Lodi News-Sentinel

Car control: How to reduce drunk driving

- STEVE HANSEN LODI NEWS-SENTINEL Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer and satirist. Contact him at news@lodinews. com.

Reporter Stringer Wireman interviews State Sen. Grandiose Gasberger from the great state of Exodus on his proposed program designed to reduce drunk driving:

Wireman: Sen. Gasberger, tell us about your plan to reduce impaired driving.

Gasberger: Sure, Stringer. By the way, just call me “Grandiose.” I’m really just a folksy kind of guy, you know. My friends call me “Grand.” But getting back to your question, my bill takes one of the strictest approaches in the entire country to the problem of driving under the influence. We simply can’t afford to lose another resident to this horrible, heinous and unnecessar­y crime. Wireman: So, what are

you doing? Gasberger: First of all, I propose we do background checks on those who purchase cars, either new or used. Anyone who has a history of substance abuse will not be allowed to purchase one. Only licensed dealers will be able to sell vehicles. Transfer of titles between private owners will no longer be allowed. When purchasing a car, one also must take a 25-question true or false test to demonstrat­e their knowledge on impaired driving.

Wireman: Well, it sounds like you’re off to a good start. What else does your bill cover?

Gasberger: No one can purchase more than one car per month. There’s a 10-day waiting period before you can take delivery. These cars must be approved from an official list by the DMV. For example, over 90 horsepower? No way! Gas tanks will be limited to 10 gallons per vehicle.

Wireman: Hummm. I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind these ideas for lawful drivers, but please go on.

Gasberger: We’ll ban any box truck weighing over three tons. They can do tremendous damage when driven into a crowd at high speed.

Wireman: Now THAT, I don’t quite get, senator. Are you telling me you are going to ban box trucks when 99.99% of them are never used in mass killings? How are people supposed to get their goods delivered?

Gasberger: Not my problem. And, we also are going to require background checks every time someone fills up at a gasoline pump.

Wireman: This is getting pretty crazy, senator. Why are you requiring everyone to jump through all these hoops when the vast majority of drivers will never deliberate­ly or recklessly injure someone else with a vehicle?

Gasberger: Well, you don’t know who will and who won’t, Stringer. You just have to treat everyone the same.

Wireman: You know senator, your plan is starting to sound an awful lot like your state’s approach to gun control. How has that worked for stopping mass shootings? Shouldn’t you be focusing on the fools who are committing the crimes and not the tools they are using?

Gasberger: And you’re starting to sound like one of those car nuts from the National Car Guys Associatio­n. If it weren’t for these people and their lobbyists back in Washington, we would have much safer roads in this state, and that’s a fact!

Wireman: I still don’t understand why you don’t focus on the criminal instead of the tool. What do you think the chances are of getting your bill passed and signed? Gasberger: In this state, any proposal for safer roads is automatica­lly passed and signed into law. It really doesn’t matter whether it works or not, or how many law-abiding people are negatively affected. The whole point is to make it look like we are doing something about the situation. And that, my friend, equals votes! In the end, once all vehicles are finally off the road, our problem will be solved. That’s our ultimate goal.

Wireman: I see your point. Guess I’d better get my daughter’s horse out of the barn and learn how to ride it.

Gasberger: Good idea. But you will be fined if Nelle deposits any droppings on the road.

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