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Convicted NY Drunk Drivers Need Ignition Interlocks 911

Posted by Soulskill
from the ted-can-no-longer-borrow-my-car dept.
pickens writes "Starting yesterday in New York state, anyone sentenced for felony or misdemeanor DWI, whether a first-time or repeat offender, will have to install an ignition interlock in any vehicle they own or operate. The interlock contains a breath-checking unit that keeps the car from starting if the offender's blood-alcohol level registers 0.025 or higher, a little less than one-third of the legal limit. 'The addition of ignition interlocks will save lives in New York state,' says State Probation Director Robert Maccarone, who led the team that wrote the regulation. 'It's been proven in other states. New Mexico realized a 37 percent reduction in DWI recidivism.' Whether that will be enough to persuade more people to take a cab or find a designated driver is unknown. 'It's one more thing to make people think, it may help — it may keep a few people from getting behind the wheel,' says Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh."
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Convicted NY Drunk Drivers Need Ignition Interlocks

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  • Wait... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:35PM (#33269764)

    New York is just now getting these?

    Wow, Alaska has had them for a while now.

    Or is there something about this that I'm missing?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by fiannaFailMan (702447)

      New York is just now getting these?

      Wow, Alaska has had them for a while now.

      Or is there something about this that I'm missing?

      Probably the logistics of implementing it in a more populous state.

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 19thNervousBreakdown (768619) <davec-slashdot&lepertheory,net> on Monday August 16, 2010 @09:08PM (#33270700) Homepage

      Ahahahahahahahaha this is hilarious.

      I mean, honestly, I hate the draconian nature of this, and would rather live with the consequences of not having these than have police-state laws like this, but...

      Two of my idiot friends got their second DWIs recently. One of them recently enough that he's almost certainly going to have to put one of these things in, and I hope the other one as well. The less recent one rear-ended a stopped car at a traffic light--no one was injured, but he's still driving around his brand new car (brand new because he had a girl drive drunk while he was drunk and she smashed into a telephone pole... that one was new too) with a smashed up front end. He's probably been sentenced already, although tbh I don't talk to him much anymore because he's self-destructing in other spectacular ways that I don't want to be around. The more recent one went off the road and broke both his arms, almost died. He put off his court date for a month, GOD I hope he has to put this thing in.

      So, as much as I don't like them ... people will drive drunk. Over and over again, for no fucking reason. I was out with one of the two a couple months before all this, at a bar. I drove down with the plan to leave the car in the public lot and get a $10 ticket, then take a cab back home and a friend would drive me to my car in the morning. Well, closing time came around and this moron asked me to drive because it was kind of cold and he didn't want to wait a half hour for the cab to get there. I said no, so he, already with one DWI and drunk (but not drunk enough that he should have that poor of decision making ability), offered to drive my car. I said fuck no, and we waited, but the whole time he hounded me about it. It's just unfathomable how stupid people get about this, and they make the decisions drunk or sober. For instance, I drove down, but only because I know myself well enough to know that I'm not going to do something stupid once I get a buzz on. Other people, as you can see by reading this thread, will do anything they can to drive drunk, like leaving their cars running outside a bar. It's fucking insane, like straight up some kind of mental imbalance. Hell, I've stopped going to bars more than once every few months because it's such a pain in the ass and I can't see any reasonable explanation for anyone doing otherwise short of being broken in the head somehow.

      So yeah, it sucks, but you won't hear me bitching about the law. No, I'll be laughing as these dipshits blow their car started at the order of some beeping box, and watching with interest to see what kind of backflips they'll do to fuck their own and other people's lives up even more, for NO REASON. Addicted to alcohol? Go to the grocery store, and drink for a quarter of the price! Throw a party at your house, sleep over at others' houses when you drink there, get a motel room if you're out of town and have nowhere else to sleep. D-d-d-don't drink so fucking much! It's the sober guy that gets laid at the after-party anyway. Jesus.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ooshna (1654125)
      Why the hell does Alaska have them? You'd have a bigger chance of hitting a lake then a person.
  • About Time (Score:2, Insightful)

    This is one area the government needs to interfere in.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:41PM (#33269826)

    is one thing that bothers me. $70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate. Given that drunk driving convictions skew to lower income, this has real potential to put even first-time offenders into bankruptcy.

    The fact that it triggers on as little as 1/3 of the legal limit is also troubling. Maybe they should trigger at slightly below the legal limit, but 1/3? They couldn't get convicted of a DWI at that number, and yet you're going to shut off their car?

