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Sensor Measures In Fingertips If Driver Is Drunk

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the I-prefer-to-think-of-them-as-our-fingers dept.

Transportation 549

Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Economic Times reports on the first working prototypes of a new technology that would measure blood alcohol content in a driver's fingertips, using sophisticated touch-based sensors situated in steering wheels and door locks and engineers say that unlike court-ordered breath-analyzer ignition locks, which require a driver to blow into a tube and wait a few seconds for the result, their systems will analyze a driver's blood-alcohol content in less than one second. Anti-drunken driving crusaders believe that almost 9,000 road traffic deaths could be prevented every year if alcohol detection devices were used in all vehicles to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from driving their vehicles. 'We believe this might turn the car into the cure for the elimination of drunk driving,' says Laura Dean-Mooney, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But not everyone is enamored of the device which could be available to automakers in eight to 10 years. 'For ordinary, law-abiding citizens, it's an invasion of their privacy,' says Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party."

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Its Winter. (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050534)

My fingers get cold. I drive with gloves, at least till the car warms up.
I imagine drunk drivers would do the same.

Everything malfunctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050582)

When the sensor eventually goes bad, the car won't start for sober drivers without gloves. That is not acceptable.

You can work around this by designing it to allow the engine to start if it can't get a good reading, but then any drunk person can just wear gloves to start up the car, which defeats the purpose.

So, bad idea all around.

Re:Its Winter. (1)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050734)

I think the goal with this is to stop responsible drivers who had more to drink than they should have but don't really realize it. Most people who are thinking to themselves yea I'm OK to drive really think that. If the car says YOU ARE LEGALLY DRUNK then a huge segment of those people would 1) be embarrassed in front of anyone else in the car and 2) not drive.

Similar to the systems that detect when you are falling asleep. Responsible drivers don't drive when they are tired and it is not hard to tell when you are getting tired. But again its one of those things where even responsible drivers can have tiredness sneak up on them and be thinking "yea I'm OK to drive" when they really aren't

no fingerprints, no start at all (0)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050740)

easy solution for this workaround

Re:no fingerprints, no start at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050952)

Do you really think that will get implemented in the specs? I bet not. It is just like the current system where someone else (a child even) can start the car for the intoxicated driver. Even if it does it would be a pain to use and violate privacy even more than it does now for non-intoxicated drivers.

Re:Its Winter. (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050790)

Wear glove, then you don't get to drive your car. Its not like they really give a damn if you are cold or not. They want to invade your privacy and control your daily life, at all costs.

Re:Its Winter. (0)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050912)

Give up the privacy invasion argument. If you can't turn a key because of your physical state, then the issue is with you and the lock, not Big Brother or anyone else. Now, if the car were connected to the internet and submitting its readings to a database, you might have an argument. But if it's just to stop you from driving, hell, I'd put one in voluntarily. Sober you can't directly control drunk you, but you can put in good preventative measures.

Gloves. (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050810)

Agree. This is stupid, because gloves exist and people often wear them while driving.

Also, this eliminates drunk driving how? I find it useful to point out that another word for "elimination" is "shitting". Are they shitting us? They've got to be.

In conclusion, I would like to feed your fingertips to the wolverines. Thankyouveddymuch.

Re:Its Winter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050948)

Fill windscreen washer fluid - and you are stuck.

May even be enough to just spray the windscreen.

Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijuana (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050536)

Problem solved. The marijuana/cocaine/etc ban makes it illegal to imbibe these substances. So let's just do the same with alcohol, and all our problems will disappear. No more drunks == no more drunk driving.

Note:
I'm being sarcastic.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (4, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050556)

Problem solved. The marijuana/cocaine/etc ban makes it illegal to imbibe these substances. So let's just do the same with alcohol, and all our problems will disappear. No more drunks == no more drunk driving.

Note:
I'm being sarcastic.

I certainly hope so. People should be able to put anything they want into their bodies, upto and including cyanide. Else they are not truly free.

Deal with the abuse of the drugs (DUI) not the banning of them, or alcohol.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (1)

curio_city (1972556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050684)

People should be able to put anything they want into their bodies, upto and including cyanide. Else they are not truly free.

Deal with the abuse of the drugs (DUI) not the banning of them, or alcohol.

Keeping people from abusing drugs violates the above definition of freedom. DUI is an example of the abuse of freedom.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (3, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050746)

Endangering one's self is freedom. Endangering other's life abuses other's freedom.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050934)

And this is where the theory of "you can do anything you want that doesn't harm others," given without qualifiers, falls apart.

Everything in the world interacts with everything else - somehow - so you can always identify some way in which what you're doing takes something from or harms someone else. Which leaves us only with "no one can do anything" unless we start imposing a cutoff and say "you're allowed to harm others and impose on their freedom a tiny bit." And at that point, we're right back to arguing over what's an acceptable amount of intrusion in various matters.

Now one can certainly argue in favor of setting that cutoff higher or lower. Personally, I favor a large degree of freedom for small entities (whose actions have comparatively little potential for large-scale harm) and increasing restrictions on large entities (Thank you for nearly imploding the entire world's economy, Wall St!). If you want to get high or drunk, go for it. Drive high or drunk, lose your license for a week. Do it the Nth time and lose your license for 2^N weeks; Eventually you'll either figure it out or go to jail.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050964)

I wish you many angry replies, good troll.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050966)

I want to put you inside my body.

Re:Let's just ban Alcohol like we did with Marijua (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050958)

The first thing people need to do is stop treating MADD (which is an outrageous scam) as some respected and righteous organization. Treat them like the pope -- let them talk and completely ignore them because they have no place in civil discourse.

The second thing people need to do is stop thinking of ways to avoid letting drunks start up their car while drunk and STOP LETTING DRUNKS HAVE A LICENSE. It's that fucking simple. First drunk driving conviction, lose your license forever. A second conviction means you are both driving drunk and without a license. It's a year in prison, for you (because you are proven risk to society, at that point).

For everyone else? Fuck this shit. I don't drink and drive and I'm offended at the idea of being treated like a criminal the moment I get into my own property and turn the key.

Privacy? (1, Insightful)

numb7rs (1689018) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050538)

Surely the car wouldn't send the data anywhere; it would just be used to disable the ignition. How is this an invasion of privacy?

Re:Privacy? (2)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050584)

Just one of standard "concerns", I imagine...

Also - nvm how driving drunk is not exactly "law abiding" - being killed or losing somebody, all in the name of some drunk who wanted to have a ride, is a much, much greater invasion of privacy.

Re:Privacy? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050638)

If the data is collected then someone will find a way to abuse it.

Think about your insurance company or employer. If they could go back and pull your auto's history of your intoxication logs. They would find a way to use this to their advantage.

The collection and retention is data is generally to the disadvantage of the little guy...

Re:Privacy? (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050712)

I don't really see a problem with this. If you drive drunk, you are probably an unacceptable risk for an insurance company. Here in the UK, many people convicted of drink-driving find that after their ban has expired they still cannot drive, because no insurance company will touch them.

Re:Privacy? (1)

arnoldo.j.nunez (1300907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050832)

If the data is collected then someone will find a way to abuse it.

Think about your insurance company or employer. If they could go back and pull your auto's history of your intoxication logs. They would find a way to use this to their advantage.

The collection and retention is data is generally to the disadvantage of the little guy...

How is that an abuse of data collection?
After all, insurance is a way to spread the risk out over a larger pool of people.
In fact, it's only fair that people who take stupid risks like driving drunk share more of the burden.

Re:Privacy? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050674)

In Colorado, the data captured by the interlock device is periodically downloaded by the installer and sent to the Department of Revenue. If the driver has failed the test 3 or more times in a 12 month period their license is again suspended regardless of the cause of the failure.

False positives are a common occurrence and result in more than just the inconvenience of not being able to start the car.

The device itself is a point of failure that can render your car useless until you have it towed to a shop for repairs.

You might believe that repeat offenders deserve the hassle of the interlock device but requiring all vehicles to have some sort of alcohol monitoring system is costly, ineffective, dumb and wrong.

Re:Privacy? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050914)

I don't get that either. If you are caught drink driving then you are firstly lead into a police car, which all the passers by will see. Then once you are at the police station your privacy is invaded even further. I don't know if they take fingerprints for a dui but they most likely take a blood test.

I'm not sure if they are proposing this for everyone or just convicted drunk drivers. If it's the latter then I can't see how anyone could complain about it.

Still... this would be a good case for "let the lawmakers trial this for 6 months before it becomes mandatory for everyone".

gloves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050540)

would it work while wearing gloves ??

