Update: My mother, the car

by Walter Olson on August 8, 2007

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which is fairly described these days as neo-Prohibitionist, continues to promote the development of automobiles which will be mechanically inoperable in the presence of indicators of drunkenness. A new Nissan prototype includes alcohol sensors in both the driver and passenger seat. Passenger? (Classical Values, Aug. 4). Earlier: Aug. 19, 2005, May 28, 2006.

More from DUI Blog: “Imagine if even one of these gizmos malfunctions — at high speed.”

{ 6 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 08.08.07 at 11:05 am

Can someone please explain to me why the most plausible solution to an obvious problem, in this case drunk drivers killing people, always requires a component which is cloaked in paternalism? Where and when in history did the notion that collective action, described/captured by the term “government” became the answer? I have a better idea and it’s not anything new: Get drunk, drive a car, go to jail, make big rocks in to small rocks….do it twice, see previous process…do it a third time=life w/o parole. Kill someone while driving drunk, go immediately to step 3.
We better not do that, though. It’s just too easy and however well it may work, we run the risk of being labeled, fascists. Ewwww, I’m quivering at the thought.

2 Dick 08.08.07 at 11:18 am

Driving drunk is bad, real bad!! But so is driving while on drugs, feeble or stupid. When they can come up with a sensor that prevents stupid people from driving, then we’ll have something. Except for the cost of hired drivers for all elected officials.

3 Heather 08.08.07 at 12:24 pm

Passengers can be arrested for “DUI by consent” in Tennessee. I guess the assumption is that if you’re too impaired to drive, you’re too impaired to decide who to ride home with. Which may be true, but I resent the intrusion into my God-given right to be killed by my own stupidity.

4 John 08.08.07 at 12:25 pm

This solution seems to eliminate the need for a designated driver. Unless of course he/she is supposed to dump all the drunk passengers into the back seat where there are no sensors.

5 Bill Poser 08.08.07 at 11:19 pm

I’ve had to drive drunks, and that experience makes me think that there is a good reason to have the sensor in the passenger seat. Drunks who just fall asleep are safe, but many drunks become violent or flail happily around in ways that can seriously interfere with safe driving. Putting the drunks in the back seat is a good idea.

6 michael 08.09.07 at 4:03 pm

I have a better idea for first-offense drunk drivers and repeat traffic offenders: Take away their ability to get any license other than a Class M for 10 years, allowing them to only legally operate motorcycles.

This way there’s no complaint that “we can’t get to work!” and social darwinism can work its magic without burdening the prison system.

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