NPR reports on a system that detects whether a driver is drunk without the driver's participation

And a bill sponsored by senators Tom Udall (NM, D) and Rick Scott (FL, R) I think it more likely that it will become an option long before it becomes a law.

Maybe they will come up with something that detects pot or meth or reading the newspaper.

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Good idea! 1 step at a time…

Maybe they should work on a texting detection feature instead . More not needed govt intervention and potential problem points in vehicles .

I’m liking the idea of a fully integrated system. First you breathe into a test tube to detect any illegal substances. Next, you have to pass a short exam asking things like, it’s OK to text and drive if you can handle it, turn signals are for wimps, speed limits are only a suggestion etc. Finally, you have to sequentially step on the gas pedal and brake with the same foot before the engine will start…

They could call it a stupid detector.:smirk:

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just their way of trying to prevent 10K+ deaths a year by dwi drivers maybe

If you want to drink yourself to death in your home, at the bar, etc…by all means go for it, the government shouldn’t have any input in that decision. But because you can get drunk, get behind the wheel of a car, and kill me and/or my family, you’re now infringing on my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s where the government can (and should) get involved.

Same goes for texting or any other driver impairment. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege, and the government should do anything and everything to ensure its safety.

Around here now that POT is legal…it’s becoming a concern.

At least just getting the drunks off the road is a good step in the right direction. On average more then 30 people a day were killed by impaired drivers.

I’m curious how the breath detection will differentiate between me and my passenger. If my passenger is falling-down drunk and I am stone cold sober and already annoyed at having to chauffeur a drunk idiot around, I’m going to be apoplectic if my car decides I’m too drunk to drive.

At any rate, there are 4x as many deaths from guns per year as from drunks. It would be nice if the politicians would solve problems in the order of how many deaths those problems cause. And I don’t just mean drunk driving - politicians are trying to get a movement started to ban or severely restrict flights of historic aircraft because of the B17 that crashed a few weeks ago. That killed 7 people, and resulted in calls to ban flights of old planes. But kill 40,000 people with guns and it just gets a collective shrug and some mumbling about thoughts and prayers.



Since it IS illegal to drive impaired, the government IS involved. This is an ineffective method as well as a step too far, legally. If the average age of a car on US roads is 11 years, it would take decades for this to have a significant effect.

There are far larger killers that are going largely ignored that need tending to before this. How about dealing with the 3rd largest killer in the US? That would be medical errors estimated to be over 250,000 a year.

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And a good portion of those gun deaths - alcohol was involved.

Oh here we go again. You need to first look at how many of those deaths were suicides, then of the remaining how many were gang related, and you’ll see how insignificant the rest is considering how many were for self preservation.


Are you suggesting that installing breathalyzers in cars will prevent alcohol-related gun deaths? If not, I don’t see your point.

No, I don’t, because I don’t care. They’re still dead because of guns. I’m not sure why you think “gang-related” deaths are somehow OK as compared to other types of deaths. I don’t.

Even if you remove the suicides, the deaths are still higher than those killed by drunks, but, gee, we can’t do anything about it for some obscure reason.

At any rate, lest you think otherwise, I’m not arguing for a blanket gun ban instead of a blanket DWI oppression scheme. I’m arguing that we should solve the problem that results in 40,000 deaths before we solve the problem that results in 10,000 deaths. I’m also arguing that we should actually solve the drunk driving problem.

Drug addicts - and I include habitual drunk drivers in that category - can be fiendishly clever when you get between them and their drug. They will come out with activated charcoal masks, or find a way to disable the system entirely, or in some other manner figure out how to drive while drunk. At the very least, they’ll simply avoid buying a car that has the drunk-detector installed. All of this will result in those of us who do not have an alcohol abuse problem being inconvenienced while those who do keep driving unimpeded because they’ve circumvented the barriers. We’re all now paying more for cars and suffering more inconveniences in order to foist a program that won’t work on the driving public. Stupid.

Meanwhile people with more than a dozen DWI convictions are still walking (and driving) around free. That doesn’t make sense. Instead of inconveniencing the vast majority of us who do not drive drunk, while bending over backwards to see that those who do face as little consequence as possible for their bad behavior, we should target the actual criminals.

Your first offense should result in the confiscation of your car (not the car you were in that you borrowed from your friend, but the one (or more) that you actually own) and a 1 year license suspension where you must be evaluated by a trained mental health professional, and you can’t get your license back until they sign off on it.

Violating the license suspension should send you to jail, as should your second DWI (and needless to say, you should lose your license again, this time permanently).

We have such a massive drunk driving problem in this country because we keep turning the drunks loose and then they go get smashed and get behind the wheel again. Statistics show that 1 DWI means the person is much more likely to get a future DWI than the guy who has never gotten one in the first place. In other words, the recidivism rate is sky-high. It’s fairly likely that the guy the cop busts for DWI has done it before, and we’re not doing anything about that. But we’re delighted to call for universal breath tests that will harass and annoy innocent people who have not and will never get a DWI.

It’s the same mentality that led to us all taking our shoes off at the airport. One idiot had an explosive in a shoe that wouldn’t even have worked, and now we’re all suspected Nike-bombing terrorists. I’m personally tired of being under constant suspicion because some other jerk did something bad.

Rather than assume I, with no DWIs on my record, am about to drive drunk, how about we focus on the people who actually do?


Of course not…But in some states it’s not against the law to carry and be drunk. IMHO - if you’re drunk and you’re carrying - Same punishment as a DUI.

I’m one of those people who’s not for taking guns away from people. But I firmly believe we need tougher laws to prevent people from easily buying any weapon they want. All gun transactions (public or private) need a background check. If you sell someone a gun without doing a background check and that person commits a crime with that gun, then you should be held just as responsible for that crime as the person committing the crime. You want to be a responsible gun owner…then take responsibility when you sell that gun. Right now it’s way too easy for anyone to get a gun in this country. I also think certain guns should be banned. Even Ronald Reagan was against citizens from owning assault style weapons and believed in background checks.

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What a stupid idea, and one that will add unnecessary cost and complexity to new cars–without making so much as a dent in the problem of drunk/drugged/distracted driving. First of all, way more deaths/injuries/accidents are caused by people playing with their cellphone while driving than driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol. Another major cause–and one that I have personally experienced–is driving while tired. Many of the deaths and injuries that do occur could have been avoided if people simply wore their seat belts.

Second, most people who would drive under the influence of drugs/alcohol are poor enough that they drive the cheapest, most beat-up used car–often with minimal or no insurance–and not the “latest and greatest” models. It would take decades for models with this type of technology to “trickle down” to such a price point, if they are even capable of lasting that long. It is very probable that there will come a time where more cars from the 1990s are on the road every day than the number of cars from the 2010 decade that still run.

Third, and most importantly, I am tired of Big Brother watching me, and would consider the presence of this type of “feature” a deal-breaker even though I never drink or use drugs.


Yep onward onward to the goal of eliminating all deaths from any cause. Then we will be safe, and done.

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We’re on pretty much the same page, sounds like.

And when the car lasts that long, the breathalyzer system (which presumably involves a starter-kill function) is probably gonna do as well as most starter-kill alarms and start flaking out. In other words, the Mormon who’s never touched a drink in his life isn’t gonna be able to start his car because the stupid system broke and won’t release the starter kill. The whole concept is ridiculous.

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And it will probably be a federal crime to remove or bypass it. Just like catalytic converters.

I was wondering when you were going to post this, @RandomTroll.

I support these devices being mandated for first time offenders who haven’t killed anyone yet. I know it is controversial, but when it comes to drinking and driving, I’m against it.

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