Not a drunk driver? Prepare to shell out anyway

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) wants alcohol interlocks to be made mandatory on all new cars. Rice, a former prosecutor, “recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD),” which has pushed the expensive interlocks-for-everyone notion. Earlier here, here, here, here, etc.


  • Hey! As long as Rep. Rice and MADD want to pay for it — not through taxes — I’m all for it.

    If I have to pay for it, not so much.

  • Each new device added to a car which can interfere with its operation presents a new opportunity for something to go wrong.
    Remember 70’s-era pollution control systems (don’t forget “lean-burn”) ? Seatbelt/ignition interlocks?

    Even if the technology is fully refined (doubt it) by the time it is required in new cars, it is absolutely inevitable that somebody, somewhere, will be stranded because the alcohol interlock is not working. This could be annoying but harmless (e.g. not being able to start your car from your driveway in the morning) to dangerous (e.g. a woman not being able to start her car in a deserted parking lot at night).

  • This is particularly stupid because even the fanatics at MADD do not seem to be looking for them to be installed universally.

    Probably because to be truly effective, they would have to retest in the middle of driving, and I would think this would just be another source of distracted driving accidents.

  • I found it interesting that the “study” Rice uses to back her proposal says that the devices are assumed to work 100% of the time in their study.

    Good luck with that assumption.

    Secondly, if Rice thinks the ignition locks are a great idea, let her put one on her vehicles right now. (I am not holding my breath for that one.)

    Third, the text of her press release reads in part, “U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice today announced that she will introduce legislation requiring American automakers to equip all new cars with ignition interlock technology that detects a driver’s blood alcohol content …..”

    Only American cars? Not imports?