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Technology Could End Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving Technology  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. If the technology was available and worked as expected, would you support legislation that required this in new cars?



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Two US senators plan to introduce legislation that would equip every new car with technology to block drivers who are over the limit.
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It’s an unfortunate reality that plenty of people still operate vehicles while intoxicated, which can lead to disastrous results for the driver and innocent motorists and pedestrians. “Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes,” says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Despite massive public information campaigns to curb drunk driving, the hard fact is there’s still nothing stopping a driver from getting behind the wheel after too much to drink.

Technology is in the pipeline that would prevent anyone over the legal blood-alcohol content level from firing up a vehicle and motoring off. According to Reuters, this includes devices planted in the steering wheel or push-button ignition to measure a driver’s BAC. If the devices detect it’s too high, via infrared lights shined through a driver’s fingertip, it’s no dice to drive anywhere. Another possible solution are sensors to monitor a driver’s eye movement and breath.

The poll is pretty clear. I voted no. I almost never drink, and when I do, I don't drive. This would be an annoyance to me every time I operated my car, and an unnecessary expense. i could see it as a court-mandated thing (they already have these things now), or an option, but not a requirement.


And yes:

  • It could be "worked around" by someone else pushing the button for the drunk driver, etc. But that's on them, at least, too.
  • Also, yes, it would likely malfunction from time to time. Which would be ridiculous when it happened. But the poll asks "if it works as expected" which for the purposes of the poll means that it works as well as, say, FaceID or TouchID on an iPhone.

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In Washington State (and I'm sure many others) there is something called an Ignition Interlock Device.  If you've been arrested and convicted of drunk driving you get the privilege of having one installed in your car.  It is almost foolproof.  It takes pictures of the person (or balloon) blowing into the device and instantly sends those to the company that supplied the device.  So you can't have your sober friend blow for you.

Iacas, while you and I are responsible drinkers, too many people out there are not.  And they are killing our siblings, parents, friends.  Invasion of privacy, hell yes.  But I am for it.  I'll give up a little time in my life and suffer the annoyance to make my time and your time on the road safer.  My only concern is how long (like A/C) does the device work?  If you buy a used car 10 years old is it still functioning?

Now for the golf addict, will they come up with a device to ascertain there are clubs in your trunk and not allow your car to start?  😊

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3 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Iacas, while you and I are responsible drinkers, too many people out there are not.  And they are killing our siblings, parents, friends.  Invasion of privacy, hell yes.

Ben Franklin's quote springs to mind.

I'm not going to drink and drive. It's ridiculous to punish me with this sort of thing.

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Based on the premise in the poll (tech available and works as expected), I would support this as standard equipment.  But I would hold "works as expected" to a very high standard.  Something in the steering wheel would seem toughest to cheat...though still with its problems to solve, for sure.  

Not drinking-related, but still applicable: a couple of years back, I was first-on-scene in a fatal accident involving a pair of teen girls that turned out to be distracted-driving-caused.  It was awful...especially as a father.  Even though I didn't know them, it was devastating knowing the news that parents and friends would soon be getting, and the pain that'd be with them forever.  I've shared as much of that experience as I could to my kids and their friends (they went to my kids' school...just between each by years) in hopes they understand it can happen to you, in an instant, with just one poor decision.

My point there is that, for all impaired-driving situations, all the billboards, commercials, lectures--i.e., "education"--just aren't ending the problem.  I'm 100% on-board with developing the tech to help eliminate it as much as we possibly can, for drinking, device-use, distraction, etc.

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There would be a lot of details to hammer out but I'd support it. To me a minor inconvenience is worth the price to pay to know that others aren't out there driving while drunk. At least the ones driving newer vehicles 😉

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It's no more effective than ridiculous gun control proposals, and for the exact same reason - there are so many cars out there not subject to the law already that it would be pointless.

It's also rendered completely ineffective if the driver wears gloves or their buddy pushes the button. It's a useless piece of tech that will do nothing but make senators feel good about "doing something" so they can pat themselves on the back while in reality nothing changes except making life worse for law-abiding citizens.

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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8 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

It's no more effective than ridiculous gun control proposals, and for the exact same reason - there are so many cars out there not subject to the law already that it would be pointless.

Plus, self-driving cars might follow so closely behind that it'd only be a thing for a few years anyway.

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50 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

It's no more effective than ridiculous gun control proposals, and for the exact same reason - there are so many cars out there not subject to the law already that it would be pointless.

It's also rendered completely ineffective if the driver wears gloves or their buddy pushes the button. It's a useless piece of tech that will do nothing but make senators feel good about "doing something" so they can pat themselves on the back while in reality nothing changes except making life worse for law-abiding citizens.

