Pulled over in your mutant vehicle?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding the building and creation of mutant vehicles in Black Rock City
uncle sticky
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Pulled over in your mutant vehicle?

Post by uncle sticky » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:09 am

We've got a mutant vehicle this year for the first time, and I'm hearing some disturbing rumors about LEO interaction with the drivers and passengers. Is it possible, or likely, to get a DUI on the Playa if you're over a .08 BAC? I know the Bman DMV rules regarding operation, but I'm more interested in hearing about the way that default LEOs act towards the vehicles. With no roads, how would they know if I'm swerving? I've never seen a playa sobriety test administered! What about the fact that people will be on or in the car that I don't know? Can I be held responsible as the driver if they have contraband?
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BottomFeeder
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Post by BottomFeeder » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:35 am

I always got the impression that if the car is driving slowly and in a safe manner, they would let things slide a bit. Of course, I don't plan on driving my car drunk this year (new art car). But, I'm sure that one of my camp mates will take it for a spin while sloshed. I'm going to rig the throttle so it can't exceed idle. This way a drunk passenger can't stretch over and punch the accelerator either.

Any stories of art car drivers getting DUIs?

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:57 am

My impression from being married to an ex-BRC Ranger is that they would be pretty hard on anyone caught. Considering art cars' size and often extended blind spots, plus the fact that many have loud sound systems, they are dangerous enough when driven sober.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Lassen Forge
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Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:15 am



You wanna drive drunk on the playa, stay the fuck home. You can't control your desire to drink, or can't control your art car, or those riding in it, you have no business driving one.

Legally - You are (a) in Nevada, (b) on Federal Property. Read the rules. Read BM's rules.

Yeah, they arrest DUI's out there. They impound art cars *and* personal vehicles. Wanna go home? Bail yourself out, then bail your ride out.

(See bb heat up now. You may want to hide the children.)

Regardless - I'll tell you what. I'll get good and drunk, get behind the wheel of something that weighs 2 tons (or 10 tons, or whatever) going 5 MPH. You walk in front of me, trying to keep me from running you over. THEN we'll see how fun it is to be a drunk driver on the Playa. Wheeeee...

(Now, see bb when she's really pissed. Viewer discretion advised)

On a more personal note... and you can take this one to the bank... I catch you driving an art car while drunk, someone will have to call the Man and the Rangers and whoever else they can so they can stop me from beating the shit out of you (and those who know me know I'm actually capable of this). I may go to jail... but you won't be driving. You get the impression (a) how stupid it is to drive drunk, or (b) my feelings are? Wanna know why?

I deal with the aftermath of people who think it's OK to drive drunk all the fucking time. Innocent dead people because someone thought it was OK to drive after drinking. How many people you want to kill? Deal with dead dads, dead children, people fucking permanently paralyzed, ruined lives? Destroyed art, destroyed camps, wrecking into other art cars?

Sorry, but I can't just sit there and watch this kind of thing slide by. Fucking pisses me off. Sorry...

DAMNIT.

bb

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:23 am

Nicely put, Sue.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Dork
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Post by Dork » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:24 am

I got "pulled over" by a ranger once because someone told him an art car (which could have been mine) was driving too fast. He basically just passed along the information, accepting the fact that he didn't know if it was actually me or if the car was actually speeding. My partner (in the "built an art car together" sense of the word) got pulled over for speeding and given a warning. If he got pulled over again that year we would have been impounded. The warnings follow the car, not the driver.

You can definitely get in serious trouble for driving while impaired. In addition to LEOs, you may get your ass kicked by burners who spot you almost running someone over driving drunk. Is it honestly that hard to wait until you're done driving for the night before you have a drink? If you can't trust your campmates to drive sober, don't give them a key.

As far as you getting in trouble for people carrying something, that's unlikely but as a rule I don't let people toke in the open. When you're on an art car there's a lot of attention drawn to you, some of which can be from LEOs.

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Post by MrMullen » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:08 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:
You wanna drive drunk on the playa, stay the fuck home. You can't control your desire to drink, or can't control your art car, or those riding in it, you have no business driving one.
bb
Thank God someone said it. I don't know why this is even a debate or even being discussed. If you can't be sober behind the wheel, then stay the fuck home and goto an AA meeting.
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Mr Mullen

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Token
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Breathalyze Them

Post by Token » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:36 am

Considering that portable Breathalyzers cost less than $50 and that Saliva test kits can be had for under $10, do the right thing and get both. If anyone wants to drive the art car, they gotta blow. Simple.

