Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
Transportation Crime The Courts

Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices 420

Convicted drunk drivers all over California may soon be required to install and pay for the use of ignition interlock devices, at a cost of $50-100 per month, plus installation. Says the article: "State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, wants to expand a program already in place in four California counties, including Alameda, and 24 other states. Under the proposed state law Hill will introduce Monday, anyone convicted of driving under the influence would be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car for six months on a first offense and a year on a second conviction." Though interlock devices could be fitted to check for other conditions as well, the usual case (as described on this Wikipedia page) is that they base the ability to operate a car on blood alcohol content. Already in California, interlock devices are mandatory for those re-arrested for DUI while "driving on a suspended license due to a DUI conviction."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices

Comments Filter:
  • These various silly "extras" that we add on to DUI sentences don't seem to do much to reduce the DUI rates in this country. I think it is time we join the rest of the industrialized world and start treating DUI as a felony-level offense. Put some fear of real punishment into the hearts of the people who can't control their drinking and they might be less inclined to try their luck.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TWX ( 665546 )
      I really don't think that'll help, mainly because those that are already intoxicated are already not of sound-mind and are not thinking about penalties. Adding penalties isn't going to solve the problem.

      Unfortunately the only thing that I can think of that might make a dent would be to penalize establishments that serve patrons until they're legally drunk (as there are a lot of places with laws that should make establishments cut-off those that are drunk from continuing to be served) but given that drun
      • by Anonymous Coward

        We already have laws like that on the books. Bar tenders aren't supposed to serve very intoxicated people, but they are aren't the police. What's your next step punish the drunk's friends for letting him drink and drive. Anything but hold the drunk responsible?! Right?!

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by flyneye ( 84093 )

          I was gonna say, there's laws like that here too. California just catching on? I guess that explains a few things.
          I work with an asshole driving with an interlock. They don't work well in anyones case, from reports I've heard over the years.
          That means, when they randomly shut the car off in traffic, to check to see if you had a drink, they may not start back up for several minutes...or at all.
          Guess no one cares to work the bugs out of these poor tech contraptions, but, that makes it even funnier to point ou

      • I really don't think that'll help, mainly because those that are already intoxicated are already not of sound-mind and are not thinking about penalties. Adding penalties isn't going to solve the problem. Unfortunately the only thing that I can think of that might make a dent would be to penalize establishments that serve patrons until they're legally drunk (as there are a lot of places with laws that should make establishments cut-off those that are drunk from continuing to be served) but given that drunks continuing to buy more drinks is what keeps the drinking establishments open, I don't think such penalties will ever be enacted. Remember, it's those 10-20% of consumers of a product that consume it to excess that make the product profitable. Casual drinkers aren't where the profit is, binge or excessive drinkers are.

        You're legally intoxicated for purposes of DUI in most states after 1 or 2 drinks. You expect bartenders to serve patrons only one drink and kick them out?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I really don't think that'll help, mainly because those that are already intoxicated are already not of sound-mind and are not thinking about penalties

        Um, people aren't drunk 24/7. All intoxicated individuals were, at one point, sober individuals who were of sound-mind and should have been thinking about the consequences of their actions. That they chose not to consider the consequences of their actions is no reason to let drunks get a free pass to do whatever, as you appear to be implying.

      • by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @02:25PM (#48685205)

        Unfortunately the only thing that I can think of that might make a dent would be to penalize establishments that serve patrons until they're legally drunk

        Penalizing those of us that walk/cab/transit home from a night out (after leaving the car at home like a responsible human being) is really the best you can think of?

    • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @01:20AM (#48682799)

      So what you're suggesting is get a DUI, and we'll ruin your life. I mean, I hate people drink driving, but ruining their life is not a good way of turning them into a functioning member of society, it's a good way of turning them into an alcoholic criminal.

      Seriously, a felony conviction means you have a high chance of being fired from your job. Even if you're lucky enough to keep your income, a prison sentence longer than a week means you have a good chance of missing mortgage payments, and potentially losing a house. These punishments should not be taken (or used) lightly.

      More so, "fear of real punishment" doesn't work - it's documented not to work. That's why America (despite it's huge prison population) still has a huge offending rate. Because stuffing people in prison isn't a good route to rehabilitation - it's a good route to indoctrination of criminal behaviour.

