All Automobiles should have installed breathalyzers

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Mr_Dean
Mr_Dean's picture

There have been over 170,000 U.S. deaths (3 times the US casualties in Vietnam) since year 2000 due to alcohol related auto accidents. Currently, alcohol-detection breathalyzers in automobiles are only required AFTER someone is arrested for drunk driving. I say that's too late. All automobiles should have these devices installed at the manufacturing plant.

With the stroke of a pen and a congressional/senate vote it could be done. Our politicians are pansies who lack guts and brains. Our society is weak where the people refuse to accept the notion that science and technology can solve most all our problems. Safety and protection of human lives prevails over freedom in my book.

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drew013
drew013's picture
I like the sentiment, but I

I like the sentiment, but I think I like my fourth amendment protections even more.

Meow Tse Tongue
Meow Tse Tongue's picture
"Safety and protection of

"Safety and protection of human lives prevails over freedom in my book."

I just got chills up my spine.

Mr. Dean, the only place in this world where you can be completely safe is an 8' x 8' x 8' padded cell.

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
Meow Tse Tongue

Meow Tse Tongue wrote:

"Safety and protection of human lives prevails over freedom in my book."

I just got chills up my spine.

Mr. Dean, the only place in this world where you can be completely safe is an 8' x 8' x 8' padded cell.

Read the part you quoted in context. Freedom to drive drunk and kill people? Start your  "it's not in the constitution, so it's unconstitutional to have auto safety" rant. Speed limits shouldn't be allowed either, they impede your freedom. Freedom for inner city entrepeneurs to market products with demand?   

Mr_Dean
Mr_Dean's picture
Seat belts are already the

Seat belts are already the law, it's really no different.  It would take someone 2 seconds to breathe into a breathalyzer.  It's not a big deal, a small price to pay to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Also, although your automobile may be your private property do not forget that you are driving it on public roads which is the reason for automobile laws.

Jasper
Jasper's picture
There are many things we

There are many things we could do short of breathalzyers to lessen the number of drunk drivers.  The reasons we don't, as far as I can tell, are 1) there is too much money made selling alcohol, and especially selling alcohol in restaurants and bars and 2) lots and lots of powerful people get drunk and drive, regularly, and in the current system, at least where I live, it takes several times before a person with money faces real consequences for getting caught driving drunk.

And there ain't no way a big dog is going to have a bottle of wine with dinner and some after dinner drinks, and get in the car with his mistress and find out the darn car won't start because some fascist liberal subverted the constitution and put a Big Brother breathalyzer in his Escalade and now he's got to call a cab and figure out how the heck to get his car home so he can make a seven AM flight to Atlanta..... 

slabmaster
Would this new law include

Would this new law include motorcycles?

I have a track in my back yard and we usually slam a couple beers and ride minibikes and quads on the motocross track trying to bump each other off. It's quite hilarious.

If one of my bikes didn't start, I'd have to disable the breathalyzer while intoxicated (probably with a hammer) That would suck. 

How about drinking and blowing stuff up?  I can't find any real statistics that liquor and explosives is a problem......so I've still got that going for me. 

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
We have designated drivers,

We have designated drivers, Even a dinner date, one refrains from full imbibement, the one with more body weight, thus more blood, then lower BAL , and low enough below the state level -.08 in some states. You can also walk, ride bikes, take a bus, get a ride from family friend with the ageement you do a drive for them in return, taxi, limo. Many options.

You could also pay some kid 10 bucks to blow in it, could get you on the sex offenders list , but you get to drive drunk.

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
We have designated drivers,

We have designated drivers, Even a dinner date, one refrains from full imbibement, the one with more body weight, thus more blood, then lower BAL , and low enough below the state level -.08 in some states. You can also walk, ride bikes, take a bus, get a ride from family friend with the ageement you do a drive for them in return, taxi, limo. Many options.

You could also pay some kid 10 bucks to blow in it, could get you on the sex offenders list , but you get to drive drunk.

Quote:

Subject: Re: Drunk driving in Sweden.
Answered By: juggler-ga on 23 Nov 2002 01:22 PST
Rated:   Hello.

Yes, it is true that Sweden has much tougher drunk driving laws than
the United States.

In Sweden, driving with a blood-alcohol level of .02 is illegal.

In the U.S., the blood-alcohol limits are four to five times higher.
In about half of the states, driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08
is illegal. In the other half the states, driving with a blood-alcohol
level of .10 is illegal, while a blood-alchohol level of .08 is
considered evidence of intoxication but not illegal per se.

According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety
Administration:
"A .08 BAC is not typically reached with a couple of beers after work,
or a glass or two of wine with dinner. The average 170 pound male
would have to consume more than four 12 oz. cans of beer within 1 hour
on an empty stomach to reach .08 BAC. The average 137 pound female
would need at least three cans of beer in one hour on an empty stomach
to reach that level."
From the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/research/pub/alcohol-laws/08History/1_introduction.htm

As mentioned, Sweden's .02 blood-alcohol limit is four times lower
than limits in the U.S., so obviously much less alcohol may be
consumed prior to driving (legally) in Sweden. Moreover, penalties for
drunk driving in Sweden are severe. Sweden considers a .10
blood-alcohol limit "aggravated" drunk driving. Imprisonment (of up
two years) is the recommended punishment for driving with a .10
blood-alcohol limit. The result of Sweden's tough drunk driving laws
has been a reduction in alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
For more information and details, see the report, "An Evaluation of
the Swedish Drunken Driving Legislation Implemented on February 1,
1994" by B. Borschos, available in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format on the
Vägverket web site:
http://www.vv.se/traf_sak/t2000/508.pdf
Or html cached by Gooogle:
http://216.239.37.100/search?q=cache:987RiCtZ23sC:www.vv.se/traf_sak/t2000/508.pdf&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&client=googlet

Another report, "Changes in drunk-driving among Swedish youth," also
by B. Borschos, concluded that Swedish teens were less likely to drive
drunk after the tough legislation was implemented in the 1990s.
"Although some evidence suggests that youth alcohol consumption has
increased, the number of reported DUI offences committed by them has
decreased at least in the 1990s." From a summary on the Finnish web
page Stakes.fi:
http://www.stakes.fi/nat/nat00/0100borssum.htm

Also see "Fact Sheet on Sweden" in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format on the
web site of the Swedish Institute:
http://www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs79.pdf
Also available in html, cached by Google:
http://216.239.53.100/search?q=cache:x30iSGGjPMkC:www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs79.pdf+&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

So how does Sweden compare with the U.S.?

According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety
Administration, 3.3% of Sweden's fatal traffic accidents "were
suspected by police of alcohol involvement (official statistic)"
while "18% had alcohol based on fatally injured drivers autopsied."
Even the 18% autopsy-based figure is less than half the 38.6% rate of
alcohol involvement for traffic fatalities in the United States.
See the report, "Alcohol Involvement in Fatal Crashes" on the NHTSA
web site:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/research/AlcoholCountries/background_&_intro.htm#09%20reported

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 39.8% of traffic
deaths were alcohol-related. From the report: State-By-State Traffic
Fatalities - 2000
http://www.madd.org/stats/0,1056,2336,00.html

As for the issue of the data being expressed in terms of miles driven,
or number of cars in the country, I did find some related data that
showed that Sweden still comes out on top when you look that traffic
accidents in this way. The European Union compiles a statisic called
"fatalities per billion passenger kilometers." Since Europe uses the
metric system, the data is expressed in kilometers rather than miles.
This statistic measures the number of accidents for every billion
kilometers driven by citizens of a particular country. If you look at
a report called "Traffic Accident Fatalities" by the European
Environment Agency, you'll see that in "figure 3 - Fatalities per
billion passenger kilometers," Sweden has the lowest rate of fatal
traffic accidents in Europe. Although this statistic is not based
solely on alcohol-related accidents, there's almost certainly some
connection since alcohol is involved in such a high percentage of
traffic accidents in most countries (as detailed in the NHTSA reports
mentioned above). The EU report is available in PDF (Adobe Acrobat)
format on the EU's web site:
http://themes.eea.eu.int/Sectors_and_activities/transport/indicators/consequences/accidents/Transport_accident_fatalities_TERM_2001.doc.pdf

search terms: sweden, "blood alcohol", traffic fatalities, drunk
driving, drunken driving, bac, accidents

I hope this helps. clicker5-ga rated this answer: Thank you juggler.
I rated you with 5 stars.
clicker5-ga

Comments   Subject: Re: Drunk driving in Sweden.
From: mwalcoff-ga on 23 Nov 2002 16:19 PST   Two things to add:

1) The U.S. federal government is applying pressure on states to lower
their BAL to .08, if they haven't already. Many other countries have a
BAL of .05

2) Every American should note that Sweden has achieved its success in
reducing drunk driving with a drinking age of 18.

