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France's Bold Drunk-Driving Legislation - Every Car To Carry a Breathalyzer

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the now-you'll-get-people-trying-to-beat-their-high-score dept.

Transportation 706

Zothecula writes "It is a great irony that alcohol should be legislated into becoming man's most commonly used recreational drug, as it's the only drug that causes more harm to others than to the user. This is most evident on our roads, where even in first world countries with low road tolls, alcohol still accounts for between a third and a half of road deaths. Now France is to attempt a novel solution — from July of this year, it will become law in France to have a working breathalyzer in every car on the road, with enforcement beginning November 1."

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the only drug? (5, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175455)

Meth has fueled an awful lot of violent crime.

Re:the only drug? (5, Funny)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175543)

Heresy! How you dare! Alcohol has to be the one and only bad drug, otherwise you can't legalize pot... ... ... ...

Re:the only drug? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175619)

That's a nice straw man you got there.

Re:the only drug? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175547)

Meth has fueled an awful lot of violent crime.

Correction, prohibition has fueled on awful lot of violent crime.

Re:the only drug? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175685)

Correction, prohibition has fueled on awful lot of violent crime.

This is the correct answer. Be it prohibition of alcohol, meth, pot, etc... the illegal status causes a great deal of the violence.

We'd have a lot less garage explosions if methamphetamines could be produced in a professional lab somewhere, with QA and such.

Re:the only drug? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175849)

But the price would be too high for addict to pay for, Hence why you would still have illegal meth.

I'm a cannabis smoker and I wouldn't pay more for less (and in the case of cannabis, the potency would be reduced a lot) even if it would decriminalize my usage.

Re:the only drug? (-1, Redundant)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175891)

Correction, prohibition has fueled on awful lot of violent crime.

Not necessarily exclusively. When you legalize a good that people will break laws to get the money to pay for, you may cause more crime than you prevent.

Re:the only drug? (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175585)

Meth has fueled an awful lot of violent crime.

Ever seen those Faces of Meth advertisements? It's quite harmful to the user as well as the bystander. Alcohol on the other hand encourages severe lapses in judgement and reaction when operating heavy machinery, which usually kills people nearby but leaves the drunk unaffected, if only because liquor makes their body a doughy mass to be thrown about while sober people tense up and break bones and crap.

Re:the only drug? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175687)

Alcohol on the other hand encourages severe lapses in judgment and reaction when operating heavy machinery, which usually kills people nearby but leaves the drunk unaffected

Then the obvious solution is to get the sober drivers off the road.

Re:the only drug? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175811)

you mean i'm not the only sober driver on the road? what the...

Re:the only drug? (2)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175883)

Have you forgotten about cirrhosis of the liver? Not to mention divorce, child and spousal abuse, well, I guess that goes back to harm to other people. But alcohol isn't exactly harmless either.

Re:the only drug? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175919)

you're forgetting drunken dads who beat their loved ones. bar fights. the hazy following-mornings where you make the mental list of people to call up and apologize to for last night's behavior. and what it costs to replace the shit you broke, if a restraining order will be requested, who's gonna give you a ride to AA meetings, etc....

don't recall this being a problem with pot, but there's probably a reason for that too... =)

Re:the only drug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175651)

Not to mention that of meth cooks often dump the byproducts of production onto other people's property (causing lasting environmental damage), and leave behind labs which can poison unsuspecting entrants or literally blow up...

Re:the only drug? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175667)

Yeah, welcome to the unregulated black market which is a direct result of prohibition.

good thing they don't have laws in france (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175717)

I know france isn't the US and they write their own laws, but isn't this basically "Guilty until proven innocent"?

Re:good thing they don't have laws in france (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175767)

Ever been through a drinking driving road stop?

Re:good thing they don't have laws in france (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175807)

Guilty of what? Being required to have a breathanalyser in the car is no different than being required to have e.g. seatbelts.

Re:good thing they don't have laws in france (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175933)

No, that would be convicting everyone of drunk driving, then making it your responsibility to clear your name. I honestly think it would be good if people had to pass some kind of sobriety test before operating a car. Unfortunately something like this is way too easy to defeat. Just blow up a couple balloons before you go out, and you are good to go later.

Re:the only drug? (1)

noahwh (1545231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175749)

Meth has fueled an awful lot of violent crime.

Yes, but it's also extremely harmful to the user. Their criteria is that it causes more harm to other people then it causes harm to the user. Their source is a paper titled "Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis" from the "Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs." It's linked in TFA.