    I'm just waiting for the day when the "reenact prohibition" assholes get enough power to try to make these things mandatory in all cars. After all, if it "saves lives", why not make everyone blow into the damn box to start the car, and at random times?

    Insert obligatory "won't someone think of the children" bullcrap here too.

    • by Kozz (7764) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:45PM (#33269868)

      $70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate

      Yeah, that is pretty outrageously expensive. I bet it'd be cheaper to call a cab.

      • by Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:04PM (#33270078)

        $70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate

        Yeah, that is pretty outrageously expensive. I bet it'd be cheaper to call a cab.

        If only people were able to do this kind of deductive reasoning while they were drunk, we'd be able to completely eliminate drunk driving.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by h4rr4r (612664)

          It's called planning ahead. Set aside the cab money while your sober, or plan to have someone pick you up.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kitkoan (1719118)

        $70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate

        Yeah, that is pretty outrageously expensive. I bet it'd be cheaper to call a cab.

        That would be a great idea... if only the small, tiny fact that you can still blow a positive on those tests the morning after. [vancouversun.com] You've slept it off, but your breath will still hold enough traces to show your loaded to hell and back again.

    • by karnal (22275) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:46PM (#33269872)

      One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that even one drink is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes. Why shouldn't this also be something that is applied to ANY motor vehicle is beyond me. But - I can also understand being out and about and having a drink. Say at a sporting event or even just a good wine with dinner. The key here is make sure you know how much you're consuming and WAIT enough time for your body to get rid of it before you start up any machine that could kill you or others.

      I see plenty of things while riding that make me cringe - yea, you're good, wearing a helmet and all - but you aren't wearing anything else but sneakers, shorts and a wife beater. Yea, your head will be fine.....

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Moryath (553296)

        One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that even one drink is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes.

        Being awake for 8 hours is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes.
        Being awake for 16 hours is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes 3x as much as having one drink.

        A chronically sleep deprived person is essentially driving permanently drunk [cnn.com].

        Then again, I don't know too many assholes who w

        • by rilister (316428) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:36PM (#33270390)

          Unlike being tired, or having low blood sugar, having an alcoholic drink is 100% avoidable and voluntary in *every single case*. Choosing to drink and drive is choosing to needlessly endanger other people on the road.
          These people have already provably shown that they lack the judgement to make good decisions about their safety and those around them. So it seems proportionate to me to require them, and only them, to demonstrate that they have changed their behavior for some reasonable period of time.

          This isn't a civil liberties thing, it's using technology to do something that demonstrably benefits society: not punishing, but changing antisocial behavior.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Abstrackt (609015)

          Then again, I don't know too many assholes who weave in and out of traffic back and forth in large cars.

          One time on my morning drive a half-ton came out of nowhere behind me. He swerved around and sped off not two seconds later. I remember thinking this guy was going to get himself killed. About two minutes down the highway I watched the truck careen through the air and land upside down in the ditch. He hit an ammonia trailer being pulled by a half-ton that had just turned onto the highway. I did my due diligence and called 911 but he was already dead by the time he landed.

          Another time I was behind two s

      • by NFN_NLN (633283)

        One thing I am learning over and over from anyone who seriously rides motorcycles is that even one drink is enough to lower reaction time and impair your thought processes. Why shouldn't this also be something that is applied to ANY motor vehicle is beyond me. But - I can also understand being out and about and having a drink. Say at a sporting event or even just a good wine with dinner. The key here is make sure you know how much you're consuming and WAIT enough time for your body to get rid of it before you start up any machine that could kill you or others.

        I see plenty of things while riding that make me cringe - yea, you're good, wearing a helmet and all - but you aren't wearing anything else but sneakers, shorts and a wife beater. Yea, your head will be fine.....

        Agreed. But it's not just alcohol that impairs reaction time. Low blood sugar, especially for diabetics, recreational drugs... hell, I bet pregnant woman are prone to over-reacting*. I say anyone who is not in absolute 100% shouldn't be able to drive in the name of safety. That is why I'm advocating, in addition to a breathalyzer test, a piss tester installed in every vehicle. If your urine shows up good then you can drive. Too high of cholesterol... could have a heart attack while driving... car won

        • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:09PM (#33270124) Homepage

          I say anyone who is not in absolute 100% shouldn't be able to drive in the name of safety.

