Why Montana leads the nation in DUIs, etc.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
I am sure we have all seen the studies listing Montana has very high or the highest in %of accidents involving drunk drivers. What is not mentioned is that Montana has a high Native American population, and very unfortunately, the DUI rates are very high in these areas. I think there are areound 60,000 Native Americans. I wonder where Montana would place if the study only listed non Native Americans. Montana would still be high, but would probably not have the distinction as being the highest.

Another comment on DUI. Several years ago the legislature commissioned an interim study to find out why DUIs were increasing in recent years. The answer was rather obvious to me, more people had cell phones and could help the law enforcement find DUIs.

Another comment on laws in general, is the comment "its the law, so we need to obey it". Such comments do not resonate with me. Is it a good law or a bad law? In 1850, it was the law that it was legal to own slaves. Did we just go about our business and say "Its the law, so leave it alone?", No, we got rid of the bad law.

The same with the law denying women the right to vote. It was a bad law and we got rid of it. So if someone says: Its the law, so obey it.", that comment is a waste of time.

Even if the Supreme Court says it is legal to require everyone to buy medical insurance. It may be a law, but a bad law. (Even ignoring the fact that there are religions that ban the purchase of insurance.). The U.S. government could probably require the purchase of fire insurance on a cement swimming pool. Might be legal, but dumb.

And the president lost control of the House and almost lost control of the Senate partly because of this. And Max's ratings are around 35% because of this. What part of "no", don't they understand?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
Shot any wolves lately?
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 10 years ago
We don't have "a high native American population". They are 6% of the population. States like Oklahoma and New Mexico have bigger Native populations than us and we still kick their butts in drunk driving. There's plenty of DUI going on on the reservation, but there's plenty of drunk white people driving around Miles City and Billings as well. It's a Montana tradition.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5096) 10 years ago
Math is hard.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17457) 10 years ago
I think its all the illegal immigrants that cause us to spike in the DUIs. There are more Mexicans among us, but since they aren't counted by the census, they skew our drunk driving accident rate.

Like that drunk woman yesterday from Belgrade driving the wrong way on the interstate near Pipestone. I'm sure her real name is Gonzales, she just lied to the police.

Or something like that.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
Yeah, it wasn't Chief Dull Knife who wanted to get of the DUI laws in the last legislative session...
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9957) 10 years ago
I blame atheistic Wiccans. - well . . . and Max too.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
To be honest though... you can't really go wrong by blaming Max. I bet Don's pissed that Max spiked the public option.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 10 years ago
Reading posts like Don's is almost enough to drive me to drink - tho it isn't enough to drive me to drunk driving. BUT --- If I had to listen to excrement like that every day, it sure as procreate would.
Given that Montana has such a high percentage of "Don's" running free in society, it's easy to see why Montana has such a high DUI rate.

I'd love to see what Montana would be like without all those Dons - and not just because it would make the highways safer.

Edit: I have to admit I like what Don says about getting rid of bad laws - but that's kind of a "duh" statement. Can't agree with the part about disobeying them before you get rid of them tho - not in an age where peaceful protesters get pepper sprayed. I hate to even imagine what would have happened to those conscientious folks if they'd actually been breaking a law!

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (12/1/2011)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 10 years ago
Don seems like the type to rear-end your vehicle and then hand you an expired insurance card because it's "bad" to make people carry auto insurance.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Yes, I am opposed to mandatory auto insurance laws, as is the State Farm Insurance Company (and 715 insurance companies) http://centspermilenow.org/715oppos.htm

First, please argue with them, and if you win the argument, I will debate the issue.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 10 years ago
You can't think for yourself?
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
I "think" the same as State Farm.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 10 years ago
Somehow I think this is one of the few issues where Don would link the website of the National Organization of Women. Of course NOW doesn't actually want to remove mandatory insurance, they want lower rates for people who don't drive very much.

