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Can a drunken-driving defense specialist known as Fast Eddie become the next attorney general of California? Probably not. Will that keep Eddie Kuwatch, an attorney with no political experience and a man who once proposed life sentences for all North Butte County, Calif., muni judges, from his quest to rid the state of what he calls stupid laws? Hell no. Known as the guru of drunken-driving law and the dean of the DUI defense bar, the Mendocino County solo practitioner is the Libertarian Party’s candidate for attorney general. What Kuwatch lacks in money and exposure, he certainly makes up for in interesting ideas. In his bid to oust California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Kuwatch has designed a platform that includes reforming the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, licensing all cops, removing the ban on assault weapons and requiring police to videotape all arrests. He also supports medicinal marijuana laws and thinks there are too many rules that serve no purpose but to micromanage the lives of Californians — rules such as requiring trout fishermen to go to a notary public if they want to travel with their catch. “I can’t really criticize [Lockyer],” he says. “I just think I can do a better job.” Kuwatch says his first act as AG would be to rein in the DMV, even sending to jail “the poor suckers who work there” if need be. His main problem with the DMV, he says, is that the agency flouts the law by not scheduling administrative hearings in the 30 days required. He says the AG’s office shouldn’t defend the DMV, but instead it should hold responsible the people in charge of scheduling the hearings. He says under the law three infractions are a misdemeanor, a penalty that allows for consecutive sentences. He says if a person schedules 300 late hearings, “that’s 100 years in the county jail.” “The law says hearings have to be held in 30 days,” he says. “What else are you going to do?” Aside from Kuwatch’s beef with the DMV, he says he would install a statewide licensing system for cops, much like the Bar disciplinary system that holds lawyers accountable. “I want to keep local politics out of decisions on discipline,” he says. Kuwatch says he would also require every arrest in the state to be videotaped. “Cops lie a lot,” he says. With video “the jury can see what the truth is.” Needless to say, Kuwatch is not a fan of the state’s ban on assault weapons and as AG he says he would not add new weapons to the list of banned guns, a responsibility the office is charged with doing. “You never know when the government’s going to turn evil,” he says. “We need guns.” The Mendocino lawyer also applauds Lockyer’s defense of Proposition 215, the 1996 medical marijuana initiative passed by 56 percent of the voters. Kuwatch calls the War on Drugs “maniacal” and points to what he says is the success of his own county’s Prop G, which allows individuals to harvest up to 25 pot plants for personal use. “We got our s–t together here in Mendocino County,” he says.

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