          Not good enough. What about people with slower than average reaction times? Too young (say, under 35) to have good judgement? To old (over 50, perhaps) to think fast? And worst of all are inexperienced drivers. No one should be allowed behind the wheel until they've logged at least 100 hours behind the wheel.

    • by hondo77 (324058) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:54PM (#33269974) Homepage
      If you'd RTFA, you'd find out that the device is part of their "conditional discharge" (i.e. probation) (you'd also find an answer to your bankruptcy concern). Don't want to use the device because you feel it infringes too much on your personal liberties? Fine. Stay locked up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fluffy99 (870997)

      is one thing that bothers me. $70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate. Given that drunk driving convictions skew to lower income, this has real potential to put even first-time offenders into bankruptcy.

      The fact that it triggers on as little as 1/3 of the legal limit is also troubling. Maybe they should trigger at slightly below the legal limit, but 1/3? They couldn't get convicted of a DWI at that number, and yet you're going to shut off their car?

      I'm just waiting for the day when the "reenact prohibition" assholes get enough power to try to make these things mandatory in all cars. After all, if it "saves lives", why not make everyone blow into the damn box to start the car, and at random times?

      Insert obligatory "won't someone think of the children" bullcrap here too.

      That's $70-$125 a month to rent the device, plus $100 to install, plus $100 to remove. That's highway robbery. I guess the company that makes these things has a good lobbyist. We'll ignore the fact that this has been a dismal FAILURE in New Mexico as less than half of the people that would normally be required to have one, avoided it by simply telling the judge they don't drive or don't own a car.

      I'd much rather focus on the idiots driving with the cell phones glued to their ear. Statistics show they ca

  • 1/3rd the limit? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vux984 (928602) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:41PM (#33269832)

    Ok... I'm fairly ambivalent to whether such ignition locks are a good idea or not, but this part strikes me as odd:

    "The interlock contains a breath-checking unit that keeps the car from starting if the offender's blood-alcohol level registers 0.025 or higher, a little less than one-third of the legal limit."

    Exactly why can't you drive a vehicle in situations when it would be entirely legal to operate it? If you have a dui, is the legal limit for driving lowered for some reason that I'm not aware of.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      Exactly why can't you drive a vehicle in situations when it would be entirely legal to operate it? If you have a dui, is the legal limit for driving lowered for some reason that I'm not aware of.

      Because the driver has a proven history of Driving Under the Influence. Its not hard to have undetectable blood alcohol. I do it all the time.

    • Re:1/3rd the limit? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jcrousedotcom (999175) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:13PM (#33270150) Homepage
      I suspect, and this is from when I was a cop in a former life, most folks who are on probation (which you would be if you have to comply with the orders of the court in this situation), almost always no alcohol consumption is a part of the terms of your probation. Even if your offense has nothing to do with alcohol, its just part of the gig. I guess the thought is - if you're not intoxicated (or at least under the influence) you may make better decisions and likely you're not hanging out in places like bars where 'bad people' are.

      I don't know that I totally agree with it, it just is part of the gig. I guess another way to look at it probation is almost like being in jail without the guards, steel bars and bad food (well maybe not the last one, I guess). You still have the system up your ass.
  • Couldn't you (Score:4, Interesting)

    by camperdave (969942) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:41PM (#33269838) Journal
    What's to stop someone from "blowing clean" by using a dust buster plugged into the cigarette lighter?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AuMatar (183847)

      Hey, and the law against murder doesn't stop bullets from killing people either. Lets not enforce that, it doesn't work.

      It doesn't need to be 100% effective, it needs to be effective enough to seriously reduce the recidivism rate by enough to be worth the cost. And statistics say that it does.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:58PM (#33270012) Journal
      To address some questions ... I'm sad to say but I dated a girl who had one of these and it really did destroy the relationship because she could only drive to work and home from work. I would have to drive out and pick her up since she had a restricted license after getting a DUI.

      So to address people's questions: you have to make a sound with your voice as you blow and you have to blow strong while making that sound. I think it's calibrated to your voice so if you try a dust buster (not going to make the force needed) or your child you're not going to get your voice. The kid might work if you have enough time for them to try different ranges but it has to be a long continuous breath of full air.

      To address the questions about drinking after you start the car, the system will beep loudly indicating you must blow into it again while you're driving or your vehicle will shut off. This happens once every 20-40 minutes.

