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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

On average who causes more mayhem on society out of sex offenders and DUI drivers?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21145 points ) September 27th, 2010

This question is in the General section to encourage answers on just the scope of the questions not dissolve into personal referendums or peeves. The question is who overall is more dangerous to society out of drunk drivers and those who drive under the influence of something or sex offenders? When making your answers limit your choice to who causes the greater harm overall and why. Such as, sex offenders target children, they are selfish and harm others for their own pleasure, they steal trust and peace of mind from children and women, etc, or drunk drivers harm or kill innocent people when they strike, because they don’t see themselves as threats they are less likely realize how dangerous they are, drunk drivers do not target specific genders or age groups they can strike at whole families, etc. Please refrain from injecting personal peeves or imprints in it because family, spouse or yourself may have or was a victim of a sexual attack or victim of a drunk driver or make it an issue of why sex offenders are not locked away forever or have it a issue on outlawing alcohol, just in terms of deaths or injury caused and over all likelihood of victims created etc. who causes more mayhem in a real tangible sense to society out of sex offenders and DUI drivers?

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24 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I suppose that would depend on how you define mayhem. Drunk drivers cause far more deaths and physical injuries but, I think, but “sex offenders,” if you are excluding people who are labeled sex offenders because they have urinated in public and or have had consensual sex with people who are very close to their own age, within a year or two (and both of those are a whole other kettle of fish, as they say) I’m not really sure. Sexual crimes and violations can cause traumas that can last a lifetime as can drunk drivers. I hate to be demanding numbers and statistics and data on this one but both arenas are so complex and emotionally charged that those kinds of data might be necessary.

john65pennington's avatar

Drunk drivers do their damage in the open. they destroy lives and property out where everyone can see. sex offenders are not so brave. they do their dirty work behind closed doors and secret hiding places. some sex offenders will never be discovered, not like drunk drivers. so, a comparison may never be possible.

Lve's avatar

I think it is an impossible comparison to make. I would suppose a sex offender (rapist, pedophile) causes damage that is primarily mental, whereas a drunk driver causes primarily physical damage. I am unsure if it is possible to qualify whether mental or physical harm is worse, but I do know both of these types of damage can destroy someones life.

tedd's avatar

If you mean non-“reformed” sex offenders, then I’d probably go with that one.

Well really its tough to say. The damage a sex offender does probably won’t kill anyone, but the vast psychological effects could be felt for decades and generations. Whereas the drunk drivers impact will likely be felt immediately (though some injuries could last a while if not forever).

Good question.

marinelife's avatar

Going strictly by the numbers, it is DUIs. There are 549,038 registered sex offenders in the US and 100,000 non-compliant for a total of 649,038.

Source

There are 1,396,888 DUIs every year.

Source

Cruiser's avatar

I would approach the question by intent and then argue sex offenders ‘cause’ more mayhem by intentionally attacking and causing harm to the victims. That IMO is more culpable by the act being premeditated and then executed.

But to decide which causes more harm to the victims and the families, friends and relatives I would not want to choose as both cause deep and lasting psychological trauma again to the victims and the families, friends and relatives.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sex offenders leave people scarred.Drunk driving can leave people dead and or scarred,not to mention the survivors or those left behind in it’s wake.There are alot of unreported sex crimes so it is hard to say.

tranquilsea's avatar

@john65pennington GA That was just what I was going to say.

Coloma's avatar

The most pain and suffering is caused on a daily, moment to moment basis, by the average person in the infinite ways they harm others with words, actions, betrayals, neglect, than all the criminal elements combined.

We love to sink our judgementel teeth into the obvious wrong doers, but, the simple truth is that many who proclaim their versions of ‘justice’ for others bad behaviors are just as guilty of causing plenty of harm in their own way.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I believe drunk drivers cause far more deaths, but sex offenders cause way more life altering changes and lifelong trauma that sometimes can be worse than death. Sex offenders also cause more suicides.

