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An Ignition Interlock In Every Car?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the chicken-in-every-pot dept.

United States 1690

ryeguy-nm writes "Monday the New Mexico House of Representatives passed a bill that would require every car sold in the state to have an ignition interlock. This device is essentially a breath analyzer that prevents the car from being started if the driver is drunk. The bill would require that every new car sold be equipped with an ignition interlock by 2008 and every used car by 2009. Ignition interlocks require a breath test, which takes 30 seconds to complete, to start the car as well as random 'rolling retests' to discourage others from taking the test for you. These rolling retests require the driver to take the test as the car is moving. If the driver fails a retest, the horn sounds and the lights flash until the car is turned off. The bill's lead proponent is Dem. Ken Martinez who believes the bill is a quick fix for New Mexico's drunk driving problems. Opponents of the bill argue that it penalizes car dealerships and law abiding citizens who have never driven drunk. The bill makes no mention of who will have to pay for the device, but it will most likely be auto dealers and citizens who have to sell their cars. It seems to me that impinging upon the liberty of an entire state is a little bit too extreme. Perhaps tougher penalties and larger fines for people who actually drive drunk would be a better idea."

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A Better Idea (-1)

Can it run Linux (664464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325673)

They should just ship all the beaners back to MEH-HI-CO.

That would probably solve a lot more problems than just drunk driving.

Also, who would want to live in a state with fifty thousand 1986 Honda Accords with horns that play 'La Cucharacha'?


laws (5, Insightful)

Ryntis (746177) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325674)

it seems if they are going to do something like that, they need to get rid of the laws that can get you a DUI for just sitting in a parked car drunk.. there are so many laws that need fixed all over the country.. i think the federal government needs to force counties and states to do a lawbook housecleaning some year. Then just have a 4 page ballot one year and be done with it all.

Re:laws (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325835)

Most laws (basically anything not having to do with the golden rule) should sunset, but whoever proposed this law is dangerous.

Re:laws (4, Insightful)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325851)

Here would be a good law for everyone:

Ban parking lots at establishments that serve alcohol. With the new blood-alcohol limits, it doesn't take much to put an average human over the limit. Having a parking lot at a bar is like being an accessory to the crime.

But that would limit government tax income and police revenue. So they certainly couldn't do *that*.

That would BLOW (pardon the pun.) (2, Insightful)

DOCStoobie (731093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325853)

So let me get this straight, ALL OF US will end up paying for the damned drunk drivers... Cars will definitely cost more, they will pass the cost on to consumers, not to mention the PAIN IN THE ASS of breathing into a damned tube 30 times a day. I for one think that there has to be a better solution to the problem. I thought that in this country you were innocent till proven guilty, not proving your innocence every 200 miles......

Re:laws (5, Insightful)

danknight (570145) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325864)

Well, I for one think it's a GREAT idea ! Although just maybe they should have a test run or something... all the reps should have them installed in thier own cars for a year or so and then tell us how it worked out.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325675)


You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased
the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately on unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.


Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped
with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can
master only a few basic human phrases with this
apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make
barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in
some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have
him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your
nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't
hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers
have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners
also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours,
mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is
strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why
this is not done on the boat


Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.


Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You
should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.


Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their
way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the
light fades.


Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include:
1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal
its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing.
2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.
Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one).
3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit.
4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out
in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood.
5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans.
WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.


Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might
say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most
people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours
dies, report the license number of the car that did
the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will
collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.


Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so
it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any
white women who might go near it.

Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even
then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully
overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their
own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were
nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

A nigger's skin is actually more or
less transparent. That brown color you can see is the
shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models
of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

What you have there is a "wigger".

They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of
them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger.
However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it.

And you were expecting what?

This is normal.

Where are we, Wonderland? You'll have a lot of trouble getting it to fornicate with *other* niggers.

I don't really understand the question ("better quality of nigger"...?WTF?)

Whatever happened.... (5, Interesting)

Peden (753161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325681)

...to taking peoples licence away from them, or basing fines on a percentage of the yearly income, like they do in Finland, people would think twice then. Recently a man was fined about 200.000 Dollars for speeding, he was a CEO, he will definately think twice. How long before someone constructs a hack for this breath analyzer?

Re:Whatever happened.... (5, Interesting)

Green Light (32766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325752)

Wouldn't a balloon full of air serve as a "hack"?

Re:Whatever happened.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325824)

How bout a baloon knot full of air after a lunch at El Torito?