The reason State Farm opposes mandatory insurance is because they don't want to have to insure bad drivers. They don't make any money on people that smash into other drivers regularly. Only the victims of the accidents do.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Yes, the main reason State Farm (and 714 other insurance companies) oppose mandatory auto insurance is because they do not want to insure high risk drivers. (I am unaware on the National Association of Women's stance). But State Farm's stance that poor people have to go without food after buying insurance is genuine. Dr Maril of the Eastern Carolina University Sociology Dept. did a study (for the NAII -National Association of Independent Insurers), which was done in a poor area of Arizona, which showed 44% said they could not pay rent or buy food after buying mandatory auto insurance.The title is "The Impact of Mandatory Auto Insurance Upon Low Income Americans" by Robert Lee Maril, Ph.D. I am not going to hurt poor people by requiring them to buy auto insurance, I would wish other people were just as sensitive.

State Farm would rather have drivers buy collision insurance (which reimburses all damage done by uninsured drivers-minus the deductible),then to rely on mandatory insurance laws, which do not work and only pay for some of the damage in a major accident. If someone wants to use a system that doesn't work over a system that does work, that is their choice. People who drive 20,000$ vehicles (which they do not need, and have no right to drive on the highways)should protect their own property.

In Wisconsin, the legislature rejected mandatory auto insurance thru the legislative process. Then, someone stuck the bill in the budget bill, which is called cheating.

In Nebraska, the proponents tried pushing mandatory auto insurance for 20 years thru the Banking and Insurance Committee and it was rejected 20 years. Then the proponents took mandatory auto insurance to the Public Works Committee and got it passed. What does mandatory auto insurance have to do with Public Works? More cheating. The first question asked when it was introduced into the Public Works Committee was: "What is this bill doing in this Committee?"
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11782) 10 years ago
So, Don is opposed to mandatory insurance and in favor of drunk driving. Sounds like a plan to me.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Where does it say I am in favor of drunk driving? I am opposed to skewed studies that say Montana is nr one in DUIs, and I am in favor of alcohol blood tests for second DUIs, if they work, but I am not in favor of drunk driving? Show me where I am in favor of drunk driving. I turned in a drunk driver once (no one was on duty, so they did not investigate). How can somebody say I am in favor of drunk driving? Sounds like you are in favor of mandatory auto insurance and are misrepresentin my statements on purpose.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+587) 10 years ago
Perhaps the DUIs are relative to alcohol sales.
Montana is number 4 in per capita alcohol sales.

New Hampshire is number 1. There is no state tax on liquor in NH.
Nevada with Las Vegas is number 2.
District of Columbia with all its lobbyists is number 3.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 10 years ago
I think it's relative to distance from bar to home.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
And New Hampshire does not have a mandatory auto insruance law.

Montana has a new database system to track registrations and insurance data. According to the insurance people it costs 50$ to track the insurance data on a motor vehicle registration. So, everyone's car insurance may go up 50$, in Montana. The insurance people say more people drive without insurance in Mandatory auto insurance states. Well, if this new database system increases the insurance policy by 50$, it is more expensive and the more insurance costs, the less people will buy it.
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Posted by cj sampsel (+481) 10 years ago
I believe you don' hit the nail on the head Buck.
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 10 years ago
if you reside in a state without mandatory insurance law, what happens when you take a road trip and enter a state with one...Just wonderin'
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
I assume you have to have insurance in another state that has a mandatory auto insurance law. Montana's law (exemption 9) states that if a nonresident is driving in Montana, that nonresident is exempt if they are driving a registered vehicle and it is in compliance with the nonresident's insurance law. Say, for example, if you are from Idaho and registered, and a highway patrolman stops this Idaho vehicle, the highway patrolman would have to get out Idaho law (that AAA digest of laws is not the law), and he would read in Idaho insurance law that Idaho requires Idaho registered motor vehicles to carry insurance only on the public roads of Idaho and Idaho law does not require Idaho registered motor vehicles to carry insurance on any of the other 49 states. (Can't require Idaho vehicles to carry insurance in New Hampshire because New Hampshire does not have a mandatory auto insurance law.So, the highway patrolman should say to the Idaho vehicle owner "I guess you are in compliance when you drive in Montana without insurance because Idaho only requires you to drive in Idaho with insurance."

Similarly, Wyoming cannot require its motorcycle operators to carry insurance in Montana, all motorcycles driving Montana public roads are exempt from mandatory auto insurance law.

