When “Impaired” isn’t “Drunk”

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You may have heard that, beginning with the 2026 model year, all new vehicles must be equipped with a system capable of detecting a putatively “impaired” driver – and disabling the vehicle, so that the “impaired” (putatively) driver cannot drive – or continue driving.

The vehicle either will not start – or it will stop.

Many people think it is a fine idea to stop “impaired” drivers. They are the same people who think it’s a fine idea to randomly stop drivers who’ve given no one any reason to suspect they might be “drunk” – and then make them prove they’re not.

Such people might want to give some thought to what will constitute the definition of “impairment.” Hence the putative qualifier in italics above.

Most people automatically think “drunk” when they hear “impaired” – which is reasonable because it’s the common interpretation. Just the same as most people thought they would be immunized when they heard “vaccine.” But there is a reason why impairment rather than drunk is being used to describe the system that will be embedded in all new vehicles, beginning with the 2026 models. It is essentially the same reason why drugs was not used to describe the substances millions allowed themselves to be injected with, believing they were getting vaccinated.

The reason is this:

“Impairment” will encompass any driving behavior that falls outside the parameters of acceptability, as determined by the programming that will be used to identify putatively “impaired” driving. Which will be equated with sober driving but faster than whatever the posted speed limit is and especially with accelerating up to speed “aggressively.” Similarly if you don’t brake “gently.” Basically, any “sudden” or “abrupt” or illegal movement by the vehicle will be taken as evidence of driver impairment.

Even if you’re not doing any of the above but merely not looking where the car’s cameras – which are looking at you – think you ought to be looking.

Eyes forward, kinder!

If you doubt this is what’s planned you might want to check into what’s already in place. Commercial trucks already have such “impaired” driver detection technology built into them. It is why the semi truck in the left lane isn’t “passing” the semi truck in the right lane. He’s trying to. The problem is it’s hard to pass a truck doing 53 in a 55 when you can’t drive faster than 55 to get past him. If you do go faster than 55 – assuming the truck allows it – the trucking company will know about and the driver will hear about it.

Most non-commercial vehicles made since about five years ago have everything already built-in to curb “impaired” driving. The list includes Lane Keep Assist – which tries to keep you from changing lanes, if you’ve not signaled first. And Emergency Brake Assist – which brakes when there is no emergency but rather because the system thinks you’re too close to the car ahead of you. Which it consider to be an “emergency.”

This makes taking advantage of gaps in traffic – to Frogger your way around the slow-pokes – not just difficult but dangerous. Because having the brakes suddenly and unexpectedly slam on when you’re trying to accelerate – and weave through traffic – is a great way to get rear-ended.

Of course, the foregoing exercise of initiative is said to be “unsafe” – as is any driver action that is “illegal,” a such as not coming to a dead stop at every stop sign, even when it’s clear there is no need to come to a dead stop because there is no traffic coming. Or – similarly – making a right turn (or a U Turn) when a sign says you’re not allowed to do. Because whoever put up the sign considers it “unsafe,” always – even when it might be perfectly safe for a competent driver to perform the maneuver.

Every driver is presumed incompetent.

Just as every driver who happens to be on the road is presumed “drunk” at what are styled “sobriety checkpoints.” (Is it surprising that they are now to be presumed “drunk” by their vehicle?)

And they are checkpoints.

That much is etymologically honest, at least. On the pretense of identifying “drunk” drivers, every driver is identified – he must produce his papers – and if they are not in order, he will be dealt with no matter how not-“drunk” he is. The same as regards his vehicle. A brake light out or an inspection sticker missing have nothing to do with sobriety. But “sobriety is the perfect excuse to “check” for them.

Just the same, a technology that is being sold to the rubes as a way to prevent “drunks” from driving will be used to prevent them from driving – by equating how they drive with “impairment.”

And few will object – because those who do will be smeared as supporters of “drunk” driving. Just the same as those who opposed being forced to take drugs were smeared as “anti-vaxxers.”

. . .

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93 COMMENTS

  1. North Carolina law enforcement using AI to combat increase in distracted drivers.
    The ‘Heads Up’ devices by Acusensus screen drivers to determine if law enforcement needs to issue a citation

    https://www.foxnews.com/tech/north-carolina-law-enforcement-using-ai-combat-increase-distracted-drivers

    From link:

    The “Heads Up” device takes numerous pictures of the passing commercial motor vehicle’s license plate and truck cabin before sending the photos to law enforcement, who are alerted to any violations like distracted driving or driving without a seatbelt. After looking at the pictures, officers can decide whether to cite the driver.

    —-

    Supposedly only used on commercial vehicles at the moment.

    • Anybody else curious why all of a sudden Australia has a huge interest in the USSA’s highways (tolls) and traffic spying through AI technology?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acusensus

      Something doesn’t smell right. This stinks of a shell company.

      Interesting note: USA address on Capitol Street NW in DC. I believe this is (or was) a WeWork building. Leasing office space so close to Congress. Wow, only six years up and running and they have US federal/state contracts.

      Don’t even get me started on the privacy invasion that this entails. I noticed most of the comments from the Fox article was people cheerleading this with only a handful discussing the privacy aspects and Big Brother watching. And we wonder why we have the government that we do.

      • The camera aspects of this tech are pretty straightforward. Controversial to be sure but the way AI is integrated is unclear to me. I suspect there is an element of “pre-crime” involved whereby your devices, including your car, are ratting you out in real time.

        • I agree with you. No doubt in newer cars it is notifying the cameras above that the driver is not wearing a seal belt, their eyes are not focused on the road, or they are talking via Bluetooth. The car probably notifies the equipment by several hundred feet and the camera is ready to snap away by the time the “registered” vehicle is in its line of sight.

          Or the camera is recording everyone (which I believe it is). Acusensus’s website stated that 95% of all pictures/videos captured or not seen by human eyes. The other 5% are to be reviewed by a human being that an “infraction” has been committed. There is no way that it is only capturing semis.