Re:Whatever happened.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325782)

And how's taking the license away stopping people from drunk driving? As a fellow Finn, I've read about people who have been caught driving under the influence for about 40 times (without the license, of course) before they actually get locked up.

Re:Whatever happened.... (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325829)

Now that's what I call one law for the rich and one for the poor!

Re:Whatever happened.... (2, Interesting)

2000 Britneys (549923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325837)

Hell u can take the licenses away and they will still drive . License is just a piece of paper / plastic with a fine attached to it if u drive with out it.

The Idea is interesting however the "big" brother approach will not do, scoze the people that never drink and drive will revolt and sue the pants out of every one attempting to bring such a law into existence

Will last about 1/2 hour... (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325688)

Until I take it out.

Ignition interlocks are a tool for those who need them. They are monitored strictly under the guidelines of whatever court ordered it. Just throwing them onto cars without the monitoring is simply a waste of time.

This has been tried before. Anyone remember seat belt interlocks from the early 70's? Didn't think so - that's how long that bright idea lasted.

Re:Will last about 1/2 hour... (0, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325834)

Why is this modded up? This is no different than mandating seatbelts yet I get modded to hell when I mention that I don't think it should be LAW that we have to wear them.

BUT BUT it could hurt someone else if you are ejected... Well this could save people's lives too.

Re:Will last about 1/2 hour... (5, Informative)

Tassach (137772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325865)

Until I take it out.
A few problems with that plan:
  1. It will probably be a crime to disable the device. This could turn a simple speeding ticket into a trip to the pokey.
  2. New Mexico has periodic (annual, IIRC) vehicle safety inspections. If your interlock were disabled, you wouldn't get your inspection sticker and couldn't legally drive your car.
  3. As you mention, interlocks now are used by court order only. This is Constitutional and reasonable. Someone needs to re-educate Mr. Martinez about the Constitution:
    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Could have been worse... (5, Funny)

3 am Eternal (754358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325699)

They could have asked for rolling urine samples and performance anxiety would have cleared the roads of cars.

Um, why not just for DUIs? (5, Insightful)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325700)

Um, why not install in peoples cars that have had at least one DUI or DWI or whatever?

Re:Um, why not just for DUIs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325814)

They already do this in some states.

At least in sane states. To require it in every car is the stupidist thing I've ever heard of.

Cliche, yet still..... (-1, Offtopic)

Peden (753161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325701)

I, for one, welcome our new breath analyzing overlords!

haha (-1, Offtopic)

Ryntis (746177) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325703)

haha.. they couldnt base tickets on income in america.. you'd have people like me without a job right now going 200mph even 100% of $0 is still $0 :) :) no fine for me.

Re:haha (1, Interesting)

dave420-2 (748377) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325726)

They don't just take a percentage, but a fixed amount plus a percentage. So a fixed fee of $200 plus 5% of $0 is $200, not $0 ;)

Nice idea, though :) I'd love it if it were true ;)

Mixed feelings (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325704)

The Navajo reservation doesn't allow alcohol to be sold on it, and there are often long stretches of road with no lights or anything. So, when Indians get drunk and drive home, it is significantly harder than it is, say, for me when I have too much at the BW3 5 minutes away.

I'm kinda on the fence about this one. It is a good idea, but the target market (the drunk drivers most likely to have problems) are more likely to drive old cars without this modification.

Re:Mixed feelings (1, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325789)

So, when Indians get drunk and drive home, it is significantly harder than it is, say, for me when I have too much at the BW3 5 minutes away.

*Ride* home you mean, I presume. Indeed it's hard to retrofit an ignition interlock to a horse.

Re:Mixed feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325850)

What are you talking about? Apparently you are not up on your history... the modern American Indian lives in a trailer home and drives a Ford Bronco.

no thanks (5, Insightful)

deviantonline (542095) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325710)

I dont drink and drive so obviously this has no appeal to me.

We do already have this in Ontario as some sort of punishment for convicted DUI'ers and I think its a great idea for them - but as a non-drinker-and-driver I wouldnt want to deal with the inconvience on a daily basis, and I think I can speak for everyone else who fits that criteria.

Re:no thanks (5, Insightful)

canadianjoe (692195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325737)

I agree. This makes perfect sense as part of a sentence for a DUI offence after your licence suspension is over.

For the rest of us, this would be just a big pain in the ass.

Re:no thanks (5, Funny)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325847)

I dont drink and drive so obviously this has no appeal to me.

Substantial delay in starting your own car plus random distracton while driving has no appeal to you?

