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Convicted NY Drunk Drivers Need Ignition Interlocks

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the ted-can-no-longer-borrow-my-car dept.

Transportation 911

pickens writes "Starting yesterday in New York state, anyone sentenced for felony or misdemeanor DWI, whether a first-time or repeat offender, will have to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle they own or operate. The interlock contains a breath-checking unit that keeps the car from starting if the offender's blood-alcohol level registers 0.025 or higher, a little less than one-third of the legal limit. 'The addition of ignition interlocks will save lives in New York state,' says State Probation Director Robert Maccarone, who led the team that wrote the regulation. 'It's been proven in other states. New Mexico realized a 37 percent reduction in DWI recidivism.' Whether that will be enough to persuade more people to take a cab or find a designated driver is unknown. 'It's one more thing to make people think, it may help — it may keep a few people from getting behind the wheel,' says Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh."

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911 comments

Wait... (3, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269764)

New York is just now getting these?

Wow, Alaska has had them for a while now.

Or is there something about this that I'm missing?

Re:Wait... (1, Troll)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269796)

New York is just now getting these?

Wow, Alaska has had them for a while now.

Or is there something about this that I'm missing?

Probably the logistics of implementing it in a more populous state.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269844)

Entitlement. People feel that it's their right to drive unhindered without the government checking to see if they're sober or not.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270090)

They do, until they endanger others.

Uhhh...what? (5, Insightful)

BonquiquiShiquavius (1598579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270092)

Who feels that is their right these days? I've never heard someone say "it's my right to drink and drive".

Actually, the opposite is usually true. Here in BC the legal limit will be dropping from .08 to .05 soon. Just try arguing against that. If you do, you're immediately regarded as an advocate for drinking and driving, rather than an advocate for moderation. Even if the subject is brought up among my friends, all of whom enjoy their beer, there's little to no indignation on their part, or a feeling that their rights are being taken away. The consensus is "well, guess we shouldn't be drinking and driving anyways." Never mind that the new limit will only punish moderates rather than the truly incapacitated that were already targeted under the previous limit.

In the end, I don't really care either - I'm just a little miffed MADD continues to push the laws towards their prohibitionist ideals and there's nothing you can do about it without looking like a drunk.

Re:Uhhh...what? (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270152)

My wife can't get into BC because she had a DWI 25 years ago down here in Washington State. She doesn't even drive anymore because of her eyesight. We spent our honeymoon up there and dearly love BC but it's off-limits to us now. The closest we get to BC now is the parking lot of the local outlet mall at Tulalip.

Re:Wait... (1)

bkissi01 (699085) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269894)

The "big news" is that they are making it mandatory for first time offenders. In Michigan we have them as well, but they aren't always used for first timers. A friend of mine had to have one installed after his second DUI though.

Re:Wait... (2, Informative)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269902)

What the fuck?! "Within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart." Seriously?

Re:Wait... (5, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269964)

and what's wrong with that? it needs to be a pain in the ass, that's the whole point.

Re:Wait... (1)

AngryBacon (1094489) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270084)

Guy with an interlock gets on a crowded highway. The interlock orders him to pull over and restart the car while he is in the middle lane, the highway has no shoulder, and he is a long distance from any exits.

Re:Wait... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270206)

The car doesn't just shut down, it just orders him to do it. His failure to comply will be recorded and he can then explain it to the police.

Re:Wait... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269970)

That's the penalty you get for endangering other people's lives. I don't mind some idiot having to waste his time after he's tried to kill my family or others on the road.

Re:Wait... (1)

YoshiDan (1834392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269978)

Must be manufactured by Microsoft...

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270010)

I assume to thwart the "come blow in this thing for me so I can start my car" loophole...

Re:Wait... (1)

SunSpot505 (1356127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270044)

friends don't blow for friends... but children do. ;-)

Re:Wait... (1)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270050)

If there is a God/FSM, then he/she/it will see to it that these forced stops only happen in tunnels during rush hour. Oh please, oh please, oh please...