As for passengers taking a swig from a flask while you are driving, same highway rules applies. No open containers allowed in the vehicle. You as the driver ARE responsible. If you did not design your art car such that the passenger compartment is separated from the drivers area (like a limo, for example) it is your problem to deal with.

Don't let a dumbass camp mate ruin your life.

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Ron
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Post by Ron » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:39 am

I'll second and third BBS's sentiment, and add some observations of my own.

Yes, I've seen breathalyzers administered on the playa. In fact, and this is a true story, a campmate of mine got a DUI for riding his *bicycle* while trashed on the playa. That and roughed up a bit by the LE in question after he mouthed off to them when they, "pulled him over." My direct observation came when they frog marched him into camp to retrieve his ID and write the tickets. So, yes, get caught drinking and driving and LE will come down on you. Be mouthy with them and they'll come down hard on you.

Secondly, BBS isn't the only burner out there looking for a chance enact some righteous justice. As I told a female corespondent, "in a worse case scenario scream like hell. BRC is full of wanna be heros." There are a host of folk who would love the chance to, "save the burn from the damage of having a drunk art car driver run over someone," (not to mention saving the pedestrian in question). If LE doesn't kick your ass, some other burner will.

And finally, why would you want to? Sure I'll drive within an hour of having a single drink. But any more than that and I don't *want* to drive. Besides all the external enforcers, don't you have an internal voice telling you it might not be wise to drive an art car around the playa while over the legal limit?

Ron

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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:41 am

While this is a good discussion....remember we now have Norcal on the board who has ties to the "Lampman Incident / Tragedy".
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Tiara
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Post by Tiara » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:55 am

The Lampman incident has nothing to do with this discussion, which is about the many reasons why driving while impaired is a stupid thing to do, especially on the playa.

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Post by Kinetic IV » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:17 am

Tiara, Norcal is looking for anything negative that he can find about the event and nobody knows positively what his ties are to the legal action. It's simply something to be aware of until we know more about him. We could be providing him information that could come back to burn us all in the future...

In any event we don't want vigilantes pulling people out of art cars for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. I'm sitting here thinking about ways that participants could strike a balance between safety and protecting the art car drivers from being potentially assaulted...I'm visualizing someone that's heat exhausted who weaves one too many times being jumped by a pack of vigilantes...I'm also thinking back to discussions on loud sound camps and how people disliked the idea of going over and cutting their cords or sabotaging generators, etc. You want to handle the problem with class...and you can't always get to a Ranger in time for them to diplomatically handle it. I'm just throwing out my thoughts on this...maybe it will inspire a creative community solution to the problem.
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capjbadger
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Post by capjbadger » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:41 am

Ron wrote:In fact, and this is a true story, a campmate of mine got a DUI for riding his *bicycle* while trashed on the playa. That and roughed up a bit by the LE in question after he mouthed off to them when they, "pulled him over." Ron
Wait.. WFT?? Pulled over for riding a bicycle?? What's next, tickets for being drunk in public? :x
Arrrggg!! Avast ye fucking fluffy bunny shirtcockers! Haul your drunken hairy fat ass out of our sight or prepare to receive a hot buttered hedgehog fired up your aft quarters!

Honey Badger don't care. Honey Badger don't give a shit!

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Lassen Forge
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Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:18 pm

(Post deleted because it was too overboard. And angry.)

bb

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mojo
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Post by mojo » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:49 pm

BottomFeeder-

What kind of art car are you bringing?

uncle sticky
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Thanks for the input

Post by uncle sticky » Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:25 pm

I'm not going to start defending the question that I asked, but I am going to take what has been written to heart. Thanks for the input. Our MV will not be driven by anybody whom is impaired. Thanks especially to BBS for the emphatic and passionate reply, which I think is totally appropriate, and really had an impact on me.
The handbasket to hell is leaving. Hop in world!

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Ron
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Post by Ron » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:45 pm

Wow! Bravo Uncle!

:)

Ron

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Lassen Forge
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Re: Thanks for the input

Post by Lassen Forge » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:04 pm

uncle sticky wrote:I'm not going to start defending the question that I asked, but I am going to take what has been written to heart. Thanks for the input. Our MV will not be driven by anybody whom is impaired. Thanks especially to BBS for the emphatic and passionate reply, which I think is totally appropriate, and really had an impact on me.
Thank you!!! I am MUCH better now that I read that!!!

Have a day...
bb

uncle sticky
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Last comment on this topic, I hope.

Post by uncle sticky » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:10 pm

I am pretty smart and responsible. That was a dumb question and idea. Thanks for setting me straight, or forward! Even old dogs can learn something now and again!

Have a good burn!
The handbasket to hell is leaving. Hop in world!

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Post by HughMungus » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:12 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:

You wanna drive drunk on the playa, stay the fuck home. You can't control your desire to drink, or can't control your art car, or those riding in it, you have no business driving one.
Yep. If you are drinking at all, don't drive your MV. Please. If not for the sake of others, for your own sake -- imagine ruining Burning Man for yourself forever. I know my life would suck if it happened to me.
It's what you make it.

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Token
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Post by Token » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:23 pm

Stay on target folks, we are yet to hear BottomFeeder's contrition or persevere in his attrition.

He did expres the likelyhood of his camp mates driving his F250 based art car "sloshed".

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Re: Thanks for the input

Post by HughMungus » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:26 pm

uncle sticky wrote:I'm not going to start defending the question that I asked, but I am going to take what has been written to heart. Thanks for the input. Our MV will not be driven by anybody whom is impaired. Thanks especially to BBS for the emphatic and passionate reply, which I think is totally appropriate, and really had an impact on me.
I hope you don't feel like people are coming down on you for something you haven't even done yet, but, seriously, I wouldn't let anyone drive if they have had anything to drink at all. If you or your friends do have some kind of incident or are stopped for any reason, I doubt a ranger or LEO is going to give a break to anyone who smells of alcohol whether they are drunk or not. Sometimes rules have to be absolute and I think this is one of those cases.
It's what you make it.

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Post by skibear » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:50 pm

I was driving DUI on my bicycle last year.
Is that chargeable?

After falling off many times it was so bad I walked
the bike the rest of the way to my camp.
crash & burn ski lessons given

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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:02 pm

I believe that vehicle with the driver seperated from the passengers are being counted as "limosines & vehicles for hire" under Nevada law (the jursidiction is BLM, but BLM defaults to State Law unless otherwise stated). Limosines can have open containers in the passenger area.

Vehicles that have one common area are (sometimes at least) treated differently. I was pulled over last year because my passengers had drinks (I was totally sober, and a good thing - they did a quicky field test). They made everyone poor out their drinks - on the playa :( - and warned me that next time I would be ticketed for open containers. YMMV.
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Post by haolegolucky » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:47 am

as someone who got f****** hit by a drunk driver on 26 sept last year, don't get drunk and drive.

there is not a single good excuse to drive drunk...PERIOD.

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Post by BottomFeeder » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:29 am

Token, back off, man. I'm not advocating drunken driving what so ever. I personally will not drive drunk. I know that it's dangerous. I know that it could hurt people, damage art, etc. In fact, I'll do as much as I can to prevent people from driving drunk. But, I've seen it plenty on the playa. I know it can/does happen. The art car does not belong to solely me, and I don't have the authority to keep the keys with me at all times. But, in keeping things as safe as I can, I am physically limiting the speed of my art car (your welcome!) to no more above idle. Because, I cannot be 100% assured that no one in my camp will get behind the wheel drunk (unfortunately, there is no way to 100% assure anything), I am doing the safest thing I can think of.

Rather than making subtle threats (what does my art car look like?), you should realize that I'm on your side. I don't WANT anybody to drive drunk. But, they still might. We all wish we can get what we want, but no amount of internet pouting or ranting will bring that. I can, however, physically limit the danger of my vehicle.

I apologize for making the flippant comment about campmates driving sloshed. I am simply planning for the worst case.

Please dismount any tall equestrians upon which you may be riding.

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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 am

If possible, ensure that the driver is physically seperated somehow from the passengers (this should qualify you as a "limo" or "vehicle for hire" under nevada law). This will give you the best chance of avoiding encounters with LEO's if your passngers are drinking (as already noted, nothing will help you if the driver is drinking!)