Re:the only drug? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175769)

the laws against meth have fueled a lot of violent crime. you don't see ritalin-junkie kids making headlines with violent crimes.

Re:the only drug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175845)

To be more aligned with the point of the story, if meth were legal and people were using it in great numbers and driving around under its influence, would alcohol still be the "only drug that causes more harm to others than to the user?"

That sort of pothead editorializing is about as useful as the "weed is illegal because they can't tax it, man" retardation.

who's paying for it? (5, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175463)

who will be paying for it to be installed in my car? (speaking as a theoretical Frenchwoman... haven't lived in France since 1997). Those things are expensive, and beyond the means of some people who own cars.

Re:who's paying for it? (0)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175537)

More to the point, how are you going to get the car to the repair shop when the breathalyzer breaks? A tow truck? Really?

Re:who's paying for it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175675)

You are incorrectly inferring that they are talking about an interlock system.

Re:who's paying for it? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175959)

You carry 2 x $2 breathalysers in the glove box. What the fuck do you need a repair shop for?

Re:who's paying for it? (5, Informative)

Krokant (956646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175575)

The French automotive society is selling breathalyzer tests for single use for 1 euro (say: 1 US dollar) per piece. It suffices to carry two of those in the car.

Re:who's paying for it? (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175733)

So roughly an extra $1500 to have a car for 5 years?

wow.

Re:who's paying for it? (0)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175759)

Huh? Which ass did you pull that number out of?

Re:who's paying for it? (5, Insightful)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175931)

Most people seem to be thinking it's an interlock device, rather than a standalone breathalyzer. In that case, assuming $1 per car trip, driving every day and a minimum of two trips (one to destination, one back home), it would be ~$730/year or more.

But since that isn't the case, then the point is moot. It's a couple bucks a year at minimum, more if you get pulled over and are forced to use them a lot.

My problem is efficiency. If it's not an interlock, how is it in any way improving public safety? What's the point? Why not just have the police carry around breathalyzers? That way, there's no chance the driver won't be able to take the test, and you won't have millions of people wasting money on these portable--

Oh. There it is. It's just a way to get money for the breathalyzer manufacturers, as well as for the government to pat themselves on the back for a job well done in "improving public safety" with this do-nothing legislation.

Re:who's paying for it? (1)

Tchule (723663) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175601)

Chemical ethylotests cost around 1 € and can be found in every drugstore. You just need to have one in the car. http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/F2881.xhtml [service-public.fr]

Re:who's paying for it? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175819)

So it's a pointless law.

Re:who's paying for it? (4, Insightful)

danomac (1032160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175887)

Not pointless for those who make/manufacture the tests. Basically guaranteed income.

Re:who's paying for it? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175609)

TFA said:

As far as the breathalyzer required by French authorities, a US$2.00 disposable item will be acceptable, but already everyone is being encouraged to buy such items in pairs so that one can be used to test, or for a friend to use, and still to have the required one to drive home with.

To which you replied:

Those things are expensive, and beyond the means of some people who own cars.

I wonder who these people who can afford French petrol and diesel prices, but can't afford $4 are.

Re:who's paying for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175623)

If it cuts down on healthcare costs, I'd expect the government would finance part of it. Presumably some would come out of road tax and obviously, unless it's vehemetly opposed, private citizens?

Re:who's paying for it? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175637)

FTFA:
As far as the breathalyzer required by French authorities, a US$2.00 disposable item will be acceptable, but already everyone is being encouraged to buy such items in pairs so that one can be used to test, or for a friend to use, and still to have the required one to drive home with.

If you can afford fuel you can afford a $2 breathalyzer.

Re:who's paying for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175951)

If you RTFA you would know you only have to carry one. You don't actually have to use it and its not an interlock. Apparently at least 3 other people didn't RTFA either.

Because... (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175477)

There is no stereotype about drunken frenchmen already...

Cocaine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175497)

Cocaine is a hell of a drug...

Give an alternative for non drinkers (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175509)

With the penalty for drunk driving being confiscation of the vehicle, so that non drinkers dont have to pay for this equipment

Re:Give an alternative for non drinkers (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175617)

Ignore that, they just require a $2 disposable thing, so non drinkers wont have to spend money

Re:Give an alternative for non drinkers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175641)

They did give a cost-effective alternative for non-drinkers -- a $2.00 disposable breathalizer.

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175511)

This is like saying guns kill people.
BS. People kill people.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175593)

It's pretty hard to kill someone by just throwing a bullet at them.

Re:BS (2)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175841)

Obviously, absent a method to fire said bullet a bullet is the wrong tool to use to kill someone. That doesn't mean that other tools are unsuitable, however. All of them, though, require some human intervention in order to make it murder or manslaughter. (As opposed to something like a rock slide killing some one, of course.)

A firearm is a tool designed for few purposes, including to kill. The issue arises when it is used against a person unlawfully, not when it is created. To willfully ignore that is to sidestep the debate in an attempt to declare victory based on assertion rather than actual discussion.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175649)

Guns don't kill people, bullets do

--
S. Hammer

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175833)

Nah, guns don't kill people, rappers do. I seen it in a documentary on BBC2.

Re:BS (1)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175751)

This is like saying guns kill people. BS. People kill people.

With guns. I'm not disagreeing with you conceptually, but - as with Asimov's Three Laws, it ain't quite that simple

People choose to shoot someone. People choose to drink and drive.

Since you can't prevent people from choosing to be stupid, one theoretical solution is to remove the devices. Well, good luck with eliminating guns - and cars.

So, prevent the device of (yes I know it's awkward) drunkenness. It won't work, but it is an attempt.

(Apropos of nothing, a friend once said that it's not guns that kill people, and it's not people that kill people; it's the bullet entering the body at extremely high speed that tends to be the culprit....)

Re:BS (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175925)

(Apropos of nothing, a friend once said that it's not guns that kill people, and it's not people that kill people; it's the bullet entering the body at extremely high speed that tends to be the culprit....)

Well, if you want to get super technical, it tends to be one of the following that does the job:
1. hypoxia of neurological tissue (low oxygen)
2. hypercapnia (excessive CO2)
3. direct neurological trauma (mechanical destruction of CNS)

Everything else is a means to an end :P

In a country that drinks wine like water? (3, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175519)

I can't think this is a good idea. At least in the US, where our BAC limits are 25% of what actually impairs driving. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for anyone driving drunk and injuring or killing someone else (what you do to yourself I do not care about) but the whole BAC thing is an estimate that is cut in half for "good measure" then cut in half again.

You can read more about the whole "Drunk Driving Exception" here [duicentral.com]

Re:In a country that drinks wine like water? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175659)

THIS

Besides, there will always be idiots who will crash their car after using mouthwash, and then more idiots that will go "OMG DRUNK DRIVER"

What I think would work:

- Mandatory (lower) speed limit depending on the BAC. Wanna drive after 1 scotch? No problem, but you're not going over 35MPH
- Actively training drivers to driving while impaired.

And of course, proper public transportation or affordable taxis so that getting home at night is not an issue.

Re:In a country that drinks wine like water? (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175671)

Dude, if you think US BAC limits are low you need to get out more. The limit in France is .05% just like most of the EU.

Re:In a country that drinks wine like water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175673)

I think you're referring to zero tolerance BAC levels. Those only apply to underage drinkers, perhaps people on probation too. A BAC of 0.08 is almost universal. 0.32 would be almost lethal, nevermind impaired.

Re:In a country that drinks wine like water? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175961)

25% of a small number is not 0.25.

Re:In a country that drinks wine like water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175709)

The limit in France is 0.05 which is reasonable. It might shock you turn learn that the US constitution has no power in France. Don't let that upset your offtopic butthurt ranting though.

Re:In a country that drinks wine like water? (4, Informative)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175801)

I can't think this is a good idea. At least in the US, where our BAC limits are 25% of what actually impairs driving.

What are you talking about? While I do drink and think .08% BAC is a little low, it is true that driving performance begins to deteriorate after as little 1 or 2 drinks. If you really think the legal limit should be .32, and that anyone below that level is okay to drive, you are absolutely nuts. By .20 you are obviously and inarguably drunk.
The Frecnh drink a lot of wine, true, but I don't think most people in France condone drinking 3 bottles of wine before going for a drive.

"Novel solution"? (4, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175551)

I would hardly call this a "novel" solution. It is as predictable as they come. "Got a safety problem? Add safety regulations or mandate safety devices!"

A truly novel solution (not that I'm suggesting this) would be something like "Kill someone while drunk driving? Spend the next 18 months cleaning puke off the toilets in bars."

Re:"Novel solution"? (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175603)

France with breathalyzers in every car, UK with cameras on every square inch of the country...