Too mild... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050544)

A lot more lives would be saved if a person would lose their right to drive for life on the first offense, that and some jail time.

Re:Too mild... (5, Funny)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050676)

Well, according to this [usatoday.com] , about 32% of all car accident-related deaths are due to drunk driving. That means, that 68% are due to non-drunk driving! People, if you want to lower the number of people killed in traffic accidents, start drinking, because the sober people are more dangerous.

Re:Too mild... (1)

curio_city (1972556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050834)

That means, that 68% are due to non-drunk driving! People, if you want to lower the number of people killed in traffic accidents, start drinking, because the sober people are more dangerous.

Presumable and hopefully, there are many more sober drivers on the road. A more relevant stat would be accidents/accident-related deaths per drunk/sober driver.

Re:Too mild... (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050850)

You do realize I was joking, right?

Re:Too mild... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050926)

Yeah, yeah, and drive far, far away from where you're living because statistics show that the majority of car accidents happen within 100 miles of your point of residence. Also, stay away from hospitals when you are sick, in developed countries most people die in hospitals!

Re:Too mild... (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050680)

Yeah, I'm sure the unreasonable/cruel/unusual punishments bit would thwart your good-intentions-but-way-overbearing idea.

Re:Too mild... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050722)

Yeah, I'm sure the unreasonable/cruel/unusual punishments bit

I don't see how that would apply. You do not have the right to drive - it is a privilege. If you abuse that privilege, you don't get to drive any more.

What, you don't think that your actions should have any consequences?

Re:Too mild... (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050750)

Compared against what happens in, say, El Salvador [blogcritics.org] , I'm sure that people would be willing to accept losing their license for life.

Norway is probably the most metered and acceptable to US audiences... first offense = 1 year loss of license, second = lost license for life. Though I'd prefer to see El Salvador's approach to drunk driving enacted....

Re:Too mild... (1)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050908)

That article is bullshit. El Salvador doesn't have capital punishment for anything but exceptional crimes, and hasn't since 1983 [amnesty.org]

Re:Too mild... (2)

curio_city (1972556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050748)

Just like how the single decision of a 17 year old that has sex with a consenting 16 year old partner should make him forever after inform employers and neighbors that he is a sex offender? Oh, that and some jail time?

Re:Too mild... (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050950)

If this actually worked it would simply make the crime impossible(well, unless you use gloves). Nobody has to go to jail, nobody has to lose their license, it seems like a pretty good solution to me.

10 years? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050552)

If cars are still able to be crashed in 10 years, I think something has gone wrong. Isn't the real solution to drunk driving to get rid of all people controlled driving? That could be the great selling point of more automated cars: "Feel free to drive home drunk."

Re:10 years? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050694)

To error is human.
To really foul things up, you need a computer.

Re:10 years? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050792)

To error is human. To really foul things up, you need a computer.

Which one are you?

Re:10 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050900)

I'm a computer. Stop all the downloading!

Re:10 years? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050782)

Yet we have been expecting self-driving cars since the 70's. Man is driven by the irrational fear of being not in control. Our minds are programed to think we can do better for ourselves than relying on another to not screw up.

Self driving cars = public transit. I highly doubt we will see self driving cars for individuals for at least another 50 years.

Re:10 years? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050860)

Don't forget to mention: 80+% of drivers think they are in the top half (also: "anybody faster than me is a moron; anybody driving faster - a maniac")

Re:10 years? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050968)

Dude, the way I drive, anyone driving faster than me is a maniac!

Insane libertarian (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050554)

'For ordinary, law-abiding citizens, it's an invasion of their privacy,' says Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party."

Provided it's between you and the car that the car refused to transport you because you were drunk, that isn't an invasion of privacy.

Re:Insane libertarian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050636)

As a libertarian, I have very little problem with something similar to this. Guns and cars can kill other people. If you want to kill yourself, more power to you. If you want to drive in our society, more power to you. If you want to risk my life and liberty because you can't drink socially _or_ drink like an alcoholic and get home safe, fuck off.

If you want the privilege of being allowed to drive, you can have it as long as you don't risk my constitutionally protected right to be alive.

Re:Insane libertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050824)

Whoa, whoa, the right to life is not constitutionally protected. It's inalienable. The constitution does not need to protect it because nobody can take it away from you.

Re:Insane libertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050920)

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

Freedom to travel is a right, not a privilege, regardless of what the state has conditioned you to believe. If the ability for Americans to set out in carriages, stagecoaches, or wagons (covered or uncovered) in order to travel unimpeded to any part of the country still existed I might accept your contention that driving is a privilege. Carriages, stagecoaches, and wagons were however supplanted and replaced by the automobile, which is now, and has been for many decades, the embodiment of personal freedom to travel.

Re:Insane libertarian (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050838)

If it is put into every car, and mandated for use, then it is an invasion of privacy. It is prior restraint which is frowned upon by liberals except in the case of those sad little excuse for weapons the conservatives are always ranting about, and by conservatives except in the case of publishing embarrassing facts about other conservatives.

But if one is convicted of drunk driving, then it is not so much a invasion of privacy as much as security theater. The appropriate penalty for drunk driving is temporary revocation of the privilege to drive.If this does not work permanent revocation and prison. Ideally, drunk driving, like other drug abuse would be a felony, thereby giving more negativite incentive.

The big reason this is not done, and unnecessarily complex technology is used instead, is because the convenience of these criminals is given more importance than the population they wish to murder. The other reason is that a lot of important people think it is their god given right to drive drunk, and no one wants to risk the child of some really important politician to end up with a felony for what could at most result in the death of some nobody.

A whole new world of excuses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050558)

"Sorry I'm late, must have shaken hands with an alcoholic."

More nanny garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050562)

Note to the nanny state: DIAF.

Sincerely,
The peons.

This is no solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050578)

This is no better than the Interlock device [insure.com] .

Because there will be a buck to be made here and someone's pet crusade will be satisfied, we'll all have to deal with it.

Why not just put them (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050586)

on the house door knob or car door handle so you can us from ourselves.

Re:Why not just put them (3, Funny)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050672)

I think you accidentally a verb.

DUI Hysteria (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050590)

For sure, deaths as a result drunk driving are both preventable and tragic.

But folks, let's have some perspective with the hysteria: 9000 death a year are in fact one of the smaller numbers in the world of preventable deaths.

The hysteria far outweighs the threat, much like TSA and air travel.

Re:DUI Hysteria (1)

sl149q (1537343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050728)

Yes, but, there are 9000 est. deaths a year...

Which is FAR FAR FAR more than the number of deaths you can attribute to terrorists ....

Hysteria certainly describes TSA and Homeland security.

Given the resources being allocated to reducing drunk driving (compared to TSA and Homeland security) I'd say it is better spent.

Most likely though at this point it would not be unreasonable to start looking at just making all cars and passengers safer regardless of whether there is any alcohol involved as there are more potential lives saved that way.

Just think of how safe you could design an automobile if you directed half of the TSA / Homeland security budget into R&D.

Re:DUI Hysteria (4, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050800)

You can blame an organization that started good, and went bad for this problem. They're called MADD. Even police hate dealing with them these days they're down right bat shit insane.

Invasion of privacy?? (3, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050596)

Call me stupid but how is this an invasion of privacy, it's not like information regarding your drunkenness is being passed over to the authorities.

Mark Hinkle, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, fears the devices could evolve like seat belts — introduced as voluntary safety features that become lawfully enforced.

Oh yes those evil seat belts made mandatory because they save peoples lives, damn evil big government regulating car safety . Has it come to the point where there has to be a knee-jerk reaction to everything just for the sake of it?

Re:Invasion of privacy?? (0)

Potor (658520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050698)

It's an invasion of privacy because IT"S MAKING A DECISION FOR YOU (excuse the shouting). It would be as if your car would not start if the seat belt was not done up.

Free agents prefer to make their own - even wrong - decisions.

Re:Invasion of privacy?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050828)

It's an invasion of privacy because IT"S MAKING A DECISION FOR YOU (excuse the shouting). It would be as if your car would not start if the seat belt was not done up.

Free agents prefer to make their own - even wrong - decisions.

yeah... but that would describe an invasion of your personal liberty not an invasion of your privacy.

Re:Invasion of privacy?? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050836)

So, it's an invasion of privacy when a machine has a safety interlock? It's an invasion of privacy that I can't run my microwave with the door open? It's an invasion of privacy that my circuit breaker cuts power if I drop a toaster in the bathtub?

No, that's absurd. Those are all safety features, and so would this be. Now, I think mandatory interlocks on all cars would be a waste of money, but acting like it's some intrusion in our lives by Big Brother is dishonest.

Re:Invasion of privacy?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050880)

Your kidding right? or are your people really getting dumber every year.

Why aren't you moaning about the break lights, surely letting the people behind you know you are slowing down is an even bigger invasion of privacy! Turn signals, why should other people know which way you are going...

Re:Invasion of privacy?? (1, Insightful)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050938)

The decision to use seatbelts is taken out of your hands because much of the time, when people are injured in car accidents, my taxpayer money goes towards your ambulance, police, and hospital care. Particlarly if you have no insurance. If you have insurance in the US, it's quite often Medicaid or Medicare, so my taxpayer money is going towards it anyway.

Re:Invasion of privacy?? (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050764)

Oh yes those evil seat belts made mandatory because they save peoples lives, damn evil big government regulating car safety . Has it come to the point where there has to be a knee-jerk reaction to everything just for the sake of it?

People get bitter when laws start going down the slippery slope.
In 32 States, driving without a seat belt is a primary offense.
In how many of those States do you think people were told upfront that the law would eventually become a primary offense?

Evolution? surely not (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050772)

Don't these libertarian people deny evolution? Weren't we (and seat belts) always like we are now?

Clean hands? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050598)

What if I used one of those hand wipes that contained alcohol?

Wrong way to think about it (4, Insightful)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050600)

This is taking the entirely wrong approach here. The thing I never quite understood about ignition interlocks is why repeat DUI offenders are even allowed to drive a car at all. If after $N_MAX_OFFENSES you still can't control yourself, I don't trust you with a car, period. What this idea says is that because we've decided in giving an infinite number of second chances to the small fraction of the population that can't realistically be expected to act responsibly on their own, we're now going to impose an expensive mandatory new toy on everyone else, out of their pockets, and if the thing screws up and gives a false alarm, too bad.

If the court can order you to pay for an ignition interlock after a DUI, then it can sure as hell order you to sell your car, period.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (2)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050650)

Absolutely. Drunk driving isn't close to the leading cause of preventable deaths, but I think that it's rather easily preventable. Just man up and institute real penalties for that. First offense, considerable fine, second time, permanent revocation of driving license.

I don't get the apparent sympathy towards drunk drivers. It's easy not to drive drunk. People who can't control themselves and do drive drunk are a danger, and need to be treated accordingly, as in not letting them drive. I'm aware that there are countries with lots of cars, the US first and foremost, and where cars are hugely important in some regions. To that I say, the people who really need cars still have a duty to use them responsibly. If they can't, they need to find an alternative.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050710)

This is already pretty much how it works in most states. First offense you are fined thousands of dollars and loose your license for a month or more. Plus lawyer fees, because if you have any intention of keeping your license at all you need a lawyer.

The problem isn't that the penalties aren't high enough. In fact I think in some cases they are too high. .08 is lower than you'd think, and Breathalyzers are far less reliable than you'd think. Most fatalities aren't the .08 people who had 1 beer too many. Its the people driving with extreme blood alcohol levels repeatedly.

Basically its the alcoholics. Or "drunk driving addicts." We need to stop flooding the court system with responsible adults who had a drink too many and instead focus on getting these drunk driving addicts off the roads. The problem with revoking a drivers license is many times they will drive anyways. In a way I think ignition interlocks are the perfect solution, because they physically won't let you drive drunk. Basically its a lot more of a guarantee that the offender won't be driving than just revoking a driver's license.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050724)

The apparent sympathy is due in part to the fact that the legal limits are very low. A man who splits a bottle of wine with his wife at dinner may very well have a BAC above 0.08%, but very few people would consider the guy drunk at the time. In addition, there is no legal distinction made between someone with a BAC of 0.10% (who would have been a legal driver at the dawn of the DUI age thirty years ago, when the first limits were set around 0.15%) and someone with a BAC of 0.30% (who is a menace to society).

The problem is generally not the average guy; it's a relatively small pool of chronic drunks who drive.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050796)

I may not have the best perspective here, as someone who doesn't drive, but why would you want even someone with a BAS of 0.08% at the wheel? The effects do vary greatly per person, but 0.08% is enough for many people to affect attention span and fine muscle coordination. That's already a person that is not at their best capacity due to alcohol.

At least in the local news I get, drunk drivers tend not to be chronic drunks, but rather people who had a few drinks at a party or such and believed themselves to be in "good enough" shape to drive.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050954)

Excellent point. In places like Sweden (I think), it's illegal to drive with the flu, because it's proven that they have reaction times more sluggish than even drunk drivers with a BAC of 0.08%

Re:Wrong way to think about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050666)

I can easily think of scenarios where it's not so simple. It might seem to you that it's just "sell your car", but depending where the person lives, it might mean that he/she loses a job as there is no other transportation to get to work, thus loses place to live, etc.

So, what would we as society do about those carless people?
The infrastructure is not necessarily ready for this.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050716)

Its pretty simple not to drink and drive.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050758)

Well, if they lose their job they don't need to drive to work, do they? If they're on unemployment benefit they can't afford to drive anyway, so logically that stops them from drink-driving.

Do you expect me to be sympathetic? They chose to drive drunk, so they get to live with what happens when you drive drunk. If that means they lose their licence, their job, their car and their house, tough shit. They shouldn't have driven drunk, then.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050700)

Perfect solution -- I mean, it's not like they could borrow a car, or have one registered in someone else's name. Oh, wait...

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050854)

Around here first DUI offense is ~$1000 + licence revoked for six months; repeat offense is 10-15 days in jail + confiscation of car + permanent revocation of driving licence.

When it was implemented a few years ago, it really did wonders in changing the attitude of people I know.

Re:Wrong way to think about it (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050706)

I have a more personal account of someone who had an interlock on their car and has flown right - mostly due to life changes and learning that drinking and driving affects more than just their life. The interlock devices can save lives - but them alone won't teach someone that drinking and driving is wrong.

And let's face it - most places in the USA you NEED a car to get to work at the very least. It's either that or you go the other route and just drive illegally (i.e. no insurance, no license, car not registered etc.) It happens. Better to have the person be on the legal side with an interlock than the alternative, I say.

Hand Sanitizer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050608)

FfffffUuuuUuuuuu

engine coolant (1)

meatplow (184288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050614)

Can this system detect the difference because my car just overheated and I spilled cool and all over my hands.

Re:engine coolant (1)

donotlizard (1260586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050634)

Exactly. And my blood has a naturally high alcohol content, which could be another problem.

Re:engine coolant (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050766)

Can this system detect the difference because my car just overheated and I spilled cool and all over my hands.

I presume you meant Spilled Coolant. (I've seen people who oozed cool, but none that spilled it.).

Not being a chemist, I'm not sure if Ethylene glycol or Propylene glycol is detected as alcohol or not.

You may have meant windshield washer fluid, which often contains methanol. Methanol is seldom used for engine coolant
additives any more.

So Like.... (1)

RazorKitten (948278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050618)

What happens in the winter months, people not allowed to wear gloves to drive?

This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050642)

I just want to get in my car and drive..I don't want fancy electronic shit that gets in my way. I don't want to be interrogated by my own stuff before I'm allowed to do what I want. It is about freedom...not free speech or privacy.. This is from someone who does not drink and never will.

Like school children using finger prints on gummy bears to fool biometric sensors ppl will just do the same or something similiar to fool the car sensor. There are enough people in the world that practical circumvention should expected to be common knowledge.

Regardless of what society tells you life is not guaranteed.. GET OVER IT.

Actually punish drunk drivers (1, Insightful)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050686)

Can we try that first?

Re:Actually punish drunk drivers (0)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050852)

So we should wait until people are dead, and punish the culprits, rather than try to prevent the deaths in the first place?

Re:Actually punish drunk drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050886)

Sure we do. But they just do it again anyway. Often without a license or insurance as well, making them even more of a burden when they hit someone then.

This doesn't surprise me. Remember, we had to legislate the fact that you shouldn't text or talk on the phone with one hand while driving with the other. We have to save people from their own stupidity.

It should be obvious that if you drink anything with alcohol in it, you shouldn't drive. Period, the end. But since people cannot understand that concept, still, after all of these years, its up to the legislators to come up with something like this.

Because if they didn't, and someone got killed because they were allowed to talk on their phone, you'd sue the government for not legislating it. Ok, maybe not you, but others would.

These laws and stuff like this aren't stupid. They are there because it removes liability from the government for peoples sheer stupidity. And we will reach this level. Because the insurance companies are tired of paying for idiotic human mistakes, and the humans will drink and still try to drive.

They do punish drunks here in CA. I don't know how they can even afford a drink after the fines, but they manage to, somehow.

Use a Moist Towelette, go to jail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050692)

So when I wash my hands with a handy wipe that uses alcohol, before getting behind the wheel, it decides I'm drunk!

It won't work. (2)

iamnotaclown (169747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050702)

Driving drunk is already against the law. If someone decides to drive drunk, bypassing a sensor is the least of their concerns.

Everybody pays for the stupidity of the few (5, Insightful)

grimsnaggle (1320777) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050704)

Stuff happens, people die. One of my best friends in high school was killed when his car was hit by a drunk. To me, I'd rather the drunk lost his license rather than my car fitted with an interlock. I don't even drink, why should I have to pay for someone else's irresponsibility?

Measures like this are a waste of everyone's resources that distract from more serious problems - broken education, declining scientific investment, an uncompetitive economy, etc.

stupidity of the few (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050798)

Yup, happens in elections all the time - except there it's everyone suffering from the stupidity of the many. Just 'cos the numbers vary doesn't make it any better.

False positive rate for Diabetics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050720)

Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, increase your chances of a false positive for breathalyzers. I wonder if this newer tech is subject to the same problems?

Folks need to be responsible (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050736)

If your society needs to rely on electronic gadgets in cars to prevent drunk drivers, you're fucked. "Mind if I pass you, Lindsay Lohan, you are swerving on the highway? Oh, look, Charlie Sheen has passed out on the side of the road again."

In the country where I live, kids can drink alcoholic beverages when they are 16. But they are taught not to drink and drive. You will see a table with a bunch of teenage guys quaffing beers. And one guy will be drinking Coca-Cola. Guess who is driving.

To hammer the point home again, teaching people not to drink and drive is better than any control mechanism.

Really want to tick people off... (1)

justNoperator (900278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050814)

Recommend that the technology be added to the hand grips of fire arms to prevent alcohol related shootings!

I mistrust MADD (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050822)

I flat-out mistrust MADD, which is always on the side of more police power. They are to the traffic police what child pornography is to Internet regulation.

Option Only (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050844)

As long as I have the ability to toggle it off and on, then I would gladly get this for my car. But if I don't have a choice, then I do not like it. What are the chances that the device could give me a false positive?

Hand Wipes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050866)

I wonder what would happen if somebody uses a hand wipe or soap that is alcohol based. It's great that the sensor can detect beneath the skin but will it overload if somebody's hands are covered in alcohol for a perfectly good reason?

Override available? (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050878)

So, will there be some kind of "override" for dangerous situations? Like, I do not PLAN on driving that day, so I have a beer or two and am just over the limit where the car won't start anymore, but then suddenly space aliens with anal probes arrive and I *really* need to drive away fast - but the car won't let me.

Or any other, more real life situation - say, you THINK you're still under the limit, on the way to your car you get assaulted by some criminal, you just make it to your car and want to get away, and your car tells you "sorry, driving right now would not be good for you."

Or just scratch the alcohol in all these examples and let the damn thing have a malfunction. "Sorry, you can't drive your wife to the hospital right now."

Heart monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050902)

If they can do this, why can't they make a continuous heart rate monitor that doesn't require a chest strap or to touch two electrodes on a watch?

Hand sanitizer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35050904)

Would ethanol-based hand sanitizer set the sensors off? What about other substances you might have on your hand that might trigger a false positive?

over 9000 (1)

acalltoreason (1732266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35050960)

Seriously, we need to stop holding peoples hands. Think about the number 9000..it is roughly .003% of the US population. Instead of spending all that money on a statistically useless product why not help the 49.1 million US residents living with hunger issues (http://www.frac.org/html/hunger_in_the_us/hunger_index.html), or the 1 million people (min) in the US with cancer http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-026210.pdf [cancer.org] . The point is that this does absolutely NOTHING to help anyone. So the in-car breathalyzer takes a few seconds...big deal. Its not worth waisting money on something so useless that .003% of the US would be affected by it. People die, that is the natural order of things, some earlier than others, you need to deal with it and move on. And before some ignoramus starts to whine about insensitivity because they lost someone to a drunk driving accident, everyone has problems and everyone has lost someone, you are in no way different from any other human on this planet, existentially speaking of course.
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