Possibly more mandated equipment

MADD is pushing Congress for $60 million for research and testing of non-intrusive alcohol sensing technology that would be included in all vehicles to prevent intoxicated drivers from starting them. Source USA Today 12/8/2011.

I say "NO’ as it “lumps” everyone in the same group until you prove differently.This is just the first of several objections I have for this program. Who will pay when I miss an appointment because this gear reported I was intoxicated and I was not (sort of like a report from a sensor that a bearing is bad when it really was not)?

Oldschool, You’ve Got It Right.


Could you post a link to the article, or say what publication you read it in? I want to read this article, but I’m with you: I don’t drive drunk; why should I have to pay?

Read my post again and you will see where I read it.

I’m also against this overkill and while my memory is fuzzy on this, it seems to me these devices were first promoted about 10 years ago.

At the time there were objections (and rightfully so) about various scenarios.
What if the car doesn’t start because unbeknown to the driver the passenger has consumed alcohol.
What if someone consumes a beer while watching a football game at home and all of a sudden a medical emergency exists which requires the one who consumed the beer to transport someone to the hospital.
What about someone who has a severe cold and takes a swig of Nyquil?
The scenarios are near endless.

And speaking of yet more overkill, the recent school nutrition bill pushed by Michelle Obama requires Federal oversight of local school bake sales. It controls what can be sold, how much, and the size of the portion.

  1. Could you post the link? hard to discuss this intelligently w/o knowing the specifics.
  2. Does the system sense alcohol in the sweat of one’s hands? I read about such a system “in the works” ~2 years ago. If so, it seems it could be rather easily defeated with gloves.
  3. Can it detect other drugs, or alcohol exclusively? If not, implementation might have “unintended consequences!”

As I’ve said before, the solution is much more stringent DUI laws and much fewer loopholes…and the laws need to include impounding the vehicles upon failure of a field sobriety test, to be confiscated upon conviction and returned if acquitted, as well as mandated jail time for repeat offenders. Drivers failing a field sobriety test should be required to submit to a blood alcohol test with refusal to submit being an automatic conviction.

The solution is not in technology, which I’m sure will be readily bypassed by drunks, nor should we be sharing the cost of DUI by having our tax dollars used to fund technology because our states cannot get serious about drunk driving and our not willing to do what’s really necessary. Our deficit is bad enough without adding more for the sake of a “feel good” program.

Dope slap, sorry.

I found what he read on USAToday’s website. As is common with that newspaper, details are missing (if it has more than 50 words, it’s probably not in USA Today). All the article says about it is exactly what oldschool wrote. No other details are present.

I tried going to MADD’s website to see what their actual desires are, but the website appears to be down.

So, based on that, I’m not going to get worried until I actually see some details.

I’d be interested to know what kind of technology they’re thinking of. If it’s just an alcohol sniffer, then it won’t work, because if your passenger is drunk the computer won’t know it’s not the driver breathing out pure vodka.

“Non-intrusive” would seem to rule out a little breathalyzer that you have to blow in to before driving.

It’ll probably have to be some sort of sensor in the steering wheel or the shift lever. To my knowledge there is currently no such thing as a touch-pad BAC sensor, and there probably won’t be one for quite some time, if ever.

Since drugs are mentioned how are we to deal with someone who is on an “altering” drug (but a legal drug like a pain medication) is tested at a theraputic level but has an accident? Should the fact that a drug was present be ruled inconsequencial? I know if I take just one dose of my after surgery back pain med I should not drive, but I am sure many do not have the luxury of saying “no driving”. My intolerence to even small doses of pain meds came with age.

I don't object to the idea, but somehow I suspect those who drive drunk, will figure out a way of defeating it while the rest of us will be trying to figure out how to fix it when it goes bad. 

 I am 100% for taking drunk drivers off our roads, but I doubt if this is the way.  I would rather get tough.  If you have had one drunk driving offense on record, then you should be restricted from owing or driving in addition to some serious punishment. If you get a second offense, then no more driving and no more ownership of a car.  Anyone who agrees to loan you a car, should loose the car they loaned.

A touch sensitive steering wheel or shifter could simply be overcome with gloves. A breath sensitive device coud easily be overcome with a canistre of compressed air.

The problem is that the laws we have don’t provide enough of a penalty and we don’t even enforce the ones we have strictly enough. The laws need to take away a drunks’ ability to drive by taking away the vehicle AS WELL AS punishing the drunk in a meaningful way.

I didn’t say it would work. Frankly a lot of the solutions dreamed up by single-interest advocacy groups are unworkable in the real world. Sometimes I think they come up with an idea they know is unworkable just to have something to bitch about when they’re told “No.”

This one isn’t as bad as the weird crap PETA dreams up, like their campaign to rename fish to “sea kittens,” since no one would want to kill and eat a cute fuzzy kitten.

I agree with you BTW. Here in MN it’s not entirely uncommon to find someone with 20 and more DWI’s on his record, and they’ve still got driver licenses. Frankly if you get more than one you should be tossed under the jail for a few years, and should certainly never be allowed to drive again. And that first one should carry extreme and dire penalties including a fine that is based on your income rather than a set fee - - 15% sounds good.

“And speaking of yet more overkill, the recent school nutrition bill pushed by Michelle Obama requires Federal oversight of local school bake sales. It controls what can be sold, how much, and the size of the portion.”

Are you joking ? That’s like outlawing toys at McD’s. How do they know I’m not taking my child to fast food once a year for a birthday party ? How often do kids eat lunch at a fund raiser bake sale ? He_ _, you may as well cancel Thanksgiving, too.


I agree we don’t punish drunk drivers enough as it is. How many people out there are driving and have had 5? 10? 20+? DUIs and still get to get behind the wheel of a car?
I would think after 3~5 DUIs, they’d make it impossible for the person to even be able to buy a vehicle using their own name.

I did leave out MADD’s stated desire to have those ignition interlock devices mandantory for even first time offenders, not stated but I took this to mean Nationwide. It was 2005 when I gave up the suds and Kesslers and I know now that the I could not tolerate at all the “2 tall boys just to feel good” thing anymore. What I mean is,it is so easy to go over that .08 limit, I am sure I was over the limit at times (but not driving) but with a tolerance developed I could not tell. Now I am more concerned with my health, I really think all people over maybe mid-thirities should not drink as it is too hard on the body. I know two women right now on seperate sides of the country that go to the hospital (on taxpayer money) regulary because they have damaged their pancreaces so much, I am sure neither has much time left.

There was a bit of a story about a woman who lost her husband to a drunk driver and the drunk is out on only $5000.00 bond.