Feds’ Anti-Drunk Driving Gadget Would Render Everyone Wasted
Personal responsibility just got thrown out the window — again — thanks to a nanny state congressman with hopes of saving ourselves and others from — you guessed it — us!
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) on Thursday, June 10, successfully attached an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 that would “authorize $8 million in annual funding for five years for the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program.”
The DADSS technology proposed in the ROADS SAFE amendment will likely lead to alcohol-sensing devices becoming mandatory factory-installed equipment on all automobiles within the next five-to-ten years, reports a Dallas, Texas CBS News affiliate.
“Several devices are being tested, including skin sensors,”. “Just by touching the steering wheel or gear shift, the vehicle could conceivably determine the driver’s blood-alcohol level. Other ideas include installing sensors above the driver’s head or head rest that could test perspiration and breath samples.”
It probably will not surprise anyone to learn that federally subsidized and bailed-out General Motors is a chief supporter of the overbearing and intrusive Sarbanes amendment.
The American Beverage Institute (ABI), which represents over 8,000 American restaurants, is actively lobbying against the Sarbanes’ attempt to mandate alcohol detection devices in automobiles. A strong proponent of “hundreds of pieces of legislation to apprehend drunk drivers, increase penalties for those convicted, and continue to search for innovative new ways to combat the problem,” ABI expressed strong concern about developers of the devices intentionally designing them to render almost all drivers who’ve consumed a glass of wine or beer ‘over the limit.’
“For legal, liability, and even physiological reasons, in-car alcohol detectors would have to be set below the legal limit – most likely around 0.03-0.04. The head of the research project that this bill seeks to fund has even admitted that the devices would be set below the legal limit,” an ABI press release states. “This would effectively eliminate Americans’ ability to have a glass of wine with dinner, a beer at a ball game, or a champagne toast at a wedding and drive home.”
ABI Managing Director Sarah Longwell noted that countless responsible drivers would be unable to start their cars if Sarbanes’ proposed alcohol sensors became standard equipment, especially if they’re pre-set to levels well below the legal drinking blood alcohol level.
“Everyone opposes drunk driving, but putting alcohol detectors in all cars as standard equipment—set well below .08—would make all driving Americans guilty until proven innocent every time they started their cars,” Longwell said. “Alcohol detection technology is a great way to keep hard core drunk drivers—those who cause the vast majority of alcohol-impaired fatalities—from being able to start their cars while drunk. But we shouldn’t be developing this technology with the aim of putting it in everyone’s car.”