Monday, November 20, 2006

Safer Driving Through Technology

Apparently new laws in New Mexico requiring car breathalyzers have lead to a significant drop in drunk driving. MADD, as well as several industry groups seem to be moving to increased use of such devices with possible installation on all cars. The article also mentions some neat non-invasive ways of testing, such as a pulse-ox like device that measures blood alcohol (although most medical professionals would call the current breathalyzer pretty non-invasive). My big question was cost, which can add up since the rental of the devices can cost about $2 a day. Additionally, this article brings up a good point about programs that suspend licenses; namely that since people need to drive, they just end up driving without a license unmonitored. (Crazy conservatives please note that this same line of thinking also applies to refusing to issue undocumented aliens drivers licenses.)

Troy W. Prichard, a lawyer who defends people arrested on drunken driving charges, had this to say:

There could be the responsible guy that just lapses that one time. Getting the handcuffs put on him might be all that guy needed to know not to do it again. But, another guy, it may be his first and he’s on the road to 12.
While this is true, it doesn't really contribute much to the issue and supports my belief that lawyers that defend drunk drivers are horrible little creatures with small brains and no sense of right and wrong.

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