This test is UNBEATABLE! (5, Funny)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325715)

There's NO WAY to blow air into a tube wihout it coming from a human lung. Billows do not exist. And these things are so inexpensive, they can put two or three in each car, to make sure the passengers are sober too!

Wait, none of that is true.

What the story doesn't mention is the Special Edition model for bishops and politicians. When they fail a drunk test, a HUD shows up on the windshield and locks on to pedestrians. Makes life a LOT easier, let me tell you.

Good luck trying to leave in a hurry... (5, Insightful)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325716)

...after eating apples, or after brushing your teeth and using a mouthwash chaser [beforeyoudrive.com] .

It's idiocy to punish all for the idiocy of few. Why do I have to pay more and be subject to this if I don't drink and drive?

Re:Good luck trying to leave in a hurry... (3, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325839)

A recent (?) episode of Myth Busters [discovery.com] proved that brushing one's teeth (or, in New Mexico, tooth) and using mouthwash does not affect the validity of a breath test.

"False positives"? (1)

armando_wall (714879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325717)

What if you are in the industry of alcohol selling?

Don't want to arrive to a place by walking with those huge bottles of alcohol on my shoulders, just because my car "doesn't want to" take me there.

Skoal? (-1)

Guy Innagorillasuit (249136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325718)

So you won't be able to chew tobacco in your car in New Mexico?

But, (5, Funny)

deltagreen (522610) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325721)

but, but, what about all those movie scenes where's it the middle of the night, and the woman desperately tries to start her car, while the stalker is running towards her. I'm sure that the 30 second breath test will be the death of large numbers of movie babes...

Re:But, (5, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325863)

Also, consider the rolling retest. If they think driving while talking on a cellphone is bad, imagine trying to grab the tube, bring it to your mouth, and then blowing forcefully (enough that some people with low lung capacities can get dizzy and light headed). Cute.

Although the fact that rolling retests are possible means that it should be possible to let the car start and drive away without a test, but if a test isn't taken within, say, 60 seconds, then the alarms start going off, etc. Solves the "quick getaway" problem, though then we are back to the issue of fumbling with the gear while you're driving.

Hollywood won't like it (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325724)

Ignition interlocks require a breath test, which takes 30 seconds to complete, to start the car as well as random 'rolling retests' to discourage others from taking the test for you.

Yep. I can see car chase scenes in movies becoming really boring very soon. Like the guy who robs a bank, runs to his getaway car, blows real hard in the breathalizer shouting COME ON! COME ON! then, 30 seconds later, puts the pedal to the metal.

More seriously though, what happens if you're in a lurch and you really need to get the hell out of here fast? Sure it doesn't happen often, but I can think of several parts of my town I sometimes have to go to, where I really appreciate to know my car will start rightaway if I need it fast.

April 1st already? (2, Insightful)

eatdave13 (528393) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325725)

Wow. Either I overslept and it's April 1st, or they hate selling cars in New Mexico, because there's no way in HELL I would ever buy a car with one of those things on it.

Seriously, this has got to be a joke. I could almost understand it if it was required that anyone convicted of a DWI have one.

for breath analyzer in cell phone (-1)

anandpur (303114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325727)

I am looking for breath analyzer in my cell phone so I should dial my parents when drunk

I had no idea... (1)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325730)

I had no idea New Mexico had such a ubiquitous problem with drunk drivers as to require such intrusive and expensive actions.

Scratch that state off the vacation plans. Heck, I wouldn't even want to drive through it.

Thanks for the warning, though.

Drinking and driving? (1, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325731)

I don't support this latest measure as I find the inclusion of such an invasive device completely inappropriate, but I think that something must be done to curb the plague of drunk driving in America.

New Mexico is especially vulnerable to this because of its long straight highways which lure even the most level-headed driver into thinking that one or two drinks couldn't hurt too much.

Too often, those two drinks are the difference between making it home safe and killing an entire family in a horrific accident.

I think that there should be measures put in place to curb drunk driving, and I think they should be mandatory, but I also believe that as long as they are invasive (as this requirement is) then they are useless. The measures must be invisible but accurate. A sensor that detected the level of alcohol in the air of the car would be appropriate, but anything that required user interaction is entirely inappropriate.

Re:Drinking and driving? (3, Insightful)

dknight (202308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325799)

So, just to get this straight.. You dont approve of this, but you think it would be a good idea to have a device in a car that wouldnt allow for designated drivers? "Whoops, sorry guys, I cant drive you home, the sensor is picking up how drunk you all are, and wont start the car"

This is a problem that cant be solved so simply.