You have to wonder why some politicians in the US idolize western Europe.

If we follow their model, eventually we'll all have a government minder following us around with a clipboard.

Re:"Novel solution"? (3, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175679)

Oh noes teh $2 breathalyzer! Such an infringement of your rights. Next they will demand you have a working horn and maybe even some road flares.

Re:"Novel solution"? (0)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175681)

You have to wonder why some politicians in the US idolize western Europe.

Citation? Or are you just going off old el' Rushbo?

-GiH

Re:"Novel solution"? (3, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175839)

They don't have the TSA, they actually have healthcare.

If you look hard enough you can find good ideas everywhere. Europe has a couple of glaring examples of good ideas the US should be copying, and a lot of bad ideas it shouldn't. A 2 dollar breathalyser that you must have in your vehicle that costs thousands, with fuel that costs about that much per litre isn't exactly an onerous requirement. It's more of a "am I too drunk to drive? Oh... I guess I am" device, which, for 2 dollars is about a reasonable tradeoff. It's a weaker (and cheaper) requirement than needing to have working headlights, which seems fairly reasonable.

What's required is a $2 disposable breathalyzer (4, Informative)

hernick (63550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175555)

Okay, for those who didn't bother to read the article...

All that's required is a $2 disposable breathalyzer. If you don't have one in your mandatory car safety kit, the fine will be $14.

Re:What's required is a $2 disposable breathalyzer (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175777)

All that's required is a $2 disposable breathalyzer.

$2 disposable breathalizer which has never undergone any testing prior to use to indicate it will function correctly has just given a false negative. You run over a dozen precious snowflakes.

Who's fault? You, the driver, or the manufacturer of a $2 breathalizer? How long do you think they're going to cost $2 when they start getting sued for the deaths of hundreds of people's snowflakes? And I don't know where you're from, but in any place who's currency uses the '$' and isn't printing trillion dollar bills because of hyperinflation... fines for not having mandatory equipment in the vehicle cost the driver a lot more than an hour or so's worth of wages.

Re:What's required is a $2 disposable breathalyzer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175795)

Come on, man, we're trying to rail against the fascist socialist nanny police state here. We don't need your "facts" to do that.

-AC

Re:What's required is a $2 disposable breathalyzer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175929)

Then what's the point? That's not going to stop someone driving drunk.

I could understand a law requiring all new vehicles to have a built in breathalyzer that stops the car from being driven until someone sober blows into it.
Of course while the obvious place to connect such a device would be to the ignition system, that's going to be to dangerous. Imagine the lawsuit from the family of someone who gets into their car intoxicated, can,t start the engine and then freezes to death on a winter night.

Hmmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175565)

Hopefully they're not as invasive & problematic as most breathalyzers I've heard of. My aunt had one installed in her car before, you had to breath into it at a specific constant rate or the test would fail. It also gave you a short (30-45 seconds?) warning before randomly retesting you every 5-15 minutes while you were driving before it killed you engine in the middle of traffic.

Re:Hmmmm.. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175721)

They aren't. They're just single use breathalyzers. They aren't ignition control devices. It's more of a "am I too drunk too drive, lets find out" than a "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that".

Next up: (2, Insightful)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175569)

Coming soon - many cheap and easy ways to defeat portable breathalyzers.

Assumptions (2)

XanC (644172) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175583)

Using a breathalyzer to measure somebody's ability to drive a car is fraught with assumptions, which means, horrifyingly, what's now illegal is the indicators rather than the behavior.

The DUI Exception to the Constitution [drunkdrivingdefense.com]

Re:Assumptions (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175799)

If it prevents them from driving, how is this a punishment? It's not like it stops you from driving, calls the police and issues you a ticket. It simply stops someone from starting the car if they are drunk.

Unfounded story (5, Informative)

patrickv (3481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175607)

I watch French TV and read French newspapers every day. I should know. The fact is that this is still under discussion, and then only for those drivers who have had several times a positive alcohol test. Further, there is a presidential election coming next spring. It is not the time to take such measures.

In short, this news report is BS.

Re:Unfounded story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175723)

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to hear that many of Slashdot's readers have not read TFA and that what has been posted is not actually fact.

Shocked.

>www.gizmag.com

I read that as "Jizz Mag" and was disappointed when I clicked the link!

The Great Toromoloscu

A simpler solution (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175621)

France has a widely-deployed mass transit system. The simple solution would be to treat cases of particularly reckless driving, including drunk driving, very seriously with a revocation of the offender's driver's license for X years (a permanent revocation for repeat offenders). It gets the point across that driving is a privilege, and it sidesteps the expense of installing breathalyzers in every vehicle.

Between a third an a half? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175627)

alcohol still accounts for between a third and a half of road deaths.

If a drunk pedestrian walks into the road and is killed by a car, is that included in this statistic? If so, how does a breathalyzer in the car help?

If a driver has one beer, and a different driver runs a red light and kills them both, is that included? If so, how does a breathalyzer in the car help?

Drunk driving is evil, but let's be clear about justifications for such intrusive laws.

Re:Between a third an a half? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175779)

Actually the breathalyzer won't even help if a drunken driver causes an accident. Just because you have one in your car doesn't mean you will use it. Most drunken drivers probably wouldn't need a breathalyzer anyway to discover they are drunk. Indeed, I could imagine some using the breathalyzer to get themselves just below the allowed limit, where otherwise they'd have stopped earlier in fear of getting beyond.

Re:Between a third an a half? (1)

rootnl (644552) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175785)

Actually, two thirds of road deaths are caused by sober people.

The kit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175631)

So they require a kit as well, including replacement bulbs for the headlights and turn signals. I thought a lot of new cars were using soldered in LED bulb sets. Is France going to make them carry four light modules with them? That will cost quite a bit, definitely more than the breathalyzers.

Yes, but in France... (5, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175645)

The in-car breathalyzer is not there for the reason you are assuming...

In France you'll have a minimum BAC before they'll let you operate a car.

Also, it will detect if you have been drinking Italian wine and scold you.

Re:Yes, but in France... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175927)

Well, you know what they say: Mussolini made the train conductors run on wine.

Re:Yes, but in France... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175963)

...and mock you if you've been drinking German wine? "I fahrt in youer geneeral deerection, you riesling-swilling booor!"

What about... (1)

jcreus (2547928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175647)

If I'm not French, and I'm just visiting the country?

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175941)

Odds are it would be safe to assume "Ignorance of the law is no excuse.", regardless of the country you are in.

Doesn't seem that bad to me (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175653)

The thing about drunk driving is, it's based not on whether you can safely drive but an arbitrary blood alcohol level. Some people drive better with a quart of booze in them, some people are terrible drivers all by themselves. If you're a dangerous driver, you're a dangerous driver and it doesn't matter to me (or whoever you kill) if it's because you're drunk, tired, texting, or chinese.

In foreign countries, I have seen breathalyzers in bars -- put in a quarter, get your reading. It's right next to the condom machine. I've never seen one in the US, probably fear of lawsuits if it's wrong and people trying to see who can get the drunkest.

Anyhow, the story said the law mandates breathalyzers as part of a car safety kit that you're required to have (and should already have), so it's not just a drunk driving thing.

Car Owners will rebell.... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175655)

Not only is this a burden financially to those law abiding citizens, it will not work. Unless a breathalyzer is registered to a particular vehicle, there will be nothing to enforce a high breathalyzer test result. And for those who really want to avoid prosecution, drivers will get random breathalyzers completed with normal level. And if these units are electronic, and kept in your own car, don't think for a minute that people won't have found a way to tamper with them so that results clear the driver.

Re:Car Owners will rebell.... (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175843)

If $2 is a financial burden to you, you probably shouldn't be driving the car. RTFA...

Bold? Not really (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175663)

Bold would be putting a cheap driver ID reader in place and not allowing the vehicle to start unless it matched, then adding some simple fingerprint hash to be stored on it as well... used together to make sure the driver doesn't just use a stolen ID. Then, when you're busted driving drunk, your license is taken away. You can't operate a vehicle now drunk or sober.

The problem here isn't liquor, it's the culture that allows drunks to run around mowing people down and then letting them get back in the car again after being prosecuted... like they somehow have a right to operate a motor vehicle. Adding expensive breathalizers that need constant recalibration and can fail rendering the vehicle completely inert to everyone who tries to use it is a poor substitute. People will figure out how to bypass them, and it'll become common knowledge. Use canned air, maybe, or have someone else blow in it, like a passenger, etc.

Take away their damn license and be done with it; use a simple card reader and decent finger print scanner... it'll work in any weather, and it won't break or need recalibration... and it'll be useful to apply to a broader range of legal enforcement... ALL motor violations that result in license revocation, not just one specific kind.

More harm to others? Really? (4, Informative)

twotacocombo (1529393) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175677)

Obviously the poster has not lived in a family with alcoholics. I've lost two aunts in the past decade to alcoholism. It destroyed their minds and bodies, and effectively killed them years before they actually died. It's a terrible disease, and exacts an immense toll on the user. That being said, their drug of choice did not injure or kill anybody else. How can it be said that it affects others more than themselves? For that to be statistically possible, there would have to be more single injury or fatality accidents involving the injury/death of the sober party than there are deaths of addicts by non-auto related causes.

man's most commonly used recreational drug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175691)

is caffeine, dammit.

Caffeine isn't a drug... (2)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175869)

It's an essential nutrient. :)

Re:man's most commonly used recreational drug (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175943)

mod up, plz

Any real comparison of other drugs vs alcohol? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175699)

Those studies that have said that alcohol is the most dangerous use to others just see the picture of people as hundreds or maybe thousands take it in a specific area.

When they can have the same amount of people taking the same drug in a restricted area over the same period of time that people usually consume alcohol, if the see that drug is less harmful then in my opinion they can say that its less harmful to others/self than alcohol.

A common sense regulation? WTF! (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175739)

Okay, I'm ready for the berating. I have no issue with this type of regulation. It's something proactive that backs a current law, and helps with the enforcement of laws. While some may say it's intrusive, it's no more intrusive than some drunk getting behind the wheel and putting themselves on a road where other people will be at risk.

A different common sense regulation to me is a governor on motorized vehicles to prevent insane travel speeds. I always wondered why publicly sold vehicles are capable of doing 180Mph when we have a maximum speed limit of 70 on any road in the US.

As the old saying goes "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.". And while I have a hard time with some regulations that come out, this one is not so bad.

Re:A common sense regulation? WTF! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175913)

Maximum speed limit is 75 mph on some stretches of interstate in Colorado and Utah, IIRC. And somebody told me there's some stretch of interstate on one of the states way up north that is actually 80.

When comon sends makes no sense (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175755)

The law will prosecute you to the fullest extent if you're slightly over the legal alcohol limit, but could care less that a blind old lady shouldn't be driving on the roads. So alcohol is more dangerous than incompetent drivers? I've seen more accidents from people who don't pay attention to the road because they are too busy playing with the radio, eating a burger and fries, putting on makeup, etc. etc. I've driving intoxicated before, and I was very careful driving when I was, but you can't always avoid an idiot on the road. but because I had a few drinks, it's automatically my fault.

Yeah, that will work (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175765)

"Hey kids, wanna come for a ride with daddy?! We can stop by for icecream on the way home!"

Dammit! Missed first post! (1)

TimMD909 (260285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175817)

Just left the bar, and that totally reminds me of what this dude was saying. If I wasn't so busy typing this out on my damn iPhone, rolling a doobie, and flipping off these idiotic drivers on the road, I wouldn't have forgotten what he said. But all I can say is some people other there are just idiots. Lots of them don't even know they're insanely stupid. All I know is that you can make laws all day long, but in the end you'll still never get them dumbasses to... ::tires screechin, loud smash, multiple explosions::

Well intended but... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175835)

I'm pretty sure that this is just more police crap you can get screwed with... now will come breathalyzer inspections and gee who in gov't gets stock from them. they don't care about safety.. .its a power trip disguised as safety.

Alcohol is no different than other rec drugs (1)

theangrypeon (1306525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175861)

as it's the only drug that causes more harm to others than to the user.

Um. No.

Alcohol, by itself, will do no more damage to others than any other drug. Even if you drink every day for the rest of your life, if you choose not to drive or otherwise reckless acts, you will more than likely never hurt a single other human being (The liver damage incurred will kill you, but that's another story...)

Europe's Shadow (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175881)

Wow, talk about a nanny state. The only thing that scares Europe more than its own people is its own shadow.

I'd be pissed (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39175893)

If I spilled a bottle of isopropyl on my dash and my car wouldn't run for two weeks.

This is a MEASURING DEVICE, not an INTERLOCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39175935)

They want you to have a device that can measure BAC in the car. So you can use it.

This is not the sort of court-ordered ignition interlock sometimes ordered in North America, which was my first (incorrect) reaction. It's just another doohickey to have around in case you need it, like jumper cables, air pressure gauge, etc.

There's nothing forcing you to use it, or preventing you from ignoring it (say, in an overriding emergency). The idea is to ensure that you can know what the level is.

Nothing big-brother about it at all

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