I was at a tint shop today (looking to get the windows tinted on the new-to-me hydrocarbon guzzling SUV) and this guy was talking to the owner, getting info on how to operate his new court-mandated breathalyzer ignition interlock.


Also known as "puff to start"


It seems he hasn't even been convicted yet - he's in a pre-trial state, and the System has ordered it installed if he wants to continue driving. I think it was a first offense.

The device was several hundred dollars, and cost him $160 to get installed because it came with a starter disable. Otherwise would have been $110. Add this to the $8000 and-up lawyer + court costs, and this guy will be out a big chunk of change.

I'm not condoning driving while drunk - as a Libertarian I am a big believer in personal responsibility. And it's impossible to pay restitution if you've maimed or killed someone -- morally you just can't make right what you did.

But it seems to me that with any government program attracts businessmen, who then attract lobbyists, and before you know it, you've got an entrenched industry with bureaucratic rules and regulations.

This device doesn't just inconvenience him - he now has to watch what he eats, since some foods can trick it into thinking he's consumed alcohol (sourdough bread is one, it seems). And he can't have any air fresheners in his car, since they can emit alcohol-like fumes. And if the battery dies in the car, or he blows a fuse, the unit will rat on him (they have cellphone data connections, it seems), so he has to call the vendor before any work is done on the car. And the mechanic can't start it - he has to be the one to blow in the pipe, so he has to be present the whole time (no dropping the car off for an oil change).

Chip H.