Re:Wait... (4, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270068)

This is done to prevent someone sober from starting the car and then having someone drunk drive the car away. If you get someone else to start your car who is sober, and then halfway through your ride, while you are drunk, your car stops and forces you to prove you are sober, you cannot proceed from that point because you are drunk. You'd need someone sober in the car at that point to restart the car, and if someone is sober in the car, the odds are likely that that person will be the driver. It actually makes perfect sense.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269996)

New York is just now getting these?

Wow, Alaska has had them for a while now.

Or is there something about this that I'm missing?

Exactly. We've had these in Texas for quite some time now. In fact my friend just got his interlock removed.... so what's so different with these NY versions?

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270086)

Ny has had them for years for multiple offenders. My friend leaves his car running 4-5 hours. Outside every bar he goes to. Easily defeated.

Re:Wait... (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270198)

I'm in Texas, and a neighbor was arrested for DUI (and never given a chance to take a chemical test to determine his intoxication level). Before his case even got to trial, he had to use an ignition lock. Worse, if its battery runs out, you're stranded -- not just limited to low speeds, but stopped entirely.

I had no idea they could do that before a conviction!

for some reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269804)

for some reason i bet the offender isnt whos paying for it...stupid NY

Re:for some reason (1)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270116)

"That number is making lawmakers in some counties jittery about costs. The six companies with contracts to provide interlocks must pay the tab if a judge determines an offender can't. Still, the law requires county officials to make sure the interlocks are installed and to monitor them."

About Time (2, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269814)

This is one area the government needs to interfere in.

Re:About Time (5, Funny)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269960)

Right, next you'll be asking for building and fire codes. I swear, you liberal nanny types are never satisfied!

Re:About Time (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269994)

Why?

Anytime you have the government mandating things on private vehicles you have the ability for abuse, not to mention that it has the possibility for accidents.

Within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart. Maccarone said this feature is intended to prevent drivers from drinking after they start the car.

Just what you really wanted to happen in traffic, is some idiot having to pull over to the side of the road because he can't drive because the BAC monitor required him to restart.

Not to mention that it raises the possibility of entrapment, an undercover cop wants someone to move their friends car, so they do it and then they get them there.

The expense of the interlock... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269826)

is one thing that bothers me. $70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate. Given that drunk driving convictions skew to lower income, this has real potential to put even first-time offenders into bankruptcy.

The fact that it triggers on as little as 1/3 of the legal limit is also troubling. Maybe they should trigger at slightly below the legal limit, but 1/3? They couldn't get convicted of a DWI at that number, and yet you're going to shut off their car?

I'm just waiting for the day when the "reenact prohibition" assholes get enough power to try to make these things mandatory in all cars. After all, if it "saves lives", why not make everyone blow into the damn box to start the car, and at random times?

Insert obligatory "won't someone think of the children" bullcrap here too.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (5, Insightful)

Kozz (7764) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269868)

$70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate

Yeah, that is pretty outrageously expensive. I bet it'd be cheaper to call a cab.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (4, Insightful)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270078)

$70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate

Yeah, that is pretty outrageously expensive. I bet it'd be cheaper to call a cab.

If only people were able to do this kind of deductive reasoning while they were drunk, we'd be able to completely eliminate drunk driving.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270170)

I bet it'd be cheaper to call a cab.

Every single time they ever want to drive for the rest of their lives? No. It wouldn't.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (4, Interesting)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269872)

One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that even one drink is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes. Why shouldn't this also be something that is applied to ANY motor vehicle is beyond me. But - I can also understand being out and about and having a drink. Say at a sporting event or even just a good wine with dinner. The key here is make sure you know how much you're consuming and WAIT enough time for your body to get rid of it before you start up any machine that could kill you or others.

I see plenty of things while riding that make me cringe - yea, you're good, wearing a helmet and all - but you aren't wearing anything else but sneakers, shorts and a wife beater. Yea, your head will be fine.....

Re:The expense of the interlock... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269924)

One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that...

Who the FUCK said anything about motorcycles? Dude, get the fuck off the pipe.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270002)

With replies like that, I sincerely hope you don't give yourself a heart attack.