I suppose when there is a lawsuit against the Montana Highway Patrol for citing non residents for no insurance and the judge rules in favor of the non residents, maybe they will change the law.

The law should read "If a non resident is from a state with a mandatory auto insurance law, that non resident is required to carry insurance on the public roads of Montana" The way it reads now, every non resident is probably exempt.

If you will read Montana law, it requires you to carry insurance only on the public roads of Montana. If you drive the other 49 states, you are probably violating their law, but not violating Montana law. (except New Hampshire).
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2733) 10 years ago
To Cindy: That's a very interesting set of state rankings == and the associations are hilarious, especially the DC one. Thanks for the
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14961) 10 years ago
Perhaps the DUIs are relative to alcohol sales.
Montana is number 4 in per capita alcohol sales.

New Hampshire is number 1. There is no state tax on liquor in NH.
Nevada with Las Vegas is number 2.
District of Columbia with all its lobbyists is number 3.


MT wouldn't be #4 if John Melcher and Conrad Burns had stayed in DC. Thats what is raising the number.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 10 years ago


Discuss.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 10 years ago
The bars are clearly far from the homes.
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Posted by Ryan (+478) 10 years ago
Why we are own the subject of bad laws I am not happy I was forced to buy flood insurance.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6166) 10 years ago
Another comment on laws in general, is the comment "its the law, so we need to obey it". Such comments do not resonate with me. Is it a good law or a bad law? In 1850, it was the law that it was legal to own slaves. Did we just go about our business and say "Its the law, so leave it alone?", No, we got rid of the bad law.


Nothing like summing up one of the most horrible wars in U.S. history with "No, we got rid of the bad law." What a nuanced view of history you have, Don.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Where did you get the impression that my summation of the Civil War was "It was a bad law, so we got rid of it" Another person distorting what I say. I suppose if I said Montana leads the nation in suicides, partly because of the high rate of suicides unfortunately among the Native American population, you, and Amorette would say I favor suicides. I suppose if you are determined to distort someones statement, that is your choice.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
The Native Americans in the Montana legislature have been voting as a solid unit since 1979 against mandatory auto insurance. I am in their corner, so don't call me anti Indian.

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor" The mandatory auto insurance law says to heck with the poor. Now, lets see you distort what Jesus said.

Please explain to me how Amorette got the impression I am in favor of drunk driving.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 10 years ago
Don needs to be totaled by someone without insurance that could actually afford it.
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Posted by warmbreeze (+8) 10 years ago
Since when has right/fair/justice = law/legal system?
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
"There's something wrong when a person doesn't need it (liability insurance), can't afford it and doesn't want it, and companies don't want to sell it to him;but the person has to have it anyway. T.J. Mims , president of Canal Insurance Co.

"South Carolina's compulsory insurance law may very well be an unenforceable law. If it is, it is a bad law and should be repealed," said Lanville Mengedoht, vice president of Seibels Bruce Group.

Charles Wirth, State Farm Insurance said his company opposes mandatory insurance. "We think it generates more social ill than the benefits its intended to provide"
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 10 years ago
Tell Mimsey(T.J.Mims) that anyone who doesn't carry at least liability is either stupid, really freakin' cheap or both. They're certainly irresponsible.

Anyone who gets into a car and hurtles themselves down the road at anything over 5 mph NEEDS liability insurance. Whether you like it or not, sh!t happens. Insurance is part of the cost of driving. If you can't afford it, you can't afford to drive. And this thing about your supposed "feelings" for the poor is a load of stinking crap. You're just another cheap idiot trying to pass as a libertarian.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
I am not going to tell Mr Mims anything, I agree with him. You tell Mr Mims and 714 other insurance companies who oppose mandatory auto insurance whatever you want. They say it is unenforceable and after 70 years of trial, it looks to me as if the law is not working. And to the religions that ban the purchase of insurance, you shouldn'tbe calling them stupid. There was a bill in the last legislature to allow these religions to self insure and that was defeated. There is supposed to be a separation of church and state, but in Montana you are not allowed to practice your religion. Even in the mandatory health insurance bill, if your religion bans the purchase of insurance, you are exempt. In Montana, if you drive without insurance and your religion bans the purchase of insurance, you could get 6 months in jail.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 10 years ago
...but an eternity of damnation.

