U.S. Government Proposes In-Car Alcohol Detection Device To Stop Drunk Driving

This is sure to divide opinion nationwide. Is it a great idea to stop potentially homicidal behavior, or Big Brother-like governmental restriction on personal freedom? The in-vehicle Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), prevents a car from moving if the driver is above the .08 legal limit and “may hold the promise for stopping drunk driving before it happens,” according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. AP reports on a prototype that uses automatic sensors to instantly gauge a driver’s fitness.

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  • Hadrian999

    one would think making it compulsory would be a violation of the 4th amendment but that right is a joke any more anyway.

  • Hadrian999

    one would think making it compulsory would be a violation of the 4th amendment but that right is a joke any more anyway.

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  • Maromacs

    In the Netherlands the government already started a pilot on this device. About 50 people have built it in their cars

  • Maromacs

    In the Netherlands the government already started a pilot on this device. About 50 people have built it in their cars

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    If its an optional device people could choose…I’d be fine…but compulsory installation would be yet another in a long line of horrors that strips people of the ability to handle risk…to endure the rigors of self determination. No person has ever gained morally, mentally or emotionally by avoiding all risk and being herded to safety by forces beyond his or her self. If anything, we look upon a world of people stunted in every respect…less capable than ever, incapacitated by modernity and excessive external controls. Without internal controls built by hardship, failure and loss, we amble stupidly through life, pathetic jokes next to the ancestors that risked and gained, lost and learned, lived and died with their choices. How I pity this generation and its infantile obsession with risk elimination. It might be more rightly called life elimination…because it isn’t life once you’ve torn from it all that made it precious. It is small wonder that this was the era in which an act called “Patriot” passed with applause and survived with many defenders crying out for its promise of protection.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    If its an optional device people could choose…I’d be fine…but compulsory installation would be yet another in a long line of horrors that strips people of the ability to handle risk…to endure the rigors of self determination. No person has ever gained morally, mentally or emotionally by avoiding all risk and being herded to safety by forces beyond his or her self. If anything, we look upon a world of people stunted in every respect…less capable than ever, incapacitated by modernity and excessive external controls. Without internal controls built by hardship, failure and loss, we amble stupidly through life, pathetic jokes next to the ancestors that risked and gained, lost and learned, lived and died with their choices. How I pity this generation and its infantile obsession with risk elimination. It might be more rightly called life elimination…because it isn’t life once you’ve torn from it all that made it precious. It is small wonder that this was the era in which an act called “Patriot” passed with applause and survived with many defenders crying out for its promise of protection.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Wrap your lips around the plastic proboscis of love and blow. Keep some wet wipes nearby…….

  • Anonymous

    Wrap your lips around the plastic proboscis of love and blow. Keep some wet wipes nearby…….

  • WhiteRose

    So if you are that lonely that nobody stops you from driving drunk, the bartender, the drunk next to you, the host of the party etc. then most likely you will stumble into the road and get killed when you can’t start your car… or there is a reason nobody likes you? Basically what this boils down to is that the more devices we make to protect the stupidity of people or the innocents from it, is that we have these devices already built into our brains it’s called being a human! And when the device malfunctions there is another big lawsuit, yipee! Droid…

    • Jordan

      Do you know what “impaired judgement” means? It is nobody else’s responsibility to stop someone from driving while intoxicated and if you are truly an alcoholic, there is nothing nobody can say to you or do to you that will prevent you from driving. In your mind, you believe yourself to be capable of driving. You can’t argue someone else’s belief. In the past, I have fought people for my car keys because I firmly believed in my alcohol-diluted mind that I was capable of driving. Luckily, I never got a DUI or worse– killed someone, but now, looking back on that, it scares the living shit out of me to know how often I did that. For one thing, it disregarded my own safety, which to me, didn’t mean crap, but I put other people in danger, in and outside my vehicle.

      To AusGuy: Here in the U.S., we have the same thing you speak of: a device that is installed in the vehicle of a DUI offender that acts as an “ignition lock,” whereas the car will not start if you blow over the legal limit. There are ways around it though, like driving someone else’s car, which is why it should automatically be in every vehicle. As watwat said, if one is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn’t have a problem with it. This isn’t taking away some sort of freedom in exchange for false security. Drunk driving kills. And to Hadrian999, if you want to dispute probable cause, you will enjoy this: http://www.aclu-wa.org/blog/automated-license-plate-recognition-newest-threat-your-privacy-when-you-travel.

      And to that1guy: a bicycle is also a “vehicle.”

      The 4th amendment does not protect you from endangering the lives of others. Period.

      • E.B. Wolf

        “If one is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn’t have a problem with it.”
        Ah yes. The classic mating call of the totalitarian sycophant.

        • Jordan

          Yeah? And I also said “This isn’t taking away some sort of freedom in exchange for false security.” I think I was quite clear.

          • E.B. Wolf

            Quite clearly deluded. Who’s going to pay to monitor all those devices on the millions of cars in this country., not to mention the cost of monthly calibrations of the devices. Have you even considered the cost that puts on the average citizen, including those who don’t drink at all?

