Saturday, March 16, 2024

Bill creating the East Bank Development Authority needs to be Redrawn and Powers Limited.

From The Davidson County Republican Party, March 16, 2024-

 Your efforts are paying off!

On Wednesday, we alerted you to state Senate Bill 2968 which seeks to create an "East Bank Development Authority" with extensive control over the 536 acres surrounding the new NFL stadium (that received hundreds of millions of state dollars). The Authority's 7 voting members would all be Metro appointees, given significant power over the development. Thanks to your calls and e-mails, the Senate tabled the bill until Monday evening, allowing for a proper debate. In the state House, the bill (HB2984) was returned to the Local Government Committee for further consideration. The House committee has not scheduled a new hearing for the bill.

Here's what you need to do next...

With a possible Senate vote on Monday night, opposition to SB2968 needs to continue being communicated to Republican members of the Senate - particularly Senator Mark Pody, who now represents part of Nashville and is a cosponsor of the legislation. You can call Senator Pody's office at 615-741-2421 or e-mail him at

Rod' Comment: In my view no unelected body should have the power of eminent domain. Before property can be taken my eminent domain the elected body of the government taking the property should vote to do so. That authority should not be delegated. This bill needs to be rewritten and the power of The Authority limited. 

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Mike Pence Says He Cannot Endorse Trump

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Two days in a row, the Tennessee Democratic Party sent me an email without stating the sender's preferred pronoun.

by Rod Williams, March 16, 2024- On Thursday I posted that I had received a fund-raiser email from Hendrell Remus, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party, in which he had failed to add "his" preferred pronoun along with his closing name. I have gotten emails from TNDP for a long time and am aware of the usual closing preferred pronoun usage.  Because I thought it was such a woke-signaling silly thing to do, I have paid attention to it. 

I got another email from Mr. Remus today, dated March 15th, and again no stated preferred pronoun. That make two in row.  I don't think this is an accident. I think we are witnessing a policy change. 

Was this a result of a decision made in committee or did Mr. Remus on his own decide to stop being so silly? Is he getting any pushback from the superwoke social justice warriors in the Party? Are Trans, non-binary, polygendered or gender fluid Dem's complaining? 

I will pay attention to see if there are three of these pronoun omissions in a row. If anyone has insight as to what is going on, tell me. 

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Britain Rejects the Sinister Fiction of the ‘Transgender Child’

Britain Rejects the Sinister Fiction of the ‘Transgender Child’

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The "Gender Pay Gap" Is a Myth That Won’t Go Away

 The "Gender Pay Gap" Is a Myth That Won’t Go Away

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Breakfast Club to feature East Bank Authority, Mayor O'Connell's Transit Plan, and Education Savings Accounts


Greeting Breakfast Club Members

I am looking forward to another great meeting as we welcome Spring in Middle Tennessee. We have a lot to cover this month. I will give you an update on GOP Nashville's Shooting Stars event. We'll talk about the East Bank Authority, and the status of that bill. I'll also touch on Mayor O'Connell's transit plan. Our biggest topic however will be education vouchers/savings accounts as we welcome Jordon Long, from the Beacon Center.

I hope you'll join us, and enjoy the fantastic sausage biscuits and coffee. The meeting will take place at Plantation Pub, located at 8321 Sawyer Brown Rd., Nashville, TN 37221. We'll start at 8:30am and finish up by 10am. 

 I look forward to seeing you there.

 Lonnie Spivak, Chairman
 GOP Nashville

Jordan is the Director of Government Relations for the Beacon Center of Tennessee. In his role, Jordan works to advance Beacon policy throughout the Legislative and Executive branches. Jordan comes to the Beacon after working for Tennessee State Senator John Stevens, who primarily works on matters related to the state budget and the judiciary, for three years.

Jordan received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He served as the President of the Student Government Association and a member of the Steering Committee to develop the University’s strategic plan. He is currently a fourth-year law student at the Nashville School of Law. In his spare time, Jordan enjoys playing or watching golf.

