade and sitting down. Another moment passed and a kind man arrived with a styrofoam cup of coffee that he assumed was what T. was supposed to pick up and had just forgot.

I love that place. They are the very best people in the world.

Recently, one of the horses there died and we got a text to warn A. that Halfie was no longer with them. Turns out Halfie was 40. Not "40 in horse years". Like, actually almost as old as me.

We stopped at Applebee's for lunch, then went home to make some adjustments (drop off helmets and boots, get alternative shoes, use the facilities, get a backpack and water bottles) before going to the town fair. We went on rides (I am not doing the Twister again. I almost threw up). Eventually, we returned home.

R. made it to the club for a third night of shows.