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October 22, 2009

New York Times editorial calls for ignition locks for all drunk drivers

This morning's New York Times has this new editorial headlined "Progress on Drunken Driving."  Here are excerpts:

An enlightened measure signed this month by California’s Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will require those convicted of drunken driving — including first-time offenders — to install special devices that prevent cars from operating if the driver is drunk.  The large pilot program, which covers the 14 million people living in Los Angeles, Sacramento and two other counties, adds important momentum to the national campaign by Mothers Against Drunk Driving to expand the use of the life-saving technology.

Mandating the ignition-interlock devices for all drunken-driving offenders is smart safety policy. Once installed, the vehicle will not start until the driver first blows into the device and registers an alcohol level below the legal limit. Offenders who commute to work by car can keep their jobs, but they cannot drink and drive....

There are 11 states that require both first offenders and repeaters to use ignition-interlock devices for an assigned period. Most programs were enacted in the past two years, and the data are still building. But for California, where recidivists make up more than a quarter of annual drunken-driving arrests, the dramatic results logged in New Mexico are encouraging.  Between 2004 and 2008, New Mexico experienced a 65 percent drop in drunken-driving recidivism.  Drunken-driving fatalities in the state dropped 35 percent.

California’s large-scale embrace of interlocks should help embolden lawmakers in states like New York, where similar proposals face predictable, shortsighted opposition from the alcohol industry. Congress should also take action by conditioning federal highway money on requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunken-driving offenders.

Like the NY Times, I am a big fan of this technocorrections approach to tackling the pernicious problems of drunk driving.  I hope that there will be continued positive results in jurisdictions like New Mexico that have been at the forefront of this form of technocorrections.

Some related posts on sentencing drunk drivers:

October 22, 2009 at 09:33 AM | Permalink


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» Interlocks from Crime and Consequences Blog
The Reason Foundation calls California's new law on ignition interlocks for drunk drivers "idiotic." (See prior post.) The New York Times is in favor of it. Now I have to agree with the NYT. Ouch. (Hat tip: SLP)... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 22, 2009 11:15:53 AM


Hello sir,

My name is Engin AĞAÇ. You sir did a great project. I"m.  Sorry, I don't. know English.  Under your leadership, I want to do this project.  Please, could yok support me

 Best Regards

Engin. AĞAÇ

MOBİL TLF; 0090 5330900243

In many different countries around the world, automotive companies as well as other organizations have conducted projects to prevent drunk driving. Although these projects are very successful in terms of deterring driving under influence, they were unable to hinder it completely. In these projects usually an alcohol-meter connected to an immobilizer device is connected to the vehicle. The driver would need to take a blood alcohol test in order to run the vehicle. In certain intervals the driver would need to re-take the test to make sure that he did not take any alcohol. I have a few questions regarding this system:

:1.      Are you sure that the driver is the one to take the alcohol test?

?2.      If there’s more than one person in the car, how do you prevent someone else from taking the alcohol test?
3.      Why should a driver go through an alcohol test every time he wants to drive even if he never drinks alcohol?
4.      What can be done when there’s a change of drivers within the day, i.e. between the alcohol test periods?
5.      Why should a non-drinking driver go through regular alcohol tests once he started driving?
6.      If the driver is not under influence but there are people in the car that drank alcohol –or is drinking, would the system prevent the car from running/stop the car?
7.      Is the device sensitive for things like alcohol and deodorants that contain alcohol
8.      Why should someone who never used / will use alcohol go through these tests?9.      Why should someone who drinks responsibly (never drinks and drives) go through these tests?
10.  In an example family, 2 drinks alcohol, 1 is a passive drinker and the other 2 does not use alcohol. What is the precision of the device towards this family . 
11. Can a driver under influence pass the test wearing transparent gloves or other materials ? What can be done about this ?In my project, a speed sensor, a voltage sensor, a time sensor, an alcohol-meter, MQ3  alcohol odor sensor and a facial recognition algorithm has been  used in an automation schema.According to this schema:1. End drunk driving  and driving without a permit. % 100 . Yok will not be  able to run the car  under influence or without a drivers license whatever you do.2.Because the device will check for the drivers license, any fines will be for the drivers and not the owner of the car .

Posted by: Engin AĞAÇ | Mar 12, 2015 4:09:08 PM

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