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Pretzel, I think it is not fair to compare it to gun control.  Two different things.  It's not political.  Granted, it would take years to fully phase in... in accordance with the lifespan of cars.  Have you known anyone killed or maimed by a drunk driver?

And I'd suggest you check online about how sophisticated these devices are these days... almost impossible to trick them with gloves or a buddy pushing a button.

When I'm driving down the highway and a mile away there's a drunk that's on a collision course with me, removing me from my son and my friends, I would hope he/she has the car that stops them from being on the road at that moment.

BTW, you're the same age as my son that I love.  I don't know about you but he has more testosterone than wisdom.  I was there once.

Edited by Double Mocha Man

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22 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Pretzel, I think it is not fair to compare it to gun control.  Two different things.  It's not political.  Granted, it would take years to fully phase in... in accordance with the lifespan of cars.  Have you known anyone killed or maimed by a drunk driver?

And I'd suggest you check online about how sophisticated these devices are these days... almost impossible to trick them with gloves or a buddy pushing a button.

1. His point wasn’t political.

2. The devices can work on a small scale but who is going to look through the photos of every car driver of every car? C’mon.

Also, what if my device fails and I can’t get a friend to the hospital and he dies? Or more simply if I miss an appointment. Or whatever?

I don’t drink and drive. It’s ridiculous to ask me to prove it with a fallible system EVERY time I want to drive my car somewhere.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

1. His point wasn’t political.

2. The devices can work on a small scale but who is going to look through the photos of every car driver of every car? C’mon.

Also, what if my device fails and I can’t get a friend to the hospital and he dies? Or more simply if I miss an appointment. Or whatever?

I don’t drink and drive. It’s ridiculous to ask me to prove it with a fallible system EVERY time I want to drive my car somewhere.

1.  His point was political... it is obvious.  I know he's a moderator but you don't necessarily have to side with him.  He was comparing it with gun control.  Correct or incorrect, that's political.  Let's compare it with the lives it might save.

2.  Agree... generally the photos will be looked at after the fact, when the case ends up in court.

Hopefully, by the time the system/device is implemented it will be 99% fail-safe.  Erik, I commend you for not drinking and driving.  You are the guy I want to meet on the road driving home after dusk from the golf course.

Your example of needing to get a friend to the hospital is an outlier.  Though valid.  But there's always 911 that you can call and they can get your friend to the emergency room faster... with sirens and lights.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Plus, self-driving cars might follow so closely behind that it'd only be a thing for a few years anyway.

Aren't Americans pretty resistant to self-driving cars? Freedom of the open road and all that. I don't think self-driving cars are going to be mainstream anytime soon.

6 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don’t drink and drive.

But you or a loved one can still be killed by someone else who does. I don't think the proposed legislation is aimed at eliminating drunk driving 100% but if it can reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road it's a step in the right direction.

8 minutes ago, iacas said:

It’s ridiculous to ask me to prove it with a fallible system EVERY time I want to drive my car somewhere.

If it's something simple and built into the push start button on a car, I don't think it's going to take any extra effort on your part to start it. The issue is more about how reliable the system can possibly be and what happens if/when it fails.

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3 minutes ago, billchao said:

Aren't Americans pretty resistant to self-driving cars? Freedom of the open road and all that. I don't think self-driving cars are going to be mainstream anytime soon.

 

I ain't driving in no self driving car!  I love navigating my car, the feel of the open road, steering through tantalizing curves, pedal to the metal at the appropriate moments.  Isn't that what cars are for???  Count me in as one of those resistant.  If I want to avoid the stress/fun of driving I'll take a plane, train, uber or bus.  

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51 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Pretzel, I think it is not fair to compare it to gun control.  Two different things.  It's not political.  Granted, it would take years to fully phase in... in accordance with the lifespan of cars. 

Nothing I said was political. I made a reasonable comparison because there are tens of millions of cars without this device on the road today in the same way there are tens of millions of guns in the country today, with lawmakers coming up with laws that would still only ever affect newly manufactured cars/guns.

56 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Have you known anyone killed or maimed by a drunk driver?

This is entirely irrelevant and making laws based on how you personally feel about events is the quickest way to create stupid and ineffective laws. Emotions are never rational and can never come up with logical and effective solutions. Laws like the creation of the TSA, which has been found in numerous independent tests (and even their own self-testing) to be entirely ineffective at actually finding weapons.

52 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

And I'd suggest you check online about how sophisticated these devices are these days... almost impossible to trick them with gloves or a buddy pushing a button.