          The 4th Amendment is clearly being violated. Sounds to me like a good time to invest in a couple cans of spray paint or better yet maybe a few of those “semis” topple a few of these over the hillside. Let the state and counties keep replacing them at $165K a pop.

          If NC can get away with this expect every city in America to be lining up…don’t have to pay for cops and a brand new revenue stream.

          Everyone may want to start taking a back road.

  2. Think about the opportunities for States such as Texas – if it wasn’t actually a socialistic hellhole – to declare that if a vehicle (or firearm) were to be manufactured, sold, and kept inside the state, no Federal regulations of any kind are to be followed. No OSHA, no ATF, no Environmental fascism, nothing. Just freedom. Of course we haven’t had any States since about 1858, so that’ll never happen, unfortunately.

    • Hi Logan,

      It’s true that states became administrative districts of the federal government after the federal government put an end to the Sothern states’ assertion of sovereignty. After that, it’s been all downhill. Maybe next time will be better…

  3. Or MULCTING drivers. Some states or counties will even impose a “booking fee” of several hundred dollars, even should the arrested person “blow zeroes”, and the case is dismissed. Never mind paying as much as a GRAND to get your ride out of “impound”. If you don’t believe the cops aren’t getting a “kickback” on those tows, then let me interest you in a certain bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    And the REAL objective of those DUI checkpoints is not to catch “drunks”. It’s “Civil Asset Forfeiture”. The cops try to bully people into consenting a vehicle search, or they INVENT a reason, such as the “drug dog”. Note how often folks are badgered about carrying guns or CASH.

  4. I miss the good old days where there were lots of songs about drinking and driving.

    “Have a drink, have a drive. Go out and see what you can find.”

  5. I saved up enough to buy a new vehicle with cash a decade ago – but hate all the new vehicles and their nanny-safety-features

    I sincerely hope my ’95 T100 outlives me (what a trooper! bought new, less than 200K – and don’t contact me to buy, I know what I got)

  6. 20 years ago, the firm I worked for used to invite everyone to the “club” to have a few drinks once a month or so. After everyone was done and ready to go home, the boss would simply say, “drive safe” and that was the end of it. I can’t imagine a firm taking on that liability in today’s world.

  7. I wonder if there will be “special” vehicles without this crap manufactured specifically for our dear leaders. Maybe we’ll get some poetic justice if a Congressclown or his kid freezes to death in a snowbank after the car shuts down due to “erratic” driving avoiding patches.

    • They already are.

      Our Dear Leader’s limousine has very few common parts and platforms, except for hood ornaments and the like, with cars you can buy.

      You can’t buy a body on frame, rear wheel drive luxury car like the Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham anymore. In fact, the Dear Leader’s limo is based on a GMC Top Kick 6500 series truck.

      And they’ll keep making Chevy Tahoes, Cadillac Escalades, and GMC Yukons/Suburbans for the rest of the apparatchiks.

      They’ll be like Chevy’s 9C1 cars—only available to government agencies.

      And I think even the bluest of blue cities won’t go for EV police cars.

  8. In all of this, there’s one thing missing: Will any of these impaired driver detection systems look for people who are not drunk, but high on drugs?

    With the rise in legal, illegal, and “gray market” cannabis use, there are A LOT of people getting behind the wheel baked. That’s just as bad as being drunk.

    And then there’s the opioids, meth, fentanyl, and the psychedelics.

    Note that the same liberals who want all this nanny stuff also want to decriminalize drugs.

    So what gives here?

    Oh, wait a minute. This isn’t about keeping us from driving while impaired—it’s about keeping us from driving, period.

    • You bring up a good point, Bryce. I remember just a couple years ago seeing a TeeVee report that cops didn’t want pot legalized because “you can’t determine if they’re impaired”.

      Think about that.

      There isn’t an easy test to see if someone got a buzz off a doobie and is now “impaired” and can’t function at an acceptable level. The presumption is that anyone that smokes a joint or does a gummy isn’t capable of driving. But, the cops admit being buzzed doesn’t impair your ability to drive.

      Kafka, call your office.

  9. During the height of COVID jab mania, there were people who compared unvaxxed drivers to drunk drivers, which made no sense whatsoever. Could you imagine if the Biden regime takes that line of thinking to these breathalyzers that new cars will be required to have and they only “allow” people who’ve had ALL the “recommended vaccines” from the CDC to drive?

  10. When there were checkpoints in my home state, some drivers refused to roll down their windows. Would not comply.

    What you gonna do, break and enter?

    Somebody might get hurt.

  11. So many false readings….your car might not start very often….

    Breathalyzer: Common Sources of Error

    Breath testers can be very sensitive to temperature, for example, and will give false readings if not adjusted or recalibrated to account for ambient or surrounding air temperatures. The temperature of the subject is also very important.

    Breathing pattern can also significantly affect breath test results holding one’s breath for 30 seconds can increase the breath test result by about 28%.

    Some breath analysis machines assume a hematocrit (cell volume of blood) of 47%. However, hematocrit values range from 42 to 52% in men and from 37 to 47% in women. A person with a lower hematocrit will have a falsely high BAC reading.

    Research indicates that breath tests can vary at least 15% from actual blood alcohol concentration. An estimated 23% of individuals tested will have a BAC reading higher than their true BAC. Police in Victoria, Australia, use breathalyzers that give a recognized 20% tolerance on readings. Noel Ashby, former Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner (Traffic & Transport), claims that this tolerance is to allow for different body types.

    One major problem with older breath analyzers is non-specificity: the machines not only identify the ethyl alcohol (or ethanol) found in alcoholic beverages, but also other substances similar in molecular structure or reactivity.

    the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that dieters and diabetics may have acetone levels hundreds or even thousand of times higher than those in others. Acetone is one of the many substances that can be falsely identified as ethyl alcohol by some breath machines. However, fuel cell based systems are non-responsive to substances like acetone.