      • that1guy

        I know about bikes and duis (a friend in austin caught one). Usually police aren’t on the lookout for cyclists though, especially if you’re dressed like a big-ole dork. That could easily change.
        That said, riding drunk can be just as dangerous to yourself, if not more than, driving. I’ve seen missing teeth and cracked collar bones in friends, and a friend of a friend a few years back punctured a lung and died after hitting a road obstacle at 2am when he was drunk(although I doubt it would have happened if the obstacle had been marked or if any of the people whose doorbells he rang had answered).
        So, long story short, biking drunk isn’t a good solution to personal the danger aspect, even if, in most cases, you can skirt the law with it. Same should be said for walking drunk (statistically more likely to lead to death than driving drunk if you believe the Freakonomics II analysis).
        One plus, it’s really hard to kill someone else by riding a bike after drinking. Not impossible, but definitely difficult.

        The only perfect option is a sober driver. So give us a call @ 1-888-drive-yer-fuckin-car-home-for-you when-you’re-drunk-and-stranded and we’ll be there within the hour. Please let them pass this law.

  • WhiteRose

    So if you are that lonely that nobody stops you from driving drunk, the bartender, the drunk next to you, the host of the party etc. then most likely you will stumble into the road and get killed when you can’t start your car… or there is a reason nobody likes you? Basically what this boils down to is that the more devices we make to protect the stupidity of people or the innocents from it, is that we have these devices already built into our brains it’s called being a human! And when the device malfunctions there is another big lawsuit, yipee! Droid…

  • watwat

    This should be built into every new vehicle and installed on all older cars for free. It’s a great idea and should be mandatory. This will free up jails and prisons, free up cops and medics to pursue other things, and free up money and time spent on drunk driving related crimes and accidents and most importantly save lives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

    Yes, the device won’t be perfect and will screw up sometimes, but make it like OnStar or something with a way to contact someone, so if you feel the device is making a mistake, it will send a cop to your car to check you out and somehow activate your car. If you aren’t doing anything illegal I don’t see why this would bother you. Unless of course the device was horrible and broke down all the time but obviously they’d have to make sure it worked very well before installing them.

    This has nothing to do with freedom, or invasion of privacy or anything like that. If they wanted to set these up in your home, then yeah, I’d have a problem with that cause I’m not driving my home around other people at high speeds and it’s my right to drink as much as I want… but not if I’m driving. You have no right to do that and this is just a better way of enforcing it.

    • Hadrian999

      you don’t think mandatory sobriety checks without probable cause are a violation of privacy?

    • E.B. Wolf

      Who’s going to pay to install them on older cars? It’s a private company that makes the devices. In my state, they make repeat offenders install them on their vehicles and pay for the cost. The device also snaps a picture of the person blowing into the machine and requires regular calibration to be reliable and accurate?

      They are also extremely expensive to install and maintain. It’s not just a simple matter of popping one on the car and you’re good to go. Who’s going to analyze the photo of everyone starting their vehicles? Otherwise, it would be a piece of cake to fool the machines.

      Still like the idea?

  • watwat

    This should be built into every new vehicle and installed on all older cars for free. It’s a great idea and should be mandatory. This will free up jails and prisons, free up cops and medics to pursue other things, and free up money and time spent on drunk driving related crimes and accidents and most importantly save lives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

    Yes, the device won’t be perfect and will screw up sometimes, but make it like OnStar or something with a way to contact someone, so if you feel the device is making a mistake, it will send a cop to your car to check you out and somehow activate your car. If you aren’t doing anything illegal I don’t see why this would bother you. Unless of course the device was horrible and broke down all the time but obviously they’d have to make sure it worked very well before installing them.

    This has nothing to do with freedom, or invasion of privacy or anything like that. If they wanted to set these up in your home, then yeah, I’d have a problem with that cause I’m not driving my home around other people at high speeds and it’s my right to drink as much as I want… but not if I’m driving. You have no right to do that and this is just a better way of enforcing it.

  • Hadrian999

    you don’t think mandatory sobriety checks without probable cause are a violation of privacy?

  • DeepCough

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to make a car with a robotic auto-pilot that drives the person straight home if they’re drunk, rather than leaving them stranded and wandering the highway in a stupor where they could still be a danger?

  • DeepCough

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to make a car with a robotic auto-pilot that drives the person straight home if they’re drunk, rather than leaving them stranded and wandering the highway in a stupor where they could still be a danger?

  • that1guy

    My contingency to-do list if this idea becomes reality:

    a. tune up my bicycle and scotch guard my raincoat and shoes. I’m about to get touring fit again.

    b. by a fleet of collapsible pocket bikes and start a ‘drive your car home for you when you’re past the legal limit” service, then never go without work again.

    things are looking up.

  • that1guy

    My contingency to-do list if this idea becomes reality:

    a. tune up my bicycle and scotch guard my raincoat and shoes. I’m about to get touring fit again.

    b. by a fleet of collapsible pocket bikes and start a ‘drive your car home for you when you’re past the legal limit” service, then never go without work again.

    things are looking up.

  • AusGuy

    In our Country of Australia, our State Government has introduced the device for compulsory installation in repeat offenders cars, i.e. people who continue to drink and drive and put others at risk. If the car owner tries to remove the device the car will not work. I think it is generally a good initiative (for this purpose) as we have many people who don’t get the message and will drive while disqualified under the influence of alcohol.

    • EAGD

      Too bad you don’t have the U.S. Constitution to protect you from such things. We’re fighting to hold onto it here…

  • AusGuy

    In our Country of Australia, our State Government has introduced the device for compulsory installation in repeat offenders cars, i.e. people who continue to drink and drive and put others at risk. If the car owner tries to remove the device the car will not work. I think it is generally a good initiative (for this purpose) as we have many people who don’t get the message and will drive while disqualified under the influence of alcohol.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Who’s going to pay to install them on older cars? It’s a private company that makes the devices. In my state, they make repeat offenders install them on their vehicles and pay for the cost. The device also snaps a picture of the person blowing into the machine and requires regular calibration to be reliable and accurate?

    They are also extremely expensive to install and maintain. It’s not just a simple matter of popping one on the car and you’re good to go. Who’s going to analyze the photo of everyone starting their vehicles? Otherwise, it would be a piece of cake to fool the machines.

    Still like the idea?

  • Jordan

    Do you know what “impaired judgement” means? It is nobody else’s responsibility to stop someone from driving while intoxicated and if you are truly an alcoholic, there is nothing nobody can say to you or do to you that will prevent you from driving. In your mind, you believe yourself to be capable of driving. You can’t argue someone else’s belief. In the past, I have fought people for my car keys because I firmly believed in my alcohol-diluted mind that I was capable of driving. Luckily, I never got a DUI or worse– killed someone, but now, looking back on that, it scares the living shit out of me to know how often I did that. For one thing, it disregarded my own safety, which to me, didn’t mean crap, but I put other people in danger, in and outside my vehicle.

    To AusGuy: Here in the U.S., we have the same thing you speak of: a device that is installed in the vehicle of a DUI offender that acts as an “ignition lock,” whereas the car will not start if you blow over the legal limit. There are ways around it though, like driving someone else’s car, which is why it should automatically be in every vehicle. As watwat said, if one is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn’t have a problem with it. This isn’t taking away some sort of freedom in exchange for false security. Drunk driving kills. And to Hadrian999, if you want to dispute probable cause, you will enjoy this: http://www.aclu-wa.org/blog/automated-license-plate-recognition-newest-threat-your-privacy-when-you-travel.

    And to that1guy: a bicycle is also a “vehicle.”

    The 4th amendment does not protect you from endangering the lives of others. Period.

  • E.B. Wolf

    “If one is not doing anything wrong, they shouldn’t have a problem with it.”
    Ah yes. The classic mating call of the totalitarian sycophant.

  • Jordan

    Yeah? And I also said “This isn’t taking away some sort of freedom in exchange for false security.” I think I was quite clear.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Quite clearly deluded. Who’s going to pay to monitor all those devices on the millions of cars in this country., not to mention the cost of monthly calibrations of the devices. Have you even considered the cost that puts on the average citizen, including those who don’t drink at all?

  • that1guy

    I know about bikes and duis (a friend in austin caught one). Usually police aren’t on the lookout for cyclists though, especially if you’re dressed like a big-ole dork. That could easily change.
    That said, riding drunk can be just as dangerous to yourself, if not more than, driving. I’ve seen missing teeth and cracked collar bones in friends, and a friend of a friend a few years back punctured a lung and died after hitting a road obstacle at 2am when he was drunk(although I doubt it would have happened if the obstacle had been marked or if any of the people whose doorbells he rang had answered).
    So, long story short, biking drunk isn’t a good solution to personal the danger aspect, even if, in most cases, you can skirt the law with it. Same should be said for walking drunk (statistically more likely to lead to death than driving drunk if you believe the Freakonomics II analysis).
    One plus, it’s really hard to kill someone else by riding a bike after drinking. Not impossible, but definitely difficult.

    The only perfect option is a sober driver. So give us a call @ 1-888-drive-yer-fuckin-car-home-for-you when-you’re-drunk-and-stranded and we’ll be there within the hour. Please let them pass this law.

  • Haystack

    People have really lost perspective. People who text while driving are as dangerous as drunk drivers. Is there a push to install cellphone jammers in cars? Do we treat texters as something akin to child molesters? People are so afraid to appear as though they are defending drunk driving that they’ve given license for law enforcement to take it to the point of absurdity.

    In NY State if you get a DWI not only do you have to install one of these, but your family have to install them in their cars as well.

  • Haystack

    People have really lost perspective. People who text while driving are as dangerous as drunk drivers. Is there a push to install cellphone jammers in cars? Do we treat texters as something akin to child molesters? People are so afraid to appear as though they are defending drunk driving that they’ve given license for law enforcement to take it to the point of absurdity.

    In NY State if you get a DWI not only do you have to install one of these, but your family have to install them in their cars as well.

  • EAGD

    Too bad you don’t have the U.S. Constitution to protect you from such things. We’re fighting to hold onto it here…