Copyright © 2024 Breakfast Club, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Breakfast Club
8329 Sawyer Brown Rd
nashvilleTN 37221

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Top Fairgrounds Official Angles Against Affordable Housing Scam intended to kill Fairground Racing

 Board Chair Jasper Hendricks holds out for NASCAR, pushing back on charter revision

by ELI MOTYCKA, Nashville Scene, MAR 14, 2024 - Jasper Hendricks, chair of Nashville’s Fair Commissioners Board, is attempting to quash a proposed Metro Charter amendment as it heads toward a referendum vote in November. The amendment would swap affordable housing with auto racing as a required Nashville Fairgrounds use, tweaking a charter change that passed 2-to-1 in 2011. Hendricks supported Bristol Motor Speedway’s NASCAR push last year as a commissioner and received $1,100 from the corporation during his failed 2023 campaign for District 19 councilmember. 

In a letter dated March 8, Hendricks urged members of the Charter Revision Commission not to approve the affordable housing amendment at its March 11 meeting. Hendricks invokes his position as Fair Chair twice in the letter, arguing that an affordable housing mandate would burden the city with an unknown fiscal impact. Striking racing could also derail Bristol’s NASCAR push, which stalled out last summer despite support from then-Mayor John Cooper's administration. Hendricks’ lobbying looks like an effort to keep a future city deal with Bristol alive. (read more)

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Rep. Susan Lynn, Week 9 Recap

From Rep. Susan Lynn, March 15, 2024-

Rep. Susan Lynn

Lab Grown Meat Bill is set to be heard in the
 Agricultural and Natural Resources
 Subcommittee Next Week

Rep. Lynn is pleased to inform you that HB2860 is up in committee on Tuesday, March 19. This office will update you as the bill moves through the committee process. To watch the stream, please click here.

Open Meetings Act Bill is Set to be heard in the State Government Committee Next Week

Rep. Lynn is pleased to inform you that HB2176 is up in committee on Wednesday, March 20. This office will update you as the bill moves through the committee process. To watch the stream, please click here.

Protect Tennessee Minors Act Advances

The Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week advanced legislation to further protect children from accessing pornography online.  

The Protect Tennessee Minors Act, sponsored by State Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, would require website owners to implement an age-verification process if 33.3 percent or more of their total content was harmful to minors. 

“We don’t allow those under 18 to go into adult entertainment establishments and we don’t allow them to access certain materials,” Hazlewood said. “Unfortunately, in the cyber world it is much easier for children to access it.”

“All of us are aware of the exponential increase in mental health issues, particularly with our children, and I sincerely believe that this is one of the causes,” she added.

national survey found that 73 percent of teen respondents between the ages of 13 and 17 admitted to having viewed pornography online. 

The legislation would require owners of websites with adult content to match a user’s photo to a valid form of identification issued in the United States. Stored data must not include any personal identifying information and the active user must remain anonymous after access has been granted.

Search engines, internet service providers and public interest broadcasts and publications would be excluded from the age verification requirement. Any website owner or operator found to be in violation of the law would face a Class C felony.

House Bill 1614 is scheduled to be heard in the Criminal Justice Committee on March 19.  

Republicans Fight to Combat Illegal Immigration in Tennessee 

Legislation that would allow illegal immigrants convicted of violent crimes in Tennessee to receive life in prison without parole advanced out of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week.

House Bill 1872, sponsored by State Rep. Monty Fritts, R-Kingston, would allow a judge to sentence an illegal immigrant to life without parole if convicted of a violent crime or a deadly weapon was involved in the offense. The bill also authorizes the same enhancement for adults convicted of a violent crime on school property.

“Our justice system routinely enhances penalties when one or more crime is committed at the same time as another,” Fritts said. “Illegal aliens, by entering our country, have committed a crime. If they commit another crime, especially a violent crime, those penalties should be enhanced.”

The arrest of an illegal immigrant and all subsequent convictions must be also reported to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. The data will be used to help understand the impact to Tennessee.  