    False readings….too inaccurate….shouldn’t be used….

    A study in Spain showed that metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) used in asthma treatment are also a cause of false positives in breath machines.
    Substances in the environment can also lead to false BAC readings. For example, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a common gasoline additive, has been alleged anecdotally to cause false positives in persons exposed to it. Tests have shown this to be true for older machines; however, newer machines detect this interference and compensate for it. Any number of other products found in the environment or workplace can also cause erroneous BAC results. These include compounds found in lacquer, paint remover, celluloid, gasoline, and cleaning fluids, especially ethers, alcohols, and other volatile compounds.

    One of the most common causes of falsely high breath analyzer readings is the existence of mouth alcohol. In analyzing a subject’s breath sample, the breath analyzer’s internal computer is making the assumption that the alcohol in the breath sample came from alveolar air-that is, air exhaled from deep within the lungs. However, alcohol may have come from the mouth, throat or stomach for a number of reasons. To help guard against mouth-alcohol contamination, certified breath-test operators are trained to observe a test subject carefully for at least 15–20 minutes before administering the test.

    The problem with mouth alcohol being analyzed by the breath analyzer is that it was not absorbed through the stomach and intestines and passed through the blood to the lungs. In other words, the machine’s computer is mistakenly applying the partition ratio and multiplying the result. Consequently, a very tiny amount of alcohol from the mouth, throat or stomach can have a significant impact on the breath-alcohol reading.

    Other than recent drinking, the most common source of mouth alcohol is from belching or burping. This causes the liquids and/or gases from the stomach—including any alcohol—to rise up into the soft tissue of the esophagus and oral cavity, where it will stay until it has dissipated. The American Medical Association concludes in its Manual for Chemical Tests for Intoxication (1959): “True reactions with alcohol in expired breath from sources other than the alveolar air (eructation, regurgitation, vomiting) will, of course, vitiate the breath alcohol results.”

    For this reason, police officers are supposed to keep a DUI suspect under observation for at least 15 minutes prior to administering a breath test. Instruments such as the Intoxilyzer 5000 also feature a “slope” parameter. This parameter detects any decrease in alcohol concentration of 0.006g per 210L of breath in 0.6 second, a condition indicative of residual mouth alcohol, and will result in an “invalid sample” warning to the operator, notifying the operator of the presence of the residual mouth alcohol. PBT’s, however, feature no such safeguard.

    Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, can greatly exacerbate the mouth-alcohol problem. The stomach is normally separated from the throat by a valve, but when this valve becomes herniated, there is nothing to stop the liquid contents in the stomach from rising and permeating the esophagus and mouth. The contents-including any alcohol-are then later exhaled into the breathalyzer.

    Mouth alcohol can also be created in other ways. Dentures, for example, will trap alcohol. Periodontal disease can also create pockets in the gums which will contain the alcohol for longer periods. Also known to produce false results due to residual alcohol in the mouth is passionate kissing with an intoxicated person. Recent use of mouthwash or breath fresheners can skew results upward as they can contain fairly high levels of alcohol.

    https://allontario.ca/drinking-driving-breathalyzer/

      • Surely we can use the PCR to detect alcohol — forty cycles ought to do it, growing those little yeast populations from tiny to trillions.

        Guilty!

    • Hi Anon,

      Cutting to the chase here. It used to be that a man had to have been convicted of drunk driving before being required to have a Breathalyzer installed in his vehicle. But then we – that is “society” – accepted that it was ok to presume everyone is “drunk” until they proved otherwise – as at “checkpoints.” So it is not surprising – because it follows – that now people are to be presumed “drunk” by their cars, until they prove otherwise.

      It will not be long before people are required to prove they are not sick…. oops, wait. That already happened, didn’t it?

  12. Just one more tool to control the unwashed.

    Once accepted, then how long until you log into your car “to prevent theft”?

    Then lane keep assist + G force monitor can tell how often you don’t stop at stop signs.
    GPS can keep track of your speed.
    These violations will be credited to the logged in driver.

    Rack up enough violations and you will be sent to time out or sent a ticket. No driving for you.

    Why could you not be tracked like at planefinder.net?

    The ultimate goal is to “know what you think, know what you do” at all times.

    • Some cities are bringing in 20 mph speed zones, enforced by cameras,,,,driving will become so slow and stressful…and expensive……after a few $300 fines….people won’t bother driving….

  13. Such a device is a stupid waste of money – as 99.9999% never drive drunk. 50% of the people don’t even drink. And I guarantee you in Los Angeles the Mexicans will have disabled this device on day one. Then the youtubers will tell you how.

    A drunk detector will only work on middle class slaves to dumb to know what to do. All of this is brought to you by fuel injection and computers. A computer allows you to install all kinds of control devices – which will soon be obsolete by self driving cars.

    • You’re severely underestimating the sophistication and complexities of the OS’s the OEM’s have presently and most assuredly in future product. Reverse engineered hacking will be all but impossible. I do know the Gov will have the ability. “Terrible accident that (name that dissenter) had!”

  14. Ah yeah. We always hear how great our technology is,,, how it eases our days,,, how it improves everything. Then comes all the complaining when said technology is used against us (all the time) to force a particular action or inaction from us. First it was the phones,,, then cell phones, televisions, computers, you name it,,, and now our autos that we use hard earned currency to purchase but never own. Klaus Schwab’s “You will own nothing and like it” is pretty much already here. Sure you can own a computer but what good is it without a operating system? Same for everything else.
    I own my house,,, no you don’t! Stop paying the tax and see who owns it.
    I own my car,,, no you don’t! Don’t register it, Don’t insure it, Don’t get the inspection, and it will be sitting up on blocks in the yard you don’t own.
    I own my computer. No you don’t! Don’t sign the EULA and see who owns it.
    I own my cell phone. No you don’t! Stop paying the monthly charges and the damn thing follows you around like a nagging mother in law and monitors everything you say or text. All of it fed to some Cartel fusion center. And worse,,, most cannot put it down,,, even for sex, dinner, or sleep. Note,,, even if you don’t have a provider or turn it off it still tracks and monitors you if you carry it.

