Alcohol detectors in every car?


The American Beverage Institute Urges Congress to Reject Funding for Invasive Alcohol Detectors in All Cars

Washingtonandmdash;In recognition of the December 5 anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealing Prohibition, the American Beverage Institute (a restaurant trade association) urged Americans to push back against anti-alcohol groups seeking to marginalize responsible social drinking.
ABIandrsquo;s website,, profiles anti-alcohol activist groups such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alcohol Justice, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and the Center for Alcohol Marketing and Youth and the anti-alcohol policies they promote. The site details how these anti-alcohol activists are attempting to restrict and stigmatize responsible alcohol consumption by pushing for policies such as lowering blood alcohol content arrest thresholds below their current .08 level, increasing the use of sobriety roadblocks, pushing for invasive alcohol detection devices in all cars, banning alcohol advertising, and increasing alcohol taxes. also shows that many of the statistics and studies anti-alcohol activists use to support these neo-prohibitionist policies are severely flawed. The site profiles several of the most prolific anti-alcohol activists.
One of the most alarming ways anti-alcohol activists seek to eliminate social drinking is by using federal tax dollars to fund research into universal alcohol detection devices for all cars. Just last month, MADD President Jan Withers said the technology could become as standard as an airbag. A Department of Transportation fact sheet about the technology admits: andldquo;The goal over time is to equip all passenger vehicles in the United States with the technology.andrdquo;
andldquo;Putting alcohol detectors in all cars would effectively eliminate many Americansandrsquo; choice to have a wine with dinner, beer at a ball game, or a champagne toast at a wedding and drive home, because the devices will be set well below the legal limit,andrdquo; said Longwell. andldquo;We all want to increase traffic safety, but to do this we should focus on policies that target drunk drivers, not all Americans.andrdquo;
The American Beverage Institute strongly urges both chambers of Congress to reject the ROADS SAFE Act, which would appropriate $60 million to the campaign to put alcohol detectors in all cars.

December 2011