The Department of Homeland Security has reported more than 6 million encounters along the southern border since 2021. An additional 1.7 million individuals entered the country illegally and successfully evaded authorities.

House Bill 1872 is scheduled to be heard in the Criminal Justice Committee on March 19. 

A bill to prevent illegal immigrants from being transported in Tennessee advanced out of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week. 

House Bill 2078, sponsored by State Rep. Bryan Richey, R-Maryville, would make it a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly or recklessly transport an illegal immigrant in the state. It is currently a crime to transport an illegal immigrant for commercial advantage or private financial gain.

“The crisis at our southern border has made every state a border state,” Richey said. “Thousands of people are illegally making their way into our country every day as a result of the Biden administration’s inaction. This common-sense bill will prevent illegal immigrants from being unlawfully transported into our state. Tennessee Republicans are committed to ensuring we don’t become a haven for illegals because of the federal government’s dereliction of duty.”

The legislation would also increase the fine from $1,000 to $5,000 for each person illegally transported. House Bill 2078 is scheduled to be heard in the Criminal Justice Committee on March 19.

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Thursday, March 14, 2024

Does this Signal a less Woke Tennessee Democratic Party?

by Rod Williams, March 14, 2024- What's going on with the Tennessee Democratic Party.  Has it gone to sleep? Is it less woke? I guess "asleep" it the opposite of "woke," right? 

I am on the mailing list of the Tennessee Democratic Party. Every time I get an email from the Chair (I almost said "Chairman," then caught myself), - anyway; every time I get an email from the Chair of the TNDP, he always signs off, following his name, with his "he, him" preferred pronoun and then his tittle, "Chair Tennessee Democratic Party." Well today, I got an email and he, (I assume he is still a "he") did not follow his name with "he, him." 

What's up?  Is it a change in direction and an attempt to attract normal sane people to the Tennessee Democratic Party? Or, did Remus just get tired of the silliness? Or, was it an oversight and he just accidently resorted to being a normal person? I am trying not to read too much into it, but I anxiously await the next email to see if this is a one-time slip up or a policy change. 

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Study: 74% of Nashville neighborhoods unaffordable for average family

 “What has caused that over the last several years is lack of inventory.”

By Michael Warrick, WSMV, Mar. 13, 2024 - Nearly three-quarters of Nashville neighborhoods aren’t affordable for married-couple households, based on a study by Creditnews Research.

The study found that among the largest 50 U.S. cities, Nashville has the ninth-highest percentage of unaffordable neighborhoods.

“Homes are expensive, I mean we can’t ignore that part,” realtor Denise Moore, who also serves as Board Chair of the Greater Nashville Realtors, said. “What has caused that over the last several years is lack of inventory. When we don’t have inventory we have an increase in competition, and when it’s competitive those prices are driven up.” (read more)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Metro Arts Commision still Crazy after all These Years. Racism causes Director to take Sick Leave.

 by Rod Williams, March 7, 2024- Things just keep getting more embarrassing and nuttier at the Metro
Arts Commission. Things have been weird at Metro Ars since at least 2016. Back in 2016 the agency underwent a change to promote equity and to engage in more "micro-funding opportunities, education programs and neighborhood-specific initiatives." Prior the agency had focused on funding a handful of high profile established organization such as Children's Theater, The Frist, the symphony, ballet and a few others. These were too white for modern liberal sensibilities. Turmoil followed the change in focus.  Conflicts between funding large organizations versus small independent artists continues at the commission. 

There have been scandals, lawsuits, charges of racism and sexism, resignations, oustings, and changes in leadership at the Commission. Commission employees have described the agency’s leadership style as “rely[ing] heavily on intimidation, fear and punishment” and fostering a “culture of individualism, competition and secrecy." Outside organizations have been hired to help the Commission "overcome their racist past and transition to an anti-racist future." Still yet, things do not seem to improve.