      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        I going to make a brave stand on the anti-drunk-driving side here, but I think that's a lot better than the alternative we have now of being powerless to stop them again and again until they kill someone. Seems like every few months I hear about a DUI fatality where the driver had multiple citations DUIs and for driving with a suspended license. At some point we should be able to realize that person is going to kill someone and do whatever we need to do to stop that from happening. I'm not necessarily sugge
        • You know, we could... put a breathalyser in their car, and make sure that they're sober when driving. I don't know if you realised, but that's... kinda what this article is about.

          In what possible way is sending people to prison a better solution to this problem than making sure that they're sober when they're driving?

          • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
            Well yeah. Why aren't we doing that? California's doing that, everyone else is like "No! We LIKE drunk driving!" or something. Hence my brave stand! I don't like drunk driving! I want to be able to drive home from a session in the wind tunnel (Which is in NO WAY a euphemism!) on a Friday night and not have to worry about getting T-Boned by some twat with 16 DUI convictions and a suspended license! I know that's really asking a lot, but by God that's what I'm asking for!
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by AK Marc ( 707885 )

        So what you're suggesting is get a DUI, and we'll ruin your life. I mean, I hate people drink driving, but ruining their life is not a good way of turning them into a functioning member of society, it's a good way of turning them into an alcoholic criminal.

        The thought is that if they knew getting caught would ruin their lives, they might stop. Today, there's no reason to not drive drunk. The expected cost of driving drunk is less than the cost of a cab. So it's rational to drive drunk. So long as the cheapest/easiest option is driving drunk, people will still do it.

        • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @07:20AM (#48683657)

          So what you're suggesting is get a DUI, and we'll ruin your life. I mean, I hate people drink driving, but ruining their life is not a good way of turning them into a functioning member of society, it's a good way of turning them into an alcoholic criminal.

          The thought is that if they knew getting caught would ruin their lives, they might stop. Today, there's no reason to not drive drunk. The expected cost of driving drunk is less than the cost of a cab. So it's rational to drive drunk. So long as the cheapest/easiest option is driving drunk, people will still do it.

          And what some people are going to hate is, this approach works in the UK and Australia.

          DUI in Australia carries a mandatory license suspension in most cases. The only way you get away with just a fine is if you're just over the limit and it's your first drink driving infraction in 3 years...

          The UK is nowhere near as lenient, so much as 0.00001 over and you're off the road for a month or more.

          Drink driving incidents have decreased significantly.

          We also use Alcohol Interlock Devices here in Oz, but this is only for people who have recorded multiple DUI convictions.

          • Actually in the UK you don't get prosecuted until you are 10% over the legal limit - just slightly over will get you chastised by the police, but they won't do anything. Basically you have to be over enough so that the roadside breath tests can be backed up by the more accurate station breath test 30 minutes later, and then by a blood test if needed an hour after that. So you have to be reasonably over otherwise its potentially a waste of time.

            • Actually, the police will take you back to the station machine whether you were just over or not - the reason isn't necessarily to secure a conviction, it's so that when they release you because they can't take you to court, you're less drunk than you were when they picked you up.

      • I agree a felony conviction shouldn't be taken lightly, but getting drunk shouldn't be taken lightly either. If you CHOOSE to get drunk, you should suffer the consequences of your action. So for me a felony conviction is appropriate.

      • People who drive drunk aren't concerned with ruining other people's lives, why should we be concerned about ruining theirs? Drunk drivers kill 10,220 people per year, in the United States alone. Drunk drivers injure 262,800 people per year. That is correct, about one person in 100 can expect to be injured by a drunk driver on any particular year. Your chances of getting injured by a drunk driver at some point in your life is around 70%.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@@@worf...net> on Sunday December 28, 2014 @03:45AM (#48683139)

      Actually, in a brave experiment, we've actually decriminalized DUIs - because finding DUI requires getting a felony conviction including all the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt rules and all that. It's a complex enough conviction that DUI convictions are low.

      Instead, what happens is there's a system of fines which are civil in nature, and beyond the first you get your car impounded instantly for a day, then a week, and a month. And all you have to do is blow 0.05.

