Reply To: Libertarian perspective on legalizing all drugs and DUI laws.


Thanks for the clarification, Osgood. I find Libertarians, myself included apparently, are prone to falling into a trap of over-aggregating the state. You’re right that drunk driving is in a sense doubly illegal. It’s prohibited by the arm of the state that manages roadways and licensing, and then criminalized by the arm of the state that writes and enforces criminal law. If we want to seek a next-to-best solution by assuming the state to be the legitimate owner of the roads, it should only have the power to enforce a prohibition against drunk driving consistent with what a private owner would have.

That said though, a private owner’s power would not necessarily be limited to taking away your license. A breach of contract by one party can warrant recompense beyond just the renunciation of the contractual obligations of the other party – in this case, the obligation to allow a driver to use the roads. And since the state justice system is not based on restitution anyway, who’s to say that they couldn’t simply declare the same punishment(s) that offenders are subject to under the current criminalized system to be the punishment for the breach of contract? Indeed, they could simply amend whatever documents lay out the rules of the road for the licensing branch to “hardcode” the current penalties under criminalization into the terms of use.

It’s a distinction with a difference, but within the faulty context of statism, the end results might be the same, and so I’d still be hesitant to allow the state leeway to enforce the rule.