Real costs (1)

Jon_Sy (225913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325732)

a) I think it's a bad idea. Smells of big brother to me. Next, there'll be blood tests to start your car.
b) That said, i don't see why dealerships and drivers should be paying. I'm sure insurance companies and governments could find an effective way to pay this off. Here, check out how much drunk driving costs [ncpa.org] . (ncpa.org)

In trouble...trying to get away... (1)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325733)

whoops took 30 seconds to come back, your not going to make it.

Great idea who don't have the self control to not drive drunk, bad idea to force this on everyone. I am not guilty until proven innocent.

Creative punishment (5, Interesting)

kefoo (254567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325738)

Ohio has an interesting way of discouraging drunk driving. Anybody caught driving drunk has to get yellow license plates, so everybody will know they have a DUI.

Re:Creative punishment (1)

SomeguyX (512478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325855)

That's an excellent idea.

Personally, I say if you're caught driving drunk you shouldn't drive again.

I know most counter-arguments claim it would impede someone's right to get to work. Tough, take the bus rummy.

Where to start .... (4, Insightful)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325739)

First off, this is insanity at a new level. 30 seconds to start your car?!?!!
The real point is the argument for drunk driving. Now don't get all up in arms hear but listen first. In the US you are innocent until proven guilty. This is one of the first laws that convict a person before he has committed any wrongdoing. I am all for throwing the book at somebody who has maimed or killed another after getting behind the wheel, but when that person has not harmed another and we presume he will that is being guilty before any crime has been committed. If I hold a knife while drunk, does that mean I should be liable for stabbing an innocent bystander before the crime has been committed? Constitution? Liberty? Freedom? They are all thrown out the window in the fight against that evildoer known as the drunk driver. I should note that I do not drive after drinking, not because of the law but because I am a responsible person who believes I should be responsible for my own actions.


Re:Where to start .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325779)

You aren't going to get flamed. What you've said is perfectly in line with Slashdot groupthink. Who knows, you might even get some karma!

Re:Where to start .... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325792)

I just don't buy the idea that just because you've had a little to drink that somehow you are "impaired".

I drink heavily, and I drive a lot. The fact is, with practice, you can learn to drive while intoxicated. It bothers me that this is never taken into account.

A kid with a high blood alcohol level is going to be a lot more dangerous than I would be with the same blood alcohol level.

Oh this makes sens... huh? (5, Insightful)

zzyzx (15139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325740)

So I'm driving in the snow trying to make a difficult manuver when I suddenly have to take my eyes off of the road, find this hand held device (a photo of one of these interlocks is here [ignition-interlock.com] ), breathe into it, and if I don't the horn will start going off. Explain to me again how this bill promotes safety.

Re:Oh this makes sens... huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325817)

Man, that's an impressive website the interlock people have. Of course nobody will ever have a browser window more than 973 pixels wide! I really trust these people to deliver robust and reliable technology after seeing how well designed their online presence is.

Ah yes, another case of... (1)

Sinter (650182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325742)

Well, with all the recent Patriot Act right-restricting fun, I don't find it surprising at all that the first instinct of the government is to take the "guilty until proven innocent" route. I really think we should base our whole legal system off these principals, I mean, really, I can't understand why this hasn't happened before! /sarcasm -Sinter

What About Non-Drinkers? (2, Interesting)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325743)

Why should people like me who don't drink have to deal with this thing? Either by having to use it or when selling the car?

I don't live in NM, but I can see where feel-good laws like this could spread very quickly!

- Probably *need* to get drunk

Excuse for the cops (4, Funny)

Washizu (220337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325745)

"No officer, she wasn't taking my breathalyzer for me. She was just giving me road head."

Re:Excuse for the cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325790)

Who on earth modded this insightful?

Re:Excuse for the cops (0, Offtopic)

Washizu (220337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325813)

Even I laughed at that moderation.

... uh? (1)

windex (92715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325748)

Wouldn't it just be easier to require them to have the ability to have such a device securely attached for repeat offenders? ...

Oh, sorry. I didn't realize we wern't trying to make sense.

Solution (1)

mbkkelsey (581343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325749)

Why don't they just confiscate the cars of drunk drivers? I hear they do it in Sweden.

Draconian (1)

satanslackey (734373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325750)

As a New Mexico resident, I'd have to say that the approach would work, but it's a bit extreme. The problem here in NM is that drivers convicted of DWI are let off by judges with just a slap on the wrist, even in cases involving fatalities. Our judges just don't take drunk driving very seriously yet.

