What sort of policy do you support regarding breathalyzer interlocks on cars?

Discussion in 'Discussion Club' started by Charles Kozierok, Feb 22, 2013.

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What would be the best national policy regarding breathalyzer interlocks?

  1. No change -- leave as a sentencing option in DUI convictions only.

  2. Require installation on all cars owned by anyone convicted of a DUI.

  3. Mandatory installation on all cars.

  4. Other (please explain).

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  1. SMOGZINN

    SMOGZINN Diamond Member

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    You are making just a big assumption that your devices will do anything. First you have to actually get them in cars, not an easy task, then you have to keep drunks from disabling them, and impossible task.


    In this thread it has been said that only 30% of wrecks are caused by drunk drivers, and only a percentage of them would have been stopped by a breathalyzer, as at least some people that are likely to drive drunk are going to have either disabled them or found some other way around it. So, huge expense and inconvenience for a small change in overall incidence.



    And if yours was, I would be for it. But just the thought of getting all the used cars out there retrofitted with a breathalyzer is enough to convince me it will never happen. So I believe that you are the one wanting a utopian world to solve your problem.
     
  2. Charles Kozierok

    Charles Kozierok Elite Member

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    It's reasonable to believe that some percentage of drunk drivers do so deliberately, but that many others really don't realize they are drunk and would not want to drive if they did know it. The devices would help with the latter group.

    30% is a large percenage to attribute to a single cause. The breathalyzers would stop a large percentage of those, which means we're talking about thousands of deaths and probably hundreds of thousands of injuries a year.

    I'm not sure I agree with the suggestion, but I can't reasonably deny that it would have an impact.
     
  3. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Charles, I generally support your response there.

    One lingering issue I see is, 'how many drunk drivers who would want to defeat the device would be able to?'

    I think that takes us to 'opinion', and would need to get into a lot of details we don't have, but my opinion is 'not man could defeat it'. That might be hard to 'prove'.

    But I'd ask people who say many or all could to provide at least a plausible basis for it.
     
  4. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    No needy to retrofit. A driver that is required,covers the cost of installation.
     
  5. corwin

    corwin Diamond Member

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    Because of the internet almost anyone can hack most devices currently on the market, someone would post a youtube video or a web site with the details and then it would pretty much be public knowledge how to get around them, just like jailbreaking an iPhone used to be hard but now is super easy and a kid can do it.

    I vote "other" but I would lean more towards installation in offenders vehicles but never for the general public, when one fails for whatever reason and the person can't make it to work as is fired what then? If you have an emergency and need to go somewhere but can't get your car started what then? Too much of a chance of failure for a general requirement by far.
     
  6. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Actually, I considered that and think a solution is for the device to have a self-test and disable and report itself if not functioning correctly. Definitely details to look into.

    But come on - some cars won't start without seat belts fastened correctly, ohmigosh, what if the detector malfunctions? Car is unusable!]

    For 'hacking it', have to consider some questions. People have to wear ankle bracelets and can't easily 'hack' those...
     
  7. Fern

    Fern Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    Only for those proven to be repeat offenders.

    Fern
     
  8. Fern

    Fern Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    Could or would? IMO many wouldn't even if they could.

    Just disable the dang thing.

    Hook it back up prior to your next car inspection. If anybody's thinking the chip in the car would catch it, just pick up an OBD II reader and clear the code. Or you can go by AutoZone etc and use one of theirs for free. They won't clear it for you, but they'll show you how to do it with their device.

    Remote start will do it, too.

    Here's a YouTube claiming to walk you through bypassing a breathalyzer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYf0M9GMrjo

    You could also keep a devise clean compressed air in your car and use that to blow in the breathalyzer.

    Seems to me any system that someone makes has 'work arounds' if you're willing to risk it. I believe it's a felony to tamper with them.

    Fern
     
  9. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Like I said, there are issues to deal with. One is the security of the system.