    Yes,,, we love our technology no matter how stupid it is,,, no matter how it rats us out,,, no matter how miserable it makes our lives. It’s the Stockholm syndrome for sure. The more they beat us,,, the more we love it!

  15. Well, after nearly FOUR years, and about 43K miles with my 2020 Ford (con)Fusion, I can say there are several “Nanny” features that I don’t care for, and would DISABLE, if I could, but when I took my then-new ride in for its included oil change, in February of 2020, at the same “stealership” that I’d bought the contraption from (which of itself was an eye-opener, insofar as the “competence” of even a dealer in an quite upscale area of Sacramento, it convinced me to go ELSEWHERE for routine maintenance, or, once the powertrain warranty is expired, just do it MYSELF), they “upgraded” the PCM and other “modules”, damn them, and WITHOUT advising me, and certainly NOT with my consent. When I griped about it to a Ford Service rep, she simply dismissed it as “read the ULA”, as they’ve ‘reserved’ the ability to install “upgrades” at THEIR discretion, at least until the warranty is done or they get a “Fatwa” from Uncle Sugar about a “recall”.

    1) Automatic “shut off” when the engine is idling. It gets triggered WAY TOO SOON, and no way to either adjust it or disable it now, thanks to the “upgrade”. I can disable each and every time I turn on the car, but that’s annoying and can, over time, wear out the applicable button, unnecessarily.
    2) Driver “Fatigue” monitoring – the “Nanniest” feature of all…has some algorithm, based on continued operation, presumably at freeway speeds, or how many lane changes, to hector me about “taking a break”. Fuck Ford and what THEY think I “should” do. When driving to see family members in “Arid-Zona”, I gas up at the Grapevine on I-5, and I don’t stop for SHIT, unless it’s literal and I can’t hold it to crossing the Colorado river and Ehrenburg, AZ. Simple reason: It’s not SAFE for a 64 y.o. WHITE MAN in SoCal, and, unfortunately, Calipornia doesn’t respect the Second Amendment, so my “hardware” is left locked and in the trunk, separate from the ammo, also locked and in the trunk. When I do the “fluids on, fluids off” thing at the Flying J in Ehrenburg, I get out my Ruger, load it, and secure it to the magnetic mounting, as ARIZONA law (as well as Nevada and “Yew-Tah”, and certainly TEXAS) allow.
    3) Lane “Assist”. Geez…how did I get along for 61 years, 45 of them “permitted” driving (about Fifty actually driving, as Florida then allowed a minor to drive with a parent riding “shotgun” as long as (s)he can reach the pedals) without any “learner’s permit”), without that “handy-handy” feature. Simple. I PAID ATTENTION to the road conditions before executing a lane change. And IF I become too tired to keep it “between the dotted lines”, then it’s a sign I need to either pull over and rest, or let someone else drive.
    4) Mirror indicators…they tell me if an adjacent vehicle is too close to execute a lane change. While at least that’s not intrusive, I avoid relying on them, for the simple reason that I fear it’ll instill LAZINESS. That is, I’m not too old to turn my fool head OVER MY SHOULDER, and look to see if it’s “clear”.

    Of course, IDK what info my own ride has “tattled” on me, but I’m sure that IF the PTB want to stop me from going wheresoever they don’t want me to go, they’ve already got the means to shut my ride down, or at least, have the “coppers” follow me and come up with some INVENTED reason to effect a traffic stop.

    Eric, it’s not a matter of, near-term, driver breathalyzer devices, a feature that at present is only ordered by a COURT, IAW due process, after a CONVICTION for DUI, being mandated, with we “proles” being PRESUMED “guilty” until we prove otherwise, the hallmark of a Police State rather than our Constitutional Republic. Such devices COULD be legislated into existence in virtually ANY road-worthy vehicle. Be assured, it WON’T stop there. There will be well-intentioned measures to halt the driving “privilege” for, say, some bloke behind on his child support payments, never mind that he might just NEED that ride in order to get to work or otherwise make a living to “pay up”. Then some “social credit” scoring system will come into play, with a definite “fail” for accessing web sites (assuming they still can be accessed at other than the “Dark Web”) that the “Dear Leaders” don’t “approve” of…like ericpetersautos.com !

    • “Then some “social credit” scoring system will come into play, with a definite “fail” for accessing web sites (assuming they still can be accessed at other than the “Dark Web”) that the “Dear Leaders” don’t “approve” of…like ericpetersautos.com !”

      Wouldn’t they just shut the site down. Or cart Eric Peters off?

  16. Laws apply to the law abiding. The knee slapping comedy act here in Eastern WA is the somber news report on the latest drunk driving crash, pretty much daily, with the fuzz interview “remember buzzed driving is drunk driving” “call a ride home or make sure to have a designated driver”. 99% of the time it’s a drunk and/or drugged up illegal that gives a s**t less about any “impaired” driving laws or would ever call for a ride home. If they survive nothing will happen, they have no money to feed the so called legal system so off they go. Also we have “equity justice” here so can’t have minorities getting locked up, it just ain’t fair doncha know!

    Been this way for decades. Co worker was sleeping it off in a Kmart parking lot, got busted by the fuzz since the keys were in the ignition so “in control of the vehicle”. He drove a Mark IV so done deal, bookim’ Danno he’s got money! Cost him thousands in legal & court fees. We had our own “ Better Call Saul” back in the 80s, “Alva The Lawyer” in huge letters across his office window – the go to guy to grease the DUI skids, bring lots of money.

    .08 laws will only make criminals out of normal Joes and Janes, will do nothing to fix the out of control animals that populate this state.

  17. You have to play center for the Los Angeles Lakers, formerly the Minneapolis Lakers, gotta wonder how the Lakers got their name, then you can buy any car you want.