Since Daniel Singh was appointed the Executive Director of Metro Arts a couple years ago and controversy and dysfunction have remained the norm. Now there are 13 filled seats on the 15-seat commission but at one time the Commission was down to seven. I won't be surprised to see some resignations soon. An audit of the Commission revealed problems. I have not read the audit, and don't know how bad it is, but I understand it revealed problems with financial management at the agency. 

Now it really gets weird. Ex. Dir. Daniel Singh is on sick leave. He has been on sick leave since Feb. 23rd. No, he doesn't have cancer or a heart condition or some injury, nor is he out with the flu.  He is sick from racism. He says, “The racist behavior of the Metro Government has affected my health." Below is his press release:

I am entitled to and am on sick leave. CDC says Racism has a direct impact on the health of BIPOC Communities. The racist behavior of the Metro Government has affected my health.  Your privilege is what lets you ask me about my sick leave use.  At the 3-4-24 MHRC meeting, Rev Tucker talked about how metro arts staff have been weaponized. I am protecting my health from this toxic behavior.

  • I attended the Council and MHRC meetings under great duress because I want to show up for the antiracist artists who are fighting for their rights to be funded equitably.
  • Notified staff and all appropriate entities about my sick leave.
  • Fully committed to an antiracist vision for metro arts. The real question here is will the Mayor and Council fund Metro Arts at the requested 1% of Nashville’s budget as they promised during their campaign?
  • My management of staff is repeatedly being undermined by several racist Metro Agencies. Understandably that has a toll on my health.

 For source material and more see link, link, and link

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

AIER's Bastiat Society of Nashville invites you to join us on Tuesday, March 26 for an event with John Papola, founder and CEO of Austin-based Emergent Order Foundation, and on Tuesday, April 16th for an event with Lawrence W. Reed, President Emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEE).

Registration for these events is required on the Nashville Chapter website. To register, click here.

March 26th discussion with John Papola:

As we head into the second quarter of the 21st century, humanity faces challenges both old and new. And our newest challenges are causing a resurgence in some of our oldest and worst ideas. The world has never been a better place to be born in terms of material prosperity, yet the young people of our wealthiest societies are reporting unprecedented levels of psychological and social distress. Healthy adulthood has given way to an emotionally fragile extended adolescence and with it a demand for safety, security, and socialism. To save the future of freedom in America and beyond, we need to reexamine why freedom matters, how each of us develops a freedom mindset, and commit ourselves to raising our next generation to develop one as well.

John Papola is first and foremost a husband, father, Italian Catholic, and patriotic voluntarist. He's also a serial media entrepreneur committed to using storytelling for the advancement of civilization and human flourishing. The founder and CEO of Austin-based Emergent Order Foundation, John is best known for his Keynes vs. Hayek economics rap videos, which have reached tens of millions of students and educators globally. He also hosts Dad Saves America, a digital series dedicated to exploring the biggest issues facing our next generation through the lens of heroic fatherhood.

Over the past decade, John's media enterprises have produced hundreds of hours of cinematic original content for over 100 million global viewers powered by over $50 million in total revenue.

As a film director and producer, John's feature documentary At The Fork, produced in collaboration with Whole Foods Market and the HSUS, debuted to critical acclaim, an international premiere at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival and worldwide distribution by Amazon Prime. His second film The Pursuit starring NY Times bestseller Arthur Brooks, about the search for happiness and global prosperity, debuted on Netflix. His newest film To My Father, starring Academy Award winner Troy Kotsur, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2023.

Papola began his career in New York City at major networks including MTV, Nickelodeon and Spike TV where, as one of the network's creative directors, he launched numerous new shows with award-winning creative campaigns, including the True Dads and True Dads in Uniform initiatives.