That's just dumb (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325753)

Why should I have to be penalized because some people drive drunk? It's a severe inconvenience to the driver, and will increase the purchase price of the car. This is just like the federally mandated airbags in new cars. The consumer should have had the choice with airbags all along, but some legislator thought that because some people can't wear seatbelts -- we should all pay for mandatory airbags. I find this type of thinking unacceptable, and if I were a NM voter, I know who I'd vote out of office next election.

responsibility (0)

ZINGYWINGY (576410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325754)

Whatever happened to people taking personal responsibility for their actions? More and more we're babied by the state. We're unable to take care of ourselves so the state takes care of us and does our thinking for us. You can bet that this will morph into "it's Chevrolet's fault that I hit and killed your daughter because their breathalizer wasn't working right."

A device called Pass Time (5, Interesting)

Botchka (589180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325757)

I am going through something similar. I've just purchased a used car and in order to get any type of financing, they are installing a device on the car called "Pass Time". Basically this device gets installed between my key and the ignition and emits a friendly chime when I turn the key to on. After the friendly chime, I can start my car. This may sound innocuous enough, but in order to start my car, I have to punch in a six digit code every month in order to start my car. When I make the payment, I get the six digit code and I can use the car I pay for for 30 days. Oh but they are so sweet.....I get a 9 day grace period after the due date when the friendly chime beeps a little longer. After that, the car is dead as a door nail until I make a payment and get the six digit code. Nich huh? And it's not being installed because I have crappy credit.....no...it's being installed because I've only been in this area for 9 months as opposed to 2 years! It's an outrage and I feel less than human. I've NEVER been late on a car payment and I show 5 paid off car loans in my lifetime. You may say that we could have walked (which I almost did) or gone elsewhere, but we tried. This was pretty much the only way for my wife and I to get a loan for a frickin USED car.

Re:A device called Pass Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325866)

Holy crap! Where do you live and what financing company did you use? I want to avoid it and them like the plague.

Privacy anyone? (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325758)

I haven't ever driven drunk... I actually only rarely drink more than 1 drink per day, but this still seems to me to be rather intrusive. The fact that I have done nothing to forego the right to not have one of these intrusive devices is obliterated in the proscess of this law. I really thought the american public was innocent until proven guilty. Between this and the patriot act, I have been taught otherwise.

Common sense, anyone? (2, Insightful)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325759)

This is utterly ridiculous.

American society seems to be on this trend toward sweeping laws, regulations and decisions that are targeted to only a few individuals but affect everyone. A mandatory ignition interlock is yet another example of this trend.

It seems to me that when a solution to a problem adversely affects more of the population than the problem itself, the solution is wrong. Is that too simple a concept to grasp?

Uh, well, yeah. (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325760)

It seems to me that impinging upon the liberty of an entire state is a little bit too extreme. Perhaps tougher penalties and larger fines for people who actually drive drunk would be a better idea."

It seems to me that the burden should be placed upon those that have already proven they are not trustworthy enough to operate a vehicle without being impaired. The other issue is that we need to enforce the laws that already exist rather than letting people continue to operate vehicles after a DUI (or two or three or more). However, if DUI were really as socially unacceptable as it is in some other countries, perhaps we would not have the incidence of DUI that we have.

Not Moving There (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325761)

I guess that rules New Mexico out of my possible places to move list, if it was ever there. Thirty seconds to start a car is more than a mild irritation. It is a step back. If I wanted to take thirty seconds to start my car, I'd go buy a car with a broken ignition, not a breathalizer on the ignition. I imagine the next law will be to prohibit cars, since you can't drive a car while drunk if there is no car.

But, really. This is like assuming that every driver is a drunk driver. These should, alternatly, be installed in DUI/DWI offenders' cars. Leave the rest of us alone.

Also, I think "rolling tests" will end up being far worse than cellphone usage while driving. When people start killing other people by accident because they were trying to keep their car from freaking out, they might drop that requierment.

However, it would be nice to have a breath-alyzer. I wonder if I can purchase one online...

Pointless (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325762)

Drunk drivers aren't the problem in the big scheme of things, bad drivers are. If licenses were only granted to people who actually knew how to drive and how to behave in traffic fatalities would be lowered far far more than any pointless gesture like this.

Why not sooner??? (3, Insightful)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325764)

My friends girlfriend died from a crazy nut driving a car whilst drunk. My friend still hasnt gotten over it.

Laws are simply not working enough, The UK has some of the most draconian drink driving laws, yet still many drink and drive. The alcohol clouds the mind into doing things it wouldnt do.