    A three or four million in pay for one year, voila, a new Raptor R for you. Buy a Dodge Ram too, more fun when you can afford anything.

    Nissan is going to build all electric vehicles for Europe. It ain’t gonna work.

    Renault is all in on electric to boot. You get the whole spiel at the website.

    All you hear is go get vaccinated, it’s free. No thanks and leave me alone.

  18. I object to these systems on principle, however, there’s also a pragmatic argument against them.

    Computers don’t think and the algorithms they run to make decisions aren’t intelligent, they’re heuristics. So, how do you detect “impaired” driving? I guarantee you that it will have false positives, because there are many times when regular driving might look impaired. Are you swerving around some road debris? Is the flow of traffic fluctuating because of rush hour and your speed is unpredictable? Are you driving in the oncoming traffic lane because of construction? Did you straddle two lanes to avoid a pothole?

    All these scenarios could trigger “impaired” driver mode. My day job is working on self driving cars and I’m neck deep in these kinds of systems, so I know how they work. To sum it up in one word, they are idiots. We do not have the technology (yet) to make such a system correctly detect impaired driving. You have a virtual “knob” which you can turn, which makes the system err on the side of false negatives (where it misses legitimate impairment) or errs on the side of false positives (where it identifies regular driving as impaired). I know which way this knob is going to be set if the government makes the shots.

    I love cars. I’ve wrenched on them for almost 30 years, I drive them at the track, I instruct people in how to drive fast at the track, and I work in a car related field. However, I will not be buying any cars with this technology.

    Defeating it is very difficult. Ten years ago, you could bypass something like a traction control or stability control module, bceause it was a standalone thing that augmented the ECU and the car would run fine without it. You could fool the ECU to think the module was still there and not throw any codes. Today, cars have an incredibly complex, integrated computer system which makes this almost impossible, and they lock it down with encryption.

    • The old “hack” on being able to push-start a car with an automatic was to connect a jumper wire across the terminals of the Neutral “Safety” switch, then put it in Reverse and push away, and “presto”, the engine will turn over and HOPEFULLY start. Car makers got “hep” to that, and when they started putting “PCMs” (Power Control Modules) on automatic boxes, like Mopar’s infamous (for its poor reliability) 41TE, or A604 FWD four-speed automatic, they were set to disable spark if the computer detected a car with a stopped engine was in motion. This, BTW, ALSO defeated the ability to put the car in neutral on a long downgrade and shut the engine off (ILLEGAL in many states, including CA, anyway). That was an old trick I used many moons ago with a ’67 Dart with a 225 Slant Six, if the poor thing had been “flogged” coming out of SoCal, as I headed downhill, I’d shut off the engine, open the windows (unless it was winter and freezing cold), and just coast, provided I wasn’t in heavy traffic, as the power brakes had a few ‘pumps’ left in them, and that car didn’t NEED the power steering at all. Doing so lowered the engine temperature NOTICEABLY, and I’d also note a few psi of oil pressure GAINED, enough to get home to Fresburg on 99.

      • Wow. I never knew that. Cool!

        I’ve driven for 30 years without having owned an automatic until just last year, so push-starting wasn’t an issue.

        • If it’s a 1990 or newer ride, don’t even bother; you CAN’T.

          There are still a FEW rides coming from the factory with “Manuel” transmissions. Ever the more, what few remain will be HIGHLY PRIZED.

      • When automatic transmissions had front pumps it was possible to “push start” them. Chrysler automatic transmissions have not had front pumps since the early 1960s. Hence, they cannot be started by push starting.

        • I could do it on my 1967 Dodge Dart with the 225 Slant Six and A904 Automatic, simply by connecting a jumper with alligator clips to short the Neutral Saf we ty Switch. Put it in reverse, turn on the ignition, and give the Dart a shove from the front. “MA Mopar” never would have put that switch in if you couldn’t push-start in reverse or Drive.

  19. Eric wrote: If you do go faster than 55 – assuming the truck allows it – the trucking company will know about and the driver will hear about it.

    At my former employer, all the fleet vehicles that were capable of it had a speed governor that limited the top speed by default to 77 MPH. If a driver exceeded 77 for a preset amount of time the system would put the truck into essentially limp home mode, forcing the max speed down to 55 MPH. It also sent an email to the supervisor (you had to “log in” to your vehicle with an app. I avoided this by having an older truck that didn’t support that, but I really wasn’t in much of a hurry to get to work anyway.

    Most people here probably think the impared driving stuff is coming from the insurance mafia or nany state. I think it is a desire from the self-driving lobby. They can’t roll out their product until they assume libality for their software, and as long as people drive unpredictably they’re not going to do that. We read that Waymo and Cruise cars won’t stop for first responders, for example. This is because first responders get an exception for the rules. They run traffic light intersections, they expect you to get out of their way, they speed, etc. Unexpected and rare encounters, and fairly unique every time too.

    The NTSB investigations into autonomous vehicle accidents usually put the human driver at fault, and that’s probably not wrong. So the logical action (remember, these are tech companies, so logic is everything) is to use carrots and sticks on human drivers until they get in line. And because driver training is a joke in North America, locking down the driver is the only solution. Again, using a tech solution to what is really a non-issue, but in reality is a driver training issue.

    Personally, I’d like a truly autonomous mode for many scenarios. Long drives on interstates. Maybe if I’ve had a few beers with the boys and don’t want to leave my vehicle somewhere sketchy overnight. Or if I’m having a heart attack and getting me to the hospital in my own vehicle will save time. Because the best vehicle for the job is often the one you have nearby. But none of those possiblities are feasable until the liability is sorted out. If I’m still the “driver in command” and the expectation is I’m responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle, then I want none of these “aids.” If Google/Waymo is going to take on the responsibility for highway safety, then we’ll talk.

