Interesting exchanges, perhaps even controversial ones, arise when talk of the acceptable degree of governmental intrusion into our personal lives is considered. Nearly all of us agree that our business should remain our business, and that we are not fond of others dictating our actions, or for that matter even knowing what we do once our doors are closed and we are within the confines of our homes. Yet a rational person understands that for a society to operate in a safe and orderly manner, there are times when private activities may so affect the welfare of the general public that government directives must be issued, so as to safeguard its peoples.
Certainly such is the case when considering alcohol consumption. Now in order to further protect those on the highways, certain motorists will be required to install
breath-monitoring gadgets in their cars. Some believe this to be a remarkable development; others are of the opinion that this is again inappropriate government intrusion into private lives.
CHICAGO – Motorists convicted of driving drunk will have to install breath-monitoring gadgets in their cars under new laws taking effect in six states this week.
The ignition interlocks prevent engines from starting until drivers blow into the alcohol detectors to prove they’re sober.
Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska and Washington state began Jan. 1 requiring the devices for all motorists convicted of first-time drunken driving. South Carolina began requiring them for repeat offenders.,
has been conducting a nationwide campaign to mandate ignition locks for anyone convicted of drunken driving, claiming doing so would save thousands of lives. But critics say interlocks could lead to measures that restrict alcohol policies too much.
Users must pay for the fist-sized devices, which in Illinois cost around $80 to install on dashboards and $80 a month to rent; there’s also a $30 monthly state fee. And they require periodic retesting while the car is running.
“It’s amazingly inconvenient,” said David Malham, of the Illinois chapter of. “But the flip side of the inconvenience is death.”
Read more of the AP story here.
As most people, I really don’t want the government peering into my bedroom, telling me where to go to church, how to spend my money, or where to shop for a bag of potatoes. But I do know this: In 1994, a young man, barely exceeding the measurement that marked him drunk, drove his red truck into my husband’s body and forever changed his life.