    Perhaps some sort of connection for the system that it can be checked remotely and so on needs to be done.

    If it's not practical, then it's not a practical program to do.

    The easier method would be for police to have some easy way to confirm it's operating when they happen to have the driver pulled over.

    Then the question though is how much compliance there would be, if people thought they had a decent chance of not getting caught.
     
  10. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    It would not be difficult if one is pulled over to have the LEO require a test against the device in the car.
    If that fails; then it has been tampered with.

    Off to the pokey, no DL, no excuses.

    It woiuld be the driver's responsibility to ensure that the device is working.

    Driving with broken headlights is not excusable at night; it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is operating safely.

    Safe would go for the detector.
     
  11. Charles Kozierok

    Charles Kozierok Elite Member

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    You may not have read the whole thread, but a point I made earlier: some people drink and drive on purpose and don't care, but others do it unwittingly, thinking they are a lot more sober than they really are. Interlocks would help with the latter group, which IMO is probably much larger than the deliberate criminals.
     
  12. Fern

    Fern Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    Possibly.

    I think anyone recommending interlock devices should research them first.

    I won't really bother to note that they are not infallible. I would think that obvious. (Well, I lied, I address this somewhat further down.)

    The last time I checked into them a common complaint was that the devices require periodic confirmation. E.g., after 20 minutes of driving the device emits a warning requiring the driver to pull over and retest. Quite the hassle/inconvenience. And surely a danger if the car is shut off for failure to comply.

    And breathalyzers in general can give false positives, and false negatives. There's a lot of info on the subject. Details such as how long ago was your last drink, to eating habits and 'burping' affect readings. Breathalyzer results and true blood alcohol levels differ in many cases, and the real point is measuring blood level, not breath.

    In my state (NC) I don't believe the field breathalyzers that LEO use when pulling someone over are even permissible in court. They have a much larger machine that requires a certified technician to operate it. I think the interlock devices are similar to the field units.

    I.e., at this point the technology is not suitable for broad every-day type use and should be limited to repeat offenders.

    Chances are if you're a repeat offender you're an alcoholic. Professionals will tell you that is one of the hardest additions to kick. So, in spite of the interlock's problems is it often the best of bad choices: No driving, or drunk driving.

    Fern
     
    #112 Fern, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  13. Jaskalas

    Jaskalas Lifer

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    Oh I love that one. You see, that's what roadside inspections are for. Randomly checking to see if the devices are still functional and writing tickets for anyone whose device failed compliance. Like driving with a broken headlight.

    All new cars, and in 20-30 years the problem of "used" cars without them vanishes.
     
  14. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    They have medical devices that can analyze your blood with a pin prick. Such would remove major failures.

    Even though it might hurt, it will be less than any accident and can be considered a penalty for previous DUI.

    Let the interlock affect only starting the vehicle, not stopping it while started.
     
  15. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    I'm ok with their only testing when the car is started, not while driving, at least for the general public. The devices can be improved if needed for my suggestion of all cars.
     
  16. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    This thread makes a good case that if cars did not have seat belts today, and there was a suggestion to make them mandatory to put in cars, we'd see widespread public opposition with all the usual arguments that it was the 'nanny state' out of control trying to tell private car companies what to do, with all kinds of spurious 'facts' suggesting how they don't really work and anecdotes of people who use a seat belt and can't escape from a crash.
     
  17. DixyCrat

    DixyCrat Lifer

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    /agree

    Though the idea of mandated breathalyzers be included for personal information is much more like mandating seat-belts.

    If you kept the car from starting unless the seat belt was fascinated, otoh, is more in line with ignition locking the steering wheel.

    Mandating that one use the breathalyzer and then enforcing stiff penalties for failure to do so is much more like mandating the wearing of the seat-blet.