This is an open forum and I was just stating some things that I had learned recently. It's not like it hasn't been a part of my philosophy on driving - but it just makes it that much more clear that no, it's not ok for you to go out on the town drinking and then get into the driver's seat of a car.

Drink responsibly.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (2, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269940)

One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that even one drink is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes.

Being awake for 8 hours is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes.
Being awake for 16 hours is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes 3x as much as having one drink.

A chronically sleep deprived person is essentially driving permanently drunk [cnn.com] .

Then again, I don't know too many assholes who weave in and out of traffic back and forth in large cars. I see guys on crotch-rockets take incredibly insane risks at 100+ mph weaving in and out of traffic or sliding up and down on/off ramps or wheeling through the breakdown lanes all the fucking time.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270098)

We need "sleepiness detection" and "cell phone detection" interlocks.

If there's a cell phone turned on in the car, it won't start or accelerate when stopped.

If the person detected in the driver's seat is the least bit tired, the car won't start.

If the person in the drivers seat is detected as being in a panicked or distraught state, then it won't start.

Make it mandatory in all vehicles. This should cut accident rates, no?

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269980)

One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that even one drink is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes. Why shouldn't this also be something that is applied to ANY motor vehicle is beyond me. But - I can also understand being out and about and having a drink. Say at a sporting event or even just a good wine with dinner. The key here is make sure you know how much you're consuming and WAIT enough time for your body to get rid of it before you start up any machine that could kill you or others.

I see plenty of things while riding that make me cringe - yea, you're good, wearing a helmet and all - but you aren't wearing anything else but sneakers, shorts and a wife beater. Yea, your head will be fine.....

Agreed. But it's not just alcohol that impairs reaction time. Low blood sugar, especially for diabetics, recreational drugs... hell, I bet pregnant woman are prone to over-reacting*. I say anyone who is not in absolute 100% shouldn't be able to drive in the name of safety. That is why I'm advocating, in addition to a breathalyzer test, a piss tester installed in every vehicle. If your urine shows up good then you can drive. Too high of cholesterol... could have a heart attack while driving... car won't start.

*Based on strong anecdotal research.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270124)

I say anyone who is not in absolute 100% shouldn't be able to drive in the name of safety.

Not good enough. What about people with slower than average reaction times? Too young (say, under 35) to have good judgement? To old (over 50, perhaps) to think fast? And worst of all are inexperienced drivers. No one should be allowed behind the wheel until they've logged at least 100 hours behind the wheel.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270128)

I see plenty of things while riding that make me cringe - yea, you're good, wearing a helmet and all - but you aren't wearing anything else but sneakers, shorts and a wife beater. Yea, your head will be fine.....

but your wife will be in a world of hurt!

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270166)

I love it when I drive into work on Fridays, since it means I can have a beer with everyone else at 5 o'clock.

Most of the time I cycle, and I'm sure not getting on my bike under the effects of alcohol.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269884)

I'm just waiting for the day when the "reenact prohibition" assholes get enough power to try to make these things mandatory in all cars. After all, if it "saves lives", why not make everyone blow into the damn box to start the car, and at random times?

Because that would be stupidly expensive, unfeasible, and would punish the innocent as well as the guilty. But then you knew that already and are fully aware that nobody is suggesting that every single vehicle be equipped with one. You did know that, didn't you?

Insert obligatory "won't someone think of the children" bullcrap here too.

I see your "won't someone think of the children" bullcrap and raise you the obligatory "we don't need big brother taking away our personal freedoms and I'll drive on public roads and put peoples' lives at risk because it's my God-given right! Freedom! America!" bullcrap.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269936)

Are you being sarcastic? MADD wants ignition interlocks in all vehicles.

http://blog.owidefenselaw.com/?p=61

Re:The expense of the interlock... (3, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269984)

But then you knew that already and are fully aware that nobody is suggesting that every single vehicle be equipped with one.

You forgot the word "yet." The counterargument from these religious fundie assholes - and yes I HAVE heard them discussing this - is "well if you build them into every car, it'll be cheaper by economy of scale" and "it's just like requiring a seat belt and that's a safety device too."