Drinking and Driving ruins lives (taken from UK government slogans). Whatever can be done, shoudl be done.

Slashdot interlock (5, Funny)

CaptainAlbert (162776) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325765)

While we're at it, can we have a device which detects whether slashdot readers are on crack and refuses to give them mod points if they are?

Example of what the Road to Hell is Paved with (5, Insightful)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325769)

Good intentions.

on it's razor thin surface surface this looks just good enough to attract legislators attention.

Until we see all the various problems that will occur later:

1) the device gets removed by a smart enough technician
2) people use ballons with "sober air" to defeat the system
3) All state drivers get charged for a device that presumes guilt (constitution, anyone?)
4) repeat offenders still kill
5) out of state rentals are used and someone gets injured/permanently disabled/killed from a drunk driver in one
6) insert your "I've just lost more rights" scenario here.

I've always felt that if you put enough monkeys into the statehouse they could end up making laws that may actually do some good (just like the joke that enough monkeys in front of a typewriter could make a work as good as shakepeare).


Wow. CBDTPA for cars. That's all we need. (1)

JCCyC (179760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325771)

Did Fritz Hollings move to New Mexico while I wasn't looking?

While Moving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8325772)

These rolling retests require the driver to take the test as the car is moving.

And you thought people talking on cell phones while driving was distracting...

News From The Future (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325773)

Ignition interlocks require a breath test, which takes 30 seconds to complete

19 Feb 2011: Former State Rep. Ken Martinez was assaulted by A. Venger at his home. According to police reports, Mr. Venger rang Martizez's door, and repeatedly struck him with a baseball bat when he answerd.

Venger allegedly shouted that he was acting for his sister. A police source speculated off that the suspect's motivation is related to a recent case in which the victim attempted to escape her assailant, reached her car, but was unable to drive away before being dragged into a nearby alley and raped.

What happens.... (1)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325775)

When somebody is killed because a driver was taking the test instead of concentrating on driving.

Who pays for this (1)

MyFourthAccount (719363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325778)

The bill makes no mention of who will have to pay for the device

What a stupid question: you and I will. (as in, anyone that drives a car).

30 Seconds? (1)

buzzoff (744687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325781)

I start my car four to five times per day. That means if I live in New Mexico I can spend 2.5 minutes every day, 75 minutes every month, or 15 hours every year taking these tests.

Life is too short to put up with this nonsense. Focing everyone to do this is not the answer. Maybe we should up the penalty for driving drunk. Maybe we should suspend their license the first time, and put them away for a while the second time. Maybe having people on the street who have been convicted of DUI multiple times is not a good idea. This kind of thoughtless legislation is not the answer.

One could also make an argument for lost freedom and constitutionality issues.

Part of the Problem (5, Informative)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325784)

I lived on or around the Navajo reservation for a long time while growing up in New Mexico. Part of the problem for communities in those areas is that alchohol was not allowed to be sold on the reservation. So, every Friday and Saturday, you had a great number of people hopping into their cars and trucks, making the 30-70 mile trek to the closest bar/liquor store.

Then those people would drink and drive that 30-70 miles back to the reservation. Trust me, you did NOT want to be on those roads at night those days.

I'm not sure this plan will help that situation at all: generally, when one is drunk and weaving in and out of the lane, having the horn and headlines turn on and off probably isn't going to stop you at that point. And on the reservation, at least, you won't be seeing that many cops on the road.

Perhaps a lot has changed since I left (I know, for example, that drive through liquor stores are no longer allowed). But I do know that there is no quick fix for the problems of drunk driving in New Mexico.

Will hurt auto dealers (1)

kroekle (727040) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325785)

This law wil hurt the auto dealers the most. The auto dealers will have to install the units at there cost (passing it along to the buyer). Auto dealers in neighboring states will be able to sell the cars for less. Buyers will go to those states and buy cars or just keep there old car longer. Either way the car dealers will be hurt.

Ramifications (1)

picklepuss (749206) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325794)

This is probably going to last up until the day that someone undergoes a major crisis and either dies or is severely disabled because they had to wait an additional 30 seconds for their damn car to start up. Honestly... Little Goergie here was born in the back seat of Larry's car. We could have made it to the hospital, but Larry was so nervous he couldn't blow enough into the interlock. It took him 4 tries - 2 minutes to get the car started.

Re:Ramifications (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325854)

People die because of seat belts all the time, so why isn't there an outcry around the world against seat belt regulations? Because they save significantly more people than they harm.

Every Car? (1)

mach-5 (73873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325795)

If it is required on every car sold in New Mexico they will just cause their local auto dealerships to loose business to a neighboring state without the law.