Consider buying several disposable breathalyzers, and making it a requirement (at least write it into your vehicle operating procedures for the record and have one) for the driver to check if they have drunk at all in the last 12 hours.

Next, consider the ramifications of vehicle partnership if one or more of the partners is irrresponsible. Their indiscretions could ruin your life, even if you are back in camp sleeping when it happens. If they drive drunk, and someone gets hurt, all partners (maybe even your campmates) will get sued. Heck, even if no one is drunk, everyone will probably get sued. And since you have already stated in a public forum that is recorded that one or more of your partners might drink and drive, you wouldn't stand a chance in court.

Undercover agents do mingle, and do try to set-up art cars (offering "gifts" of alcohol or illegal drugs to the driver, then later busting them). Several years ago there was a rumor of an art car operated by undercover agents, who demanded a "gift" of drugs to enter, then busted those who did.

Be careful, have fun, come back again and again.
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Post by Dr. Pyro » Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:18 am

I'll add my two cents worth. First, I happen to know BBSue and I can most assuredly promise you that she can indeed kick your ass. And how do I know this? Well, if she can kick my ass (and she can) and I can kick your ass, then logic dictates she can kick your ass as well. Secondly, we are having a DD this year for our art car, a non-drinker who is well into his 60's (maybe even on the shady side of 70). We are taking no chances with driving while impared, and neither should you.

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Post by Lassen Forge » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:33 am

skibear wrote:I was driving DUI on my bicycle last year.
Is that chargeable?
Big time. The various and sundry SO's and BLM write a bunch of RWI (Riding while intox) tix every year, and can even arrest you for it *and* impound the bike. And it's pretty easy to get busted. (Picture you as someone else watching you swerve and fall and continue to do so over and over...).

Add to that - you can get ejected from the event for doing this. OK, that doesn't happen very often, but if you're a danger to others or yourself, or "failing to thrive" they can "revoke your license" to be at the event and escort you to the gate. Not fun.

Plus... you get to be the laughing stock of a bunch of cops. Seriously. Among things cops shoot the shit about are drunk idiots trying to ride bikes. And how physically fucked up they get trying. (One of the things you learn being married to a Sheriff-type person!)

Some options? (a)If you are drunk, walk the f***ing bike. (It'll hold you up - think of it as a hi-tech walker for the impared.) BRC isn't *that* big. Yet. (b)When you get to a kewl bar, write the location on your hand, lock the bike, and if you get so sloshed you can't remember the combo, leave it and pick it up later. (c) If you drink, Walk. Or catch a ride on an art car. (d) Don't drink.
Dr. Pyro wrote:I'll add my two cents worth. First, I happen to know BBSue and I can most assuredly promise you that she can indeed kick your ass. And how do I know this? Well, if she can kick my ass (and she can) and I can kick your ass, then logic dictates she can kick your ass as well. Secondly, we are having a DD this year for our art car, a non-drinker who is well into his 60's (maybe even on the shady side of 70). We are taking no chances with driving while impared, and neither should you.
>blush<

Doc, you say the *sweetest* things. Special, and priceless!!

Kind of like a sugar cube. On a slotted spoon. Dissolved with Swiss branch water. >grins<

bb

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Ron
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Post by Ron » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:05 am

BottomFeeder wrote:... I am simply planning for the worst case.
.
Based on what you wrote I'd guess you're not preparing for the worse case. Limiting the top speed of the rig is not preparing for the worse case. It is attempting to limit the damage. Preparing for the worse case would involve getting a lot of insurance coverage to protect your assets when the family of the person your drunk driver kills sues you ass off after the event. It would involve preparing yourself for the emotional and cognitive impact of cleaning blood and brain off your tires. Stuff like that. Slowing the MV's top speed isn't preparing for the worse, seems to me.

For myself, I too can't trust my camp mates not to drive an art car after they had taken some ability impairing substance. That's part of why my camp doesn't have an art car. Frankly, were I you, I'd stop all efforts to build the car and leave camp if I couldn't be as close as possible to 100% sure that the car would not be driven unsafely. If you can't trust your camp mates keep the only key on your body at all times and be an "asshole," when they want it. Let them know your concerns and if they won't support such a plan walk away while your karma is still intact, I'd suggest. Because, even at 10 MPG, the true worse case scenario might involve a low speed crushing run into a few tents while the drunk driver is too confused to save the lives of the folk being run over.

Ron

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