These fuckers would love - just LOVE - to have the damn things loaded into every single car, and required to be checked up and maintenanced when you get your car emissions-tested.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (0, Troll)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270060)

You forgot the word "yet."

I didn't forget it, just omitted it. That's because it's always included in a "Slippery slope [wikipedia.org] " fallacy.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270202)

Because that would be stupidly expensive, unfeasible, and would punish the innocent as well as the guilty. But then you knew that already and are fully aware that nobody is suggesting that every single vehicle be equipped with one.

Found this [slashdot.org] posted a little further down the page (although it was posted at the same time you posted your reply).

Re:The expense of the interlock... (4, Informative)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269974)

If you'd RTFA, you'd find out that the device is part of their "conditional discharge" (i.e. probation) (you'd also find an answer to your bankruptcy concern). Don't want to use the device because you feel it infringes too much on your personal liberties? Fine. Stay locked up.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270000)

If the convicted DWIer doesn't like the expense, they can always GO TO JAIL. It'd be stupid to require everyone to have one (back to treating innocent people as criminals) but here we're treating a criminal as a criminal...

Re:The expense of the interlock... (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270162)

.08% BAC is just the amount that they're REQUIRED to arrest. Anything below that is up to the arresting officer.

Really all you have to do to get a DWI is have a measurable amount of alcohol in your system and get pulled over. If you admit that you had one beer, even if it's true, you're in SERIOUS DANGER of getting a DWI. Also, there's no distinguishing between levels of DWI. A DWI after one beer is just as bad as a DWI after fifteen beers. Your life will still pretty much be ruined and you'll still have to go through all the dipshit punishments while MADD mails all your neighbors to tell them to piss/shit on your lawn and kill your pets.

Re:The expense of the interlock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270208)

Forget the expense.
That's the least of the problems.
You can defeat it far too easily.

I present you: The party balloon.
For optimum usage, the party balloon will be pre filled by the driver whilst perfectly sober.

1/3rd the limit? (3, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269832)

Ok... I'm fairly ambivalent to whether such ignition locks are a good idea or not, but this part strikes me as odd:

"The interlock contains a breath-checking unit that keeps the car from starting if the offender's blood-alcohol level registers 0.025 or higher, a little less than one-third of the legal limit."

Exactly why can't you drive a vehicle in situations when it would be entirely legal to operate it? If you have a dui, is the legal limit for driving lowered for some reason that I'm not aware of.

Re:1/3rd the limit? (1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269892)

First step: get this put in for "DWI convicted" people.

Second step: get them made mandatory in all cars.

The prohibition assholes didn't give up when the 21st Amendment was passed to repeal Prohibition. They just wandered right in with "Blue Laws [thefreedictionary.com] " and other assholish restrictions such as massive regulation on what alcohol can be imported (did you know you can't get any beer from Wisconsin imported into Texas unless you pass it through a national distributor in some other state like Colorado? Seems Texans are mighty uppity about their shitty-tasting mexican-style swill beers) or at what time of day on what day of the week it can be sold.

The "mandatory minimum 21 drinking age" - so you can fight and die and vote for your country at 18, but don't you dare taste even a drop of beer before 21 - was yet another of their little bits of insanity.

This is simply the next step. The goal is to make it so damn hard to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, or a couple beers with your bowling buddies (mmm, beer and Wii Bowling, good times), that prohibition is effectively back in even though it's been repealed.

And you can thank the fucking religious fundamentalists for that.

Re:1/3rd the limit? (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269958)

First step: get this put in for "DWI convicted" people.

Second step: get them made mandatory in all cars.

First step: jail convicted criminals.

Second step: jail everyone!

Hm, something's amiss...

Re:1/3rd the limit? (0, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270026)

Second step: jail everyone!

Actually: second step, make the law so goddamn fucking obtuse [youtube.com] that you can find some reason, at any time, to jail someone - the age-old phrase "they're always guilty of something."

Then you use the threat of "the law" as a method to make people live in fear. And they do. Most people's first thought after "hey that would be cool" is "nahh, it'd probably break some law." And small wonder huh [wired.com] ?