In PA they are sometimes ordered by courts for people who have had DUI's already.

Anti-drinking, or anti-asthmatic? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325797)

How many people in New Mexico have asthma?

I'm guessing that it's not a completely insignificant number, and they make absolutely no provisions for respiratory problems.

And I hope they don't put these on rental cars -- the last thing you need is to have your significant other asking you how you managed to catch mono on your business trip.

This has been suggested in Sweden (1)

Enfors (519147) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325800)

This has been suggested in Sweden too. On www.aftonbladet.se, one of Sweden's leading newspapers they had a poll about it, asking if people would approve of a law that required everyone to pay for the installation (about 100 USD) of such a device in their cars. The majority voted for the "yes" option.

Some of you make good points about how this is an inconvenience, and that it violates your privacy and so on. And that's true. But when you consider the fact (yes, fact) that this WOULD save many human lives each year, then your arguments against it don't sound very important anymore.

Oppurtunity knocks (1)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325802)

Who wants to join me in building a car dealrship in Arizona right on the New Mexico border?

"Rolling retests"? (1)

KimJ721 (732612) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325804)

These rolling retests require the driver to take the test as the car is moving.

Is highway safety really encouraged by making every driver fumble with the testing device while driving? I thought that taking your eyes off of the road even for a second was dangerous, and now they want to make drivers do it just to prove they're not drinking while zooming down the highway?

brilliant idea for asthmatics (4, Insightful)

kcurtis (311610) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325805)

I suffer an attack and hop in my car to go to the doctor, or to get an inhaler at the pharmacy. Or I'm driving down the road and have an attack, and the stupid horn/lights thing goes off.

Or I'm camping, and not near phones.

Oh, wait. Sorry. Can't blow enough air? That's ok, because the state is small and there aren't long stretches of desert or open roads.

Or not.

Then there is the issueof people with emphysema or other permanent breathing diseases/disorders? Guess they'll have to fork over money for exemptions, and paying for disabling the device.

I can see it now... (1)

PurdueGraphicsMan (722107) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325809)

A woman walks slowly through a mostly-empty parking garage to her car. Suddenly she feels as if someone is watching her. She starts walking more quickly but suddenly she hears a seond set of footsteps. Her heart beats quickly as she gets closer to her car. 70 feet - 60 feet - 50 feet... She looks behind her to see a man in a black ski mask walking towards her. She knows she's in trouble. She breaks into a sprint.Just as she reaches her car and gets in the man makes starts running also. She goes to turn the key...

[voice style="gameshow_host"]Sorry Miss, better luck next time![/voice]

Time to start a towtruck business... (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325820)

....in New Mexico.

I'm all for keeping drunks off the road, but treating everyone as a drunk right from the get go is not the way to do it. I don't know about New Mexico, but the DUI violators in my state get fined out the ass AND are required to foot the bill for the Ignition Interlock installation and monitoring, so yeah, thats a big deterrent for repeat offenses, unless you are a wealthy drunk.

Laws? (1)

ThomK (194273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325822)

Why don't they spend those taxpayer dollars on a kick ass mass transit system? People don't drive from work, church, softball or their kids soccer games drunk, they drive from the BAR, drunk. Bars are usually pretty close together in a decent sized city, so make it easier (and comfortable/affordable) for people to get to and from nightspots and they won't DRIVE.

Ever hear of a lot of drunk driving in downtown New York or Chicago? Of course not, everyone takes taxis or the subway, it just makes sense.

Don't drink and drive! (1)

joib (70841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325831)

You might hit a bump and spill your drink!

the norm (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325833)

Impinging on the liberties of the people to try to prevent crime has become an integral part of American politics. In the past, it was limited to the far left, but has been encompassing more and more of the mainstream and has gone right of center as time has passed. I'm not appalled, but unfortunately, not surprised. Would this mean that drinking and driving is ok, as long as you pass the breathalyzer?

wow, what a surreal, stupid solution (1)

johnjosephbachir (626223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325836)

I can't believe that it is easier to get a breathalyzer installed in every automobile than it is to create $15k fines for drunk driving. Maybe there are law/psychology experts on slashdot who can set me straight here... wouldn't it be easy enough to make first DUI offense $1k and 2 year suspension, second offense $15k and 5 year suspension, et cetera? Maybe the suspensions wouldn't be such a great idea since even criminals need to get to work, but the fines would be enough of a deterrent to significantly decrease the problem.

