None for the Road
In about half the states, drinking while one is driving is permitted, as long as the driver is not intoxicated or driving dangerously. And there is no evidence that a ban on such behavior makes any difference at all, as Clay Hall of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admitted. Nevertheless, prohibiting such action by what are known as open-container laws is necessary because "there's nothing worse than driving down the road and seeing someone swigging a can of beer", said Ann Seymour of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The toll that drunk driving exacts on the families of victims is incalculable: the loss of a loved one to a reckless drunk is too horrible a possibility for most of us to imagine. Driving while intoxicated is, quite properly, treated as a serious crime in every state of the union. One does not quarrel with the severity of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws.