By on June 25, 2008

dadss.jpgEric Peters' blog at the National Motorists Association explores efforts to make breathalyzers mandatory on all U.S vehicles. Peters zeros-in on the Driver Alcohol Detection System For Safety (DADSS), a $10m taxpayer-funded partnership between the  industry-funded Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. DADSS is hot for new, "less intrusive" breathalyzers; specifically gizmos that measure blood alcohol content (BAC) through the driver's skin (via steering wheel-mounted sensors). While acknowledging America's 9k annual drunk driving deaths, Peters is not pleased at the prospect of treating every motorist like a convicted drunk driver, He's also displeased that consumers would be expected to shoulder the additional costs of this new "standard equipment." More proof that freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

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13 Comments on “Feds Looking Into Mandatory Breathalizers...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear”

    “Driving is a privilege”

    “if it saves just one life”

    And finally, a rejoinder commonly attributed to Franklin:

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I wonder if people who wear way too much perfume will set this thing off since it all has alcohol in it. Does anyone know how these sensors work?

    There is going to be a point in our future where freedom is just something refered to in history books.

  • avatar
    VerbalKint

    Interesting perspective from the vonMises Institute:
    http://www.mises.org/story/2343

  • avatar
    SpottyB

    Why would we want to put more (mandatory) cost into vehicles so stupidly? Some people and their crudsades never cease to amaze me. Did they ever think of how easy this would be to defeat? Anyone ever hear of gloves?

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    Just another gizmo that’s gonna break and leave you stranded.

    Instead of forcing another safety device on everybody, just come down harder on the actual drunk drivers.

    I say put’em in a jail cell with someone that uses the word “fist” as a verb.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    The people will accept it, like they’ve accepted every other safety nanny.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Again, this is one of those “moral majority” ideas that sounds great, but doesn’t play out in real life. It also scuttles more reasonable legislation that would actually address the problem.

    If someone is a chronic drunk driver, they’ll always be so. They’ll take great pains to retain their ability to do (like, say, by fiendish methods like wearing gloves or bagging sober breath). People who don’t drive drunk, don’t drive drunk, so this won’t address any problems on that side, either.

    Want to stop people drunk-driving? Take their car away, fine them ten grand and/or throw them in jail. Coincidentally, this is what Ontario does now for speeding, yet a larger percentage of drunk drivers are involved in fatal accidents than speeders. Of course, addressing and convicting drunk drivers takes effort (patrol, catch, breathalize, test, require a full BAC, go to court, etc); nabbing and sentencing speeders takes a pull of a trigger.

    It’s like the security stupidity surrounding air travel, post-9/11. Want to stop another 9/11? Lock the cockpit door. Don’t bother with facial recognition software, no-fly lists, banning toothpaste and national ID cards. Lock the door. Of course, locking the door doesn’t make security consultants money.

  • avatar
    Qwerty

    Take their car away

    I have always liked this. Take the car, make the debt on the car non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, and make wage garnishment easy. Americans value their cars so much, the risk of losing them would be a powerful motivation not to drink and drive.

  • avatar
    tony-e30

    I would argue that this is actually a good idea…until they program it to automatically lock all the doors and call the police.

  • avatar
    yankinwaoz

    It will never happen. There is simply too much money being earned by the DUI industry to actually stop DUIs from happening. Every DUI results in at least a $10k cash infusion from normally law abiding (read – working and tax paying) citizens. Between all the lawyer fees, fines, special fines, fees, mandates, insurance premiums, and so on, there is a lot of incentive to keep this “industry” humming along nicely as it is.

    If they really, really, wanted to stop DUIs. Then they would simply give mandatory 20 year prison sentences for the offense. No fines. No money involved to taint the objectiveness of law enforcement.

    It may sound harsh, but I guarantee that no one would risk drinking and driving. Those that do, the hard core alcoholics, will eventually be caught and then sit and rot in prison.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Any thing that can be beaten by a hand driven air pump and a pair of rubber gloves just isn’t worth doing.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I have always liked this. Take the car, make the debt on the car non-dischargeable …

    I have a real problem with the government taking property like this. What would be acceptable is a massive fine, like the $10,000 previously mentioned. That would be a good deterrent. If you can’t pony up the bucks, then take the car as collateral.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    golden2huskey:
    I have a real problem with the government taking property like this. What would be acceptable is a massive fine, like the $10,000 previously mentioned. That would be a good deterrent. If you can’t pony up the bucks, then take the car as collateral.

    I completely agree.

    Furthermore, the often law makes it much easier to take a paid off 5 year old car than a 1 year old car that’s halfway thru a lease. Leasing firms have the deep pockets (and political connections) to fight back.


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