What a stupid conversation. Cheap AND racist.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 10 years ago
So if my religion says that I don't have to pay rent to live in your house, are you going to be okay with that as well?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
So, Don is pretty butthurt over insurance, so his alternative is... the public option for auto insurance? I'm down with that.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Bridgier, the 715 insurance companies say that if you go to the bank, get a 30,000$ vehicle financed, an uninsured driver wrecks this vehicle, you are out 500$. That is the 715 insurance companies solution, and it is my solution. You weren't aware that of the millions of new cars financed, if all were wrecked by uninsured drivers, the bank would be out only 500$ on each one?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Correction: You would only be out 500$ This is insurance 101.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
I'm not following, sorry - Are you saying we should ALL be uninsured? I'm pretty sure that I'd never set foot anywhere NEAR a roadway if I thought that a significant number of the drivers were uninsured. Not because I'm worried about my car, but because I'm worried about who's going to pay the hospital bill if someone hits me.

Now... if we had some reasonable form of universal health care...
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Posted by Steve Allison (+982) 10 years ago
You say I am out only the $500.00 deducible of my insurance. I am also out my medical expenses, the higher amount I have to pay for insurance from now on, the use of a car until I buy a new one and some of the money I have made in payments until the uninsured person hit my. Remember the insurance only pays the depreciated value of the car. If I payed $25,000.00 for the car and two years later it is hit. The insurance pay what a two year old used one is worth. I am out the difference or left suing for it and the medical expenses, adding thousands for the cost of lawyers and years to get though the court system. Remember there is no right to speedy trial in civil cases. I would rather have required insurance the half the population being lawyers working out all the fender benders leaving only the rich being able to afford to drive.
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Posted by Mathew Schmitz (+285) 10 years ago
Based on your earlier statements Don, if Montana does not require that I wear a helmet when riding my motorcycle, then other states can't require that I do when I am riding in their state? Give that a try, and tell me how far you get. Hint: Not very damn far. And in addition to a ticket, you will get a stern lecture by the law enforcement personnel that pulls you over. And quite likely, you will not be permitted to continue down the road until you are wearing a DOT approved helmet.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Bridgier-No I am not saying we should all drive without insurance. I am saying that if you are driving a brand new car, financed from the bank, and the car is wrecked by someone without insurance, the bank requires collision insurance which will repay for the total cost of the new car, minus the deductible. Your insurance agent will strongly suggest you buy uninsured motorist insurance, which will pay for your medical bills caused by the uninsured driver. Your own medical insurance will also pay. That system works wonderfully, mandatory auto insurance does not work. The bank may require you buy this uninsured motorist insurance. And the bank will also require you to buy comprehsive insurance which will pay the thousands of damage if you run into a deer, and other instances.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Steve: I don't know if the bank requires uninsured motorist insurance or not, but the insurance agent will strongly suggest uninsured motorist insurance. This will pay for your medical costs, as will your own personal medical insurance.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Mathew, you need to read the first sentence again. I said if you are from a state that has no mandatory auto insurance law, you would probably have to carry insurance in the other states. All 50 states' motorcycles are exemtp in Montana.

The same applies for motor cycle helmets. If Montana exempts motorcyclists from wearing helmets, all motorcyclist from all 50 states cannot be required to wear helmets in Montana. If a Montana motorcyclist drives in a state with a helmet law, they will need to wear a helmet in that state. You did not read my post correctly.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
That system works wonderfully, mandatory auto insurance does not work.


I don't know if I would describe how that system works as "wonderful", given that it's supposed to be the safety net if the OTHER driver is uninsured.

I know too many people however, who would say "Hey, I'm a safe driver" and forgo the cost of the insurance - costs that would then fall to me in form of increased premiums due to the increased risk of being hit by an uninsured driver, etc, etc.

Unless I'm missing something vital here (and that's entirely possible, as arguments presented as giant walls of text are sometimes hard to follow), this sounds like skimmers bitching that they're not able to skim even more through the use of amazingly innovative new insurance instruments.

