Moultrie Observer

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December 14, 2012

NTSB's suggestion is worth serious discussion

MOULTRIE — The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that states require an ignition killer on cars after someone has been convicted of drunk driving.

This technology is already there. If a person has had to much to drink, a breath analyzer would simply keep the car’s ignition from engaging. That’s space age technology.

Assuming a DUI person would always drive the same car, that suggestion makes sense. And of course the key would be that the DUI person would bear the cost of having this device installed.

There are many good ideas put on the table every day. But as they say, the devil is in the details. For instance, if it’s just one DUI and a person’s record stays clean, would the device be removed at some point?

What would make more sense is that all new cars be equipped from the get go with such technology, but then again, how long would it take for aged cars to cycle out so that the concept was used universally? And how much would it drive up the price of a car? And some would argue that they do not drink and drive so why should they be punished for another’s vices? Again, the devil is in the details.

We know that many people are killed or maimed each year because of drunk driving. Anyone directly affected would argue heavily for this requirement in the case of someone convicted of DUI. And if any of us reflected long on the carnage involved in mixing vehicles and booze, we likely would join right in there.

The NTSB’s recommendation is certainly worth considering. If there is a better alternative, we should have enough brilliant minds out there to come up with such innovation.

There may be no fool proof plan but minimizing the damage in greater volume is likely attainable.

What do you think?


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