You can ship 500 lbs of potassium nitrate across state lines if you call it fertilizer, but you can't mail 1 small ounce of it in a chemistry kit lest you be charged with "terrorism."

Re:1/3rd the limit? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270184)

> Second step: jail everyone!

They're working on that. 0.5% of the US population is in prison and the rate is rising rapidly. Now that they don't have to bother with trials any more...

Re:1/3rd the limit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269966)

RTFA.

The article states that it will be part of "conditional discharge or probation".

So you can opt out of your conditional discharge or probation and sit in jail, or you can get out with the right to operate an automobile with the breathalyzer interlock during the term of your conditional discharge or probation.

This makes sense; it gives a convicted offender a chance to get out of jail yet provide additional supervision.

Once the probationary period is over, the interlock goes away.

Re:1/3rd the limit? (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269976)

Exactly why can't you drive a vehicle in situations when it would be entirely legal to operate it? If you have a dui, is the legal limit for driving lowered for some reason that I'm not aware of.

Because the driver has a proven history of Driving Under the Influence. Its not hard to have undetectable blood alcohol. I do it all the time.

Re:1/3rd the limit? (5, Interesting)

jcrousedotcom (999175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270150)

I suspect, and this is from when I was a cop in a former life, most folks who are on probation (which you would be if you have to comply with the orders of the court in this situation), almost always no alcohol consumption is a part of the terms of your probation. Even if your offense has nothing to do with alcohol, its just part of the gig. I guess the thought is - if you're not intoxicated (or at least under the influence) you may make better decisions and likely you're not hanging out in places like bars where 'bad people' are.

I don't know that I totally agree with it, it just is part of the gig. I guess another way to look at it probation is almost like being in jail without the guards, steel bars and bad food (well maybe not the last one, I guess). You still have the system up your ass.

Couldn't you (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269838)

What's to stop someone from "blowing clean" by using a dust buster plugged into the cigarette lighter?

Re:Couldn't you (1)

Kepesk (1093871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269854)

Not to mention people using their kid to cheat the system. Believe it or not, it happens.

Re:Couldn't you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269908)

Temperature / moisture sensors. Some require humming, or blowing, then sucking. Etc.

Mind, I've only read about it online before having to take my written driving test to get a license in a new state - haven't had the unfortunate chance of getting one.

Re:Couldn't you (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269914)

Hey, and the law against murder doesn't stop bullets from killing people either. Lets not enforce that, it doesn't work.

It doesn't need to be 100% effective, it needs to be effective enough to seriously reduce the recidivism rate by enough to be worth the cost. And statistics say that it does.

Re:Couldn't you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269946)

What's to stop someone from "blowing clean" by using a dust buster plugged into the cigarette lighter?

Or $5 to a passer by.

To Answer Logistic Questions (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270012)

To address some questions ... I'm sad to say but I dated a girl who had one of these and it really did destroy the relationship because she could only drive to work and home from work. I would have to drive out and pick her up since she had a restricted license after getting a DUI.

So to address people's questions: you have to make a sound with your voice as you blow and you have to blow strong while making that sound. I think it's calibrated to your voice so if you try a dust buster (not going to make the force needed) or your child you're not going to get your voice. The kid might work if you have enough time for them to try different ranges but it has to be a long continuous breath of full air.

To address the questions about drinking after you start the car, the system will beep loudly indicating you must blow into it again while you're driving or your vehicle will shut off. This happens once every 20-40 minutes.

To answer the questions about why it's 1/3 the legal limit, my (now ex) girlfriend had also been ordered by her program to not drink for a year. If you blow anything recognizable, it locks out you out of your vehicle and reports it. If you don't believe me look at how they keep track of starts [smartstartinc.com] . This isn't something for you to wonder if it's okay for you to drive or to test your friends with. She was warned by other friends with DUIs (that's DUI) that they will get you the morning after if you still have alcohol on your breath.

A month before she blew this, she was in the lowest range and then she blew right on the edge of this range that demanded this. I know there's a lot of people out there that have been negatively affected by drunk drivers but in most states the punishment really can be life destroying. I avoid it by using public transportation in DC when I drink but not everyone has that option.

