Terror arrests ¢â¬â a hypothetical

Suppose you’re at a rollicking pub. An obviously very-drunk man is staggering about, brandishing his car-keys. From what you can understand from his slurred speech, his intention is to shortly drive home.

Do you:

(a) try to gently talk him out of it? (even at the risk of fruitlessly consuming a good chunk of your social night)

(b) bundle him into a taxi? (some low-level physical wrangling will be required, plus searching through the guy’s wallet for the fare)

(c) call the police anonymously, and have him arrested for attempted culpable driving? (the logic behind him being charged with a more serious offence than ordinary drink driving is that the latter, by definition, hasn’t caused death but the former could cause death. NOTE: the offence of “attempted culpable driving” is made-up here, but please assume that, as is generally the case, its penalties are on the same scale as for actual culpable driving)

(d) do nothing? (this could be for principled reasons to do with inchoate offences being necessarily outside the reach of the law until they crystallise into something firmer, or equally because you can’t be bothered)

If you answered (a), then you’re a left-liberal WASP, unreconstructed since pre-1979. Which means: seriously, you’re kidding yourself go back and answer (b), (c) or (d).

If you answered (b), then nice try, too. It’s definitely more realistic in 2005 than (a), but common-sense legal short-cuts and citizen self-help are out, out, out. September 11 would have only, at worst, been four planes crashing into nothing-in-particular, otherwise. And the type of low-wage, couldn’t-give-a-fuck-bots who manned US airport security on September 11, 2001 are all the more plentiful four years on, of course. Being the “muscle” is their job, isn’t it? That is, even common-sense, low-level wrangling is best left to the “professionals” (sic).

If you answered (c), then congratulations. (And now that you’re feeling so chuffed and snug-as-a-bug-in-a-security-blanket, why don’t you go park your car in urban France. That’ll show’em!)

If you answered (d), then you have fundamentally misread the situation, and hence are now in big trouble. Your high-principled/social-life-first mindset has resulted in a glaring blind-spot YOU are also in that pub dangling around keys/swizzle-sticks/whatever, albeit unconsciously, but in a manner that looks glaringly criminal to everyone but you (and the very-drunk other guy, whom you are now of course going to join in Goulburn SuperMax).

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3 Responses to Terror arrests ¢â¬â a hypothetical

  1. Richard Tonkin says:

    Packing my fiddle for a trip to Darwin, I’m wondering when it will be confiscated as a possible tool to perform seditious songs with.

    No, your ‘onour I didn’t write it! Twas Bobby Dylan who committed the crime.

    How much time does one spend in Goulburn for being an accessory to malicious folk-singing?

    I’m laughing now, but flying back into Adelaide amid pre-Rumsfeld security measures may not be such a giggle.

  2. Vee says:

    I don’t mean to be rude but is it just me or did only half that post make sense.

    And to deny (b) has all the earmarks of a metropolitan surrounding only.

  3. Tell the drunk to wait a moment. Get his keys, smash the car up, return it to him and then ask him who the hell caused all the damage, and he better not drive the car as the coppers would book him for drunk driving and his insurance will not pay him out.
    The bloke will likely sober up fightened he did the damage, and take a walk (In view the tyers are burned to shreds and so can’t drive anyhow.)

    Just look at it this way, if he still insist in driving he will not get far anyhow with flat tyers. He might just sleep it out, in the car.

    Or, the simples thing to do is to get his keys and walk off with them (hand them in at a police station otherwise you get knicked for stealing keys)! He can sleep in the car, but not drive it.

    Then again, you might just offer him a lift in your own car, drive him home and leave him be.
    Then spend the next few days trying to clean out your car as he emptied his stomach content onto your car seats. Beats having to clean a car that is not dirty, (As my wife always insist to clean the car even so I cannot even fill a bucket of dirt out of it), so at least you get an excuse to clean your car for a reason.

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