  20. There is no bottom to the pit of what may be considered “impaired” driving. Listening to the wrong radio station for example. Or the wrong music. Or even looking at your cell phone, whether using it or not. Or saying the wrong thing. “I like Trump”, or “Fuck Joe Biden”, and your brakes lock up and your engine dies.
    Though by 2026 I’m suspicious few will be able to afford a new car, or want one, since EVs will be the only option.

    • You can’t wreck if your car is in the garage. By pulling out of the driveway you’re taking on unnecessary risk. That’s why nearly every plane crash has some element of pilot error, according to the NTSB. If the pilot would have just not flown that day, they wouldn’t have crashed.

  21. No one that has been drinking should be driving. Zero tolerance. If you blow even .001% you should not drive. And furthermore the car should lock you inside and notify the police to come arrest you for just the fact that you even risked driving! You should also lose your driving privileges’ and have your license suspended.

    • Lyspooner writes:

      “No one that has been drinking should be driving. Zero tolerance. If you blow even .001% you should not drive.”

      Why?

      Your statement – which is fanatical – assumes the person is impaired “even at .0001 Percent,” which is absurd. It cheapens the meaning of the term. It is also totally arbitrary. My former mother-in-law, though she never drank, was far more meaningfully impaired than myself even after a couple of drinks. Because she had poor vision and slow reflexes and was – at her best – a very marginal driver. I, on the other hand, am an excellent driver and as such, am still a better driver even after a couple of drinks (and certainly one beer) than she ever was, sober.

      Your position is as silly as it is fanatical. It criminalizes people who’ve done nothing to cause harm while doing nothing about those who do. A glaucomic old man runs a red light and T-bones you. But he’s sober – and so all he gets is a ticket. A guy whose driving has caused no harm to anyone nor given reason to suspect it might is thrown in jail because he “blew” a .000 whatever.

      • This comment cannot be taken seriously as it involves your “ex-mother in law”. Since no man has ever liked his ex-mother in law, any comment involving said person has to be considered prejudiced. You will need to cite another elderly relative, perhaps your grandfather, to make this point!

        • Lyspooner –

          I liked her, actually – and it’s entirely beside the point. Let me tell you another story – about Bob Bondurant. The former race car driver who founded the driving school named after himself. Bob liked to drink. And he could drive – far better than just about anyone not a professional race car driver – even after a night of drinking and with some alcohol still in his system. I know because I drove with him – at his school. I assure you that Bondurant driving with a .08 BAC constituted far less a threat than the typical Clover with a 0.0 BAC.

          People are individuals – and the capabilities of individuals varies. One size does not fit all – except in a tyrannical/arbitrary regime. Why not focus on the one clear/objective way of determining impairment? That would be loss of control. If that happens, it’s self-evident the driver lost control and whether that was due to poor judgment, low skill, bad eyesight or booze is immaterial.

          I don’t give a flip if someone drinks and drives. It’s only a problem if they wreck. You may say that if they drink they are more apt to wreck – but (again) this is a vague/generalized assertion that may or may not apply, and to varying degrees.

          Another way to look at this is by looking at the “pandemic.” The ‘Rona may have been a serious threat to elderly, obese and already sick people. It was almost no threat to anyone else. So why was it expected that everyone pretend everyone was equally at risk?

          Should you be obliged to use a cane – or a wheelchair – because some people have difficulty walking unaided?

    • And no one who thinks so should be allowed to post any thing on the internet. Especially on sites dedicated to a libertarian point of view.
      Less than half of fatal accidents involve a drunk driver, which means most involve sober drivers, which means we should all throw down a beer or a shot before driving? After seeing the way many drive anymore, it certainly wouldn’t hurt. Maybe those incompetent drivers wouldn’t drive.
      As Myles says, and Eric as well, no victim, no crime.

      • No victim, no crime? That’s crazy! What if you’re in a dark alley and some guy pulls a gun on you and asks for your money but you don’t have any and he feels sorry for you and gives you a couple of bucks? Or how about if you try to poison someone but accidentally drink the poison yourself? Those are still crimes, victims or not!

        • Lyspooner writes:

          “What if you’re in a dark alley and some guy pulls a gun on you and asks for your money but you don’t have any and he feels sorry for you and gives you a couple of bucks?”

          Are you an imbecile?

          The guy pulled a gun on you… threatened to kill you, in other words. He did not “ask” for money, either. Threatening to kill someone and demanding money from them victimizes them. Christ!

          And they ask me why I drink.

          • Because you still try to make reasonable argument with Lyspooner, who is incapable of doing so. I swore to stop responding to them, wish I had kept my oath.

            • Lyspooner –

              You have a penchant for making insincere/vapid comments. Defending oneself against a gun-wielding assailant does not create a victim. It prevents one from becoming one.

          • If my training is still effective, there will be as MANY “holes” in the would-be assailant/robber as rounds I had in the chamber and magazine/cylinder. Including at least one in the HEAD to “make sure”, as only in the MOVIES and on TV does the “perp” STAY down or not have a “backup” sidearm.

            • One of my favorite “jokes” went something like this.

              “How do you know when you’ve fired enough shots?”

              “When the holes in the body line up with the holes in the floor.”

    • Dear Lyspooner,

      Bite me.

      A person could “blow” 0.001% without having imbibed a drop of ethanol.

      You write “lose your driving privileges’ and have your license suspended”. I should lose my driving privileges’ what? What do my privileges possess that should be lost?

      Perhaps there should be “zero tolerance” for those who don’t understand the English language.

      In fact, maybe anyone who uses the phrase “zero tolerance” should be immediately shot by an armed government worker who materializes out of the ground.

    • “If you blow even .001% you should not drive.”

      Seriously, is it possible for someone to be this ignorant? Another example of an individual engaging in a perverse parlor game. Basically, they offer nonsensical comments to see how many people they can trigger. Then, they keep score on a makeshift bingo card to determine the “winner”. These types are best ignored and aren’t worthy of a reply from the more intelligent who frequently visit this site.