      Far lower requirements to lock someone up for a day and it apparently has an effect. Getting a criminal conviction takes time and courts, giving people fines and raising their insurance and impounding their cars is more of a bylaw style offense and can be instantly implemented.

      DO it enough times and the insurance company mandates interlocks, which for some is a death sentence because their license is marked as having to drive an interlocked vehicle. Which means they are no longer able to drive a company vehicle (because no company wants to pay for an interlock installation), be it a car, truck, bus, whatever.

      And we're not talking about cheap fines - $400 is cheap, but impound, towing and other fees bring that up to $1000 or so.

      That may be the way to do it - then add get your license suspended enough times and you lose it. Go through Driver's Ed and take the tests all over again. (We have graduated licensing, so that's another year of having to be supervised followed by a couple of years of solo but under heavy restrictions including zero tolerance for impaired driving and only a single passenger, etc).

      Getting convictions is hard, cycling through people is a lot easier. And having to get to work without a car gets the message across. And having your insurance rates go up because they're told of the incident to which they can apply their own actuarial tables and jack up your rates. That also means a checkpoint can easily detain 10+ people in one night with little to no paperwork since no formal charges will be laid.

      • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @07:43AM (#48683727)
        You eliminated the requirement to prove someone guilty and your conviction rates went up? Well no fucking shit, of course they did. Removing things like "due process" and "rights" *always* results in more people being punished.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        Getting convictions is hard, cycling through people is a lot easier. And having to get to work without a car gets the message across,

        This is a side effect of our nation being built around the car. In most U.S. cities, let alone in the suburbs, trying to exist without an automobile is at best isolating and will often lead to loss of opportunity. Potential employers judge you in part by your car, and if you don't have one they may well decide that they can't expect you to get to work reliably.

        Since you reasonably need a car to participate in our society, driving should be a right and the focus should be on helping people defeat alcoholism

    • by Trax3001BBS ( 2368736 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @03:51AM (#48683151) Homepage Journal

      How about involuntary DUIer's?

      I took the sleeping aid Lunesta (Ambien(eszopiclone)), I remember just about to hit the pillow and "came to" in a police station for DUI. Not only that, but I sideswiped one parked car and destroyed another within 500 feet of my place, with no memory of it.

      The report claimed my pants unzipped, belt unbuckled and generally unkeep, hell I was lucky to of been dressed at all. I blew a 0 three times on a breathalyser which takes 45 minutes to recalibrate after each test (I have to take their word for any of that); it was the blood test that took me down, apparently I Ok'd it; a breathalyser is all I'm required by law and I knew that.

      I had an ignition interlock installed that I had to blow into before the car would start, it was nothing but problems, from it's aluminum wire interface to the copper of the cars main power line to getting the blow down, I've sat many times trying to get the interlock to accept the "blow".

      When I had it removed (a year later) they acted like it was the first time one was ever removed, it took my new drivers license as proof and even then they weren't that sure. As soon as I drove home I checked the splice and sure enough a 28 gauge wire was used to join a 10 gauge wire, and by it's connections I figure this persons first electrical experience.

      $100 a month it cost to drive down and have the interlock read. Now they've gone to "ankle bracelets" that monitor a person 24/7 at $100 a week to be read.

      I post this in my attempt to warn others of the side effect of "sleep walking" when taking Ambien/Lunesta or the like, If I hadn't driven (and where to?) I might of never known. I'll never take it again and do advise others to avoid them.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Patient counseling info for such drugs almost without exception specifically and explicitly mention the possibility of this very side effect, and the doctor or pharmacist, or both, tells you to NEVER combine it with alcohol, and suggests having someone hide your car keys and/or keep close watch on you, especially when you first start the medication (though it can still happen during future doses the risk is generally lower, unless combined with alcohol). If you weren't strongly warned of such possibilities

        • by nbauman ( 624611 )

          Patient counseling info for such drugs almost without exception specifically and explicitly mention the possibility of this very side effect, and the doctor or pharmacist, or both, tells you to NEVER combine it with alcohol

          My doctor prescribed Ambien to me. I tried it for a month and it didn't work. Nobody warned me about the "sleep walking" or any of the other exotic side effects.