I'm not against these things being used in serious cases. But your first offense with a DUI ... where do we draw the line?

Re:To Answer Logistic Questions (5, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270096)

. where do we draw the line?

Every time you get into a car drunk and endanger other innocent people on the road. Exactly how many times am I supposed to let your old girlfriend try to kill me and/or my family before we crack down?

Re:To Answer Logistic Questions (5, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270110)

#1 first offense doesn't mean the first time the person did it, only the first time they got caught
#2 you can still kill somebody the first time you drink and drive, it's not like the first time you do there's a magical force field protecting you/the pedestrian or something
#3 it's not that hard: if you drink YOU DO NOT DRIVE, period. take a cab, take transit, have a designated driver, you name it, risking other people's lives because you are too cheap to take a cab is ridiculous, you had the money to buy drinks, you should have the money to get home without endangering others.

From my perspective there is no line to draw, first time 5 years w/o a license, second time lose your license forever, period.

Re:To Answer Logistic Questions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270126)

But your first offense with a DUI ... where do we draw the line?

If you've demonstrated a profound lack of judgement in the operation of 2 tons of hurtling metal I think you should consider yourself lucky that you're still allowed to drive at all.

Re:Couldn't you (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270178)

There's plenty of ways to circumvent the device, but if it's in the car it still has some purpose. I'm not sure if the device actually lists your current blood alcohol level, or just tells you whether you're over or not - but if you've been drinking and blow over on the device then you're fully aware of your blood alcohol content being over the limit. If you get someone sober to blow over (i.e. scene from 40 year old virgin) or use a dust buster, then get pulled over / accident and then breathalyzed to find you're actually over the limit and DELIBERATELY circumvented the device - well that judge is going to be a lot harder on you because you knew damn well you shouldn't have been driving. Ignorance isn't an excuse, but it's better than driving drunk when you're fully aware you shouldn't have been doing it.

I've seen a few people get into vehicles where I know they claim to have had "just a few beers" (whether that's 2 or 6 who knows) and get into their vehicle thinking they're fine to drive. Maybe they just had a red bull or coffee or something and feel more alert, or mistakenly think it actually sobers them up - but they truly believe they're sober enough to drive. That device might be enough to stop those people in those cases. It certainly won't stop people that are determined to drive drunk, but it will reduce these cases

Re:Couldn't you (3, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270210)

What's to stop someone from "blowing clean" by using a dust buster plugged into the cigarette lighter?

Not possible. Friend of mine just got off one of these.
The way it works is...suck suck suck beep blow. You must blow for x seconds...when it beeps, then you have about 1/2 second to suck.

After watching her go through all this crap, my recommendation is - if you have the option of restricted license + breathalyser, or no license for a year...suck it up and go with the no license. It's just not worth the expense/trouble.

I'm not totally against this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269846)

See subject.

Why.. ? (1)

xmarkd400x (1120317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269848)

If I blow a .04, I am still legally allowed to operate a vehicle. Even if I have had a prior DUI. Why am I now restricted from operating my vehicle in a legal manner? It's not like they are changing the law to say that everyone who has had a DUI now had a reduced BAC tolerance.

Re:Why.. ? (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270042)

Because you opted to have this installed so you wouldn't be still sitting in a jail cell sitting out your time. But you'd have known that if you'd bother to RTFA.

So you start drinking .. (2, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269860)

After you start the car??????

Re:So you start drinking .. (1)

gagol (583737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269956)

No, you get a friend to blow in the machine for you...

Re:So you start drinking .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269986)

Or just use a can of air.

Re:So you start drinking .. (2, Funny)

gamricstone (1879210) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270030)

Why wouldn't your (sober) friend just drive in that case?

Re:So you start drinking .. (4, Informative)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269988)

no you don't. RTFA. there are random restarts while you're driving. if you do start the car then drink, you'll be stranded in the middle of your ride.

Re:So you start drinking .. (1)

labnet (457441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270212)

After you start the car??????

Systems I have seen require you to retest at random intervals.

My experiences show how to reduce BAC. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269870)

I drink and drive all the time. I also drink and shoot on the clay-pigeon range.