April 16th discussion with Lawrence W. Reed:

Economist and historian Lawrence W. Reed has been hearing people say "Jesus was a socialist" for fifty years. And it has always bothered him. Now he is doing something about it. Jesus called on earthly governments to redistribute wealth? Or centrally plan the economy? Or even impose a welfare state? Hardly. Point by point, Reed answers the claims of socialists and progressives who try to enlist Jesus in their causes. As he reveals, nothing in the New Testament supports their contentions.Socialism has made a shocking comeback in America. Poll after poll shows that young Americans have a positive image of socialism. In fact, more than half say they would rather live in a socialist country than in a capitalist one. And as socialism has come back into vogue, more and more of its advocates have tried to convince us that Jesus was a socialist. This rhetoric has had an impact.

Lawrence W. ("Larry") Reed became President of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. He previously served for 21 years as President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan (1987-2008). He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

In May 2019, he retired to the role of President Emeritus at FEE and assumed the titles of Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty. The 2020 Chairman of the prestigious Mont Pelerin Society, Linda Whetstone of Britain, says "Larry is a rarity in the liberty movement. From scratch, he built one fantastic think tank (Mackinac Center), engineered a perfect succession transition after 21 years, then went on to save and rebuild another great organization (FEE). He pioneered a leadership program that trained think tank executives and staff from all over the world and he writes some of the movement's best and most enduring materials. His 'Seven Principles' and 'Great Myths of the Great Depression' are two of the most popular essays among lovers of liberty in country after country. He is in constant demand as a powerful speaker. He is a success wherever he goes and in whatever he does. And he's a genuine gentleman, always a joy to work with."

He holds a B.A. in economics from Grove City College (1975) and an M.A. degree in history from Slippery Rock State University (1978), both in Pennsylvania. He holds two honorary doctorates, one from Central Michigan University (public administration, 1993) and Northwood University (laws, 2008).

He is a native of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and a 30-year resident of Midland, Michigan, and since 2010 has resided in Newnan, Georgia, where he writes a column for The Newnan Times-Herald.

Eventbrite Ticket Required. Registration link coming soon.

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Proposal to remove racing, add affordable housing at fairgrounds certified

 Metro's Charter Revision Commission will move petition to signature phase if no appeal

The Metro Charter Revision Commission voted Monday to certify a petition to remove auto racing and add affordable housing to the Fairgrounds Nashville amendment. (link)

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Monday, March 11, 2024

Why Haley Voters Should Support Biden

David French
By David French, The New York Times, March 10, 2024- Last Wednesday, a day before he delivered a rousing State of the Union address, Joe Biden issued an invitation to the roughly 30 percent of Republican primary voters who had voted for Nikki Haley in the G.O.P. presidential primaries before she dropped out. The message was simple: Donald Trump doesn’t want you, but we do. After all, Trump said on Truth Social that anyone who made a “contribution” to Haley would be “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.” Biden, by contrast, acknowledged differences of opinion with Haley voters but argued that agreement on democracy, decency, the rule of law and support for NATO should unite Haley voters against Trump.

Is Biden correct? Is there an argument that could persuade a meaningful number of Haley conservatives to vote for Biden? ....If a political party is a shared enterprise for advancing policies and ideas with the hope of achieving concrete outcomes, then there are key ways in which a second Biden term would be a better fit for Reagan Republicans than Round 2 of Trump. ... 

Take national security. Even apart from his self-evident disregard for democracy, Trump’s weakness in the Ukraine conflict and his hostility to American alliances may represent the most dangerous aspects of a second term, with potential world-historic consequences similar to those of American isolationism before World War II. ... Biden’s continuing support for NATO, by contrast, has made America stronger. 

There is no fiscal conservative in the race. ... 

Let’s also look at the rule of law. ... Violent crime “is near its lowest level in 50 years.” ...  the Biden administration didn’t defund the police, but MAGA might. ..

... only one party is nominating a man who’s been impeached twice, indicted in four criminal cases, found liable for systemic financial fraud, and found liable for sexual abuse and for defaming his victim. He is a man who inspired and gave at least tacit support to a violent assault on the Capitol in an effort to overturn an American election. (read it all)

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Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget Reacts to the President’s FY 2025 Budget

From Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget, March 11, 2024-   President Biden released his Fiscal Year 2025 budget request today, including a number of tax and spending proposals and a roadmap for the country’s finances over the next decade. 