          A friend of mine was taking gabapentin (Neurontin). A co-worker at work started a fight, he fought back, and they both got fired (from their non-union job). It was in the depths of the recession and he couldn't get another job; he wound up in bad shape. I called the FDA to find out if this could be due to the gabapentin, and a doctor looked it up th

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Fear of real punishment is great if you also do other things. e.g. in Belgium the first time you get a very seriosu fine (and removal of your drivers licence). The second time it is even higher. After a few times you could get a jail-sentence.

      When you get a test, there is no subjective test like 'walk this line'. Just an objective alcohol test, followed by a blood test if found positibe. That second test is done by a doctor. It can not demanded by the police, the police needs to ask a judge to write out the

    • These various silly "extras" that we add on to DUI sentences don't seem to do much to reduce the DUI rates in this country.

      No, but they help line the politicians pockets. Which, of course, is what being a politician in America is all about. Why would you even question it?

    • Is there evidence against the efficacy of a mandatory interlock program? On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that harsh sentencing in other drug-related crimes does not work.

      Reserve the harsher punishments for anyone who violates one of these restrictions, or who facilitates any such violation (the weakest link that I see in this proposal is the loaning of cars by relatives and friends.)

    • Put some fear of real punishment into the hearts of the people

      Severity of punishment does little to deter crime. We used to execute people for stealing bread. People still stole bread. Probability of getting caught is much more important, even if the punishment is moderate.

  • News for Nerds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @01:08AM (#48682769)
    I'm curious as to how this is a nerd-news subject. Ignition Interlock devices are nothing new or novel, and if anything, the only nerd stuff would be talking about how to bypass or otherwise fake results, which isn't a direction that I want to head in either.
    • Lots of people view common laws restricting freedoms/imposing on your privacy, law enforcement technology and it's operation/flaws to be "news for nerds". A while back, someone finally managed to get the source code for a breathalyzer, for example, and when dissected numerous flaws were found which would call into question many arrests.

      • In this case, I'm more likely to believe that Dice knows this is a sure-fire revenue generator. Look at the first thread - that's a lot of page reloads.

        Of course, no one replying is likely to click an ad, but ads work on shear numbers, and presenting good numbers helps revenue.

        And four, we had better results from Slashdot Media for the second quarter in a row.

        Third quarter revenues increased $15 million or 29% year-over-year to $67.6 million. The majority of the growth, $13.2 million, came from businesses

  • by DigitAl56K ( 805623 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @01:12AM (#48682781)

    A couple of days ago, someone posted on a reddit thread about the horrible pitfalls of having one of these and dealing with all the problems they bring. I understand DUI is a very serious issue, but if the claims this guy makes are true then the way interlock service companies are run are also outrageous:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskRe... [reddit.com]

    • wouldn't a device like this [buzzle.com] with a fitting attachment solve some of the issues involved with this equipment?

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      I've seen those complaints before. Nearly always they are lies told by people angry at having to use it, not that it failed as they describe. They are testable and provable. If they were that bad, why isn't there YouTube footage of someone causing a failure by eating a slice of pizza? Because they work. Not all the time, and not perfectly, but certainly much better than the haters claim. I suffered through 3 of the Reddit linked videos. Not a single failure was documented. Just people interviewed who
    • DUIs kill innocent people, so I'd say "Karma's a bitch". Pharmacists can also kill people if they fill prescriptions wrong -- or just fill a wrong prescription -- so I'm more upset reading what some chain pharmacists have to say (in that same thread) about how they're told to 'do' their job by beancounters. [reddit.com]

      People can die, end up in Intensive care or just plain psychotic as a result of a prescription mix-up. Pharmacists are the last line of defense against that happening. When a pharmacist is forced t

  • and not for safety. Don't doubt that for a second.

  • How about mandating neon signs reading "Warning: Drunk Driver" be attached to their car as well? These people put the lives of others at risk because they're too cheap or too stubborn to take a cab home. Let them be shamed in public for it. For months. Everywhere they go.