    And all of this relies on the assumption that people are ignoramuses most of the time. So, while it's ear-tickling to hear "you are in control of your life, you are an adult that can make adult decisions" the fact is that mandates work, they save lives, and if the premise that people can make their own decisions were true, then they would make the right decisions much more often.

    This is a scientific, empirical, fact. People are ignorant and don't know what's good for them and thus we must pass many many laws (i'm sure almost all of them you agree with) that protect them from their ignorance.

    the FDA, the EPA, and many other government initials curtail our 'freedom' because in a complex world... one so complex that the founding fathers could never have imagined it... we have no choice but to be in constant ignorance and act like constant ignoramuses: as imperfect and scary (and pride-dropping) as it sounds:

    In our modern world, we need the government to protect us from ourselves.
     
    #117 DixyCrat, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  18. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    People need to get over the crazy objections to 'violations of freedom', and get the benifits of common sense policies, and defend SUBSTANTIVE freedoms.

    You know, maybe like the 'right for citizens to know what their government is up to' in light of what, billions of unnecessarily classified documents.

    Or the right to vote without anti-voting measures like voter ID laws and restrictions on registration and expanded voting and hours in line. Not opposing fluoride in the water.
     
  19. Jaskalas

    Jaskalas Lifer

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    Ideological grandstanding? Oh I can do more of that.

    The structure of our government, including its size and largess are paramount to our substantive freedoms. You ever heard of the term chipping away at it? This is directed at relational consequences to present actions, however small they may be.

    The act of stipulating that there's a class of persons mandated to drive a particular vehicle, for the purpose of a breathalyzer, sets forth a whole set of totalitarian precedents that, if fully realized, you would not be comfortable with and would certainly object to - however futile that effort is, as mine is here.

    Imagine how many die of heart disease... the cost to our health care services for overweight / unhealthy people. How many die because of vital resources being squandered needlessly on preventable disease? After we finish securing society from drunks, it'll be time to scrub it of parents giving their kids snacks. Over a certain BMI and you'll go to jail, but are then released on the stipulation of being labeled unhealthy by choice, so we'll make that choice for you. Society will determine the food you can buy, store, and eat. Medical resources saved, lives saved. Benefits for us all.

    There is no limit to the human imagination for problems to be solved, and a due process by which to weigh, measure and then treat us all differently under totalitarian rules. The only limit to this madness is to have a limited government of enumerated powers. The sort we tossed over the fiscal cliff a century ago. When the President laments having a Bill of Rights that restricts government, wishing it were a list of positive rights, of government actions upon you, that is how these "benefits of common sense policies" turn into clear violations of substantive freedoms.

    Logically these solutions all make perfect sense. They solve problems, they have benefits to society. We just don't stop to ask what sort of society it takes to implement them. One in which enumerated powers turned to unlimited powers. One in which restricting government turned to embracing government. Then, at this point, you must begin to wonder - which controls the other? Do the people control their government, or does their government control them? If you think the government IS the people... then there's no harm done, right?

    It's for a good cause anyway... and no one likes those drunks. We're just going to have them drive these special cars you see... separate but equal.

    I believe that's what the South said in 1964. Separate but equal.
     
  20. Craig234

    Craig234 Lifer

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    Not to be flippant, but your argument is nothing but a slippery slope. If we let the government require safety mirrors on cars,they'll make them all our of soft foam and require you to wear helmets to drive! If we require Doctors to pass a state-approved exam one of the questions will be if they swear loyalty to the political leader in power!

    It's hard to argue those sorts of things - you can assert them all day and they can't be proven or disproven much.

    I'll just say I disagree - that you can ban big sodas without creating overweight prisons.

    FWIW, 'separate but equal' is not a doctrine that's wrong if drunk drivers are required to use an alcohol detector. That is discrimination and it's justified.

    It's a phrase the racists used to legally defend a set of policies of racial discrimination to answer the constitutional challenge of a guarantee of equality.