Under the President’s budget, based on its own estimates, the national debt would rise to $45.1 trillion or 105.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2034, from $27.4 trillion or about 97 percent of GDP today. The budget would reduce deficits by a net $3.3 trillion over the next decade, relative to its baseline. 

A preliminary analysis of the budget is available here, and a full analysis will be sent out later today. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: 

The national debt is on a steady march upwards, and it would take nearly $8 trillion of savings just to stabilize the debt over the next decade. It’s dangerous that we’ve let things get this bad, and we need to treat it like the priority that it is. The President’s call for over $3 trillion of deficit reduction is a welcome start, and he deserves credit for presenting a budget that pays for new initiatives and improves our fiscal situation; but the budget doesn’t go nearly far enough.  

There are many helpful proposals in the budget that could reduce projected deficits, including ideas to close various tax loopholes, lower prescription drug costs, and raise significant amounts of new revenue. But at the same time, it turns around and spends much of this money, eating into the overall savings. And spending would grow more than it was already projected to, reaching record levels during a non-emergency period starting this year. Given our debt situation, we need to be slowing government spending, not growing it.   

The White House needs to make debt reduction a major priority and work with Congress to take the issue seriously, stop making promises about what they won’t do, and work together to come up with serious workable solutions.  

This year, interest payments on the national debt will surpass spending on defense – a milestone that threatens our standing as the leader of the free world – and surpass spending on Medicare as well. Under current law, we will borrow more than $20 trillion over the next decade – and that’s assuming we don’t extend any of the expiring policies over the next few years. Meanwhile, Social Security and Medicare trust funds will be insolvent within a decade. We’ve reached the point at which baby steps just aren’t going to cut it anymore. 

The President’s budget proposes about $6 trillion of new revenue and spending reductions. But around half of that will go to fund new initiatives and most of what’s remaining might be needed to extend expiring tax cuts below $400,000 – something the President has called for without saying how he’d pay for it. 

The President deserves kudos for paying for his new initiatives. Agreeing that new policies should not add one penny to the debt is a critical first start in addressing our debt situation.  Given our dismal fiscal situation, though, we really shouldn’t be passing big new spending programs and tax cuts until we have a plan to fix the debt and responsibly address any policy extensions.  

Not helpful is the President’s refusal to touch Social Security, the largest government program, or the roughly 95 percent of taxpayers making less than $400,000 per year. That’s like asking a doctor to perform a surgery with one hand tied behind his back. 

Calling for new revenue to secure Medicare is important, but we also need a plan to hold down health care costs and to restore Social Security solvency before its trust fund runs out in less than a decade. Each year we spend ducking the hard choices is a year we could have spent saving these programs not just for future generations, but also for current retirees who may otherwise be harmed. 

We are entering an inflection point in our nation’s fiscal history. Time is of the essence to get our situation under control. Both the economy and our national security depend on it.  

This budget is an important step in the right direction, but it’s still too little. The budget lacks a plan to put the debt on a downward path, to pay for its proposed tax cut extensions, or to prevent the 23 percent across-the-board Social Security benefit cut – the equivalent of a $17,400 cut for a newly retired couple – scheduled to take effect around 2033. 

We need presidential leadership to take the bull by the horns and get our fiscal health under control, and we need Congressional leadership as well. With divided government in an election year, we know it won’t be easy – it hardly ever is. Nevertheless, the President and Congress should work together, as they did last year with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, to begin making some serious progress. 

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Revisiting the Holocaust Perpetrators, Dr. Christopher Browing, Tue. March 19th


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Liberty on the Rocks Monthly Meetup


To RSVP follow this link. However, if you fail to RSVP, just show up. I plan on attending this one and hope to see you there. 

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Sunday, March 10, 2024

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving

by Rod Williams, March 15, 2024 -
 St. Patrick's Day is upon us. This is either the second or third most likely day of the year in which people will get drunk and drive.  New Year's Eve is, by far, the day people are most likely to drink and drive and Cinco De Mayo and St. Patrick's Day are the second and third runners up, but I am not sure which is second and which is third.  Anyway, there will be a lot of amateur drunk drivers on the road on March 17th.

