The Toronto Star has a “Wheels” section, on it’s own domain, wheels.ca. In this section, every so often they have what they term a “smackdown,” basically a short debate between Jim Kenzie and someone.
Well, this isn’t much of a “smackdown,” but in this video, Norris McDonald argues that vehicles should all come with alcohol sensors which would shut the vehicle down if it detected the driver had too much to drink.
Jim Kenzie on the other hand argues that such a requirement is leading down the road to Orwell’s 1984 and compares a requirement for such a device to being monitored on cameras. Kenzie therefore is not in favour of the idea.
Personally, I think if there is technology to build in an accurate breath analyzer that could measure BAC, then it would be nice to have it as an option, with the ability to remove it if the vehicle is resold if the new owner doesn’t want it. Some people never drink and such a device just wouldn’t be needed in their vehicle.
On the other hand, for those that do drink, having one of these or a built in sensor would be an advantage when you just don’t know if you’ve had one too many. I certainly didn’t think that I had too many when I was charged with Impaired Driving; if I had owned a device that I could accurately measure my BAC, I would have used it and wouldn’t have got behind the wheel.
What is your opinion? Should all vehicles be required to come with a device that detects alcohol? What about costs to have it recalibrated and checked? What if it is installed but is not working correctly? I suppose we can still come to rely too much on technology, which is not always perfect and can be prone to mistakes and failure.