      • Agreed. This clown is either a paid Soros operative, and a rather STUPID one at that, or someone with a lot of time on his hands, blogging from “Mommy’s basement”

        BTW, I guess lyspooner (a corruption of Lysander Spooner, I guess) has never heard of DETECTION LIMITS. They’re a reason that, for example, California “zero tolerance” limit for DUI probationers and minors is actually 0.02% BAC…the reason, of course, being that’s what’s generally considered as the RELAIBLE detection limit for breathalyzers. It’s a matter of overcoming what’s STILL supposed to be a PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE that the accused was driving with a BAC greater than that 0.02%, if the standard applies, or, hopefully for anyone reading this forum, 0.08%. The former would be, in most cases, exceeded by even recently quaffing ONE “drink”, like a 12 oz beer or a “shot” of whiskey, but it would probably NOT be exceeded by someone drinking, say, a swig of Orange Juice that was definitely past its prime. As, at times, such persons issued a restricted license have also agreed to possess and/or consume NO alcoholic beverages, a reading greater than 0.02% would also be proof that they’d violated the restriction, and the DMV could, in a hearing, issue harsher measures, including a likely revocation of the driver’s license for a minimum period of time. The idea, of course, is to apply harsher enforcement to those “incorrigible drunks” that haven’t learned an expensive and inconvenient lesson ALREADY.

        The only trouble is, when there’s not enough “policing profit” in actually going after unrepentant drunks, then the definition of “impaired will likely get, shall we say, “squishy”. There have ALREADY been cases where someone has been wrongly accused, been taken to jail, and “blown zeroes”, or simply, NO alcohol detected in their breath (or blood, but the results won’t be immediate). Are they then set free, with profuse apologies? Maybe ONCE that would have happened, but NOOOO (thank you, John Belushi, wherever you are…), instead, the cops will RE-ARREST you, and accuse you of “drugged” driving, especially if you went against the advice of any DUI attorney, performed the Field Sobriety Tests, or FSTs, and, of course, “failed” them. Since you took the breath test, and it came up “zeroes”, then they’ll insist on a blood draw, with the same “implied consent” warning. Of course, who can say WHAT might be in your bloodstream, as the laws are not as precise in definition of what constitutes “impairment”? Could having taken a few Tylenols, provided the acetaminophen is found in the blood sample, be construed as “impairment”? Simple common sense would say, NO, but in today’s clown world, where even an “impairment” was prosecuted in Solano County, CA, for too much CAFFEINE, I would rule NOTHING out. Especially since it’s more about the “mulcting” than genuine concern for “Pube-Lick” (Public) Safety.

        • “BTW, I guess lyspooner (a corruption of Lysander Spooner, I guess)…”

          Ironically, Lysander Spooner wrote “Vices Are Not Crimes; A Vindication of Moral Liberty”, in 1875 and wrote:

          “Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another…In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting.”

          “Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be…no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property; no such things as the right of one man to the control of his own person and property.”

          He clearly recognized the axiom, “Every crime requires a victim”.

          • The control freaks on both sides of the aisle already have that answer: “SOCIETY” is the “victim”. And after you point out that there are already laws with severe criminal penalties for driving drunk or drugged, and much in the way of Tort Law to discourage such behavior, or at least ensure that private companies police it of themselves, then they’ll say how it impacts the “Family”, especially the CHILDREN. Oh, THINK of the CHILDREN!

            That’s when you KNOW you’re dealing with a scoundrel.

    • “If you blow even .001% you should not drive.”

      Drinking one glass of orange juice will do that. If you have ever had a glass of OJ before driving lyspooner, you should do the honorable thing and turn in your driver’s license.

      It’s not just orange juice, a lot of everyday items contain alcohol.

        • That’s be death by alcohol poisoning…but for many, that’s THEIR “retirement plan.”

          And you ARE “wrong”…in ways you pea brain can’t begin to fathom.

          • I think you meant “your” not: “in ways you pea brain can’t begin to fathom”. You probably meant to type “in ways YOUR pea brain can’t begin to fathom. It doesn’t make sense the other way.

        • Lyspooner writes:

          “Okay maybe I was wrong! 10% then, if a person has a 10% blood alcohol level they should not be driving.”

          And how, pray, is that to be determined? Via “checkpoints”? In other words, forcing people to stop without their having given cause to suspect they’re “drunk” and then treat them as “drunk” if their BAC is at or above some arbitrary threshold and irrespective of their driving.

          In italics to make the point more strongly.

          Is it not telling – is it not damning – that these “drunk” driving laws do not require any evidence at all that the person’s driving was erratic or reckless? Only that he had “x” BAC.

          If that’s the standard for “drunk” driving, then why not lower it? As has in fact been done, repeatedly.Why not “zero tolerance”? It is headed that way. And it has nothing to do with “drunk” driving. It has everything to do with unctuous virtue-signaling busybodyism.

          • I thought the thing in the car checked for blood alcohol level? Isn’t that the idea. There has to be a way to set it for a level or the car won’t ever start. Now you say: Why not “zero tolerance”. I think that’s a bit extreme, at first I wanted .001%, then went up to 10% now you’re talking about 0%! That’s crazy. I say just forget the whole thing, it doesn’t seem workable.

            • Lyspooner –

              The “idea” is a pernicious one. Do you think it’s a good idea to presume people are “drunk”? If you do, then why not also presume that they are “terrorists.” Oh. I forget sometimes. They already are so presumed. Do you see? Do you like this idea of presuming people are “guilty” of things – more of them, all the time – and being treated as if you were in fact guilty?

              Do you like being treated like a criminal? Living in a prison?

              Because that is where all of this trends. It is where we already are, in no small way.

              Incidentally: Why did you choose as your handle the name of a principled libertarian who opposed everything you defend?

              • Spooner did not oppose everything I defend. He had nothing to say about drunk driving. He was also a strict tea-totaler and would not have had much sympathy for drunk drivers. Furthermore he opposed the US Post office as do I. They never put the mail in the box properly and often ignore my flag when I am sending mail out. Their monopoly status should be ended. The organization sold off, the profits put in the public treasury.