  • DUI - lose the car (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argee ( 1327877 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @03:40AM (#48683129)

    Here in Alaska we have laws for repeat DUI offenders. You forfeit the car you are driving. If you borrowed a car from a friend,
    too bad for him. The judges sometimes have leniency on rental cars. Pretty soon, DUI, losing the car while making payments
    does not look too attractive anymore.

    I think placing a red background on your Driver License picture meaning at least one DUI within 5 years, would help. So if you
    want to borrow Joe's car, he can look at the license and say "not a good idea, Sam."

  • Although I have generic sympathy for people being dicked around by an uncaring corporation, we're talking drunk drivers here. According to MADD [madd.org], each year, Drunk drivers kill just over 10,000 Americans [madd.org]. In other words, Drunk drivers killed more innocent Americans in the last 4 months, than Al Quaida and the Taliban killed in the last decade (yeah, you can throw ISIS into that mix as well).

    In all honesty, the biggest problem I have with the way that these companies (this company?) dicks people around is that they don't advertise it as a feature. Part of the reason why these machines are so finicky is that they have to be to keep people from gaming the system. The rest, I'll just put down to karma.

    Seriously: You don't want to be dicked around by this system?

    DON'T FUCKING DRINK AND DRIVE!!!

    You have a death wish, then play russian roulette -- but don't bring innocent women and children into the game. ; You don't care about putting innocent lives at risk? Don't expect me to get all teary-eyed when it's your life that gets messed with -- at least its' not an innocent life being affected.

    Sorry to be such a dick about this, but sometimes it takes people being a dick to shock drunk drivers out of their petty little world, and into thinking about the effects of their actions.

  • Will the interlock be required on all cars the offender owns (but is not the primary driver for)? Timmy is just starting to drive at 16, but since Mom drove drunk, Timmy get the social ostracization of looking like a drunkard in his brand new 16th birthday gift (not a hand-me-down car, but still owned by mommy-dearest).
    And what if it's all cars the offender has access to (owned by members of the household)? "Roommate wanted: $300/year, great view of city, 1100 sq ft for your portion of apartment, must b
    • A couple of years ago, I had to help a close friend here in VA through the breathalyzer process.

      The way it works is....your license is suspended. Your temp license consists of a piece of paper from the court stating that you must be in a vehicle with a breathalyzer, and the breathalyzer unit itself.
      Drive any other vehicle, and you are 'driving without a license'.

      And as far as other people driving it? You are told up front and in writing - "You are personally liable for any results on this breathalyzer". S
  • I suspect that if I could drink alcohol, I might do so on occasion. However, even small amounts make me feel awful. As a result, I'll never get a DUI (unless it's a false positive or someone spiked my drink, but in the latter case, I probably would be unable to stay awake). Does that make me fortunate or not?

    When I was in my 20's and would go bar-hopping with my friends, they'd smoke and drink alcohol. I'd smoke and drink espresso.

  • For everybody. Why not? Or just install them on all new cars from the factory.

  • by o_ferguson ( 836655 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @11:26AM (#48684383)
    Force manufacturers to install these kits on ALL cars. Tax liquor produces to cover the costs. Done.
  • by djhertz ( 322457 ) on Sunday December 28, 2014 @11:56AM (#48684531)

    BACtrack S80 Pro Breathalyzer Portable Breath Alcohol Tester. -- $120 on Amazon

    It's not going to solve the problem for people with terrible judgement, but it can help. I have one I carry in my laptop bag, which I have to have with me just about at all times for work. If I'm at a party and somebody shouldn't be driving I'll offer it up. And really it's hard for them to say no. Really? No? You're "good"? Come on man, it's fun. And it is fun (in a nerdy way). So far it's saved one friend, you know sort has had a little too much, but boy.. had a lot to eat and it's been hours since his last beer, but it's pretty late, but he did just drink a few coffees. one of those situations where you know he shouldn't drive, and he sort of knows, but his wife is going to kill him if he stays over....

    So he blew over and that was it. Right there, over the limit. No question, no "I'm OK, it's not far" or "I'm just tired I'll be fine." Nope, we all just saw that, you are over, nobody is letting you leave. This is the smart thing to do.

    Anyways sort of a tangent but this thing is money well spent. Hope it helps somebody else.

The absence of labels [in ECL] is probably a good thing. -- T. Cheatham

Working...