YARNLADY's avatar

I dislike divisionary type questions because both are true, but I have to lean toward sex offenders because their victims not only suffer life long issues, but it affects all their future actions.

Coloma's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate
@YARNLADY

Yes, but…only by degree. There are plenty of people that are just as screwed up as a sex offender in a different way.
They are called husbands, wives, family, friends, co-workers.

It’s not about singling out any one thing as better or worse, collateral damage is everywhere.

Fred931's avatar

Children learn about Stranger Danger when they’re 5. We don’t see any Stranger Danger billboards or PSAs around, do we?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lillycoyote Drunk drivers cause far more deaths and physical injuries but, I think, but “sex offenders,” if you are excluding people who are labeled sex offenders because they have urinated in public and or have had consensual sex with people who are very close to their own age, within a year or two (and both of those are a whole other kettle of fish, as they say) I’m not really sure. My question goes off just the official definition of both. I know there are people who get fanged by the highway patrol who are just over the legal limit but not swerving and weaving all over the road, but they are considered drunk drivers all the same; as with peeping Toms or b/f and g/f 16 months apart but one was under aged but 4 months before her 18th b-day but officially none of that mattered. Since I don’t have the power to wave anyone through or give them a pass on how I personally believe or not that they did a crime I am going off what is officially the category.

@john65pennington some sex offenders will never be discovered, not like drunk drivers. so, a comparison may never be possible. For the 1st part, that is true, many sex offenders as described by law, will not be exposed, but then there are many high and drunk drivers who manage to make it back to their homes before whacking another car or plowing through someone’s home. Those who are not known for whatever reason don’t really factor in this question, just those who have a palpable effect on society overall not so much the individual. I am not trying to compare heads up, side by side, both possible crimes.

@marinelife Going strictly by the numbers, it is DUIs. There are 549,038 registered sex offenders in the US and 100,000 non-compliant for a total of 649,038.

There are 1,396,888 DUIs every year.

I have yet to find any numbers as to how many of the sex offenders reoffended and if so in what way, or how many reoffended with a murder as part of the reoffending but at the moment of this post (6:14 PST) there is a number to attach to the DUI drivers: 8,692 link → I am keeping personal preference or opinion at bay because most will see that number and think it is a tragedy but if that was the number of deaths caused by sex offenders against their victims there would be all out hysteria, rage, and panic. So, mu focus is on the society as a whole in a real and palpable way who affects or as a greater effect on society. We know when a drunk goes into action there is usually property damage as well as some injuries, but the secondary effect could be tided up traffic, brush fires, a cost maybe unknown to tax payers in the fact we are paying for the emergency crew to respond to the carnage. The affects can spill way beyond the poor sap that got plowed down on his bike or t-boned in the intersection.

@Cruiser I would approach the question by intent and then argue sex offenders ‘cause’ more mayhem by intentionally attacking and causing harm to the victims. That my friend, is why I steered clear of head to head comparison. Not all DUI drivers staggered from the bar with the intent to plow into the sedan with a family coming home from the carnival or any deaths resulting from it. If they knew they were drink and took off on a high speed chase to avoid capture and caused the accident that way maybe there was some de facto intent, but other than that one could never prove it in court.

@Coloma We love to sink our judgementel teeth into the obvious wrong doers, but, the simple truth is that many who proclaim their versions of ‘justice’ for others bad behaviors are just as guilty of causing plenty of harm in their own way. And that is why the question is in the general section to focus on just the facts that can be quantified and not how people feel about one group over the other.

@WillWorkForChocolate _ I believe drunk drivers cause far more deaths, but sex offenders cause way more life altering changes and lifelong trauma that sometimes can be worse than death._ So, a drunk driver who takes away a parent or both of a child and leaves the child maimed or in a chair would be more less, or equal in lifelong trauma, pain, and anguish? As stated above by @marinelife there are numbers to how many sex offenders and how many DUIs there was and how many deaths by DUI drivers to date. Can you elucidate how or what percent of the sex offenders to the DUI drivers cause a greater harm? Is that greater harm contained to individuals or the community at large? Just to add punctuation to your answer. :-) And @YARNLADY expand on why that would be so over victims of drunk drivers as to why they would suffer less than at off the actions of a sex offender?