Can't drive until 18 in Sweden

kulak.2.1
Mr Dean writes "Safety and

Mr Dean writes

"Safety and protection of human lives prevails over freedom in my book."

 

Then why not make the speed limit 5 miles per hour, we could install governors on all new cars that would accomplish this for a few cents.

Then we could force everyone to bring in their older cars to be retrofitted.It would be easy to spot the law breakers too.

Very few people would die in car wrecks if cars could only attain a speed of 5 mph. With the stroke of a pen and a congressional/senate vote it could be done. Our politicians are pansies who lack guts and brains. Our society is weak where the people refuse to accept the notion that science and technology can solve most all our problems.

 

Or, maybe we can remain a free society, its up to you.

 

slabmaster
Just make alchohol illegal to

Just make alchohol illegal to posess. With a stroke of a pen, all booze could be as illegal as......cocaine. Then no one would have it.

Problem solved. 

rbs
rbs's picture
drew013 wrote: I like the

drew013 wrote:

I like the sentiment, but I think I like my fourth amendment protections even more.

I don't think that the 4th amendment would apply.  The way the law would be written would be that the breathalizer is voluntary.  Any person would be able to decline taking the breathalizer, thus it would not be considered a search.  One would only need to take the breathalizer if one wished to use our public roads, which is a privilege, not a right.

reed9
reed9's picture
The best way to reduce

The best way to reduce traffic fatalities is to get people off the roads.  Improve public transit, have sensible urban planning, and increase opportunities to get people out of their cars.

As has been noted, there is always a balance between safety and personal freedom and choice.  There is a limit to how far I'm willing to "child proof" life, especially by force of law.  Mandating breathalyzers crosses that line for me.  

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:I like the sentiment,

Quote:
I like the sentiment, but I think I like my fourth amendment protections even more.

There doesn't appear to be any infringement on the Fourth Amendment by requiring that a person not be under the influence of a substance prior to driving:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Driving a car is not a right and already has certain constraints placed on people that they must meet in order to be granted the privilege of operating a motorized vehicle on a public road. The use of a breathalyzer would enhance public safety without affecting drivers not under the influence of alcohol.

Volitzer
Volitzer's picture
Why not place them in the

Why not place them in the bars ???

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
If they are calibrated to

If they are calibrated to .08, you have to have had a hell of a lot for it to lock out the ignition. Trial runs at state level parallel with reduced car insurance, and fewer after prom funerals. Nah, think of all the morticians that would be out of work.

reed9
reed9's picture
A core principle of our

A core principle of our justice system is innocent until proven guilty.  Mandating that everyone must have breathalyzers because they might do something wrong seems, well, wrong.

I also don't necessarily trust the accuracy of the technology.  If such a scheme were to be contemplated, it better well mandate that the source code for these breathalyzers is open.

jeffbiss
jeffbiss's picture
Quote:A core principle of our

Quote:
A core principle of our justice system is innocent until proven guilty.  Mandating that everyone must have breathalyzers because they might do something wrong seems, well, wrong.

I understand the concern. However, there is the concern for public safety and installing them in cars to help ensure that one isn't under the influence merely prohibits the car from being used until the user isn't under the influence. This seems far better than random stops or road blocks. At least only people under the influence would be affected and there'd be no infraction. Also, there are a number of stupid laws that target responsible drivers who, while under the influence, choose to sleep it off in their car and get arrested for DUI simply for being in the car that should be reworked.

Quote:
I also don't necessarily trust the accuracy of the technology.  If such a scheme were to be contemplated, it better well mandate that the source code for these breathalyzers is open.

For some discussion of these devices, see sites such as DUI Tests - DUI Breathalyzers - DUI Tests Flaws - DUI Science - DUI and Breath Alcohol. For a theory of operation see Electronic Alcohol Breath Analyzers. What is more important than open source software is the gas sensor in use and how its operates. See http://www.futurlec.com/Gas_Sensors.shtml for examples of the technology that goes into making a sensor, such as a breathalyzer or CO detector.

slabmaster
Install exploding

Install exploding breathalizers in cars and when a drunk blows more than a .08, a bomb blows him to smithereens.

A couple of those on the evening news and drunk driving would cease to exist.