SOME of us still hold our liquor and are sane and responsive faster than anyone else. It's about your metabolism: if you do an hundred jumping-jacks after getting drunk, then you'll metabolise the effects out of your body as sweat. I don't trust anyone on the road that can't handle liquor; those are that people we should be worried about. Everyone should drink a beer before entering a car because it calms their nerves and prevents all the kinds of over-reaction driving that you see when big-rigs fishtail out of control and such.

The reason why there are so many laws against Alcoholic beverages is because it all carried-over for when the Irish arrived into America and the governments hated them so-much that they looked for every which-way to tax the most beneficial (when used in moderation) beverages. It's no different than how they're about to ruin the Marijuana industry by legalizing it and taxing it. They would prohibit paper-products if only it earned them more money, but then the French invented the ba'day to remove feces with water. It's constantly a game of taxes where governments look for ways to TAP into sources of money in all the ways of assuring their survival in a world that is lawful without the privileged gangmembers known as government. At-least recently from His-Story books, we can reveal that governments and similar privilege gangs of associated psychopaths are responsible for all the genocides and war.

The more you know...

Re:My experiences show how to reduce BAC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269918)

I drink and drive all the time. I also drink and shoot on the clay-pigeon range.

Which city do you live in? I'll be sure to stay way the fuck away from there.

Re:My experiences show how to reduce BAC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269950)

I would raise the stakes and bet you a cool crisp $50 that even though you feel as if you "hold your liquor" better, you don't. You just think you do.

It might take more to get you visibly drunk, but your reaction time will get hindered by even one drink.

Re:My experiences show how to reduce BAC. (1, Troll)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270082)

I'd tell you to die in a fire, but you probably will anyway. Just try not to take anybody with you, ok?

Universally stupid. (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269886)

Why not just install an ambo bag on the interlock and squeeze? 0.0 BAC every time, unless you put vodka in the bag.

Re:Universally stupid. (2, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269928)

Because there are other things it also checks for to ensure the gas its analyzing is from a breathing person.

These things have been in use for a while, they kinda know the tricks of the trade and how to detect anything short of someone else blowing in it for you ... and that they deal with by retesting after so long of driving.

Re:Universally stupid. (2, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270148)

As for "someone else blowing in it for you", if you're a sober passenger in a car with a convicted drunk driver, and you'd rather help them fake out the analyzer rather than taking the wheel yourself, you deserve to die in a car crash, and you deserve a manslaughter conviction if someone else dies.

Re:Universally stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270156)

What about blowing into the device, through an activated charcoal filter, as used with cigarettes? Activated charcoal appears to absorb [nih.gov] at least some alcohol.

Why not standard on all cars? (1)

Godskitchen (1017786) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269898)

What's the rationale behind not putting a blower on all cars? Seems like a good idea and not that unreasonable...

Re:Why not standard on all cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33269954)

What's the rationale behind not putting a blower on all cars? Seems like a good idea and not that unreasonable

It would be a bad idea, and quite unreasonable -- turning "innocent until proven guilty" and other basic principles of our system on their head.

The reason that it is reasonable for convicted drunk drivers is that these people have already had their due process, already had their day in court, and have already been convicted of serious crime.

Re:Why not standard on all cars? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270146)

On the other hand, driving is a privilege, not a right.

On the other other hand, having one of these in every car negates the shame factor in having to blow into the thing in order to drive the car.

How far is too far? (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269900)

Within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart. Maccarone said this feature is intended to prevent drivers from drinking after they start the car.

That's not only inconvenient, but it also seems like it could cause more problems than it solves. This seems inefficient, is it absolutely necessary to take their precautionary measures this far?

Ineffective? (3, Funny)

aaronfaby (741318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33269926)

Is there any data from states that have already implemented these to gauge their effectiveness? What's to stop potential drunk drivers from getting someone else to blow on it for them?

Re:Ineffective? (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270048)

TFA says "It’s been proven in other states. New Mexico realized a 37 percent reduction in DWI recidivism"

Getting someone else to blow into it would not work because of the retests once you start driving -
they would have to be riding with you, in which case why not just have them drive?