    It did not come from the south in 1964, it came from the Supreme Court in 1896 in the decision I've seen most often cited as the worst in the court's history, in 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson, to justify why a man who was 7/8 white and 1/8 black had to ride in a blacks-only train car (sounds a little like Rosa Parks).

    It was the law until 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education said separate but equal is inherently unequal.
     
  21. DixyCrat

    DixyCrat Lifer

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    Your argument was nothing more than an appeal to your own assumptions. You did nothing but beg the question at hand: "When do we curtail freedom". I mean; you said "there are freedoms I agree with and one's I don't, for example:" but that doesn't answer the essential "why" question.

    I know that in your mind
    Is your answer: But you offered no definition or principle upon which substantivity of freedom is known, and thus begged the question.

    This isn't an attack on your post, or even close to a disagreement, but rather an attempt to let you know that if you want to communicate with people that do not hold your assumptions: you will have to be explicit about what those are and why you hold them.

    IMO the you are quite right, and the canard of conflating freedom to hot-dog and freedom to be controlled invisibly by monstrous corporations has been used to stand in the way of rights upon which other rights are predicated: like the right to voice disagreement via protest.
     
  22. Charles Kozierok

    Charles Kozierok Elite Member

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    We do? Really?

    This nation was founded on the notion of freedom. It's bred into our national genetic code.

    We've already given up far too many of them. People have every right to be vigilant about further degradations.

    Why start out with "not to be flippant" when you then proceed to clearly be flippant?

    Your examples are strawmen, exaggerations to suggest that the "slippery slope" can't exist. But in reality, your own position demonstrates the slippery slope nicely. We've gone from mandated seatbelts to you suggesting mandatory car breathalyzers. This happens in many other areas as well.

    True, but that's because you picked deliberately absurd examples.

    How it really works is this:

    1. Some car manufacturers voluntarily put seat belts in as a safety feature.
    2. The federal government passes a law forcing car makers to put in seat belts, but their use is voluntary.
    3. States begin to pass laws requiring seat belt use, sometimes just for children, with adults able to make their own decisions. (This is still the case in New Hampshire, the last holdout.)
    4. The law is then changed to mandatory seat belt use for adults. At this point, though, you can't be charged with anything just for not using a seat belt -- only if you are pulled over for something else.
    5. Then, states start passing laws saying they can pull you over just because they suspect you aren't wearing a belt.
    6. And from there, we get to "random checks", where people for whom there is no suspicion of wrongdoing can be stopped and "checked" to make sure their seat belts are being used.
    7. And now, some people want more mandatory safety features, such as breathalyzers.

    THAT is how the slippery slope works.

    PS I would not at all be surprised if there are some people out there who would like to pass laws requiring people to wear helmets in cars.
     
    #122 Charles Kozierok, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  23. skyking

    skyking Lifer

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    Viola! now we have a perfectly functional mechanism for any kind of profiling we need.
     
  24. kevbot

    kevbot Member

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    An ignition interlock is/should not be something that you just blow into to start the car. I have a friend that is required to have one, and beleive me, it is an obtrusive as hell device. If it is too cold, you must warm it up before you can use it. If it is too warm, you must cool it down. When you are driving, it repeatedly asks you to blow. If it didn't do that, all you would have to do is blow once when sober and then just keep the motor running. Then at every bar you would find a parking lot full of idleing cars.

    Anyway, in the USA aren't we innocent until proven guilty? Do I really have to prove to my CAR that I am fit to drive? What bac is the cut off? In the case of my friend it is .025. That's pretty low. We have plenty of laws and penalties that deal with the consequences of drunk driving already, we don't need to add another layer on top.
     
  25. EagleKeeper

    EagleKeeper Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    The lock should only apply to vehicles that a convicted DUI offender has access to.

    Either a device installed at his expense and always enabled, or a device built in that is off unless enabled. Disabling an previous enabled device requires showing proper evidence; bill of sale to non family or court order release