No idea how Native Americans figure into this either.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 10 years ago
Maybe Don is referring to the Native American Church?

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (12/6/2011)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
Also:

Why we are own the subject of bad laws I am not happy I was forced to buy flood insurance.


Then you shouldn't have bought a house in a flood plain.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 10 years ago
Someone does deserve a finger point for that being the flood plain, though. We all know it's going to be earthquakes and famine this time.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
The Indian reservations have a high rate of poverty. Mandatory auto insurance hurts their poor. The Native American legislators have therefore voted as a block against mandatory auto insurance which hurts their poor residents.

I would also bet that there are a lot of black legislators against mandatory auto insurance because it hurts the poor in their districts. In central LA, 98% drive without insurance.

In the Dr Maril study 44% said they could not buy food or rent due to mandatory auto insurance. That hurts the poor and the landlords who don't get their rent on time if ever.

The Billings Welfare office did a survey that showed 12% of the people coming into their office for food stamps said auto insurance was one reason for needing food. That equals 30,000 over the last 20 years in Montana. If that isn't hurting the poor, I don't know what is.
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Posted by Maryann McDaniel (+251) 10 years ago
Live in the Houston TX area, where if you do not carry uninsured motorist insurance you are screwed. That insurance protects you from the 6-digit plus drivers in Houston who are illegals, who do not have a drivers licenses, and won't get insurance under their fake ID's, but do get health, education, and food benefits. And our auto insurance costs are outrageous. Do you pay over $3500 a year for two vehicles driven by a retired police officer and a teacher who have never had a ticket, never an accident, etc? When this teacher retires, not sure we can continue to afford the auto insurance!
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
So, your response to "aid" the poor is too... expose them to liability lawsuits, while expecting everyone else to carry additional insurance? Is that really going to solve the problem for them?
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
Sorry, don't really understand what you are saying. The solution to the problem, according to the 715 insurance companies that oppose mandatory auto insurance is for everyone to protect their own autos and bodies with collision, uninsured motorist insurance, and comprehensive insurance. This is what the banks use when they finance cars, and yes, it is a solution to the problem. You do not lose hardly anthing to an uninsured motorist who wrecks your car and injures you except the deductible. If a person who has insurance wrecks your car, he is only liable for part of the damage in a bad accident.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14961) 10 years ago
I and my pregnant wife were rear-ended by an uninsured driver. I paid the deductible and a higher insurance rate after they fixed my car for several years. The insurance company had me testify in court and got a judgement against the uninsured driver. I don't know if they actually ever recouped any money. He was required by KS state law to have insurance. He didn't even get a ticket for no insurance. He gave the cop an expired policy number. (Ironically, he worked at a flower delivery shop and delivered some flowers to my wife a couple months later.)

The notion that if there was no law requiring insurance the price would be cheaper and more people (those in a higher risk pool) would thus buy it, is absolute BS. Insurance companies are like people who lend you an umbrella when the sun is shining and then want it back when it starts to rain. We ought to find ways to help the uninsured comply with the law.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 10 years ago
"Insurance companies are like people who lend you an umbrella when the sun is shining and then want it back when it starts to rain. We ought to find ways to help the uninsured comply with the law."

Well said, Richard.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9198) 10 years ago
What I'm really interested in is what the 716th insurance company thinks about all of this.
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Posted by Don Birkholz (+1319) 10 years ago
All insurance companies will tell you to get collision (on an expensive car), comprehensive (if you hit a deer), and uninsured motorist (to pay medical bills due to an uninsured driver or an insured driver who only has the states minimum in a bad accident.

I don't think we would even have a mandatory auto insurance law if they added up the millions on food stamps and all the late rent payments or no rent payments at all, caused by mandatory auto insurance.

Bridgier: What amounts of insurance are you carrying? If you are carrying the state's required amount (10,000$ for property damage), and you wreck a 30,000$ car, you have to pay 20,000$ out of your own pocket. And if you cause 100,000$ in bodily injury to someone, you have to pay 75,000$ out of your own pocket. These figures are what you have to pay, even if you HAVE INSURANE.
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Posted by mule train (+1057) 10 years ago
Getting back to the topic at hand...anyone remember the "Sportsman Law?"
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