@Fred931 We don’t see any Stranger Danger billboards or PSAs around, do we? That is true at lease from what I have seen, but the PSA against drunk driving which most are pretty tepid, focus on trying to gently persuade or scare with arrest those who would possibly offend by drunk driving but does little to cater to those who don’t drink or warn children that the truck coming up the road might be their drunk neighbor so they might want to abandon that street hockey game and take cover way up on the lawn. At least they might get word about the weird neighbor in class but little to none about drunk drivers.

Coloma's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

I understand that, but my brain fires on multiple cylinders.
Asking me to remain perfectly linear is an impossibility.
Do forgive.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central About 15,000 drunk driving related fatalities occur yearly on U.S. roads and highways. That’s about five 9/11’s a year and one Vietnam every 3¼ years. That does not include people who are maimed and injured. How exactly do you propose that we, as a society, manage that? Should there be a standard where someone is either drunk or not drunk and driving or do you want enough tax money to be taken out of your paycheck every month so that we can provide for the personnel to individually evaluate each and every driver, each time they go out and determined whether or not they can navigate the highways with this or that particular blood alcohol level? Or is 15,000 fatalities a year just “the cost of doing business” on America’s roads and highways and just the price we all pay for a night out on the town?

YARNLADY's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Victims of drunk drivers are dead. – I suppose mayhem could be extended for they families, though.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@YARNLADY Playing devil’s advocate I would have to say not all victims of drunk drivers die. Usually it seems they do while the drunk lives but some live though they might be messed up so badly they wish they had died, and the mayhem does spread to the family because sometimes they were apart of it as well, are they are left having to care for the survivor many years or the rest of their life (when the victim ends up paralyzed and such).

iamthemob's avatar

mayhem literally requires the mutilation of the person, historically. therefore I say DUIs.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lillycoyote Or is 15,000 fatalities a year just “the cost of doing business” on America’s roads and highways and just the price we all pay for a night out on the town? IMO it is. People hear about 180 DUI arrest over a long holiday weekend and there is hardly an eyelash batted. If there were just 3 arrest of people for sex crimes especially if the victims were under 18yrs people would be ready to light the torches and break out the pitch forks. They don’t seem to get the idea that a drunk driver can not only harm their child and quite severely, but them as well. Each instance with a drunk driver usually encompasses more than one victim and age or familiarity is not a factor. I think most Americans can identify with the drunk driver believing it could happen to them but can’t ever phantom being in the position of a sex offender so the drunk driver is seen with less threat or scorn.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Now I’m confused. Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Is my position not clear? Is your position not clear? I’m going to have to take some time to reread this thread because I am not sure where anyone stands now.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Now I’m confused. Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? Is my position not clear? Is your position not clear? I’m going to have to take some time to reread this thread because I am not sure where anyone stands now, including myself. But for the record, for right now, in case I don’t get back to this one, drunk drivers and most sex offenders both cause more than enough misery, of different kinds, misery that cannot necessarily be compared and I can’t see how anyone could possibly argue that the world wouldn’t be better off without both drunk drivers and sex offenders.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lillycoyote Now I’m confused. Do you agree with me? Disagree with me? I agree that the amount of deaths inflicted upon the public yearly is accepted as a de facto cost of business or freedom to chug a beer at the ball game, have some shooters at the club, or wine at the restaurant. IMO many would not care to give up those vices/luxuries even if it would help prevent one more child from becoming orphaned because her parents were killed by a drunk or parents losing a child that way.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central You are correct, the number of DUI injuries vs deaths is something like 30 to 1

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