                • Here’s what AI has to say about who lyspooner is:

                  “Lyspooner is a writer and editor specializing in online content. She has worked with many well-known companies, such as Microsoft and Google, and has written for a variety of publications.”

                  “Lyspooner is an experienced digital marketer and content creator. He has worked with several major brands to create compelling campaigns and content to help them reach their goals.”

                  “Lyspooner is a professional writer and editor who specializes in creating content for businesses and entrepreneurs. She has written for a variety of publications and has a passion for helping others succeed.”

                  “Lyspooner is an experienced professional in the field of web development and digital marketing.”

                  That’s interesting. Don’t you think? I recall you that you know about the metrics of this site.

                  • Here’s AI on Mister Liberty:

                    Mister Liberty: internet alias for a log time troll that infiltrates posting forums, ingratiates himself to the regulars, then tries to police the site by attacking anyone that tries to engage in contrary dialogue. His goal is to drive away differing opinions and turning the forum into a boring echo chamber that eventually dies off because everyone is saying the same things to each other over and over.

                • Lyspooner,

                  Of course Spooner had nothing to say about drunk driving. There was no driving while he was alive, as cars were invented after his death. Would he have favored the state punishing people who merely drink? Doubtful.

          • Or MULCTING drivers. Some states or counties will even impose a “booking fee” of several hundred dollars, even should the arrested person “blow zeroes”, and the case is dismissed. Never mind paying as much as a GRAND to get your ride out of “impound”. If you don’t believe the cops aren’t getting a “kickback” on those tows, then let me interest you in a certain bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

    • Drunk driving fatalities happen because drunk drivers hit sober drivers, not other drunk drivers.

      What is required is a blood alcohol minimum before driving. BAC below .25%? No driving for you!

      If you disagree, you are a granny killer. And probably racist, sexist, and homophobic to boot.

  22. ‘Few will object – because those who do will be smeared as supporters of “drunk” driving.’ — eric

    ‘Once it has met rigorous performance standards, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety will be voluntarily offered as a safety option in new vehicles — like automatic braking, lane departure warning and other advanced driver assist vehicle technologies.’

    https://dadss.org

    ‘Voluntarily’ is a brazen, contemptuous lie — this DADSS crap, as Eric points out, was mandated by a disorderly mob of rum-soaked Congress Clowns.

    All of the major auto makers are in on it, as confirmed in the DADSS Q&A.

    And this is my non-negotiable red line: I’m not buying no DADSS-equipped vehicle; not now, not ever. They can kiss my ass.

    For five years, from 1941 to 1946, the US got along with no new vehicles: all the auto plants were converted to defense production.

    Now I favor a five-year shutdown of auto manufacturing. Have a total rethink, then start over with fresh new players — having purged all of the current executives, regulators and UAW workers. They are enemies of the people. And now they must pay for what they have done to us.

      • It’d become like “Cuber” (Cuba), where even under Castro’s nightmare Communist “island paradise”, the locals found ingenious ways to keep their 1950s-vintage AMERICAN-made rides running…and that in a TROPICAL, SALT WATER climate!

        My “retirement” is to set up a vintage Mopar parts business…way things are going, keeping inventory might be the biggest challenge, but I probably won’t LACK for customers!

    • I am a supporter of drunk driving. If people can support giving sex changes to kids, engaging in all sorts of perversion, election fraud, mandatory vaccinations based on their imginations the ends justify the means.

      Liberal fucks can jam it in their ear in 50 different ways. I don’t give a fuck.

      If anyone favors what they stand for, I favor the opposite.

      Drunk driving is just a consequence of life. They can go fuck off. I don’t care about their abnormal sense of moral outrage. I’ve suffered that aspect of the bullshit since around 1982.

      • Some of The Funnest times Ever (!) my friends & mine had.

        …Off road. & on.

        Great comment, swamprat! I’m sure it would make my high school english teachers head explode.
        Among other, do-gooders.

        “They can go fuck off. I don’t care about their abnormal sense of moral outrage.”

      • ‘Drunk driving is just a consequence of life. They can go fuck off.’ — swamprat

        Just drove home from a buddy’s house, after spending six hours trimming a six-foot cannabis plant harvested this morning (the big bud on top of the stalk weighed 2-1/2 ounces) … and having a couple of brews, and a couple of joints from the one harvested last month.

        Now just the other night with nothin’ to do
        We broke a case of proof 102
        And started itchin’ for that wonderful feel
        Of rollin’ in an automobile

        There ain’t no cause for alarm
        We ain’t out to do nobody no harm
        How could anyone be so unkind
        To arrest a man for drivin’ while blind

        — ZZ Top, Arrested for Driving While Blind

        ‘They can go fuck off.’

        • Indeed, Jim –

          The thing that affront me is this schoomarmish hysteria that someone might have had a drink – or even two! – and gotten behind the wheel of a car. It affronts me for several reasons, the most obvious being that just because a man has had a drink – or two – he is “impaired” and so constitutes a danger and that justifies an almost literal witch hunt for “drunk” drivers, who are so hard to find out on the road it is necessary to check everyone who is on the road. If it is necessary to use “checkpoints” to identify “drunk” drivers, then it is likely the driving of these “drunks” was not a problem.

          Yes, of course, some people are actually drunk – and actually dangerous. But that is a separate matter. The truly drunk ones can be identified by their driving. If they cannot be identified by their driving, then how are they “drunk”? Or rather, why worry about it?

          I don’t care whether someone has been drinking. I care whether they know their limits – and that goes way beyond drinking. A person with poor night vision probably ought not to be driving at night. A person who has poor reflexes or who is a poor judge of spatial relationships also ought to probably self-limit.

          There are, in other words, many forms of impairment and “drinking” is not necessarily a meaningful one.

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