I'm an Electrical and Computer Engineer in the biomedical device industry, I know far more about the technology behind these devices than the average person. "Almost impossible to trick them with gloves or a buddy pushing the button" would imply that you must have continuous contact with your skin to continue driving. Congratulations, you now are no longer allowed to drive a car with gloves on in the winter. You also get to face the problem of not being able to drive the car when your hands are cold because the reduced bloodflow to your fingers will confuse the device and throw an error similar to if you had gloves on. In other words, your car no longer works as a car when it's cold out.

1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

When I'm driving down the highway and a mile away there's a drunk that's on a collision course with me, removing me from my son and my friends, I would hope he/she has the car that stops them from being on the road at that moment.

No new technology will stop them, because people who drive drunk can still obtain one of the tens of millions of old cars without this technology.

What are you going to do? Ban the old cars and buy them back? Good luck with enforcement there.

1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

BTW, you're the same age as my son that I love.  I don't know about you but he has more testosterone than wisdom.  I was there once.

This has nothing to do with testosterone or wisdom. It has everything to do with me knowing enough about the technology to see that it would stop precisely zero drunk drivers and only serve to increase costs and horribly inconvenience (or possible even endanger, if the car cannot drive at a critical time) those who abide by the law.

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6 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

It has everything to do with me knowing enough about the technology to see that it would stop precisely zero drunk drivers ...

Thinking you've gone out on a fragile limb there.  I won't even address the other stuff.

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33 minutes ago, iacas said:

Also, what if my device fails and I can’t get a friend to the hospital and he dies? Or more simply if I miss an appointment. Or whatever?

I don’t drink and drive. It’s ridiculous to ask me to prove it with a fallible system EVERY time I want to drive my car somewhere.

This is what came to mind for me. 

Are these cars only registered to one driver? What if a family member or friend needs to borrow my car? 

19 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Let's compare it with the lives it might save.

DD-Fatalities-Thumbnail.png

Though progress has been made, our commitment to eliminate drunk driving is stronger than ever. Visit us for facts and statistics on drunk driving...

Only about 37,000 people. Honestly, that isn't that many compared to other issues in the USA that need our attention. 

That isn't to say I don't have compassion for the people who lose a loved one that way. I just don't think it's worth making life a procedural hell.

In the end, people are going to die in ways that don't include old age. You can't legislate all of that away. In the end, you'd just end up forcing everyone to live in their homes 24/7 because going outside is too dangerous. 

If you want a compromise on this, you get caught driving wile impaired, then you have to use one of these devices the rest of your life. Don't punish those who act responsibly. What type of system is that. 

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1 minute ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Thinking you've gone out on a fragile limb there.  I won't even address the other stuff.

I already addressed how it would fail to stop drunk drivers, because anybody who is drunk can simply drive a car manufactured prior to the law's implementation.

The other items are equally important, and the only reason for you not addressing it is because you simply can't. It's kind of ridiculous to pretend otherwise when all of those avenues of discussion were opened by you, and you alone, in your response to my first post where you attempted to claim I must know nothing because I am younger.

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Erik... thanks for bringing up a topic outside of golf... a very important topic.  It adds a bit of color to our usual conversations on here.  Though, basically, that's why I'm here and love the site.  Keep up the good work.

2 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I already addressed how it would fail to stop drunk drivers, because anybody who is drunk can simply drive a car manufactured prior to the law's implementation.

The other items are equally important, and the only reason for you not addressing it is because you simply can't. It's kind of ridiculous to pretend otherwise when all of those avenues of discussion were opened by you, and you alone, in your response to my first post where you attempted to claim I must know nothing because I am younger.

Not all drunk drivers drive old cars.  And I said nothing about you knowing nothing because you are younger (that was a strange mis-understanding of my words about wisdom and testosterone) but you're starting to give credence to your own statement.

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7 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

If you want a compromise on this, you get caught driving wile impaired, then you have to use one of these devices the rest of your life. Don't punish those who act responsibly. What type of system is that. 

This is similar to how it already works. The majority of states require an ignition interlock devices after a DUI conviction (some states require 2 convictions I believe) that doesn't allow you to start the car unless a breathalyzer connected to the ECU. A lifetime punishment seems rather harsh compared to the current rules instituting several years of ignition interlock requirements, but this would be an acceptable alternative to me for the breathalyzer ignition interlock system that already exists in law. It would be faster and more convenient for those required to have the device installed while achieving the same effect.

6 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

And I said nothing about you knowing nothing because you are younger (that was a strange mis-understanding of my words about wisdom and testosterone) but you're starting to give credence to your own statement.

Come on now, let's not be dishonest with one another. Your statement was quite clear about those who are young having more testosterone than wisdom. Civil discussions are only possible when both parties are honest and neither one attempts to insult or discredit the other for arbitrary reasons.

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