Yay, more intrusive government!

I had honestly thought that more people knew about this, but apparently I was wrong.

One of the many, many amendments to the laughably-named Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (three lies for the price of one!) is this little gator in the swamp which mandates “impaired driving safety equipment on all new vehicles”, such “equipment” preventing the vehicle from moving if it thinks the driver may be drunk.

I’m sure the current technology which has given us the flawless cell-phone, and computers which never brick themselves, will be equally fault-free in your vehicle; and of course Congress would never tread firmly upon people’s right to privacy.

As an aside, if you’re still giving money to MADD — why? They jumped the shark a long time ago, and these days are all about trampling people’s rights in the name of “safety”.

While the gloating MADD presser indicates that such mandated technology “could” be in your 2026 vehicle, you can bet a doughnut that it “will” be in the 2026 model year, unless Congress (hah!) shuts them down.

Yes, if you buy a 2026 model vehicle you’re going to have to prove to it that you’re not impaired before it’ll start, and to keep it rolling down the road.

In other words you’re going to have to prove you’re not guilty of impaired driving before any crime of impaired driving has occurred; and you’ll have to prove your innocence each and every time you start your vehicle.

Democrats (yes, I include MADD in that designation): Giving you what you voted for good, hard, and rough since … forever.



Oh, hey!
Bloody hell

25 thoughts on “Yay, more intrusive government!”

  1. Because having had a drink at dinner and/or being panicky means you should die because you can’t evacuate from a wildfire.

    For just one scenario.

    How about driving someone to the ER? If the EMTs can’t do anything helpful, Dispatch tells us to bring the person in because it’s faster. (Physics wins: 45mph here is not an arbitrary speed limit.)

    I hope this gets trashed before people die, because this will kill people.

  2. Congress has been in the back pockets of special interests since forever. Sigh. Our domestic automakers ought to be fighting this barbarity tooth and nail.

    This will be awesome for the used car market.

    Ulises from the People’s Republik of Kalipornia

  3. I am 100% certain this ‘regulation’ will be found to NOT apply to police vehicles, government-owned vehicles of any kind, and most especially not applicable to the vehicles of ‘Our Betters’ and their close families.

  4. They are doing all they can to prop up the value of used vehicles. First was the nonsense of requiring higher and higher percentages of battery powered cars being sold in the USA. Now, there is this nonsense.

  5. They tried this in the 70s. You would have to blow into a built in breathalyzer any time you wanted to start your car. It wasn’t mandated by government then because the technology was new and society wasn’t authoritarian like it is now so it died a timely death.

  6. “People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think. Don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”
    ― River Tam – Serenity

  7. And what happens when the sensor fails such that it always reports you to be drunk?

    Also the law of perverse incentives will strike. People who might have driven drunk will now switch to some other intoxicant that the detector doesn’t read. This is likely to be worse for them and for road safety in general

    1. That’s a similar question to one I’ve seen asked about “smart guns”.

      In engineer-speak, “What’s the failure mode?”

      Is it “fail closed”, where if the analyzer (or “smart gun” authorization) fails for whatever reason — damage, no readout, unable to process, dead battery, etc. — and cannot get a definitive “yes” or “no”, it works?

      Or is it “fail open”, where if the analyzer fails and cannot get a definitive “yes” or “no”, it does NOT work?

      I imagine the written law doesn’t specify, and so whatever agency gets tasked with enforcement — probably the BATFE because of the ‘A’, but the Department of Transportation needs more SWAT teams, so maybe them — will write the rule to require “fail open”; the other option is far too easy to circumvent.

  8. The evil of this regulation is that it rests upon a presumption of guilt, of which you must prove your innocence in order to drive your own vehicle. This is anathema in a free society, and utterly contrary to the ideals of our justice system.

    Of course, if their true objective was tyranny and injustice…
    The government can mandate stupidity, but they can’t make it not be stupid.

    1. Same with Brady Act “background checks”, or “universal background checks”.

      I know one blogger who calls them “PPYI checks” — for “preemptively prove your innocence”.

      The very concept is incompatible with Constitutional “presumed innocent” principles.

  9. I thought that failed. Crap.

    Want to bet there’ll be a thriving black market business in disabling or removing those machines?