Installing a breathalyzer in every automobile is like... well... i can't even think of anything more ridiculous to make an analogy!

Interesting, but dangerous (1)

lcrypt (754134) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325841)

The idea of placing a breath analyzer in a car may work, but it also may be dangerous. The 30s it takes to do all the work might cost you life, in some rare unwanted occasions.

Thoughts... (2, Insightful)

j0hnfr0g (652153) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325842)

Ignition interlocks require a breath test

What about a (small) device that just blows air into the breath sensor?

which takes 30 seconds to complete, to start the car

How about you can start the car but can't put it in gear? That was during those 30 seconds you could at least have the car start "warming up".

If the driver fails a retest, the horn sounds and the lights flash until the car is turned off.

If they are drunk enough, they won't even notice (or they will think they are a police officer themselves - that's not good).

Bad idea (5, Insightful)

Steffan (126616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325843)

I think any law which places a burden on many citizens to police the actions of a few is misguided and sets a bad precedent. In addition to viewing the entire state population as 'guilty until proven innocent', it imposes the burden of the change upon the people. The article mentions a 'tax credit' to be given to car owners converting their vehicles, but makes no mention of low-income residents who might not be able to pay for the device and then wait for a refund.

Of course, the first thing most people will do to avoid the inconvenience is disable the system. Therefore this law will inevitably be followed by yet more legislation to make disabling the system illegal, to make selling any device for disabling the system illegal, and probably, to even criminalize the mere dissemination of information on how to perform such modifications. Oh, and of course, an agency would have to supervise the installation of such devices, with 'authorized dealers','inspection stations', and certification, adding another layer of bureaucracy and expense to this ill-advised undertaking.

If you live in NM, please take the time to phone or fax your representative and voice your opinion. A law like this is the first step to a police state with presumptive-guilt laws.

You want me to do what? (4, Insightful)

jpellino (202698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325844)

You want me to sit in one place in my car for a half a minute every time I start it?
Even if it stalls at a light?
Even if I'm being chased by pirates?
Even at the gas pump?

You want me to take a breathalyzer test while underway?
You've seen the all-out exertion needed on an admissable, accurate police test - you mean like that, while underway?
I'm not supposed to be using a cell phone underway, but you want me to have to stop what I'm doing and use this?
And if I fail, I'm drunk, and I'll do something real brilliant and try and outdrive my own flashing lights and honking horn (y'all watch "COPS", right?)
And if I was going to fail, wasn't I already too close impaired to drive and take the test long before the test randomly popped up on the dash?

How does stuff like this get to "bill" status...

But does it WORK? (4, Insightful)

DoctorNathaniel (459436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325845)

Canadian-born, I'm often a political pragmatist. My first question is not "does it intefere with people's rights" but "is the interference beneficial"?

Are these tests easy to fool? I can imagine keeping a can of compressed air handy. Can they be easily disabled? How often will the car start even if the driver is drunk? What about variability for body size?

More importantly: will having such a device actually prevent people from driving drunk? If a drunk person IS driving a car started by someone else, is it really a good idea to have the lights and horn start going off on him suddenly? How the hell do you take the breath test _while you're driving_ for heaven's sake?

To sum up: has a pilot project been done? What quantifiable success did it have?

It doesn't work. (1)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325852)

I had a brother who was a carreer drunk driver.

This guy spent more time without a valid license than with it. For a number of years he had one of these installed in his car. He had it circumvented in no time flat.

The company that installed it claimed it was 'tamper proof'. Kinda the way that Windows is secure I guess.

Feh. I can not beleive that these people are voting this into law. *sigh* :p

The customer always pays (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325856)

The bill makes no mention of who will have to pay for the device, but it will most likely be auto dealers and citizens who have to sell their cars.

Car sellers will not "pay" for this device, car buyers will. If it costs $200 to add the device, you can be sure that car prices with rise $200 in New Mexico. This is the same logic that has government paying for things, when it is really the taxpayer that pays. Businesses, like governments, pass their spending on to customers and taxpayers respectively.

The only exception is if a business faces competition that does not have to install this gizmo. So we can expect to see some booming car sales on the borders near New Mexico.

People really need to stop looking at businesses and government as big money machines. These organizations may have lots of money, but they got it from someplace else.

Great tool for road safety (2, Interesting)

Rupert (28001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8325861)

As if people on cellphones weren't bad enough, now every few miles a tube is going to drop down in front of you, require you to take a hand off the controls to pull it to your mouth, and blow into it, otherwise the engine is going to cut out.

How about requiring that every car be sold with a hands-free cellphone adapter?
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