      To answer the questions about why it's 1/3 the legal limit, my (now ex) girlfriend had also been ordered by her program to not drink for a year. If you blow anything recognizable, it locks out you out of your vehicle and reports it. If you don't believe me look at how they keep track of starts [smartstartinc.com]. This isn't something for you to wonder if it's okay for you to drive or to test your friends with. She was warned by other friends with DUIs (that's DUI) that they will get you the morning after if you still have alcohol on your breath.

      A month before she blew this, she was in the lowest range and then she blew right on the edge of this range that demanded this. I know there's a lot of people out there that have been negatively affected by drunk drivers but in most states the punishment really can be life destroying. I avoid it by using public transportation in DC when I drink but not everyone has that option.

      I'm not against these things being used in serious cases. But your first offense with a DUI ... where do we draw the line?
      • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:06PM (#33270096)

        . where do we draw the line?

        Every time you get into a car drunk and endanger other innocent people on the road. Exactly how many times am I supposed to let your old girlfriend try to kill me and/or my family before we crack down?

      • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:07PM (#33270110)

        #1 first offense doesn't mean the first time the person did it, only the first time they got caught
        #2 you can still kill somebody the first time you drink and drive, it's not like the first time you do there's a magical force field protecting you/the pedestrian or something
        #3 it's not that hard: if you drink YOU DO NOT DRIVE, period. take a cab, take transit, have a designated driver, you name it, risking other people's lives because you are too cheap to take a cab is ridiculous, you had the money to buy drinks, you should have the money to get home without endangering others.

        From my perspective there is no line to draw, first time 5 years w/o a license, second time lose your license forever, period.

        • by pete6677 (681676) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:56PM (#33271774)

          #3 it's not that hard: if you drink YOU DO NOT DRIVE, period.

          And then what happens when every bar and restaurant outside of a major city goes out of business due to a complete loss of alcohol sales? No problem there, right? This is MADD's true agenda: back-door prohibition.

        • by sjames (1099) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:16PM (#33271906) Homepage

          The problem isn't that people go to the bar, drink themselves sloppy, and crawl to the car amidst warnings not to drive, then zig-zag down the road (yeah, some are that bad, most aren't).

          The problem is someone who has a couple drinks talks for a while, feels fine and ends up one hundredth over the limit 15 minutes later and they would be just under the limit. Had the machine been calibrated perfectly they might have been under. Truthfully, they probably were fine to drive (and better fit for it than some other people on the road) and wouldn't have been pulled over except for the roadblock, but the law is the law (and no, I have never gotten a DUI). With the legal limit creeping downward, that scenario becomes more common.

          Zero tolerance is almost inevitably the wrong answer.

    • Re:Couldn't you (Score:4, Informative)

      by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:20PM (#33270210)
      What's to stop someone from "blowing clean" by using a dust buster plugged into the cigarette lighter?

      Not possible. Friend of mine just got off one of these.
      The way it works is...suck suck suck beep blow. You must blow for x seconds...when it beeps, then you have about 1/2 second to suck.

      After watching her go through all this crap, my recommendation is - if you have the option of restricted license + breathalyser, or no license for a year...suck it up and go with the no license. It's just not worth the expense/trouble.
  • After you start the car??????
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:46PM (#33269870)

    I drink and drive all the time. I also drink and shoot on the clay-pigeon range.

    SOME of us still hold our liquor and are sane and responsive faster than anyone else. It's about your metabolism: if you do an hundred jumping-jacks after getting drunk, then you'll metabolise the effects out of your body as sweat. I don't trust anyone on the road that can't handle liquor; those are that people we should be worried about. Everyone should drink a beer before entering a car because it calms their nerves and prevents all the kinds of over-reaction driving that you see when big-rigs fishtail out of control and such.

    The reason why there are so many laws against Alcoholic beverages is because it all carried-over for when the Irish arrived into America and the governments hated them so-much that they looked for every which-way to tax the most beneficial (when used in moderation) beverages. It's no different than how they're about to ruin the Marijuana industry by legalizing it and taxing it. They would prohibit paper-products if only it earned them more money, but then the French invented the ba'day to remove feces with water. It's constantly a game of taxes where governments look for ways to TAP into sources of money in all the ways of assuring their survival in a world that is lawful without the privileged gangmembers known as government. At-least recently from His-Story books, we can reveal that governments and similar privilege gangs of associated psychopaths are responsible for all the genocides and war.

    The more you know...