C'mon people, this is Slashdot! (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270154)

Only a 37 percent reduction in DWI recidivism? What kind of quiche-eating level of effectiveness is that?

I mean, how hard is it to hack these interlocks. If not with having a kid (with no choice in the matter) to "blow for Daddy", how hard is it to have an air pump blow into one of these things? Does the thing measure for breath temperature and humidity? How hard is it to fake that?

I am not suggesting that people violate the law and circumvent these devices. It is just that the concept is so lame, it invites circumvention by the remaining 63 percent of the users of these things.

Re:Ineffective? (1)

muphin (842524) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270064)

If a sober person is willing to get in a car with a driver who is drunk, they deserve to crash.
its more likely the sober person would drive, hence defeating the purpose of the device.
the devices main purpose is to dissuade offenders from re-offending by making it harder to offend, this in turn changes their behaviour.
if your drunk you're not going to plan ahead and arrange someone to blow in the device, its more of a spur of the moment thing, no intelligent person would help a drunk person start their car.

Re:Ineffective? (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270088)

"Within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart. Maccarone said this feature is intended to prevent drivers from drinking after they start the car."

The person directly above you posted this...

Re:Ineffective? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270108)

TFS does mention that New Mexico saw a 37% drop in DWI recidivism. Others aren't likely to blow into it for them because they know that if something happens and their DNA shows up inside it (saliva is sure to get deposited, though I don't know if enough for a DNA test, but perhaps it does), they're guilty of aiding and abetting, and possible negligence charges besides.

from the ted-can-no-longer-borrow-my-car dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270046)

Ted Kennedy is already dead, you insensitive clod!

Re: from the ted-can-no-longer-borrow-my-car dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270132)

...and it was not soon enough.

What the thing really needs (3, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270058)

What the thing really needs to make it popular is a facebook and twitter integration. I can just imagine the status updates now.

Driving Privilege (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270102)

As any American High School student knows, driving is a right not a privilege. Many people forget this, go out drinking, critically injure a family of four, then complain that they can no longer drive to work and support their family. But driving should not be a right.

I have no problem with this. To be caught for drunk driving one must not only make a choice to drink, but either be foolish enough to drive through a checkpoint, most of which are announced in advance, or drive erratically enough to be caught by the law. Look at the number of people leaving a bar drunk, and compare to the number who gets stopped. For the most part the cops seems to be stopping those who pose some danger and lack reasonable self control. Such a device may help these people maintain their driving privileges.

I would hope that first time offenders might be able to 'graduate' from the device after an amount of time, and that the number of licenses revoked due to abuse of the privilege would not be reduced.

Leave running idiot politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33270168)

1. Leave car runnng outside bar.
2. Defeated unit.
3. Profit.

My friend leaves his car running outside bars for HOURS. GOOD FOR THE EARTH- short sighted politicians.

Let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270172)

TFA states that "within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart."

What if the driver fails to comply? Will the interlock kill the engine? Or will it just keep "ordering the driver to pull over and restart the car"? I can picture a disembodied electronic voice repeating, "STOP! OR I SHALL TELL YOU TO STOP AGAIN!"

The former is probably just as dangerous as someone driving drunk. (No engine = no power steering, no ABS, &c.) The latter is irritating, but comically ineffective, unless it notifies the police as it's doing so.

I made prediction 10 years ago. 10 years from now (3, Insightful)

io333 (574963) | more than 3 years ago | (#33270204)

10 years ago I typed somewhere on the net, and I could probably find it if I tried really hard, that the way things were going, pretty soon someone would require a breathalizer wired into the ignition of a car to make it start after have a DWI. Lots of folks told me I was full of sh*t and it would never happen. Our culture has changed so much in the last decade that now having an interlock seems like a good thing to do to lots of people. Hardly anyone can remember that only 10 years ago almost no one at all would have supported this.

Now my new prediction. In 10 years ALL cars will require breath testing before it will start. I'll try to remember that I put it on slashdot... but will I still be able to search for anonymous postings then? Probably not. I guess that's my second prediction for the next 10 years.

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