Target Zero, Zeros in on Public Events

Cop Pulled Car Over DUI

The day of Andy Griffith pulling Otis over because he is just worried about him getting home safely is long since over. But then, that was television. Today, Otis would be labeled a terrorist.

Target Zero

Washington’s Target Zero Project specifically targets DUI and DWI violators with the reasoning that by 2030 they expect to reach a zero fatality statistic. In all of their official literature, they preface their proposal with a tacit apology for their seeming “unrealistic” yet “doable” goal.

How did they come up with the projection of zero deaths? Who’s calling the psychic hotline and getting that prediction? There were predictions we’d have hover cars by now and I still don’t have one in my garage. How will this goal realistically be accomplished?

Project Nerf® World

Some have suggested that to create a completely safe environment on our roads and in our homes is to make everything out of Nerf®, the spongy material that won’t hurt you even if it hits you in the eye. That turned out to not be very practical, so Target Zero is attempting other methods to assure your safety on the roads.

Wrong Place at the Right Time

One way they plan to accomplish this is through a system of legal ambush locations outside bars, concerts, and local events around Spokane where alcohol is served. It is now legal for law enforcement to actually wait as long as they want outside these events or places. It is not entrapment. The reason they give is that they are expected to be in areas where a crime may occur.

As a patron of a local bar or grill you may now be a suspect before you ever exit the building. No one has called 911 or even reported you drunk and driving. But just because you entered an establishment or event where there is alcohol you are a suspect. That means whether you have had zero alcohol or 7 shots, that officer is going to try and make some judgment call about you as you leave the bar, restaurant, or event. They are going to watch you, stalk you, and the second you make some small swerve or break too soon, even if you haven’t been drinking, they will pull you over on suspicion of DUI because you were in the wrong place. Isn’t that the same theory they used about African-American’s in white neighborhoods? (Sorry)

Target Zero Teams

Don’t get me wrong, law enforcement needs to keep chaos under control, but where is the line? When did we start dreaming about the fantasy number of zero without crossing some major civil liberty line?

Did I say fantasy? In addition to monitoring where you have been and with whom, Target Zero does mention the goal of automated cars that will do the driving for you. Until that time, increased surveillance, roadside testing, alcohol sensors in cars, and DUI checkpoints will increase.

So, what are your plans this summer? Do you plan on hitting a few concerts or any other event? Those flashing red and blue lights probably won’t be an officer directing traffic, they will most likely be a DUI checkpoint or a line of cars police are checking for DUI. Better plan to keep your DUI attorney’s number on speed dial if you want to have a drink, because the countdown clock to your own episode of 24 or Law and Order may have just started. The task force, code named Target Zero Team (TZT) is monitoring your present location.

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