  • Why not just install an ambo bag on the interlock and squeeze? 0.0 BAC every time, unless you put vodka in the bag.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      Because there are other things it also checks for to ensure the gas its analyzing is from a breathing person.

      These things have been in use for a while, they kinda know the tricks of the trade and how to detect anything short of someone else blowing in it for you ... and that they deal with by retesting after so long of driving.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by goodmanj (234846)

        As for "someone else blowing in it for you", if you're a sober passenger in a car with a convicted drunk driver, and you'd rather help them fake out the analyzer rather than taking the wheel yourself, you deserve to die in a car crash, and you deserve a manslaughter conviction if someone else dies.

  • Within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart. Maccarone said this feature is intended to prevent drivers from drinking after they start the car.

    That's not only inconvenient, but it also seems like it could cause more problems than it solves. This seems inefficient, is it absolutely necessary to take their precautionary measures this far?

  • by aaronfaby (741318) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:51PM (#33269926)
    Is there any data from states that have already implemented these to gauge their effectiveness? What's to stop potential drunk drivers from getting someone else to blow on it for them?
  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:02PM (#33270058)
    What the thing really needs to make it popular is a facebook and twitter integration. I can just imagine the status updates now.
  • by sexybomber (740588) <boccilino@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:14PM (#33270172)
    TFA states that "within five minutes of starting the car, the interlock will order the driver to pull over and restart the car. For longer rides, drivers will be required at random times to stop the car and restart."

    What if the driver fails to comply? Will the interlock kill the engine? Or will it just keep "ordering the driver to pull over and restart the car"? I can picture a disembodied electronic voice repeating, "STOP! OR I SHALL TELL YOU TO STOP AGAIN!"

    The former is probably just as dangerous as someone driving drunk. (No engine = no power steering, no ABS, &c.) The latter is irritating, but comically ineffective, unless it notifies the police as it's doing so.
    • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:37PM (#33270392)
      What if the driver fails to comply? Will the interlock kill the engine? Or will it just keep "ordering the driver to pull over and restart the car"? I can picture a disembodied electronic voice repeating, "STOP! OR I SHALL TELL YOU TO STOP AGAIN!"

      The ones here in VA flash the lights and beep the horn, notifying everyone around you something is wrong...just like a stolen car alarm.
      Monthly, reports are sent to your drunk school. So if you disable it, they don't get that report and you are in violation.
  • by io333 (574963) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:19PM (#33270204)

    10 years ago I typed somewhere on the net, and I could probably find it if I tried really hard, that the way things were going, pretty soon someone would require a breathalizer wired into the ignition of a car to make it start after have a DWI. Lots of folks told me I was full of sh*t and it would never happen. Our culture has changed so much in the last decade that now having an interlock seems like a good thing to do to lots of people. Hardly anyone can remember that only 10 years ago almost no one at all would have supported this.

    Now my new prediction. In 10 years ALL cars will require breath testing before it will start. I'll try to remember that I put it on slashdot... but will I still be able to search for anonymous postings then? Probably not. I guess that's my second prediction for the next 10 years.

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:46PM (#33270488)

    There are some areas where the needing to at random times to stop the car and restart. Is not that safe or easy to do.

    Also what about valet parking? Need to kill it and restart the car or the valet can go to jail for starting the car?

    And why are the monthly fees + install why can you just buy this? What about the day when car comes with this build in?

  • My DUI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theurge14 (820596) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:47PM (#33272108)

    I myself got a DUI three years ago. First time offense, I had my license taken away for a year and if I wanted it back that second year I would have had to go with an interlock device. I decided to forgo driving another year to bother with the costs of the device and by that second year I had already adjusted my lifestyle to accommodate not driving.

    I don't begrudge anyone but myself, I even thanked the officer who stopped me (two blocks from my house going to the gas station late at night to pick up some snacks, stopped due to headlight out). I'm glad I got stopped because as everyone already knows that was the first time I got caught, not the first time I had risked going to the store after some drinks like that.

    I had to pay a large fine, I had to attend education classes, a victims panel and I had to meet with a diversion officer once a month for a year. It changed my life. I was lucky to afford the large costs, I know it would've completely broken a lot of other people.

    I also believe that people who text and talk on phones while driving should be held to the same standard as DUI. People who are morally outraged about DUIs do not bother me, but the ones who are morally outraged and then don't bat an eye when they reveal to me they text all the time while driving make me stabby.

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