Many of these people will be people who only occasionally drink and rarely get drunk, so they will not have developed good drunk driving skills.  For these amateurs, I am presenting these tips from the Rod Williams School from Drunk Driving.

(1) Don't Drive drunk. That is the number one tip: don't do it. Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else.  If you are lucky and don't kill someone else or yourself, getting arrested for drunk driving could cost you your job, your election, your social standing, custody of your children or visitation rights, a lot of money, and maybe your marriage.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. If you do get drunk, Uber or Lyft or get a hotel room or call a friend or family member and ask them to come get you. If at a friend's house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night.  

Lyft and Uber are affordable, fast, and convenient.  By now, most people who live an active life have probably used one of these services. If you have not used one of the services however, the way they work is that you page a ride using your phone. To do that you must first download an app. Don't wait until you're drunk to try to download the app. Here is a link to the Uber app.

(2) Pick the designated driver before you start drinking.  If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, and you know you are going to be drinking and you are going with other people, then have a designated driver. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver.
Despite the above advice, I know there will be times when a person will have had too much to drink and not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk. I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are possibly driving impaired I am providing these below tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

(3) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. See the above tips. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(4) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” That is what often happens. If during the evening you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after-dinner liquor with coffee, and a champagne toast, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.

On occasion, but not as often as I would like and certainly not as often as when I younger, I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however, if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I almost never have eight drinks in a four-hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115-pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 100-proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(5) You'r not a kid anymore. As you age, your reaction times can slow down, and you can lose the ability to effectively divide your attention between multiple activities. Aging tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility. Face it, there are some things you cannot do as well when you are old as you could when you were young.  You may not be safely able to drink as much and drive.

(6)  Point your car in the direction of home.  Plan your trip. A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. A long time ago, in the days before Uber and when you could still park on Broadway, I would visit the honkytonk strip of Lower Broad. I never would park on Broadway, however. I live on the south side of town, so I would park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. That meant I did not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(7) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are may have had enough to register drunk and use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Be aware of this.

(8) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate 
to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(9) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not turned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. This was in a previous car, years ago when headlights did not turn on automatically. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(10)  One crime at a time! Do not commit other crimes while driving drunk. If stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, don't compound your problems by being arrested for drunk driving and something else.  Don't smoke dope while driving drunk. Don't get arrested for drunk driving and for speeding, or possession of a controlled substance, or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or soliciting prostitution.

(11) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.

(12) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passenger's seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(13) If you may be drunk, refuse the Breathalyzer test. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

(14) Don't sleep it off in the car.  Should you find yourself drunk and think a nap will revive you or that you may just spend the night in your car, don't do it. Even if you are not driving, if you are in your car drunk, you can be charged with DUI.  See the guidelines above about alternatives to driving drunk. If you can't take a ride-share or call a friend, and you do end up drunk, it would be better to sleep it off in a doorway or park bench than in your car. 

(15) Tell the officer you have foot drop. If in doubt as to whether or not you can walk a straight line, don't do it. Some people can't walk a straight line even sober. Tell the officer you have foot drop, or a bad hip or have other conditions that keeps you from walking a straight line. It might work.

Rep. Bill Beck
(16) Use your influence to get the charge thrown out. Be a State Representative or other person (link) with important friends in high places who can get a judge to throw out the charge based on lack of probable cause for making the stop. Despite the police seeing you drive with wheels over the lane line and observing the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, and inability to walk straight and despite the arresting officer saying you were "absolutely hammered," the judge may rule the arresting officer did not have probable cause for making the stop.

(17) Pray. It can't hurt.

This is a tip suggested by one of the students of the Rod Williams School for Drunk Driving and I am incorporating it into the curriculum.

(18) If you are seeing double, close one eye. 

Stay safe. Drive careful. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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