  10. My wife has a 2022 Sonata. I found out shortly after she got the thing that you can’t drive it without the seatbelt latched. I wanted to move it ten feet in my driveway, and had to shut the door, latch the seatbelt, and basically act like I was going to drive it for miles, all to move it a little bit. Frustrating as hell.

  11. If the computer can stop you from driving, the the government can turn your car off for DEI violations, social credit scores, and how you voted in the last election. No one in the authoritarian, over reaching admin would ever do that?!?? Duck those guys…. Control for thee and freedom for me they say…

    1. If the computer can stop you from driving and the car comes equipped with GPS, the government can turn your car off when you’ve reached your annual or monthly mileage quota.

      Y’know, until you pay an extra road tax for “heavy-use vehicles”.

      Road use taxes are usually rolled into fuel taxes, but the ratio of tax-paid-per-mile-driven has dropped off in recent years — a side-effect of the push for highly-efficient vehicles (which consume less fuel and therefore pay less tax per mile) and electric vehicles (which don’t consume fuel and therefore pay no fuel tax at all). One idea floated to counter that drop-off was to track vehicles via GPS and impose a direct per-mile tax.

      (Such a plan also makes it trivially easy to generate extra revenue via speeding tickets; your own car will narc you out.)

      They could still do that. And if the computer keeps you from driving, they can shut it down until the tax (or speeding ticket) gets paid.

  12. Co-worker would get one of his kids to blow in the tube in order to start his car to go to work. And get a non-soused co-worker to do the same in order to drive home after a boys’ night out.

    1. Leaving a restaurant after meeting my wife for lunch 15-17 years ago in Mesa, Arizona some chick (probably a 7 hot, likely a 8-9 crazy as it turned out) asked if I would help her with her car. Being a generally good guy I agree. Turned out the help she wanted was with the ignition interlock due to multiple DUI convictions. I refused and called the cops. They sent like 6 cruisers and a chopper. Had to give a written statement. Never heard anything more, so I’m guessing they pled out.

  13. You just know the device will be run by an AI which will have the digital equivalent of a psychotic break and take total control of your vehicle at high speed.

  14. While we’re at it, let’s consider Microsoft’s latest move to destroy our privacy. One day a week or so ago, I found myself locked out of my ‘private’ email. Called the owner of our small local provider, who, upset as they come, informed me that Microsoft, without informing- ah, anyone- had put in a program that accesses and records EVERY email.
    Invasion of privacy anyone?
    On top of which, in response to the howls of outrage, they say they don’t know how to fix the problem of access.

    1. Having worked with Microsoft (“with”, not “for”), if they say they don’t know how to fix a problem, they’re probably telling the truth … or a version of it.

      Logically, if they could record EVERY e-mail and do so invisibly (i.e. in such a way that you as the user would never notice), obviously they’d do that. If they could fix the problem of access, let you use your account as usual, and keep recording, they’d do that.

      The ethical thing to do would be to remove their recording program and let your provider restore access through normal means, especially if other customers are having the same problem. But instead, they’ll work on trying to “fix” the problem their recorder (probably) caused, while keeping the recorder in place.

      It’s not that they don’t know how to fix it. It’s that they don’t know how to fix it within their parameters, which prioritize keeping the recorder; restoring your access is secondary.

      As I said, “the truth … or a version of it.”

      RE: “Invasion of privacy”: [IANAL warning] Check the EULA (End User License Agreement) and ToSs (Terms of Service), as amended — which they can do unilaterally, at any time, and your continued use constitutes agreement to the new terms — and you’ll find consent for the company to access and record e-mails in there somewhere.

      Nobody ever reads EULAs or ToSs — you’d be shocked at what’s in some of them; I’ve seen a few, from the early age of social media networks (years before Facebook or even MySpace), where you literally sign away all your personal information — not just what you post publicly, but anything you enter, anywhere on the site. (As you might imagine, I did NOT accept the invitations to join those sites!) Even if you do read them when you join, you’d have to keep re-reading them when the company releases updated versions.

      It pains me to say it: Legally speaking, it’s not really an invasion of privacy since you “agreed” to it. Yes, quietly amending the EULA and ToS that way is a bit shady and under-handed. But it’s legal.

      1. Hiding Anne Frank was illegal

        Killing her in a concentration camp was legal.

        Legal means nothing to me since .GOV quit following the law (constitution).

  15. Even if you don’t buy a new car, what about car rentals. That could get annoying when traveling and getting an airport rental.

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